Henry knocked on Katie's door to check on her and the baby during the blackout. Katie let him in, but Henry noticed that she looked a bit disappointed when she found out he was her visitor. He guessed that Katie would have preferred her caller to be Simon. Katie said that she had seen Brad on Christmas Eve, and they had said their farewells. She said she was sad, but at least they had a real opportunity to say goodbye. Henry said he was glad to see her smile again, and suddenly the lights turned on.
Henry brought up the subject of Simon, but Katie reminded him that she had been the one who had asked Simon to leave. Henry was all of a sudden famished, and he asked Katie if she would like to go to Al's for a burger. Katie said she did not want to take the baby out in the cold, although she was a bit restless from having to stay in the house for so long. Henry suggested that he order take-out from the diner, and he asked Katie if she would like to pick it up. Katie said it would be nice to get out, so she grabbed her coat and left.
When Katie got to the diner, she peeked in and saw Simon reading the newspaper at a table. Katie went in and spoke to Simon, who told her that he had decided to stay indefinitely in Oakdale. Katie was suspicious that Henry had set-up her "chance meeting" with Simon, and then she realized that Simon was actually working for Henry there. Simon admitted that he had needed a job after donating all his ill-gotten revenue to charity. Katie could not believe that Simon was staying in town.
Simon and Katie continued their conversation until the diner's only other patron, a man who had been celebrating the new year way too much, called out that if Simon didn't want Katie, he would take her because she was "hot." That caused Simon to jump to his feet, and he ushered the drunk out of the diner, after first lifting the fellow's watch. "So much for going legit," quipped Katie. Simon promised to take the watch to the police station the next day, and he got Katie's take-out order. Katie asked if he would care to join them at her house, and a bashful Simon accepted readily since his shift was over.
The two returned to Katie's and found Henry watching a "Twilight Zone" marathon on television. Katie called Henry into the kitchen and chewed him out for setting her up with Simon. Eventually both men fell asleep during the marathon, one on each side of Katie. Katie decided to go to bed, so she turned off the television and slipped off the couch. She checked the baby and then remarked that her "three boys" were asleep." She turned out the lights and went to bed.
In Dusty's room at the Lakeview, Dusty and Janet awakened when the lights all turned on. Janet was horrified to realize that she'd had sex with Dusty Donovan, but he advised her not to beat herself up about it. Janet was frantic to get home, and as she got dressed, Dusty told her not to feet guilty or upset. Janet said she was married and had violated her sacred vows. Dusty said Janet was refusing to admit that what had happened between them actually meant something. Janet just wanted to forget it had ever happened, and she stormed out.
Stranded in the cabin in the woods, Jack and Carly realized that it was after midnight on New Year's Da y. They talked about how people were kissing all over their time zone, and they stood very close together. Carly, however, reminded Jack that he was married, but Jack wasn't sure he had much of a marriage to go back to. Carly assured him that Janet would always take him back, and she kissed him on the cheek. Jack returned the kiss on Carly's cheek, and they heard a snowplow on the road. Jack mentioned that the county was clearing the roads, and just then the lights all blazed again.
Carly wakened Craig, who said that he had the most horrible dream in which he was naked in a tub, and Jack was giving him a sponge bath. Carly told him that his fever had broken, and Craig realized that his nightmare had actually happened. He declared that "what happened in the cabin," stayed in the cabin. A ranger knocked on the door, and Jack made arrangements for a ride back to town and a tow vehicle for their cars. Unfortunately, the ranger only had room for two passengers, so Carly said that she did not feel comfortable leaving Craig alone.
Carly urged Jack to go back to town and save someone else he was close to. As Jack walked out, he told Craig that he had trashed Craig's clothes because they reeked of pond scum. Craig began mourning his $4000 suit, but Carly found some interesting retro clothes in the dresser at the cabin, and over his protests, she got him to put them on. Craig thanked Carly for tending to him during his fever, but Carly got angry about why they were there in the first place. She told him that the two of them had "no chance" together. The ranger returned and was ready to take them back to town.
Jack walked into the Lakeview and found Janet refreshing her makeup in the lobby. He said he couldn't believe that she was still there waiting for him. He apologized for missing their "date," but he said that he had finally gotten his head straight. He told Janet that he loved her and asked her to give him a second chance and let him return home. Jack said he had forgiven her for kissing Dusty on Christmas Eve, and he wanted to get their marriage back on track. He called his wife a beautiful, desirable woman, and he promised to back off from Carly's problems unless they related to their kids.
Janet, fresh from Dusty's bed, warned Jack that he had to definitely commit to the two of them, and he agreed. Jack wanted to get a bottle of champagne and a room at the Lakeview, as Dusty watched from a corner of the lobby. Janet suddenly told Jack that they couldn't stay there because she wanted to go home. She said her car was out front, and she would meet him at home. Dusty watched the couple leave, and he walked through the lobby and popped a balloon in one of the decorations.
Dusty went to Metro and fixed himself a stiff drink. Teri was still there, and she asked Dusty why he was in such a foul mood. She asked him about his New Year's Eve celebration, but Dusty was reluctant to say much. Teri said the storm and the blackout had cost the club big bucks, but Dusty said that they would donate the unused food to the local homeless shelters. That pleased Teri very much. Dusty went back to his hotel room and stared at his unmade bed. He flashed back to making love to Janet earlier that evening.
Jack and Janet went to the farm, and Jack hugged her and attempted to kiss her. Janet pulled away and announced that she wanted to take a shower. Jack said he would pour them wine while he waited for her to return. Jack was in the mood for romance, but when Janet rejoined him after her shower, she held back. Jack wrongly assumed that he was responsible for "the distance" between them, and he promised to "fix it." Janet got angry and declared that taking her to bed was not going to fix anything.
Janet told Jack that he was "just too late," but when he asked his wife to explain, Janet asked him to leave. She said it was too late to talk, and she yelled at him to go. A very confused Jack walked out into the night.
Janet sat at Emma's kitchen table and drank her wine, and soon Teri walked in. She was excited that Dusty had donated the food to the homeless, and she finally noticed her sister's bad mood. Janet said that her marriage was over, but she didn't want to talk about it. Teri asked what the story was with her and Dusty, and Janet got very defensive. Teri said that she was "so into Dusty," but she didn't want to step on Janet's toes. Janet denied that anything was going on between her and Dusty, and she ran upstairs. Teri was befuddled.
Carly and Craig finally returned to the Lakeview, and Craig coughed and hacked his way across the lobby to the elevator in his outlandish clothes from the 80s. Craig invited Carly to his room for a "New Year's Eve nightcap," and she had to remind him that he was talking to an alcoholic. Craig then warned her that if she ever told anyone that Jack Snyder had given him a sponge bath...and his voice trailed off. Carly laughed and walked away. Craig went up to his room and found a photo of Carly in a drawer. He looked at it and said he was not giving up on the two of them.
Carly was turning off the lights in her house when she was surprised to hear Jack knock on the door. He asked to use her sofa again, and she let him in. He said Janet had kicked him out because "too much had happened." Jack was confused, and Carly guessed that something mush have happened to change Janet's mind. A dejected Jack sat on the couch, and Carly snuggled up to him in consolation.
Katie and Jacob found Henry and Simon asleep and very cozy on the couch the morning after the Twilight Zone marathon. The men awakened when Katie coughed, and they jumped up, embarrassed. Katie laughed and kidded them about man-cuddling on the couch. Simon got ready to start his morning shift at the diner, but before he left, he asked Katie to dinner, and she accepted. After Simon departed, Henry remarked that Simon had more in mind than just a thank-you dinner for Katie.
Henry fed the baby his bottle and told Katie that he had seen the looks between her and Simon, but Katie denied any such glances. She asked Henry to hurry up with Jacob so that she could get to WOAK to pitch a new show idea to Kim. She said the show she had in mind involved new moms and would have a weekly broadcast with online help between episodes. Henry got very serious and reminded Katie that she was not alone, and he recommended that she "be open" to Simon.
Katie and Henry went to the television studio, which was deserted. Katie said she wanted to tape an audition reel to show to Kim, and she asked Henry to run the camera for her. She had a difficult time dealing with the memories of Brad in the studio, but she pulled herself together and asked Henry to start rolling. Katie introduced herself to the audience, and said, "I'm a mom." The taping went well, and Jacob awoke just as it ended. Henry amused him by singing "Git Along Little Dogie," and Katie thanked her best friend for always sticking by her. The two of them had a heartfelt talk.
At work at the diner, Simon called Metro to make a dinner reservation, as a heckling customer gave him a hard time about lousy service. Suddenly an overdressed beautiful woman walked in and called Simon by name. She was Clarissa, a former associate in Simon's life of crime. She said she had a fish on the line, and all they had to do was "reel him in." Simon said that he was done with that lifestyle. A disappointed Clarissa left, and Simon realized that with so few customers, he would never make enough tip money to pay for a dinner at Metro.
Simon canceled the reservation at Metro and called Katie, who was just finishing up at the studio. He invited her instead to go to the diner for a different kind of a meal. Henry agreed to baby-sit Jacob, so Katie agreed to the change. She went to Al's and saw a "Closed" sign on the door. Simon ushered her in, and she spied a romantic candlelit table just for two. Her host explained that he had asked the chef to prepare a Shepherd's Pie made with "organic shepherds," and a salad. He also presented a bottle of wine with a great flourish.
Henry wheeled Jacob in his stroller past the diner and peeked in the window. He told the baby how happy his mother looked, and declared that when she was happy, they were happy. Inside, Katie said that simple food was always the best, and the occasion reminded her of when she was married to Simon, and they were very poor but very happy.
Lily told Noah that her family wanted to support his decisions, but it was his life and his right to make the decisions. Noah wanted to fight to regain his eyesight, and he said he thought he had a chance with a doctor he had heard of in Dallas. His name was Reid Oliver, and Lucinda was familiar with his reputation. She said he was something of a radical and on the "cutting edge" of medicine. Noah wanted to visit Dr. Oliver's clinic as soon as possible, so Lily promised to fly him wherever he wanted to go. Luke was disturbed that Noah might be leaving again, but he understood how important it was to his boyfriend.
Lucinda promised to check out the doctor and to talk to some of the patients he had helped. Noah thanked them for their help, and Lily and Lucinda made a hasty exit in order to give the young men some privacy. Luke attempted to kiss Noah, but Noah pulled away. He said he could not act as if things were just the same. Noah confided that he had to think about himself and did not want to have "us" in every conversation with Luke. Luke apologized, but Noah explained that he was trying to be proactive.
The lovers began to argue, but Noah could only concentrate on getting his sight back. Everything else, he said, was secondary, even his relationship with Luke. They walked outside, and Noah asked Luke to describe the snow-covered evergreens. Then he spoke with regret about never finishing his film project. Luke smiled and asked Noah to put his hand into his coat pocket. Noah did, and he pulled out a statue that represented first prize in the student film festival at the university. Noah was stunned that his film had won.
Noah asked Luke if he had been the one to finish Noah's movie, and Luke told him how easy it had been because Noah was such an organized director. He said the film had gotten a standing ovation at the festival, and Luke was very proud of Noah. Noah became furious and accused Luke of taking over his work in order to control him. Luke shouted at his lover that the awards were all for him, but Noah shoved the award into Luke's hands and went inside. He sat on the couch for a while, and then he put the disc of the film into his laptop.
Outside on the patio, a dejected Luke called the office of Dr. Reid Oliver and said he was representing a potential patient.
Lily and Lucinda went to lunch at the Lakeview, but Lily could not eat. She was nauseated and light-headed, plus she felt exhausted. Lucinda asked a couple of direct questions, and suddenly Lily was thunderstruck by the thought that she might be pregnant. She grabbed her coat and, very upset, she decided to go right to the hospital for a blood test.
Holden and Molly drove to Deerbrook to visit Meg. Before they saw her, however, a nurse spoke with them and asked them to prepare for a shock when they saw Meg. That worried Holden, who was concerned that his sister had sunk even lower. He and Molly walked into Meg's room and found her knitting mittens for Eliza and in a very pleasant mood. She said she had been living in a haze, but through therapy and soul-searching, she had turned it all around.
Molly spoke to Meg about the request Meg had made when she had been admitted to the hospital. She had asked Molly to use her investigative skills to check out whether or not Damian had known of the possibility that Holden was still alive when he began courting Lily. Meg answered Molly's question by saying that her own paranoia had turned Damian into some sort of demon in her mind. She said she had accepted her shortcomings and was working hard to regain her normal life. The nurse delivered Meg's medication, and Meg asked Holden and Molly to return after she had finished her morning session with the doctor.
Outside, Holden asked Molly if she thought Meg was "faking it," and Molly said that the "new Stepford version of Meg" was nothing like any Meg they had seen before. Molly was skeptical, but Holden was hopeful that the medication and therapy had stabilized his sister.
In Meg's room, the nurse gave Meg two tablets to swallow and watched her take them. As soon as the nurse left, Meg removed the tablets from under her tongue and placed them in a plastic bag she then stashed under the mattress of her bed. The bag was about a third full of similar pills. Meg went to her therapy session with Dr. Wilson and complimented him and his staff. She said that she needed his help to take the next giant leap; she wanted to see Damian Grimaldi in order to ask his forgiveness, and she wanted the doctor to make it happen.
Holden and Molly returned to the farm, but Holden was worried that if Molly's instincts about Meg were correct, then his sister was really deranged. Molly remembered Meg's request about Damian, and she felt something was a "little off." She wondered if there was more to Damian's story than they knew. Holden told Molly that she had read Officer Grady's report and even talked to him on the phone, but Molly had a feeling of unease. She wanted to go to Kentucky herself to see Grady, and Holden offered to accompany her.
Molly went to Fashions and checked out the sexy lingerie. She was afraid that the choices all screamed "Desperate!" so she passed on both of two filmy black ones, but then she changed her mind and chose one. She glanced over and spotted Lucinda browsing through the maternity department, so Molly could not resist making a crack about the possibility of Lucinda's being pregnant. Lucinda gave her the evil eye and reminded Molly that Emma Snyder had rules about conduct governing the house in which both Molly and Holden were living. Lucinda also reminded Molly that Holden and Lily always found their way back to each other. Molly said Lucinda's idea was passé, and paid for the negligee. Lucinda looked at it and asked if she was going to Vegas.
Lily worried and waited for her blood test at the hospital, when Holden walked by and saw her. He asked why she was there, and Lily said she thought that she had a stomach bug. They talked a bit about Luke and Noah, and Lily was obviously worried about them. Holden said that he had plans to go out of town, but he was concerned that Lily seemed anxious. He told her that he would only be gone overnight, and if she needed him, all she had to do was call. The nurse appeared then and, assuming that Lily and Holden were husband and wife, she asked Lily to go into the exam room where she said they would take some blood and find out if she was pregnant. Holden appeared stunned.
At Deerbrook, a hesitant Damian walked into Meg's room with her doctor. Meg gave a flowery apology for her terrible words and actions towards Damian, but the doctor received a call and had to step outside to take it. He asked Damian if he would be all right, but Damian had obviously relaxed at Meg's contrite words, and he assured the doctor it was fine. Damian sat on the foot of Meg's bed and said he was amazed at the change in her demeanor. Meg suddenly smiled and said, "Alone at last," and then she explained how easy it had been to fool the doctors. She smilingly promised Damian that the very first thing she would do when she was released was to kill him.
Paul dressed Eliza in her snowsuit and told Emily he was dropping the baby off to play with Ethan and Natalie. Emily offered to go with them, but Paul told her that she wasn't invited. Emily protested that Paul was still punishing her for something she had not done, but she offered that she knew who probably had called the cops on Meg and Eliza. Paul had no time to listen, as he had to drop off his daughter and then get to Deerbrook to visit Meg before visiting hours were over. He walked out with Eliza, leaving Emily fuming.
Barbara opened the door to her room in the Lakeview and discovered a basket of two dozen beautiful red roses. She at first suspected Henry as the donor, but Mick Dante followed the flowers into her room and admitted that he had sent them. Barbara was reluctant to accept them, however, and she told Mick that she found him "profoundly disturbing." Barbara said that she still had serious doubts that he was James Stenbeck, and it was causing her anxiety and sleep loss. Mick moved to the couch and announced that they had work to do.
Mick removed a dozen photographs from his bag, many of them taken when Paul was a child. One picture in particular showed James and Barbara with Paul, aged about 4, between them. Barbara could not remember posing for it, but Mick said it was one of his favorites. He was excited that the two of them could have a second chance, but Barbara was reluctant to listen to such nonsense. Mick said he wanted to arrange for a family dinner that night with the two of them, plus Paul and Eliza. Barbara asked about Emily, but Mick said her attendance depended upon how well she and Paul were getting along.
Someone knocked on Barbara's door, and Mick put the photos away in a portfolio as Barbara answered the door. The caller was Emily, who was surprised to see Mick. The two women discussed their treatments, but when Emily asked, he refused to tell her what was in the injections. Emily wanted to speak privately with Barbara, so Mick prepared to leave. He walked to the door and kissed Barbara's hand, as he asked her to give his best to Paul. As soon as the door closed, Emily asked "what the hell" was going on between the two of them.
Emily accused Barbara of having an agenda and demanded to know what it was. Emily told her mother-in-law that she knew Barbara was the one who "ratted Meg out to the police." Barbara vehemently denied that, so Emily leaned close and said she was on to Barbara, and Barbara should consider herself warned.
At Deerbrook, Meg was alone with Damian, and she told him that she was fighting for her life. She said they both knew she wasn't crazy, and she complimented him on what a resourceful villain he was. Meg warned Damian, however, that he was "as good as dead." Dr. Wilson returned and asked how they were getting along, and Meg thanked him profusely for the chance to make amends to Damian. Damian was amazed that Meg was successfully fooling the experts, and he and the doctor left.
Paul arrived later and gave Meg a drawing that Eliza had scribbled. He said that Meg seemed in much better shape than before, and Meg said she was following his advice. She showed him her stash of mood-altering drugs that she had pretended to swallow, and she said that the doctors were eating up all her cooperation and compliments. Meg also confided that Damian had visited and that she had warned him that he would pay for his transgressions with his life. Paul sat Meg down and reminded her that she was Eliza's mother and could not go around killing people. He made her promise that she would not do anything to Damian without talking to Paul first.
At Memorial, a nurse asked Lily if she and her "husband" would like to go into the exam room to draw blood for a pregnancy test. The man with Lily was Holden, however, and he was stunned to hear that there was a possibility that Lily was pregnant with Damian's child. He asked for a minute alone with her, but he had no idea what to say. Finally he asked why Damian wasn't with Lily, and she answered that it was only a blood test, and Holden figured out that Damian had no idea that Lily was there. Lily refused to discuss it further with Holden; she said it was too overwhelming. Holden said Lily was a great parent, and they discussed their custody arrangement.
The nurse called Lily in, and Holden offered to wait, but Lily said that was too weird, even for them. Holden wished his former wife good luck and walked out. The nurse drew blood, and Lily waited in the exam room for the results. Damian saw his wife in the room and walked in, worried that she was really sick. The children had told him that their mother was at the hospital, so he had tracked her down. Lily said she thought she just had a bug, but Damian did not believe her. Finally she confessed that she might be pregnant, and Damian was shocked.
When Damian could speak, he said that was the most wonderful news he had ever heard. The nurse returned with the news that Lily's test was negative, but Damian chose to take the incident as a sign that he and Lily were meant to have another child together. Lily disagreed and said she was too run down and stressed out. Damian suggested a honeymoon trip where they could work on that baby he so wanted. The two of them went home, and Lily stated that she had to get back to work, and her children needed to see their grandparents and extended family. She was not sure if another baby would be such a good idea.
Damian acted hurt, so Lily amended her statement by saying that she just couldn't be away from the children, and she brought up Meg. Damian got angry and shouted that he was "sick and tired" of letting Meg Snyder control their lives. The phone rang, and Lily answered it. The caller was Meg, who asked Lily not to hang up immediately. Lily asked what Meg wanted, and Meg said she had not gotten to apologize to Lily the way she had to Damian when he had visited her that day. Lily covered the phone and asked Damian if he had been to see Meg, and he admitted that he had. Meg then apologized for hurting Lily and promised to make it up to her. After Meg hung up, Lily said she had sounded truly remorseful.
Holden picked up Molly and they went to Yo's for a drink. He told her that he thought they should "pass" on the trip to Kentucky, and Molly tried to hide her disappointment. She said that her reporter instincts were telling her that Meg might not have made up all those wild stories about Damian. Holden was afraid that the situation was all about his getting even with Damian, because he "sure as hell" knew that he and Lily were over. He shared Lily's situation with Molly, who went to the juke box and played a song.
Molly persuaded Holden to dance with her, and soon they were kissing. Molly asked if Lily's situation changed how Holden felt about Molly, and Holden assured her that it did not. She said that the way Holden kissed her told her that he was aware that there might be someone else out there for him. When the dance stopped, they talked seriously about how they felt, and Molly reminded Holden of their long history together. They had known each other since they were fourteen years old, and they shared a daughter, Abigail. They went to the Lakeview and got a room and headed for bed.
Alison went to Casey's house so they could go to the hospital together. She called to Casey to hurry up because she was working with a very grumpy physician, Dr. Cantor, that day, and she could not be late. Casey walked out without his shirt on, and the two were tempted to give in to their feelings, but they decided to stick to their plan to be chaste until their wedding night. They talked a bit about the wedding, but then they hurried off to Memorial.
Alison approached Dr. Cantor just before her shift began and asked if he was ready to begin a bit early. The doctor, with great sarcasm, told Alison that she had not even begun her shift yet and already she had destroyed a patient's confidence in his judgment. Alison had been kind and helpful to an anxious patient, but Dr. Cantor chose to interpret her actions as "insubordinate." He scolded her loudly in the hall, just as Mick Dante arrived on the floor. Mick hid and watched as Cantor called Alison "a silly little girl pretending to know something about medicine."
Cantor walked downstairs a few minutes later and found Mick sitting in the stairwell. Mick mentioned that he had overheard Cantor's tirade against Alison Stewart, and he had noticed that the doctor really liked "to crack the whip." Mick reminded Cantor that sometimes the whip snapped back, and he smacked the doctor on the side of the face. Then he told Cantor about a whipping that he had witnessed in Thailand, and the doctor asked if Mick was threatening him. "Absolutely," grinned Mick, as Cantor brushed past him and continued down the stairs.
Alison was working when a bloody Mick found her. She stuck him in an exam room and went about stopping his nosebleed. Alison said it was not normal to have so many spontaneous bleeds, and she guessed that stress had triggered it. She asked him what had happened, but Mick said he had no idea. Again she suggested that he see a doctor.
Emily walked down the hospital corridor and saw Alison treating Mick in a room. The door was partially open, and Emily also spotted Mick's bag lying on the floor outside the room. She pulled it out of view and opened it, and she removed a portfolio from the bag. Then she slipped the bag back and disappeared. Mick and Alison walked out, and he thanked her again for helping him, and picked up his bag.
Alison continued to work, as Dr. Cantor walked up to her. He apologized for his rude behavior and said that he hoped Alison would forgive him. Alison did, and then the doctor told her to keep her "psycho boyfriend" away from him. Cantor stomped away, and Casey showed up. Alison asked him if he had experienced any trouble with Dr. Cantor, but Casey did not even know who the doctor was. Alison told him to never mind.
Alison was due a break, so she took a walk to All Angels Church. As she suspected, she found Mick hiding in the belfry. She accused him of "putting the fear of God" into Dr. Cantor, and Mick grinned and said, "Guilty." Alison was unhappy that Mick thought the incident was funny, and she ordered him not to fight her battles for her.
Paul returned from Deerbrook and saw his mother drinking tea in the Lakeview lounge. She was looking at the photo of her, James, and Paul, so she shoved it inside the menu on the table so Paul would not see it. Paul joined her and said he needed something stronger than tea after visiting Meg. All he would tell his mother was that Meg was still "disturbing," and he opened the menu. He took out the picture and asked Barbara what it was. She said she had been going through some old boxes and had found the photograph. Paul could not remember posing for it, but Barbara said that James had always loved that particular photo.
Paul denied that his father had ever loved anything but himself, but Barbara began defending James. She claimed that he had loved Paul "in his own way," but Paul called his father "a monster." Barbara said it was too bad that Paul couldn't ask James about the picture himself, but Paul reminded his mother that she had "stuck a pin" into James's corpse in his coffin to make sure he was really dead. Barbara looked at her son and asked what if Paul could really ask him that question.
Emily returned to Fairwinds, but Paul was not home. She sat at the desk in the living room and took out Mick's portfolio. She pulled out the photos and was stunned to see that they were mostly shots of Paul at various ages.
Emily looked at the photos of Paul from Mick's portfolio, and she was astonished. In the mix, she also found a list of phone numbers for her, Paul, and Alison written on the back of some publicity for All Angels Church. She grabbed her coat and ran out of Fairwinds.
At the church, Mick refused to apologize to Alison for putting Dr. Cantor in his place. She asked why Mick had done that for her, and he replied that he felt he owed it to her for sticking with him when he had passed out in Old Town. Alison requested that he not do her any more favors, but Mick reminded her that he was not always in control of his actions. Alison asked if he was referring to the "inner turmoil" he had mentioned before, and Mick said he was. She offered to help him figure out why he felt that way.
Mick said he felt as if two different people were fighting inside him. He said he got so angry after hearing Dr. Cantor verbally abuse Alison that he had to do something. Alison said that when she was fighting her demons, she never had anyone to talk to, but Mick did. She offered to be that person for him, and then she left to return to the hospital.
Mick sat thinking in the belfry, and he heard someone climbing the stairs. It was Emily, who said that she had found him by following her "reporter's instinct." She asked to do a story about him for the Intruder, but Mick said, "Absolutely not." He claimed his work was "not ready to be talked about," so Emily took a different tack. She asked why Mick had selected Oakdale to unveil his product, and he said that he had wanted to meet with Dr. Hughes at Memorial. Unfortunately, the good doctor was not interested in Mick's serum.
Then Emily switched the emphasis to Paul, but Mick reminded her that he had not even met Paul before Alison had introduced them. He asked Emily what she really wanted to ask, but Emily thought it would be useful to "clear the air" of all the "nasty rumors" circulating about Mick. Mick said that sounded more like an accusation, and he asked what Emily suspected. Emily said she didn't think Mick was who he claimed to be. "You're right," said Mick, "I'm not." Emily handed over the portfolio of pictures and questioned his interest in her husband.
Mick said that Paul was financing his entire project, and only a fool would not want to know everything about his benefactor. Emily said she did not consider childhood photos as "research." Then she asked if her treatments were bogus just so that Mick could get closer to Paul. Mick promised that her injections would help her get pregnant and said that Paul was not yet ready to hear what Mick had to say. Emily got furious and demanded to know the truth, or she swore she would pull the plug on his project immediately. "Allow me," said Mick, as he shined his blue light into Emily's eyes, and she swooned to the floor.
Paul and Barbara went to her hotel room in the Lakeview, and Paul asked why they were talking about James Stenbeck as if he were alive, when they both knew he was dead. Paul declared it a waste of time, and said that his father wouldn't know what "remorse" was without having to Google it first. He declared that "dead" was enough closure for him, and he was tired of talking about it. Barbara said that she knew James's death haunted Paul, and she asked how he would feel if there was something he could do to rectify that. Paul told his mother that he was worried that her treatments from Mick were affecting her brain.
Paul urged Barbara to "let James go," and he stood up and said he knew that he had to make it up to Emily for accusing her of calling the cops on Meg. Barbara reminded him of their dinner that evening with Mick, but Paul said he had to bail on that. Barbara decided not to argue with him, and she left for an oncology checkup at Memorial.
Paul returned to Fairwinds and saw Emily slouched on the couch. He began apologizing for his behavior and began to unwrap a present he had bought, but he got no response from his wife. He went to Emily and saw that her eyes were open, but she showed no reactions. He touched her, and Emily slid down the cushions. Paul finally realized that something was terribly wrong, so he scooped up his wife and carried her out.
At the hospital, Barbara ran into Alison, who asked her if Mick seemed "all right" to her. Barbara said that sometimes people had "off days," but Alison commented that, at times, Mick appeared "very conflicted." Barbara got a bit haughty and told Alison that the girl's brief exposure to Mick hardly qualified her to an opinion, but Alison said she had shared several meaningful conversations with him lately. Barbara got very defensive and she asked exactly what Alison's interest in Mick Dante was. The she brought up Alison's recent engagement to Casey Hughes and asked if her fiancé would like it that she had taken an "obsessive interest" in another man.
Alison took offense at Barbara's effrontery and told the woman she was acting "like a jealous lover." She further said that she did not have to defend her friendships to Barbara or anyone else. Paul suddenly appeared in the corridor and was carrying an unconscious Emily, so Alison directed him to an empty room. A doctor entered and pushed Paul aside and then asked him and Alison to leave while he examined the patient. In the hall, Barbara asked how Emily was, but all Alison could tell them was that she was getting the best care possible.
At home, Carly told Jack that she felt thing were "getting too comfortable" with his living there. She urged him to decide what he wanted to do next and to get on with it. She was fearful that the kids would get the wrong idea if Jack stayed there indefinitely. Jack agreed with Carly and admitted that it was time for him to get his "butt in gear." A very excited Sage burst into the living room, shouting that she was Oakdale's "Miss Snowflake" and was to compete in the semi-finals of a pageant. Carly and Jack had no idea that Sage was even interested in pageant competition, so they were dumbfounded.
Sage said that she had to be in Detroit the next day to compete, and, according to the rules, both her parents had to be there, as well. She said the pageant meant a lot to her, but Jack was suspicious that the girl was manipulating a trip to throw her parents together. He asked Sage a few questions, but Sage got upset and ran crying to her room. Carly agreed with Jack's assessment that it was all about the trip and not the competition. Jack walked out and said it was time for him to reenter the world.
Sage pestered Parker about the trip to Detroit. She said she wanted him to help her persuade their folks to take her. She was positive it would convince Jack and Carly that they belonged together. Parker refused to help and told Sage to give it up.
Carly followed Jack to a field out in the country where he had lined up some old bottles. He was standing and staring at them when Carly approached, and he explained that he was there to do some target practice because Margo was holding his old job for him at the Oakdale Police Department. Jack took out his pistol, but he was disturbed by images of Brad as he fired. His aim was way off, and he cringed every time he heard the shot. Carly told Jack to trust his instincts and his skills would return. She also suggested that he forgive himself for what had been a tragic accident.
Jack's next shot shattered the target, and then he never missed one. He left one bottle standing, and Carly asked to take a shot. Jack stood close to her and helped her steady her hand. Carly was affected by Jack's closeness, and she stepped away and said that was a bad idea. She told him that he had made a good first step, but it would be best if he lived someplace other than her house. She said she needed to address her other addiction: Jack. She kissed him on the cheek and walked away.
Janet bumped into Dusty on her way into Metro, and the situation was awkward. Janet hoped that they could get by what had happened on New Year's Eve, and they began working together behind the bar. Dusty said that Janet was being too hard on herself and suggested that she learn to live with what they had done. They both agreed that their lovemaking had been wonderful, but Janet said that didn't make it right. They agreed to drop the subject, and Janet said she needed some time to keep an appointment at the farm.
Father Farley, Janet's priest, arrived at the farm, and she told him that she had broken her marriage vows and cheated on her husband. The priest said that the first step of forgiveness was to forgive oneself. After he left, Janet put on her coat to return to Metro when Jack and Carly walked in. Carly excused herself and left, but Jack wanted to talk. Janet told him her news first; she had talked to Father Farley about an annulment. Jack was shocked and angry that his wife was considering "erasing" their marriage. Janet shouted that she had done worse than that.
Jack calmed down and said he had returned to work things out with her, but Janet informed him that she was moving out. Jack asked her not to pursue the annulment until they had talked further. Jack took a call from Carly saying that Sage had been crying all afternoon, and she asked Jack to return. Janet rolled her eyes, and Jack left. He got to Carly's, and she told him that Parker had informed her that Sage was hurt because she thought that her parents had "made fun of her." Sage walked in and manipulated her parents by getting them to substitute a road trip for a guilt trip. Finally Carly and Jack agreed to "take a family road trip to Detroit." Parker tried to weasel out of going, but Carly said to pack his bag..
At All Angels Church, Mick Dante struggled once more with a serious nosebleed.
At Java, Liberty worried that her unopened correspondence from the Fashion Institute of Technology contained a rejection letter. Parker read it and announced that she'd been admitted; however, she had just one day to submit a design portfolio. Parker said that he had to leave to meet his family to go to Detroit for Sage's pageant. Craig overhead the conversation, and after Parker took off, Craig suggested that he might have a solution to Liberty's problem.
At Metro, Dusty gave Janet a peculiar look when she arrived at work ten hours early. She said that she felt more comfortable there than she did at home. She concluded that Liberty and she didn't belong at the farm without Jack. Janet stated that she'd spoken to Jack about an annulment. Jack hadn't agreed to it, but he hadn't moved back home, either.
Liberty and Craig entered, and Liberty announced her acceptance to the design school. She took Janet aside, and Dusty asked what Craig's stake was in the situation. Craig remarked that Dusty was never at a loss for damsels in distress; however, Janet was at least more age-appropriate than Lucy had been. Craig assured Dusty that his damsel and her daughter were safe, because Craig's motives only indirectly involved them.
Nearby, Janet said she'd be okay with Carly helping Liberty with the portfolio. Liberty explained that she'd have to follow Carly, Jack, and the kids to Detroit to get the help. Janet was shocked that Jack had left town with Carly. Janet said it would look as if she'd chased Jack to Detroit if she showed up there with Liberty. Craig readily volunteered to chauffeur Liberty to Detroit.
At Carly's house, Carly handed Sage the dress that Carly had made and insisted that Sage perform her pageant routine for her parents. After Sage changed, Carly and Jack quizzically watched Sage perform her hokey dance. Parker entered, and Sage ran upstairs to change again.
Jack wanted to tell Sage that her dance was horrible before she embarrassed herself on stage. Parker reasoned that Sage could handle losing better than handling her parents saying that she wasn't good enough to compete. Jack remarked that he had a bad feeling about the trip.
At a pit stop at a gas station, Jack thanked Carly for helping him decide to return to work. Sage attempted to convince Parker to help her get Jack and Carly alone in their hotel room. Parker said that he wanted their parents back together, but Sage was overdoing it.
When the Snyders arrived at the pageant registration, Sage looked uncomfortable. Parker whispered that she was supposed to behave as if it were her "dream come true." Parker and Sage took off while their parents registered. The agent on duty noticed Jack's arm around Carly and remarked that they didn't act divorced. Jack quickly removed his arm.
A competitor named Hayden and her snooty mother, Bridgett, approached in matching black and gold leopard getups. When Bridgett remarked that she only saw losers surrounding her "little star," Carly roared, "Excuse me?" Jack prevented Carly from pouncing on Bridgett. Aside, Carly said that Sage would practice until she was perfect. "We'll show her!" Carly proclaimed.
Later, Carly coached Sage on her stage presence, and Bridgett and Hayden showed up with backhanded compliments for Sage. Carly tried to pursue the departing pair, but Jack stopped her. Carly insisted upon telling "that blinged-out bimbo" where she could stuff her sequins. Jack took Carly for a time-out, and Sage cooed to herself that her plan was working.
During the time-out, Jack complimented Carly on being a world-class designer and cool mom. He said that Carly was the real diva, while Bridget had to live vicariously through Hayden. Carly thought that he was cool, too, and they caught themselves holding hands.
As they let go of each other, they heard Craig say, "Do you know how many tiara tweens I've tripped over trying to find you?" Jack told Craig to get lost; however, Craig said that he'd escorted Liberty there to get help on her design portfolio, and he needed to talk to Carly about Midday Sun. Jack began bickering with Craig, but Carly reminded Jack that they didn't want to embarrass Sage by causing scenes. Jack strode off, and Craig said that, with Jack gone, Craig could work on his more pressing mission-Carly and Craig.
Craig pleaded with Carly to stay in business with him, because they made a formidable team. He figured that, if they'd teamed up on the pageant, they would have definitely won. Carly retorted that he probably would have bribed the judges. She claimed that Craig was wasting his time, because she'd gone to Detroit for two reasons: to make Sage happy and to seduce Jack.
Craig expressed shock that Carly had changed her mind about Jack, the man who'd driven her to drink. Craig stated that Jack had no compunction about dumping her, and Craig wondered what she'd do when Jack did it again. Carly retorted that at least Jack hadn't betrayed her with her sister. Craig begged her not to chase Jack. Craig said that he loved her, he needed her, and he'd do anything for her. Carly thanked Craig for loving her like that. "But you're not him," Carly said. She asked Craig to go home while she and Jack looked after Liberty.
Carly met Sage backstage to practice Sage's routine. Carly spotted Hayden and her mother suspiciously lurking nearby. Moments later, Carly discovered that Sage's music CD was missing. Carly advised Sage to wait there while Carly took care of something.
Elsewhere in the convention hall, Hayden tracked down Parker to say that she'd ditched her mother to spend time with him alone in her hotel room. A shocked Parker wondered how old the girl was. She touted that she was very experienced for her age. "Well, I would seriously hope that that's not true," Parker quipped. Hayden called him a jerk and stomped off.
To Parker's surprise, Liberty arrived and explained that Craig had driven her there to get Carly's help on the portfolio. Parker was certain that Craig was up to something, but when Sage scampered up blabbering that her plan was working, Liberty realized that Parker and Sage were up to something. She accused them of seeking to reunite their parents, not win a competition.
Jack strolled up to say that Carly would help Liberty. He decided to call Janet to let her know that Liberty had arrived. Liberty emphasized how much Janet would love that. Parker followed Liberty outside, where they bickered with each other about Sage's scheme to reunite Jack and Carly. Parker said that his mother had never given up, but Liberty's mother had. Parker didn't think that they could help that. Liberty agreed, and the teens decided to squash the argument.
Jack strode off and called Janet. He asked why she hadn't accompanied Liberty to Detroit. Janet claimed that she had to work, and she abruptly ended the phone call.
Before Craig left, he found Jack to ask Jack's intentions toward Carly. Jack claimed that he was a married man, and Carly and he were none of Craig's business. Craig stated that Carly had revealed to him that she intended to reunite with Jack during the trip. It made Craig sick that Carly had wasted so much time on Jack, but Craig knew that Jack could never hold onto her. Jack assumed that Carly had shut Craig down again. Craig said that she still loved Jack. "And never has a man been less deserving," Craig quipped and strode away.
Jack went upstairs to convey to Carly what Craig had said. Jack found Carly picking the lock on Hayden and Bridgett's room. He protested, but Carly pulled him into the darkened room to find Sage's CD. Jack questioned the real reason behind the trip. As Carly feigned ignorance, she heard someone approaching the room. She yanked Jack into a tiny closet with her.
Back at Metro, Janet snapped at a customer on the phone, and Dusty asked with whom she was angry. Janet called herself pathetic, but Dusty said that she was beautiful and strong. A flattered Janet asked if she could take the rest of the day off. Dusty agreed, and she rushed out.
Dusty followed Janet to the farm to make sure that she didn't do anything regrettable. Janet announced that she was moving to the Lakeview because she didn't feel that she belonged at the farm. He asked her to think more about it, but she ordered him to help her with her boxes.
In Janet's room at the Lakeview later, Janet pretended that the change of pace would be good for her. She said that she'd have company whenever she wanted and be with whomever she wanted. Dusty said that living in a hotel got old fast, because hotels were temporary layovers on the way to somewhere else. Janet asked if he saw her and him as temporary, and he stated that they wouldn't last long, because she was meant to be married. Janet replied that she'd tried that, and maybe it was time for something different.
Dusty tried to kiss her, but she shied away. Sensing that she still loved Jack, Dusty advised her to fight harder for her marriage. She wondered why Dusty would tell her to go back to her husband. "Because I'm an idiot, that's why," Dusty responded. Dusty said that Jack might be acting out, but he'd just killed his own brother. Dusty asked what had happened to "through sickness and health, and all that." He reasoned that if she wanted to be with Jack for the next 40 years, then she had to go after him with everything that she had.
"Okay. Looks like I'm going to Michigan," Janet said. She hugged and kissed Dusty, and he hid his disappointment.