At the Newman ranch, Nate examined Victoria, who reported that she'd been sleeping better and that her appetite was back with a vengeance. Meanwhile, in the foyer, Nikki told Nick over the phone that she'd asked Nate to stop by, since Victoria had seemed weak and vulnerable during her trip to the office. Nikki was relieved that Victoria had been honest about her fears and had asked for help, and Nick told her to keep him posted.
Nikki and Victor joined Victoria and Nate in the living room. Victoria requested that Nate reassure her parents that she was doing better. Nate indicated that Victoria's wound was healing well and that her vital signs were good, but he scolded her for going back to work. She clarified that it had only been a brief visit to check on things, but Nikki worried that it had been overly ambitious. Victoria was determined to be back in charge very soon. "That's my girl," Victor praised.
Victoria thanked Nate for putting her parents' minds at ease, and Nikki and Victor walked Nate out. Nikki said she appreciated the house call, since Victoria had seemed exhausted after going to the office. Victor thought Victoria seemed to be doing better, but Nikki thought their daughter was putting on a show for Victor's benefit because she didn't want to let him down. Nate assured them that Victoria was doing well physically, but the emotional component wasn't his area of expertise.
Nate recommended that Victoria see a therapist to work through the trauma, and Nikki indicated that Victoria was willing to see Sharon for counseling sessions. Victor huffed that Sharon was barely out of school and that Victoria needed to see a real shrink. Nate firmly stated that it was up to Victoria to determine what she needed, but she wasn't likely to be honest unless they were open to hearing what she had to say.
Later, Nikki considered sending Victoria to a spa to help her get past the terrible incident. Victor didn't think it was a good idea, but Nikki voiced concern that Victoria's eyes and body language indicated how overwhelmed she was. Victor conceded that Victoria might have pushed herself too hard, but it didn't mean running away was the solution. Victoria overheard and incredulously asked if they were talking about sending her away. Victoria refused to take a vacation while Nick was busting his butt at Newman. Nikki implored her not to feel guilty about taking time to heal, but Victoria maintained that she wanted to reclaim her life. Victoria complained of being tired and didn't want to discuss it further.
Victoria snoozed on the couch, but she stirred when Victor entered. He apologized for waking her, but she said she hadn't been able to sleep because she had too many thoughts. Victor reconsidered the idea of her taking a vacation, since it might be good for her to be away from the place that reminded her of what had happened. Victoria expected that she would carry the memories wherever she went, and she asked what it would take for her parents to stop worrying about her. She suggested that they be the ones to go to the spa and relax.
Victor wouldn't let Victoria get rid of him that easily. She refused to let the attack change her, but she fretted that her father already thought it had and that he saw her as weak. Victor stressed that she wasn't alone in it, and he knew what it was like to have someone attempt to kill him. Victoria questioned whether he'd reached out for help the same way he wanted her to. He admitted that he foolishly hadn't, and there was one instance in which he'd lived to regret it. She asked which one, but he turned the topic back to her. He asked her to promise to rely on her family to help her get better, and she agreed. He held her close.
At the Grand Phoenix, Amanda greeted Phyllis, who crowed that she was loving life after getting rid of some dead weight on her payroll. Amanda observed that being in charge suited Phyllis, and she inquired whether Chance was still a guest there. Phyllis figured that his girlfriend had become a silent partner, so he wasn't hanging out there as much. Amanda revealed that she wanted him to help her find someone who'd gone missing.
Amanda explained that she was worried about someone who'd taken on too much, and she wanted to make sure he was okay because he'd been missing for a couple of days. Amanda figured that he was probably just crashing at a friend's place, and she'd be going overboard if she hired an investigator. Phyllis noted that Amanda had been in worry mode for a long time, but it was in the past. She encouraged Amanda to savor the moment because she had a lot to look forward to. Amanda thanked her for the good advice, and Phyllis suggested that Amanda show her appreciation by joining Phyllis for a cocktail.
Over martinis, Phyllis toasted to her and Amanda's amazing careers and the productive new phase they were both entering. Phyllis imagined that things had picked up for Amanda after people had found out she hadn't been involved in Colin's scheme, and Amanda mentioned that Devon had been steering new clients in her direction. Phyllis wondered if Amanda would open a new office in town, but Amanda was reluctant to start a new law practice from scratch. Amanda entertained the idea of working as in-house counsel, which would allow her to have a life. Phyllis speculated that Nate was the motivation, but Amanda denied it.
Amanda pointed out that Phyllis never talked about the men in her life, but she was sure there was at least one. Phyllis looked away, and Amanda pushed her to spill. Phyllis pleaded the Fifth, but that only made Amanda more curious. Phyllis insisted that she was just having fun, and she was happy after finally rising from the ashes. Amanda noted that Phyllis had a stunning hotel to manage as she saw fit and a possible male companion to keep her amused, and she asked what was next on the list. Phyllis intended to revel in her triumph.
Phyllis wondered what kind of place Amanda wanted to work for. Amanda didn't think she could be too particular, since she'd burned several bridges. Phyllis countered that Devon had forgiven her, but Amanda doubted he wanted to see her face in his office every day. Phyllis guessed that working for Newman was out after what had happened to Victoria, and she warned Amanda against reaching out to Victoria to talk or express sympathy. Phyllis added that the last thing any Newman wanted was to be seen in a moment of weakness.
Phyllis typed a private text message, and Amanda pushed to know if the guy had a name. Phyllis showed that all she had typed so far was "hi," since she'd erased the rest of what she'd written. Amanda asked what Phyllis wanted to say to him, and Phyllis replied that she wanted to tell him to get his hot body over there and make her day. Phyllis resolved to be more subtle in case someone saw the message while he was at work, and Amanda had an idea.
Nick's phone pinged, and he read Phyllis' meeting request to discuss her latest burst of inspiration. He smiled and wrote back that he was intrigued. Phyllis prompted Amanda to send a text message to Nate, but Amanda replied that they weren't dating. Phyllis asked if Amanda wanted to be, but Amanda balked at chasing after a guy. Amanda figured that Nate knew where she was if he was interested, but she doubted he was.
Phyllis continued to pester Amanda to send a flirty message, but Amanda maintained that she and Nate didn't have that kind of relationship. "If you say so," Phyllis teased. Amanda followed Phyllis' gaze to where Nate had just entered the hotel. Amanda gulped down the rest of her drink and headed over to Nate, who confirmed he'd been looking for her. He informed her that he'd decided to stop by Jared's apartment one more time see if the teen was there, and when Jared hadn't answered the door, Nate had found the landlord. Nate announced that Jared was in jail.
At the penthouse, Chelsea arrived home, rambling about how she and Chloe were excited to resurrect the fashion line. She stopped short when she found Adam staring out the window. She guessed that he was thinking about Kansas, and he referred to the possibility that his mom or Cliff had borrowed money from A.J. Montalvo. Adam confirmed that he didn't know, since he wouldn't have been privy to any discussions about it as a kid. He divulged that he'd gotten in touch with an old friend who worked at the bank back home.
Adam continued that he'd been able to get access to his mom's archived bank records, and his stepfather had been in severe financial trouble during the year in question. There had been a sudden large deposit to Cliff's account, followed by regular cash withdrawals that could have been loan payments, but the payments had stopped when the money had run out. Chelsea imagined that it wouldn't have made A.J. happy if Cliff had reached out to Victor for help. Adam suspected that Cliff had been too proud to tell Hope what had been going on, and it might have been too late even if Cliff had gone to Victor for help. Chelsea realized that Adam thought Cliff's car wreck hadn't been an accident.
Adam admitted that his mind was conjuring up dark scenarios with no hard evidence to support them, but he believed nothing was outside the realm of possibility. Adam reasoned that if Cliff had borrowed money and hadn't been able to pay it back, A.J. wouldn't have been above threatening him or making an example of him. Chelsea surmised that Adam thought A.J. might have arranged for the car wreck that had killed Cliff, but she pointed out that it didn't explain why the man who'd caused the crash and died at the scene had had a high blood alcohol level. Adam was sure the driver had worked with A.J., so it was another piece to the puzzle.
Adam theorized that while Victor had been back in town, he'd visited Cliff in the hospital and found out from Cliff that A.J. had been behind it all. Chelsea countered that Hope and Adam would have been safe if A.J. had simply ended up in jail, but Adam wondered whether A.J. had gone to Hope to get the money Cliff had owed. Adam doubted it was a coincidence that A.J. had died in an accident when Victor had been there to visit Hope, but Chelsea argued that Adam couldn't prove or disprove it. Adam declared that he wouldn't be the one to do it, since Alyssa was on her way to Genoa City.
Later, Adam thanked Alyssa for making the spur-of-the-moment trip, and she figured that he'd dangled a giant scoop in front of her. She pointed out that they could have done it over the phone, but he asserted that he'd learned during his days on Wall Street that face-to-face meetings could be more productive. Alyssa prompted him to tell her about the white-collar crime that was stretching to Kansas, and she inquired whether there were sources willing to be interviewed. Adam remained silent, and he apologized for being distracted by the other story she'd mentioned about her dad and not knowing who he'd really been.
Adam wondered how serious Alyssa was about pursuing it, since looking into it might turn up something unpleasant. Alyssa inquired whether he'd invited her there because he knew something, and Adam replied that he didn't know how the dots might be connected. He grappled with whether to share, and she assured him that, as a reporter, not much surprised her. She acknowledged that she and Adam hadn't been in touch since high school graduation, but she swore that he could feel comfortable sharing his thoughts with her. She offered to keep his name out of it, and he said he trusted her.
Adam informed Alyssa that he'd done some research into his mother's financial records. He confided that Cliff had been in dire straits moneywise and that he might have gone to Alyssa's father for a loan without telling Hope about it. Alyssa regretted that she'd never be able to track down her father's financial records, so she didn't know who he'd lent money to. She found it depressing but not shocking that A.J. had targeted her good friend's stepfather.
Alyssa inquired about the timeframe. Adam told her that it had been just before Cliff's car wreck, and he was sure a man who'd worked for A.J. had caused the accident. Alyssa was appalled by the insinuation that her father had had something to do with Cliff's death. Adam remarked that there were a lot of dots that might or might not be connected, and Alyssa adamantly stated that they weren't.
Adam empathized with how it felt to face the things one's father had done, and he confessed that he was sometimes ashamed to be Victor's son. He apologized for springing the information on Alyssa, but he pointed out that she'd wanted answers. Alyssa protested that it was willful speculation and character assassination, but Adam pleaded with her to hear him out. She demanded to know if he had facts or evidence of an actual crime, and he didn't respond. She snapped that she hadn't thought so, and she stalked out.
Nick wrapped up a business meeting at Society. Chelsea approached, and he quickly closed his laptop. She insisted that she wasn't trying to spy on him, but he sensed that Adam was up to something. Nick recounted that Adam had shown up at the ranch, uninvited, and Chelsea defended that Adam had wanted to talk to Victor about how bad Hope's farm had looked. Nick mentioned that Adam had praised the job Nick was doing at Newman, and he considered that "suspicious as hell." Chelsea encouraged Nick to trust that Adam wanted peace. Nick thought Chelsea knew how warped and twisted Adam was, but it didn't seem to faze her.
Chelsea argued that there was nothing warped or twisted about Adam offering to help at Newman during a family crisis, but no one had appreciated the gesture. She shared that Adam had predicted that the Newmans would call him self-serving and that Victor would use him as leverage to get Nick to take the CEO job, and it was exactly what had happened. Chelsea accused Nick of taking the job only because he hadn't wanted Adam to have it, and she blasted the Newmans for making Adam feel like an outsider in his own family.
Nick contended that he was protecting his family from someone who'd viciously and repeatedly attacked them, and he admonished Chelsea for standing by Adam, no matter what he did or who he hurt. Nick thought she'd been a different person when she'd been with him, or maybe he hadn't seen who she really was all along. She barked that she was sorry to disappoint him. He cautioned that she'd end up the one disappointed, since it was how it always worked with Adam.
Later, Chelsea sketched alone at the bar. Alyssa entered the restaurant and abruptly turned away when she spotted Chelsea, but Chelsea cheerfully greeted her and asked if Adam was parking the car. Alyssa curtly stated that they'd cut their meeting short, and Chelsea assumed that Adam had told Alyssa about his suspicions. Chelsea clucked that she'd told him it wasn't a good idea, and she offered to buy Alyssa a drink.
Alyssa sat down at the bar, and Chelsea wished she'd been there to help deliver the news more delicately. Alyssa was hard-pressed to imagine a way to accuse someone's father of murder delicately, and Chelsea couldn't fathom being told one's father might have been murdered himself on top of it. Chelsea added that Adam didn't want to believe Victor was capable of that, and Alyssa was stunned to realize that Adam thought Victor might have had her father killed. Chelsea's expression turned to horror at the prospect that Adam hadn't already told Alyssa that himself.
Chelsea apologized for blurting out Adam's theory. Alyssa testily stated that they were obviously confused, since her father hadn't been murdered. Chelsea noted that it had been strange that A.J. had died from a fall at the same time Victor had been in town, but she didn't see how they could be connected. Chelsea encouraged Alyssa to forget she'd said anything, and she prepared to head home to explain to Adam how she'd put her foot in it.
Chelsea returned home and informed Adam that Alyssa had gone straight to the bar to order a cocktail after talking to him. Adam surmised that Chelsea had let the rest of the story slip out, and she feigned disbelief that his father was capable of such a thing. Adam stated that they both knew how far Victor would go to protect his family, and Chelsea relayed how she'd told Alyssa that it probably wasn't true and that she was mortified that she'd said anything. Adam hoped Chelsea hadn't been so convincing that Alyssa would drop it for real, but Chelsea was confident that Alyssa had taken the bait. Meanwhile, Alyssa stared at an online article about a Kansas farmer killed by a drunk driver.
Meanwhile, at the ranch, Victoria headed upstairs to check on the kids. Victor made sure she was gone before retrieving a file from the cabinet. He examined newspaper clippings about Cliff and A.J.'s deaths.
Mariah appeals to Tessa one last time
At the cottage, Sharon asked if Faith was still doing her homework. Sharon peered over her daughter's shoulder and thought there had been a test on the subject matter the prior week. Faith claimed that her teacher was letting her do some extra credit to raise her GPA. Sharon nonchalantly remarked that it would also make up for the classes Faith had cut the week before. Faith's eyes widened, and she stammered that she'd apologized to her teachers and gotten makeup assignments. She added that Rey had lectured her and that she'd been forced to knead dough, and her dad hadn't wanted to add to everything Sharon had been dealing with. Sharon pointed out that she wasn't the only one dealing with it.
Sharon recounted that she'd cut class once or twice, and she understood that running away could feel powerful and liberating, but it was only temporary and never solved anything. Faith explained that she'd only wanted to hit pause for a little while. Sharon advised her to save herself the aggravation of doing extra homework the next time by turning to Sharon or someone Faith felt comfortable confiding in. Faith promised that she wouldn't cut class again, and they hugged.
Faith announced that Walnut Grove was planning a summer trip for students and their parents to tour museums in Chicago together. She excitedly looked forward to going on the trip with Sharon, who should be done with chemo by then. Rey returned home as Sharon noncommittally preferred to wait and see what happened. Faith told Rey that a school trip was scheduled for the same time Sharon would beat her cancer. Rey couldn't think of a better reason to celebrate.
After Faith left the room, Sharon confided to Rey that she didn't want to scare Faith, but she didn't want to give her daughter false hope, either. Rey was confident that Sharon would beat the cancer, but she worried that she might not feel well enough to walk around Chicago. Rey refused to focus on the worst-case scenario, since it was just as likely that she'd tour the Windy City. She clucked that there was a fine line between optimism and delusion, and he prepared to show her how much difference the power of positivity could make.
Rey mentioned that he'd been doing research by reading posts on a message board for patients in remission, and he handed Sharon a picture of spike strips. He revealed that every person on the board had said creative visualization had helped them fight the cancer. Sharon humored him by visualizing a unicorn whisking her cancer away over a rainbow bridge, but he explained that the photo was of the long strips police officers put on the ground to puncture a vehicle's tires to make it stop in its tracks. He thought she could picture the cancer being the vehicle's tires and the spike strips stopping it.
Rey encouraged Sharon to visualize whatever she wanted as long as it kicked cancer's butt. Sharon figured that creative visualization couldn't hurt, but she felt beaten down that night and still had a long road ahead. Rey asked if she thought she was scaring him, and Sharon confessed that it scared her. Rey called himself her personal assistant, punching bag, and housekeeper, and he pledged to be the strong, tough guy who carried her upstairs or simply put a smile on her face because he loved her. They embraced.
Later, Faith descended the stairs, and Sharon saw the girl's expression and asked what was wrong. Faith inquired whether she could really talk to her mom about anything, even if it would be upsetting for Sharon. Sharon reiterated that she wasn't the only one going through something, but Faith recognized that Sharon was the only one getting pumped full of poison. Sharon reasoned that the poison was what was helping her beat the cancer, but Faith was overwhelmed by what it meant to be in Sharon's shoes. Faith confided that the "what ifs" were firing in every direction in her brain, and she worried that she wouldn't be able to deal with whatever happened next. Sharon firmly stated that Faith could and would handle it because they would get through it together. They hugged.
Faith apologized again for cutting class, since she didn't want to make things harder for Sharon. Rey appeared in the doorway as Sharon promised that things would get better. Faith told herself that everything would get better because Sharon would be her old self again, and things would go back to normal.
At Jabot, Summer suggested to Kyle that they tie in their next ad campaign with an upcoming awards show, but he was more focused on kissing her hand. She figured that they couldn't do much until they knew who was nominated, and he declared that they were done with work for the time being. Summer prepared to tell the art department about their plans, but Kyle inquired about their plans for that night. They contemplated watching a movie on the couch like an old married couple. He suddenly realized the date, noting that they'd had their wedding one year earlier. She admitted that she'd considered making plans for it, but it hadn't felt right because he was technically still married to someone else.
Kyle wondered what Summer's plan for their first anniversary would have been. She replied that it was a moot point, since she'd had sunburns that had lasted longer than their marriage. He insisted that it was part of their story, but she countered that it wasn't a part she wanted to relive. She preferred not to celebrate the occasion while he was still married, but he assured her that he and Lola just had to sign the papers. Summer argued that the paperwork hadn't even been drawn up yet, and Kyle intended to schedule it that week. He swore that he was exactly where he wanted to be, and she echoed the sentiment. They hugged, but he looked unsure.
Kyle asked if Summer was ashamed of them, and she questioned what there was to be ashamed of when they were exactly where they were supposed to be -- with each other. He wanted to shout from the top of his lungs all the great things they'd do together, but she suggested that he start by telling just her. Kyle presented Summer with an order for a nameplate with Summer Newman as co-CEO. He explained that he wasn't having it made yet, but he saw them as partners one day after his dad retired. Summer questioned why she'd settle for being co-CEO when she could run her own company.
Kyle envisioned Summer leaving Jabot to climb the corporate ladder at Newman while her dad raised horses and taught Little League to his grandkids, including Faith's triplets. He continued that Victoria would move to Europe to start her own empire, and Summer would show everyone who'd ever doubted her what she was capable of. Kyle pictured them merging their companies into one conglomerate, cementing their legacy as the rulers of Genoa City. Summer called it the perfect fantasy, but she considered it easier said than done. Kyle remarked that anything worth having usually was, and they kissed. They happily headed out to celebrate their future.
In a hotel suite, Kyle presented Summer with a single red rose, and she asked how many grandkids her dad had in Kyle's fantasy. Kyle suggested that they take it one day at a time, and they kissed. A short time later, Kyle sprinkled rose petals down Summer's bare back and kissed his way up to her shoulders. She murmured that she'd never been happier, and he replied that he hadn't, either.
At Society, Lola was on the phone, dismayed that someone couldn't make it there until the next day. Theo overheard and guessed there was a plantain shortage. He wondered if there was anything he could do, quickly adding that she didn't need a man to help. Lola replied that she'd drag him back to the kitchen if she thought he could, and Theo said to try him. She asked if he knew anything about gas lines. "Drag away!" he proclaimed.
Later, a soaked and disheveled Theo emerged from the kitchen and informed Lola that he'd gotten the stove working again, but he'd busted a pipe in the process, so he'd shut off the water main. He added that he'd called a plumber, but no one could get there until the next day. Lola stifled a laugh and fetched him some towels from the bar. He groaned that it had been his big opportunity to play the hero, but he'd only managed to make matters worse. He wanted to make it up to her, and she figured that taking her to New York would cover it. He suggested dinner in the meantime, but she didn't feel like going out. He raced into the kitchen, and she chased after him, protesting that there was no water.
Theo made pierogies and shared that he'd helped his mom make them on game days while his dad had been in front of the television. Lola recalled her family helping her grandmother in the kitchen, though her grandma had only let them put the filling in the dough. She hadn't thought she could ever be more loved than she'd felt in her grandmother's kitchen, but she'd eventually wanted more in life. Theo understood the feeling that something was missing. She marveled that they were from different parts of the country and different cultures, and their families had used different filling in the dough, yet they shared the same story.
Theo recalled Lola's remark that he'd never struck her as domestic, and he commented that she'd never struck him as the type who'd wanted to leave home. She admitted that it had hurt to leave her mom, but her brother was there, and the Rosales family was still a team. Theo found it easier to take risks with family around, and Lola credited her brothers for showing her that it was okay to fail because she otherwise wouldn't have learned or had anything to be proud of when she'd succeeded.
Theo mused that on one hand, Lola was fragile like beautiful porcelain, but on the other, she was also worldly and tough. She thought she should be able to experience everything life had to offer without having to sacrifice being close to her family, and she didn't want her new restaurant to be about what marketing firms thought influencers wanted to eat. She believed food should be something that comforted people and took them somewhere else, like they were home. They enjoyed Theo's pierogies.
Later, Lola ordered Theo to back away, since the rule was that if one person cooked, the other did the dishes. He teased that she was only saying that because there was no water, and he jokingly called her a temptress for using him for his pierogies with no intention of cleaning up. She countered that he was the one who'd laid out a feast in the same kitchen where he'd hit on her three times. He replied that he hadn't been trying to seduce her, but he had wanted to find someone who felt like home. Lola became uncomfortable and reminded him that she wasn't looking for anything serious.
Theo proposed that he and Lola find somewhere in between seduction and serious. She flirtatiously anticipated that they could find their way there, but he thought they were already there. He leaned in to kiss her, but Kendra interrupted. Lola mentioned that the restaurant was closed, and she recognized Kendra as Kyle's assistant. Theo realized that he'd forgotten about his plans to meet Kendra there, and she handed him the file he'd asked for. Lola asked if Theo and Kyle were working on the same project, and Theo and Kendra squirmed.
Theo claimed that he was going above and beyond to get his boss's attention. Lola prepared to clean up, and she asked him to lock the door when Kendra left. Theo and Kendra retreated to the dining room, and she worried that the conversation hadn't exactly been inconspicuous. He told her to keep providing the information, and he'd take care of her once he was in charge.
On Tanner's private plane, Tessa lamented that she should have realized that she couldn't have it all. She recalled that she'd been happy, even though her career had been going nowhere, and her relationship had fallen apart once her career had taken off. Tanner questioned whether she planned to write Mariah off completely and never think of her again. He didn't see Tessa making a lot of headway.
Later, Tessa strummed her guitar and asked if they could finally leave, but she saw Mariah when she looked up. Mariah recognized that she was the last person Tessa wanted to see, and Tessa grumbled that Mariah was crashing her space yet again. Mariah explained that she'd bared her soul in front of a crowd so that Tessa would know how sorry she was, but Tessa griped that Mariah had shown up in the one place that belonged to Tessa and made it about herself. Mariah swore that she'd been trying to make it about them, but Tessa flatly stated that there was no them. Mariah contended that there was something there worth saving, and she vowed not to give up without a fight. Tessa whimpered that she was all out of fight. Mariah said she intended to fight for both of them.
Mariah was certain that Tessa still loved her, and she quoted lyrics from one of Tessa's songs about them both being tired of living on life's leash. Mariah recalled that Tessa had written the song for her, and every time Mariah watched Tessa sing it, it was like they were the only two people in the room. Mariah asserted that it was the kind of love that wouldn't die because of one horrible mistake, and it was the kind of love that lasted forever. Tessa spat that Mariah had cheated on her, and Mariah reiterated that she'd done it because she'd stupidly thought Tessa had done the same thing.
Mariah repeated that she was sorry, but Tessa snapped that Mariah had never walked into her own home and found the woman she loved with a different person. Mariah conceded that Tessa had every right to remind her of that 1,000 times a day, but Tessa couldn't do that if Mariah was her ex-girlfriend. Mariah knew that Tessa still loved her because it wouldn't hurt that much if she didn't, and she urged Tessa to scream, yell, and call her every name in the book as long as Tessa didn't go away. Mariah offered to walk off the plane if Tessa could look her in the eye and tell her that Tessa didn't love her anymore -- but she didn't think Tessa could.
Mariah believed Tessa knew they had something worth saving. Tessa noted that she'd been cheated on before, and she'd always told herself to roll with it as an inevitable part of dating, but then she'd met Mariah. Tessa had imagined a world where what they had meant something, but she'd since realized that she shouldn't have put Mariah on a pedestal because Mariah was just as mediocre as the rest of them. Tessa admitted that it had hurt in a way it never had before, and she hated that Mariah had made her someone who cared about cheating.
Mariah stressed that Tessa cared because she loved Mariah, even though Mariah was hopelessly flawed. Mariah expected to make a lot more mistakes, but she swore that she would never make that mistake again. She added that she couldn't prove it if Tessa didn't let her back in. Tessa crumpled into tears and asked how she was supposed to do that. Mariah anticipated that it wouldn't be easy, and Tessa scoffed at the idea of just rolling with it. Tessa huffed that she'd heard the speech before, and there was nothing original about it.
Mariah thought people expected relationships to eventually go south because it was real life and not a love song, but she believed those people were wrong. She thought her love song with Tessa wouldn't be filled with sweet and sappy lyrics but would have an edge, since it was about people who had been through it all and had still managed to beat the odds. Tessa asked if Mariah thought that was still possible, and Mariah confirmed that she did because she loved everything about them.
Mariah gushed that she loved Tessa's talent, and she loved that they could probably afford a bigger place but that they'd chosen to stay in their crappy studio with their ratty old sofa bed. Tessa smiled and skeptically asked if Mariah loved their sofa bed. Mariah acknowledged that it was rough around the edges and torn in a few places, but it was theirs. "It's us," Tessa softly replied. Mariah admitted that Tessa was right that Mariah was average just like everybody else, but Tessa made her better, which was why Mariah was willing to take the leap. Mariah begged Tessa to take it with her.
Tessa recognized that Mariah had a way with words, but Mariah scared her. Mariah stressed that she would never cheat again. Tessa warned that if Mariah broke her again, it would be irreparable and couldn't be undone. Mariah's eyes lit up with hope when she realized Tessa had said "if," and she swore that if she could touch Tessa right then, she'd never let go. Tessa cried that she didn't want Mariah to let go, and she reached out her hand. They sobbed as they held one another.
Dina comes home
At the Abbotts', Ashley called out for Jack to help get Dina's room ready, but she couldn't find him. Jack arrived carrying bags of groceries in both arms. Ashley asked what he'd bought. Jack said that Dina had to eat, and he'd bought all her favorite things like ice cream. Ashley reminded him that Dina had stopped eating, but Jack felt that because Dina was at home, they could have Mrs. Martinez cook Dina's favorite foods. Ashley chastised Jack for not telling anyone that he would be going out. They began to argue.
Traci intervened and said that Jack and Ashley needed to stop arguing. She reminded them that they had agreed to take Dina home. Traci also reminded them that Dina was no longer a danger to herself or anyone else and that she was no longer ambulatory. They all needed to give Dina the best life possible, and they needed to get along in order to do that. Traci said they had to be kind to themselves in order to be kind to their mother. Ashley said that Jack and Traci should both defer to her. Jack and Traci laughed and declared Ashley the Queen of the Household -- but only until Dina arrived.
Later, Ashley asked Traci where Jack was. Traci informed her that he needed to clear his head. Ashley worried that they might have forgotten something, but Traci assured her the round-the-clock nurses had been taken care of, and they would figure out the rest as they went along. Traci said it was a good thing that they knew what to expect. Ashley wondered if they were making a mistake taking Dina home, but Traci assured her they weren't. Traci said that if Ashley was uncomfortable, she could bow out and return to Paris, but Ashley refused. Traci said she knew Dina had cut Ashley to the core, and Dina probably wouldn't recognize her.
Ashley told Traci that she'd felt bad for Traci because after Dina had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Dina had treated Traci like she'd been the hired help. Traci said they would get through it. Ashley and Traci took a walk down memory lane about their childhood with Dina. Their conversation was interrupted when Ashley received a text message that Dina was being transported and should arrive at the Abbott home shortly.
At Newman Enterprises, Nick was busy with paperwork when he received a text message from Victor: "It's imperative you handle the Bailey deal today. Time is of the essence." Nick responded, "It's been handled." Nick got back to work, and he received another text message from Victor: "I trust you've been in touch with Ben Fredrickson about the financing." Irritated, Nick responded, "It's done." Then his phone rang. Believing it was Victor, Nick shouted into the phone "It's been handled," but it was Phyllis. Nick apologized and said that he was crazy busy. Phyllis said she wanted to meet Nick face to face. Nick said he was too busy, but Phyllis had already disconnected the call.
Phyllis arrived at Newman a short time later. Phyllis told Nick that Summer suspected something was going on between them, and she wanted to know how they should handle it. Nick said they had only given in to their weakness twice, and they'd gotten it out of their systems. Phyllis asked what they should tell Summer. Nick said they would tell Summer the truth.
Phyllis claimed she had another reason for her visit. Nick said he was too busy. He explained that he had to go to the former Dark Horse office to meet with Jill because she wanted to rent the office space, but Phyllis asked him to sit beside her on the sofa. Phyllis sexily presented Nick with a proposition. She wanted Newman Enterprises to use the Grand Phoenix exclusively for their parties. Nick scoffed and asked if that was the reason she'd wanted to see him. Phyllis said it would be a perfect union, and then she feigned surprise and asked if Nick thought she'd had an ulterior motive when she'd said she'd wanted to meet with him.
Nick said he had to leave, but he promised that he would look at her proposal later. Phyllis sexily leaned over Nick and said he was the best, and she left.
At Crimson Lights, Nate told Amanda he couldn't believe that Jared had fought with his landlord and wound up in jail. He felt bad for Jared. Amanda said that no one had been watching out for Jared, and it was difficult for Jared to let anyone in, especially strangers. Nate said they all had to do something. Amanda said that Jared would be arraigned later that day. Nate stated that it would go on Jared's permanent record and suggested they needed to make it disappear. Amanda told Nate that she would talk to the D.A., but because she was new in town, she had no idea if anyone in the D.A.'s office would give her the time of day.
Later, Elena and Devon met at Crimson Lights. Amanda joined them, and she informed them that the charges against Jared had been dropped. Amanda said that Jared needed to put a roof over his head. They tossed around a few job ideas, like a busboy at Society. Elena suggested a job at the clinic. Amanda said that Jared didn't trust anyone, and she wanted to talk to him. Devon said he wanted to talk to Jared with her because he'd been in and out of foster homes, as well.
When Devon and Amanda had finished talking to Jared on the patio, they joined Elena and Nate. Jared apologized to Elena and Nate. He said he was interested in the job at the clinic. Jared said he wanted to go to the funeral home to make arrangements for his grandfather, but he didn't know what needed to be done. Nate offered to go with him. Jared was overwhelmed by so many people looking out for him, and he couldn't believe that Devon, a billionaire, had been in the system. Amanda assured him they were all on the same side.
After Nate and Jared left, Elena and Devon joined Amanda. Devon told her that she'd done a good job talking to Jared. Devon said he was pleased that they'd found common ground, and he claimed they made a great team. Elena watched and smiled as Devon and Amanda shook hands.
Billy met with a man at Society and said they'd had a great meeting, but they needed to head to the office and introduce him to Lily. Billy suggested that it would be best if he did all the talking.
At Chancellor Media, Jill told Lily she'd wanted to check up on them to make sure they were settling into their new office space. Devon arrived with a gift for Lily, and Jill left. Devon teased that the office looked almost as good as Hamilton-Winters. Lily laughed. Devon said he thought it was a partnership and wondered where Billy was. Lily said Billy would be there soon. She had just said that when Billy arrived. Devon greeted Billy and told him not to screw up, because whatever happened to Billy also happened to Lily. Devon gave Lily a peck on the cheek, and he left.
Lily told Billy she'd made a list of their priorities, and they needed a Chief Content Officer to execute and maintain the tone they wanted to set. Billy said he agreed with her. He said he had the perfect guy for the job, and that guy was in the lobby, waiting to meet Lily.
Lily looked over Harris' résumé and said it was very impressive, but his name sounded familiar to her. While she pondered who he was, Billy rambled on about Harris' impressive works and how he would fit in. Lily had a lightbulb moment and remembered who Harris was. She recalled that he'd written a sleazy book about the Belton family and the industrialist back east. The family had secrets and scandals, and Harris had discovered all the dirt; he had buried that family, especially the grandfather. Harris said they'd deserved it. Lily said no one deserved the hatchet job he'd done on them. She thanked him and opened the door for him to leave. As Harris left, Lily handed him his résumé.
Once Harris was gone, Lily lit into Billy and said she knew what Billy had tried to do. She accused him of wanting to hire people who had a talent and who would go after powerful people like Victor. She claimed that Harris would write whatever Billy told him. She asked if Billy thought she'd forgotten that Billy had used Harris at Restless Style to attack Victor. Billy claimed that it had been a long time since that had happened..
Lily said that Billy hadn't changed because he'd tried to sneak the Harris guy by her to take Victor down. Billy claimed he didn't know what she was talking about. Lily asked Billy how much he'd paid Harris to let Billy do all the talking. Billy accused Lily of being the only one fixated on Victor and said that she'd always known that he disliked Victor immensely. Lily said she hoped to find someone who could take their ideas and turn them into gold -- someone who could create content that they would be proud of and something everyone would want to read, not just the people who hated Victor.
Lily accused Billy of playing games. She said if Billy wanted to play games, she could teach him a thing or two about how to play them, because she could go behind his back and get what she wanted. Billy agreed to keep things aboveboard. Lily asked if Billy had taken the job so he could take Victor down. Billy told Lily to let things go about Victor. Lily said she really hoped he was going to work aboveboard.
Lily said there was something different about Billy. She asked if Billy was lonely. Surprised, Billy asked why she was there. With a smile, Lily said that she had been given the opportunity to spend all her time with Billy, and she hadn't been able to say no. At that moment, Jill arrived and said she was happy things were working out between them, and she invited them for lunch. Billy suggested that Lily accompany Jill because he had work he needed to do. Lily said she'd meet Jill at the elevators.
After Jill left, Billy said that Lily could have told Jill what he'd done, but she hadn't. He wondered why. Lily said that she would tell Jill over lunch. Then, with a smile, Lily said that what Jill didn't know wouldn't hurt her. Billy promised that he wanted to do what was best for the company.
Jill arrived at Society, and she saw Jack sitting at the bar. She told him that Lily and Billy were setting up their new offices. Jack was less than enthusiastic. He explained that Dina would be returning home later that day and that there had been tension with his sisters. Jill assured Jack that the Abbotts would always rise to a challenge.
Jill spotted a newspaper open at the crossword puzzle, and she asked Jack for answers to the questions. Jill managed to distract Jack enough that he stopped thinking about what was waiting for him at home. When they had finished the puzzle, Jack said he knew the puzzle wasn't hers because he recognized that the writing wasn't hers. Astounded Jill asked if he remembered handwriting. Jack thanked her for the diversion. He said she'd be surprised what he remembered, and he left.
At the Abbotts', Ashley and Traci tried to make Dina comfortable on the sofa and asked if she wanted anything. Dina was in her own world and didn't respond. Jack arrived, and he greeted Dina. Dina appeared to recognize his voice. She turned her head, and in a moment of clarity, she gave Jack a beaming smile. She said, "Jackie," then the smile faded, and she returned to her own world.
At the Grand Phoenix, Phyllis sat on one of the sofas with a drink and smiled to herself.
Nick arrived at the former offices of Dark Horse, looking for Jill to make sure that everything was okay, but he found Billy instead. Astounded, Nick asked if Billy was the new tenant.
Alyssa decides to investigate Victor
At Adam's penthouse, Connor begged Adam to go to the ranch. Adam promised to make a special trip there when the time was right, but he had to take care of a few things first. The doorbell rang, and Adam mused that it might be sooner than they'd thought. He invited Alyssa in, and she ranted that she didn't know what he'd been thinking. She backed off when she spotted Connor, who remembered her from Kansas. Adam sent Connor to play in his room.
Alyssa confronted Adam about not being completely honest with her, and he replied that it was complicated. She thought it seemed simple -- he suspected that her father had been a killer and that his was one, too. Alyssa assumed Chelsea had filled Adam in on their conversation, and she wondered if Chelsea was there. Adam mentioned that she was at a meeting with her business partner about her fashion line, and Alyssa figured it was for the best because the issue was between herself, Adam, and their fathers.
Adam apologized for not being completely honest, claiming that it was hard to imagine that his father might have killed someone. Alyssa regretted that she'd gotten defensive and taken it out on Adam. Adam didn't blame her for anything, and he insisted that she shouldn't feel guilty about something her father might have done. Alyssa understood that Adam hadn't wanted to say anything to incriminate his dad, but it was possible that both their fathers had killed someone, and they needed to know the truth. Adam stoically figured that it would be better than not knowing, but he smirked as he turned away.
Alyssa feared that Adam's suspicions might be right. Adam thought it would explain why Hope hadn't been at A.J.'s funeral and why Alyssa's mom hadn't wanted to talk about A.J. for years. Alyssa pointed out that there was no evidence, and Adam pretended to grapple with whether they should look for it, since it might lead down a road they might not want to travel. He hesitated to push if she didn't want to pursue it, since they were in it together. Alyssa wasn't sure they had much of a choice, since it would eat at them for the rest of their lives if they left things unanswered. She decided to start looking into it.
Adam warned that Victor would shut the investigation down if he got a whiff of what Alyssa was up to, and he volunteered to help her formulate a plan. Adam recommended that Alyssa be quiet and stealthy to avoid raising red flags, and he thought he could help because he knew how to unearth the skeletons in his dad's closet without Victor knowing it. Adam insisted that she protect him by keeping his name out of it, but she fretted that the truth would be difficult to publish without identifying her sources. Adam informed her that he owned a stake in an online news outlet, so he could get her article published without the editor asking questions. He empathized that it was paralyzing to think that they'd been born with tainted DNA, but they could choose to live with the truth, burn it away, or expose it to the light.
Mariah and Tessa lounged in bed in a hotel room. Tessa asked if they were ready to face the world, but Mariah hesitated to leave the "thousand-thread count fortress of love" when it was safe and sexy. Tessa warned Mariah not to get nervous on her, since as long as they were good in their hearts, they could handle anything. Mariah didn't want anything to get in the way and ruin it, and Tessa firmly stated that they were solid and stable. Mariah compared them to an old dresser, but Tessa believed they could be safe and sexy everywhere. They kissed passionately.
Mariah and Tessa cuddled after making love, and Tessa braced herself to take the first step out of bed. Mariah questioned whether they'd get through the pitfalls and obstacles, and Tessa said she knew they could because they'd both learned from their mistakes. Mariah vowed that she'd never cheat again and that she wouldn't keep what was bothering her bottled up, but she wondered how they could be sure she wouldn't find a different way to screw up. Tessa was betting on it, since mistakes were part of life, and they would never change or grow without them. Tessa wanted them to keep growing and changing together, and she envisioned things getting better from then on.
Mariah prepared to face their first obstacle -- Tessa going back on tour, making their relationship long-distance again. Tessa was confident that she and Mariah could handle the distance, since they'd be more in tune with one another's feelings and more diligent about making time for one another because they knew what was at stake. Mariah was sure they would, but it would be hard to leave Tessa when they'd just gotten back together. Tessa contemplated taking a break from the tour, but Mariah was adamantly opposed to that when Tessa was finally getting the success she deserved. Mariah didn't want to take that away from her, but she suggested that maybe they flip the script.
Mariah and Tessa returned to the plane, where they found Tanner shirtless. Mariah requested that he put some clothes on, and he surmised that the women were back together. Mariah gave him credit for their reconciliation, and she thanked him for letting her go onstage and humiliate herself. She apologized for accusing him of putting moves on Tessa, and he swore that it was already forgotten. Tessa said they had a big favor to ask, and Mariah inquired whether a super-devoted fan girl could go on tour with them -- her.
Mariah promised that she'd be the best groupie ever, and Tanner thought the audience would love seeing the couple happy after witnessing her angst. Mariah remarked that she had to get approval from just one other person. Mariah worried about deserting her mom, and she didn't know if she could abandon Sharon. Tessa understood, but she advised Mariah to at least call Sharon so they could make the decision together.
At the Newman ranch, Victor examined the file he'd kept on Cliff and A.J.'s deaths, and he quickly stashed it away when Sharon entered. She offered to wait in another room, but he invited her in. She acknowledged that he was opposed to her counseling Victoria, but she swore that she was just there to help. Victor assured her that he didn't want to argue about it, and Sharon was taken aback when he asked how she was coping with her cancer diagnosis. Sharon admitted that she'd seen better days, and he took her hand and said he was sorry.
Sharon reported that her first talks with Victoria had gone well, but Victor noted that Victoria had ended up at the office again before she was ready. Sharon explained that Victoria had to figure things out on her own, and Sharon was just trying to help her get through it. Victor voiced concern that the therapy would be too taxing for both women, but Sharon thought spending time together had been beneficial for them both. Sharon sensed that Victor wanted to say something else, and she asked if he was okay. He said he was and thanked her for asking, but he swore that there was nothing else going on.
Victor expressed concern about Victoria and wanted to make sure Nick got the help he needed for Newman to run smoothly. Sharon still thought something else was on Victor's mind, but he denied it. She offered to be a sounding board if he needed it, but he promised he wouldn't. Victoria entered, and Victor excused himself. Victoria was surprised that Sharon and Victor hadn't been at one another's throats, and Sharon couldn't explain it.
Victoria settled onto the couch for her first official session with Sharon, but Sharon urged her not to think of it like that. Sharon compared the weirdness to a bad first date, and she imagined they'd be there for a while if they talked about bad relationships. Victoria didn't know what to talk about, and Sharon suggested that they do something to take Victoria's mind off everything, like a chess game. Victoria jokingly warned Sharon against touching Victor's chessboard, and Sharon guessed that Victor saw himself as the king and Nikki as his queen. Sharon added that he probably considered her a pawn, but Victoria countered that being the mother of his grandchildren would at least make Sharon a rook.
Sharon preferred to think of herself as her own queen with her own army around her, since she was grateful for all the good people in her life. Sharon noted that Victoria had an army of her own, and Victoria praised her parents and children for stepping in to help. Victoria shared that Reed called every day when he'd never done that before. The women joked about using their plights to get their children's attention.
Sharon confided that she'd been worried about how Mariah and Faith would handle her cancer, but both her daughters had found strength inside of them that they hadn't known they'd had, and having them there had really made a difference. Sharon added that Rey had also been great, but she quickly clammed up. Victoria accepted that she was a queen without a king, but Sharon wondered if things were really over between Victoria and Billy.
Victoria conceded that it would be easy to hate Billy, but she couldn't. She admitted that part of her wished he was there to help her through it, but it wasn't an option. Sharon's phone rang with a call from Mariah, and Victoria encouraged her to take it. Mariah happily informed Sharon that she and Tessa were back together, and she thanked Sharon for being her rock. Sharon responded that it was what moms were for, and Mariah replied that it was also what daughters were for, which was what made what she had to say so hard. Mariah revealed that she was considering going on tour with Tessa.
Sharon asked if Mariah was going right away, and Mariah quickly reconsidered and decided to go home that night. Sharon insisted that Mariah live her life and go on the trip. Sharon glanced over at Victoria and mentioned that she'd just been talking to someone about the overabundance of support she had in her life, and Mariah's happiness lifted her spirits. Mariah swore that she'd check in constantly and that she wouldn't be gone long. Sharon urged her to take all the time she needed, and they hung up.
Sharon turned back to Victoria and apologized for getting a little emotional, but she was thankful for all the people in her life, including Victoria. Victoria proposed that they be in one another's armies of support, and she stifled a yawn. Sharon instructed her to get some rest, and Victoria shared that it wasn't easy for her to tell people when she felt tired because she didn't want them to worry. Sharon replied that no one understood that better than she did.
Later, Mariah told Tessa that she was ready to go emotionally, but she had only packed an overnight bag and didn't have many clothes. Tessa joked that it was no problem because everyone on the jet was naked, anyway, and Mariah inquired whether Tanner ever wore a shirt. Mariah planned to go shopping for some groupie clothes, like leather or snakeskin. Tanner returned and asked if they were ready to go, and Mariah asked where they were off to next. She wanted to sit next to the pilot, and Tessa told Tanner to buckle up, since he had two of them then.
Nick was irate upon finding Billy in the old Dark Horse office, and he barked that he didn't want Billy in it. Billy clucked that Nick should have thought of that before he'd signed a lease with Jill, since the office had become the home of Chancellor's new media division, which Billy would be running. Nick groused that Jill hadn't mentioned what the space would be used for, and Billy curtly suggested that Nick read about it in a future press release. Nick chided Billy for his unfulfilled promises, but Billy warned him not to make it about Victoria. Nick spat that everything was always about Billy.
Billy admitted that he had regrets about Victoria, but he wasn't about to discuss them with Nick. Nick growled that he knew Billy had used her until it wasn't convenient anymore, but Billy defended that it wasn't what had happened. Nick bellowed that it was who Billy was to get bored and move on to the next thing, which Nick guessed was the company. Nick huffed that Jill had needed to lie about Billy's involvement to get the lease. Billy swore that he'd had no idea what Jill had been up to, but he found a certain satisfaction in that Nick hadn't, either. Billy taunted that Nick was stuck with them.
Nick snapped that he wanted Billy as far away from Victoria as possible, and Billy swore that he would never hurt her again. Nick couldn't believe Billy would say that after his reckless behavior had led to her getting stabbed, but Billy ordered him not to question the feelings Billy had for the mother of his children. Billy added that he was tired of being the scapegoat for Nick and Victor when everyone had forgiven and forgotten the awful things Victor had done, including lying to Victoria about having proof that Billy had slept with Amanda when it had never happened. Billy accepted responsibility for what he'd done, but he condemned Victor for never doing so.
Billy accused Nick of enabling Victor, and he blasted Nick for going back to Newman like a loyal foot soldier the moment Victor had snapped his fingers. Lily interrupted and demanded to know what was going on. Billy announced that he'd been congratulating Nick on becoming Victor Jr. Billy ridiculed Nick for crawling back to Newman after all the times he'd sworn he'd never go back. Lily ordered the men to take it down a notch, but Nick argued that he was only back at Newman because Billy had shown up to a party, drunk and uninvited, leading to Victoria getting stabbed.
Billy accused Nick of making excuses and casting blame like his father, and Nick retorted that everyone around Billy ended up hurt. Nick vowed never to let Billy hurt Victoria or the kids again, and Billy defended that he was a "damn good" father and told Nick to keep his kids out of it. Lily bellowed that it was enough, and she explained to Nick that she was Billy's partner in Chancellor's new division. Nick assumed that Jill hadn't thought Billy could do the job on his own, and Billy shot back that Nick was just serving as a temp for his dad. Nick warned Lily that Billy would grind the company into ground and take her with him. Nick stalked out.
Lily thought her and Billy's first day at the office didn't bode well, and he apologized that his baggage had landed in her lap. He wondered if she shared Nick's opinion that Billy was poison to the people he loved most. Lily recognized that Billy had made a lot of mistakes and that he'd hurt people, but she didn't consider it inevitable that he would screw up again. She cited her work with the inmates and how it had shown her that people could change. She added that it was why she'd chosen to be his partner, and she suggested they get back to work.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon asked how things were going with Nick, and he groaned that he'd had another run-in with Billy. Nick started to ramble about how Jill had tricked him into leasing space, but he realized it was nothing compared to what Sharon was going through. Sharon was happy to hear him out, but he preferred to hear how she was doing. She informed him that she was having a pretty good day, since Mariah and Tessa had gotten back together, she'd had a nice chat with Victoria, and she'd even shared a pleasant exchange with Victor. Nick noted that Victoria seemed to be doing better, and he wondered if Sharon felt that way, too. Sharon hesitated to say anything specific, but she suspected that Victoria was trying hard to make it look like she was getting better for everyone else's sake.
Adam and Connor arrived at the ranch, and Connor excitedly hugged Victor and asked where Katie and Johnny were playing. Victor directed him to the stables, and Connor stepped out. Adam said Connor had been pestering him to go there all day, but Victor prompted Adam to spill the real reason for his visit. Adam had the feeling that his earlier apology had fallen on deaf ears, but Victor said he'd appreciated it.
Victor recognized that Adam resented the fact that Victor had temporarily given the CEO job to Nick. Victoria eavesdropped as Victor maintained that Victoria would resume the reins once she recovered. Adam understood that Victor didn't trust him, and he opted to let their deeds and not their words be the true test of their relationship. Adam was determined to show his true colors to Victor and everyone else.
Victoria is rushed to the hospital
At Chancellor Media, Billy suggested to Lily that they put themselves on the map by throwing a splashy party with a charity tie-in. She thought they should get a few media outlets in their portfolio first. Jill burst in and admonished Billy for something he'd done, but he had no clue what she meant. Jill indicated that the Zombie Nation broadcast host had tweeted that Chancellor Media had bought out its parent company. Billy swore that he hadn't been involved, and Lily revealed that she was responsible for it.
Lily handed Billy a file, and Jill was appalled that Lily had purchased a podcast production company without consulting her partner or her boss. Lily said Jill had been misinformed, since Lily hadn't purchased anything but had made a call to set up an exploratory meeting. Lily thought the acquisition would be great for them, and she believed Billy would agree with her once he saw the company's lineup. Jill expected Billy to tell her that it was a brilliant idea, but Billy finished reviewing the file and piped up that he wouldn't say that. He passed on the opportunity because he considered it too risky.
Jill assumed that Billy and Lily were working on a list of companies they wanted to acquire. Lily mentioned another idea she had that was more mainstream, but she didn't want to go into details until she talked to Traci. Billy informed her that Dina was back at the Abbott house, so he wasn't sure how much time Traci had. Jill implored Billy to ask Jack how he could help make things easier, and Billy curtly replied that he knew how to be a good brother. Billy recommended that Jill let them get back to work, and she left.
Billy interpreted from Lily's expression that something was on her mind, and she encouraged him to be thankful that he still had a parent around instead of being impatient with Jill. Billy acknowledged that Lily was right, since he felt blessed to still have his mother in his life, even though she drove him crazy. Lily recalled that she and her dad hadn't always seen eye to eye, but she'd give anything to have Neil back to give her advice. She wondered if her father would have been upset that she hadn't gone back to work with Devon at Hamilton-Winters. Billy declared that there was no doubt in his mind that Neil would have been very proud of her.
Lily noticed Billy eating the prior night's takeout, and she commented that they'd been spending too much time there. He pointed out that they had no one to go home to, and she groaned about how pathetic and empty their lives had become. He told her to speak for herself, and she countered that he was cuddling up with a cold container of sesame noodles. He asked if she was dating anyone. He was surprised when she divulged that she'd been seeing a guy upstate, but she didn't expect the relationship to last because it was a five-hour drive. Billy told her to let him know if she wanted to find someone closer, and he volunteered to be her wingman when they hit the town. She passed.
Lily urged Billy to reconsider taking a meeting with her potential acquisition target. He recognized that she thought he was all about risk, but he was going for balance that time. He explained that he really wanted to make the division work, and he liked being partners, so he didn't want his recklessness to be the reason the company went down the tubes.
At the Abbott mansion, Jack, Ashley, and Traci fussed over trying to make an unresponsive Dina comfortable. Jack pulled his sisters aside and asked if they were going to spend their days trying to guess what their mother wanted. Ashley pointed out that Dina didn't know where she was, and Traci reminded them that the memory care center staff had told them that Dina would be like that around the clock. Traci lectured that if they wanted to make Dina's life the best it could be, they had to make the time they spent together about Dina.
Jack sat down next to Dina on the couch, and she bewilderedly asked, "Where did I go?" Jack assured Dina that all three of her children were right in front of her. Dina insisted on talking to Mamie, but Jack claimed that Mamie had just left and wouldn't be back for a while. Traci wondered what Dina wanted to say, and Ashley offered to get a message to Mamie. The siblings stressed that they were all there to help, but Dina remained silent.
Later, Ashley reported that the nurse was getting Dina set up in bed. Traci didn't know what was worse -- seeing a glimmer of responsiveness and watching it fade away, or seeing no sign of the woman Dina had once been. Jack thought that being home had triggered something, since Dina had remembered Mamie. Ashley didn't take comfort in it, and she accepted that they'd had their last lucid conversation with their mother. Ashley lamented that they'd have no idea what was truly in Dina's head or heart ever again. Traci retrieved an envelope and divulged that their mother had very important things left to say.
Traci explained that Dina had documented her end-of-life wishes in a series of questionnaires before her Alzheimer's had become too intrusive. Traci flipped through the pages and found instructions about what Dina wanted for her funeral and interment, and Ashley marveled that Dina had taken care of every detail. Traci found it encouraging that Dina wanted a celebration of life and not a formal service. Traci discovered a lot of practicalities, like where to find Dina's will and contact information for her attorney. Traci took a special interest in a document entitled, "What I want my loved ones to know."
The Abbott siblings took turns reading Dina's words. Dina had listed her biggest accomplishment as building Mergeron from a small family company to a global powerhouse, and her biggest regret had been the same thing. Dina had recognized that she'd used her company as a shield to avoid facing her failures as a human being, and she'd imagined that some might question whether she'd even had loved ones because she'd pushed her husband and children away. Dina had admitted that she hadn't had what it took to be a mother, although she'd tried for a while to impress her friends at the club before she'd left her family altogether.
Dina had acknowledged that she hadn't understood the difference between being selfish and becoming self-sufficient, yet somehow her kids had grown up to be smart, healthy, mostly happy adults. Dina had wished she could take credit for the phenomenal people her children had become, but she'd had nothing to do with it. Dina had called "Jackie" and Ashley headstrong dynamos who were also loving parents, and she'd named Traci as the sweet baby of the family with a heart as big as the moon. Dina had regretted that she'd let Traci down most of all, since Traci had been very young when her mommy had vanished, and Dina had done nothing over the years to make up for it, including failing to attend Colleen's funeral.
Dina had written that there were tears of shame in her eyes as she wrote, since her absence had been unforgivable. Traci began to sob, and Ashley continued reading that it had been hardest of all for Dina to face Traci, knowing how deeply Dina had wounded her. Jack suggested that they stop, but Traci begged them to finish, since she thought it might explain why Dina had forgotten her. Traci realized that it might have all been too painful for Dina to remember.
Ashley read aloud that regret hadn't been a word Dina had used often; Dina also hadn't been big on apologies, but that attitude had cost her dearly. Dina had known that she should have begged her children for forgiveness years earlier, but she'd been afraid of the recriminations and profoundly sorry that she'd never have the chance to make up for that. Jack suddenly claimed that he had business to deal with, and he abruptly left.
At the Newman ranch, Victoria slumped despondently on the couch, but she quickly sat up and grabbed her tablet when she heard someone enter the foyer. Nick entered and asked how the patient was, but she clarified that patients were sick, whereas she was convalescing. She assured him that she was doing much better, and she hoped he wasn't there to check up on her. Nick announced that he needed her help.
Nick explained that he was facing a deadline to close a deal, but he wasn't sure whether he should pull the trigger on the price. Victoria appeared disinterested, and she admitted that she couldn't care less if the deal tanked. He questioned where her killer instinct was, and she replied that it was gone -- possibly for good. Nick doubted that Victoria's drive and ambition had just disappeared, and he reiterated that he was only holding the seat for her until she was ready to have it back. She appreciated it but confided that she felt lost, and she didn't think he understood.
Victoria recalled that on the day of Victor's party, she'd finally felt like she'd known who she was again for the first time in a while. Victoria had been happy that she'd been able to get back on her feet, but she'd been literally cut down again by a deranged man she'd never even seen. She confided that it felt like she had a big ball of dread in the pit of her stomach that never went away, and it was like she was fighting something but didn't understand what it was. She continued that it was draining her and sapping all her confidence, and she felt like all the fight in her was gone.
Nick asked if there was anything he could do to help, and Victoria replied that he was already doing it. She regretted that she'd unloaded on him, but he told her to vent away. She figured that she might be overreacting because her recovery was taking longer than she wanted it to. She suddenly clutched her chest and gasped for breath.
At Society, Victor greeted Nikki with a hug and told her that there was something that he had to tell her. She hated to ruin the surprise, but she revealed that she already knew because the pilot had called the house about his flight that day. Nikki declared that as much as she'd love to jet off to a fabulous destination, she didn't feel comfortable leaving until Victoria was back on her feet. Victor agreed that Nikki should stay there, and he informed her that he'd decided to go to Kansas alone. A stunned Nikki questioned why he'd go right then.
Victor recounted his promise to Hope to keep up the farm. It was falling apart, and he had to assess the situation. Nikki objected to him going there personally when he could just hire someone local to make a few repairs. Nikki ordered him to write a check and be done with it because his family needed him there. Victor swore that he'd be back after he looked into the situation, and he refused to let her talk him out of it. Nikki observed that he'd been agitated since Adam had visited the ranch, and she sensed that there was something Victor wasn't telling her. He firmly stated that he was going to inspect the farm, and that was it.
Nikki pushed Victor not to leave her in the dark if something was going on, but he swore that he was just being conscientious about their family. He claimed that he felt like he had let Connor, Hope, and possibly Adam down by letting the farm fall into disrepair, and he didn't want the tribute to Hope's memory to be left in shambles. Nikki argued that despite Adam painting a picture of his idyllic childhood, he'd left home to start a hedge fund, and Victor had been the one to preserve the farm. Victor declared that it was time to go to the airport, and they hugged goodbye and exchanged words of love before he headed out.
Later, Jill entered the restaurant and ran into Nikki. Jill asked how Victoria was doing, and Nikki reported that her daughter was getting better every day. Nikki mentioned that she was in a rush, but Jill delayed her by chattering about the weather. Jill remarked that any day was a good day when one didn't have to pretend that their husband was dead when he really wasn't, and Nikki shot back that it was the one con Colin had never pulled. Nikki excused herself to take a call, and Nick told her that Victoria was in the hospital.
Jack joined Jill and thanked her for meeting him. She noted that he'd sounded upset on the phone. He said he needed a friend, and for some odd reason, he'd thought of her.
Billy was surprised to receive a call from Nikki, who informed him that she was at the hospital, since Victoria had been rushed to the emergency room with chest pains. Billy said he was on his way. Meanwhile, Nick told Nikki that the doctors were running tests. Nikki worried that there was a problem with Victoria's heart.
At home, Adam answered a call from Alyssa and hoped that she hadn't given up already, since the truth had to be out there. She advised that they might be closer to finding it than he'd thought, since she'd met with the county coroner who had written A.J.'s autopsy report, which had listed the injuries from A.J.'s fall as the cause of his death. Alyssa shared that the coroner hadn't admitted that he'd lied, but his visceral reaction to such an old case had raised her suspicions. Her gut told her that there was more to the story and that the guy knew more than he was saying.
Adam offered to provide Alyssa with a list of Newman's shell companies to see if she could find a trace of a bribe. Chelsea overheard as Adam suggested that Alyssa offer money to the coroner, since if Victor had bought him off, the man could likely be bought off again. Alyssa objected to buying off a source. She noted that if their suspicions were accurate, her father had killed for money, and Adam's had killed to protect Adam.
After Adam hung up, Adam bemoaned to Chelsea that the evidence was circumstantial, so there wasn't much of a case. Chelsea was surprised that he wasn't more excited, and Adam shared that something Alyssa had said had given him pause -- that if Victor had killed A.J., he'd done it out of love to protect Adam and Hope. Adam contemplated whether he should use that against Victor for his own selfish reasons, although he recognized that Victor would do it to him in a heartbeat. Adam anticipated that the rest of the world wouldn't understand why Victor had taken a life, but Adam would.
Adam called Hope a saint who had persevered throughout her entire life being totally blind, and she'd deserved much more than having her husband murdered over a debt she'd known nothing about. Chelsea pointed out that Adam didn't have to go through with it if he was having second thoughts. Adam pondered whether he was willing to bury his father's criminal act and walk away with nothing, letting Victor win again.
Adam didn't plan to forgive and forget Victor's attempts to undermine him, but he knew that it would start a war if he was wrong about Victor's guilt, and he didn't want Connor to be any part of it. Chelsea reminded Adam that Victor had had him locked up for a murder he hadn't committed, and she urged Adam to consider what it had cost his family. Adam mused that it was possible that Victor had committed murder, and he wondered if it would be poetic justice for the tables to be turned -- or if it would be his own undoing.
Chelsea swore that she was on Adam's side, no matter what he decided to do. He continued to grapple with whether to launch an attack on a man with unlimited resources. He recounted how he'd turned down the chance to take over Newman when he'd returned from Las Vegas, and he wondered what would have happened if he'd accepted the keys to the kingdom. Chelsea doubted that Victor would have followed through, and she expected that he would have yanked it away from Adam in favor of one of his kids with Nikki.
Adam imagined that Hope wouldn't have approved of the way Victor had treated him over the years, but she also wouldn't have approved of some of Adam's actions, either. Chelsea started to leave to give Adam time to make some big decisions, but Adam pulled her into his arms and gushed that he'd done something right to deserve a woman as special as her. She insisted that he deserved only good things, and she pledged to help him get them. They kissed and fell into a passionate embrace on the couch.
After having sex, Adam and Chelsea cuddled naked under a blanket. She asked what was going through his head, and he informed her that he'd decided to prove that he and Victor were cut from exactly the same cloth and that he was more his father's child than Nick, Victoria, or Abby would ever be. Adam resolved that it wasn't the time for self-doubt, and he needed to go full speed ahead in pursuit of the ultimate goal -- ending the war with Victor once and for all.