At the DiMera mansion, Chad was in the living room, staring sadly at the chess table, when Abigail joined him and comforted him with a hug, knowing that he was thinking about Theo. "He had his whole life ahead of him," Chad mused with a heavy sigh. "He's [still] gonna have it," Abigail confidently predicted.
Changing the subject, Abigail excitedly informed Chad that Sonny was back in Salem and had called a few minutes earlier to deliver some really good news. Chad was stunned to hear that Will really was alive -- and was in town at that very moment. Abigail stopped Chad from rushing over to see Will right away, gently explaining that there was more she needed to reveal first.
"Sonny must be devastated. Will must be overwhelmed," Chad guessed after Abigail finished detailing Will's substantial memory loss. Abigail was optimistic that Will would eventually remember everything about his old life, and Chad hoped that, with Will back in the midst of people and places he had known for twenty-plus years, the recovery process would be relatively swift.
"Guess there's, uh...something to be thankful for [this Thanksgiving], after all," Chad noted, managing a smile.
Meanwhile, at the Evans-Black townhouse, Marlena entered the living room just as Will was wrapping up a phone conversation with Roger, who was still with Susan in Memphis. "Listen, Roger, I know -- I know Susan is sick, and I know that she has hurt a lot of people, but, um...she's always been very kind to me and -- and loved me very much, so...I'm grateful for that, and just...yeah, just...please tell her I said that," Will requested.
After Will ended the call, Marlena gently cleared her throat to announce her presence. Will started to somewhat apologetically explain that he hadn't realized that anyone else was awake yet, but Marlena was quick to assure him that she wasn't upset about what she had overheard. "How did you sleep?" Marlena asked. "Not so well," Will admitted, revealing that his desperate -- and ultimately fruitless -- attempts to remember his past had kept him awake most of the night. Nodding, Marlena advised Will to be patient with himself. "Sometimes, uh...well, memories come back when you least expect them," Marlena added, shrugging to further illustrate just how difficult it could be to predict how matters involving the brain would play out. Will was relieved to hear that Marlena wasn't planning to drag him to a massive family gathering for Thanksgiving in an effort to jog his memory.
"I was thinking more of a quiet day...[but] I did call Gabi, and, uh, [I] invited her to bring Arianna over," Marlena revealed. "Oh. Yeah, that sounds -- that sounds great," Will replied -- just as the doorbell rang. Somewhat surprised, Marlena admitted that although she had expected Gabi and Arianna to be excited to see Will, she hadn't expected them to drop everything and rush right over to the townhouse. "I think [Gabi] needs to switch to decaf," Marlena joked as the doorbell rang again. Chuckling, Will stood and watched anxiously as Marlena opened the townhouse door -- and found Sami standing in the hallway.
"What are you doing here?" Will asked, his smile fading at once. "It's Thanksgiving! Um...where else would I be? I'm your mother!" Sami replied. "Not as far as I'm concerned," Will countered. Hurt but undeterred, Sami revealed that Doug and Julie were hosting a big Thanksgiving celebration at their club later. "Everyone's gonna be there -- I mean, everyone you know -- so I thought if you saw all those familiar faces, it might really just make all those memories come back! You should get dressed!" Sami enthusiastically added. Nodding, Will looked to Marlena for help and asked hopefully, "You want to take this one?"
Marlena suggested that Doug and Julie's family gathering might be too much for Will to deal with at that time, but Sami argued that Marlena couldn't be certain of that -- and the idea was therefore worth a shot. As Will gave Marlena another pleading look, she maintained, "No, I disagree. He is having to absorb so much so fast, I think we have to respect that process." Forcing a smile, Sami assured Will and Marlena that she understood -- and that she would settle for a low-key, pressure-free Thanksgiving celebration instead. "I brought something I wanted to show you, [Will]," Sami added, retrieving an item from her purse.
"Uh...is -- is that a duck?" Will asked, obviously confused. "You remember?" Sami excitedly concluded. "Uh...no, I don't," Will replied, looking to Marlena for help again. Oblivious, Sami explained that Will had made the item in the third grade, and although it was supposed to be a turkey, she had mistaken it for a duck when he had presented it to her. Sami insisted that Will had to remember that, since he had just identified it as a duck himself, but he clarified that he had only identified it as a duck because, while it might look like a turkey to a child, any adult could see that it more closely resembled a duck.
"I'm sorry -- are we -- are we done?" Will tiredly added. Sighing, Sami set aside the crafted item and told Will, "Okay, look -- I spent two years thinking that you were dead, okay? And I'm just gonna say this straight out: if anyone thinks that I'm just gonna disappear and -- and not make sure that you get your memory back, they are as wacko as Susan --"
"Oh, shut up!" Will angrily interrupted. Quickly calming down, Will continued, "I'm sorry -- um, what I meant to say was...that Susan is the only mom that I -- that I -- that I know right now, so...please, if you would, don't talk about her like that." Nodding, Sami apologized and assured Will that she understood -- and that, deep down, she would actually always be grateful to Susan for saving his life. "But you're stuck with me as your mom. When you look in the mirror and those blue eyes stare back at you...you got them from me," Sami added with a shrug.
"Sami, I think it's time..." Marlena gently began to suggest. "For me to leave," Sami sadly concluded. Nodding, Sami started to exit the townhouse, purposely leaving behind the crafted item. Turning back to get one more look at Will, Sami tearfully stressed, "Hey, um...I love you."
Sami left without waiting for a response, and Marlena followed her out of the townhouse and reassured her that Will simply needed time and space to adjust to the life he had just been thrust back into so traumatically. "Just trust me on this," Marlena added. Nodding, Sami claimed that she would. Satisfied, Marlena reentered the townhouse and shut the door. "You trust me, Mom -- there is no way in hell I am risking losing my son again. No way in hell!" Sami defiantly muttered before storming off.
Meanwhile, Marlena admitted to Will that she wasn't exactly known as the world's greatest cook. "But I can rustle up your favorite breakfast, so...one Denver omelet coming up!" Marlena added before starting to head toward the kitchen. "Oh, great -- uh, except that my -- well, my new favorite is, um...French toast," Will somewhat apologetically clarified. "Oh. Okay. French toast coming up!" Marlena assured Will, who seemed relieved that she wasn't upset.
After Marlena stepped into the kitchen, Will noticed a framed photograph of him and a young girl. As he started to take a closer look at it, the doorbell rang again. He called out to Marlena but didn't receive a response, so he tentatively approached the townhouse door and opened it himself.
"There he is! Welcome back to the land of the living!" Chad excitedly declared, seizing a hug from Will. "Thank you. Uh...you are?" Will asked, pulling away from Chad. "Oh, right. Uh...Chad DiMera -- best friend. Abigail -- cousin," Chad explained, gesturing toward Abigail at the appropriate time. "Ringing any bells?" Chad asked expectantly. When Will shook his head apologetically, Chad stressed, "That's cool. [And] if you never remember us, that's cool, too. I'm just happy you're alive!" Chad seized another hug from Will, who didn't pull away as quickly as he had the first time.
Later, while Chad was entertaining Will with tales of their high school antics, Marlena returned with a breakfast tray. "I hope you don't mind -- um, I made, uh, the Denver omelet and [the] French toast. Uh...I mean, why have to choose when you have two favorites? So...there, have 'em both!" Marlena urged Will, placing the tray on the coffee table in front of him.
Chad and Abigail started to excuse themselves so Will could enjoy the breakfast in peace, but Will hesitantly pointed out, "Uh, actually, you know, this is a lot of food, and I don't think I'm gonna be able to eat it all, so if it's okay with everybody, uh...you're welcome to stay." After Marlena confirmed that she didn't mind, Chad and Abigail quickly and happily accepted the invitation.
At the Martin mansion, J.J. received a visit from Gabi, who explained that she had heard about the shooting and simply wanted to make sure that he was okay. "I may never be okay again," he admitted with a heavy sigh. As she hugged him, he continued that his guilt was eating him alive. "I breathe it. [Even] when I sleep -- if I sleep -- it's right there. This morning, I had a dream [that] I went to visit Theo in the hospital, [and] he pulled out a gun and shot me," he revealed. "I just need to see him, Gabi. I need to apologize, to let him know how sorry I am... Even if Theo can't hear me, I need to say the words," he stressed.
Gabi suggested that it might be helpful for J.J. to be around family that day -- since, after all, it was Thanksgiving -- but he insisted, "There's no way in hell I'm feeling thankful [this year]." He sadly added that the Carvers certainly weren't going to be feeling particularly thankful, either -- and that was his fault. She tried to assure him that the Carvers might get a miracle soon because miracles happened every single day, but he found that hard to believe because he hadn't seen any lately. "[Haven't] you heard? About Will? He's alive," she revealed to prove her point.
J.J. was thrilled to hear that but declined to accompany Gabi to the Evans-Black townhouse to see Will, explaining that he wasn't really in the right state of mind to be around anyone at that time -- including a presumed-dead loved one he would normally be quite eager to see again. Nodding, Gabi gave J.J. another hug then left after stressing that she was just a phone call away if he ever needed a friend.
Later, as J.J. paced around his room, he stepped on a pile of clothes that had been left at the foot of his bed. He picked them up and started to put them away but froze when he saw blood on them and remembered that they were the clothes he had been wearing at the time of the shooting. Replaying the event in his head yet again, he began ripping the clothes in frustration then tossed the shredded remains aside and rushed off in disgust.
At the hospital, Lani joined Abe in Theo's room and informed him that Doug and Julie were going to be hosting a Thanksgiving celebration for family and friends at Doug's Place later that day. "There's no way in hell that I'm giving thanks -- not 'til my son opens his eyes," Abe insisted. Nodding, Lani went to call Doug and Julie and politely decline their invitation.
Later, Eli joined Lani in one of the break rooms and told her that he was sorry about what had happened to Theo. Eli was quick to add that his mother was sorry, too, but Lani assured him that Valerie wasn't to blame for what had happened. "The only person that my dad blames for Theo lying in that bed is J.J.," Lani added with a sigh. Eli guessed that it couldn't be easy for Lani to be caught between her father and her boyfriend. Nodding, Lani admitted that her father had ordered her to stay away from J.J., and she had consequently been ignoring J.J.'s calls. Lani added that she couldn't even blame her father for viewing the situation the way he did.
Eli wondered how Lani viewed the situation. Lani started to admit that she had been trying to put herself in J.J.'s shoes to determine if she would have done things the same way he had, but she soon realized that Eli was attempting to subtly question her as part of his investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting. Eli unapologetically pointed out that he was going to need a statement from Lani sooner or later. "[Even though you weren't present for the shooting], as J.J.'s partner, your testimony as to his actions and his state of mind are critical to us getting the truth," Eli explained. Eli was quick to add, however, that it hadn't been his intention to ambush Lani -- and if she ever needed someone to talk to off the record, he would be there for her as a friend instead of a detective.
After Eli left, Lani tried to contact J.J., but the call went to voicemail.
Meanwhile, Roman and Sami joined Abe in Theo's room. Roman soon had to excuse himself so he could answer a phone call from Caroline, but Sami stayed behind to comfort Abe. "You shouldn't be standing here with a grieving father; you should be celebrating [the fact that] your son's alive. It's a miracle," Abe pointed out. "Well, I believe there's enough miracles for all of us," Sami replied, adding that Will didn't really want her around at that time, anyway. Sami admitted that she felt guilty because her prayers had been answered while Abe was still waiting for a response to his, but he insisted that he didn't want her to feel that way.
Later, Abe stepped out of Theo's room for a minute to say goodbye to Roman and Sami. After Sami left, Roman insisted on taking Abe to the cafeteria for a quick meal, pointing out that Theo would want him to take care of himself. As soon as the coast was clear, J.J., who had been lurking nearby, sneaked into Theo's room and tearfully stressed, "I am so sorry, Theo. I wish to God it was me lying in this bed instead of you."
A short time later, as J.J. was grasping Theo's hand and begging him to wake up, Abe -- who had managed to get rid of Roman after compromising on a takeout order from the cafeteria -- reentered the room with Lani. "What the hell are you doing? Get your hands off my son!" Abe angrily demanded, charging toward J.J.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Chad and Abigail struggled to process the fact that Will was alive -- and that they had actually just finished spending time with him. Abigail remained optimistic that Will would eventually remember his old life, but Chad was quick to point out that some things were probably best left forgotten. "Ben Weston?" Abigail guessed before deciding that she didn't want to talk about him on Thanksgiving, of all days.
Changing the subject, Chad started to excuse himself so he could go to the hospital to check on Theo. "I was actually thinking maybe we could go by J.J.'s. He's having a pretty rough time," Abigail suggested. "I don't want to do that," Chad hesitantly replied. Taken aback, Abigail tried to insist that J.J. wasn't to blame for what had happened to Theo, but Chad argued, "Wasn't too long ago that [J.J.] pulled his gun on Ben in the police station. [He's] a hothead -- act first, think later -- and he pulled the trigger too fast." Abigail maintained that J.J. needed love and support at that time instead of judgmental accusations, but Chad couldn't change how he felt about the situation, so he concluded that they were simply going to have to agree to disagree about the matter. Chad assured Abigail, however, that they would get through the ordeal together because they loved each other.
Sami soon entered the town square, and when Chad and Abigail guessed that she was on her way to see Will, she clarified that she had actually seen him earlier -- and he hadn't been able to get rid of her quickly enough. "We actually had breakfast with him this morning," Chad revealed. "Yeah, he insisted that we stay," Abigail added. "How classy of you to twist the knife, Abby," Sami bitterly replied.
Confused, Chad wondered what he was missing. Sami explained that Will didn't want to see her because Susan had poisoned him against her. Chad sympathetically assured Sami that Will would remember her eventually, and Abigail optimistically added that Gabi and Arianna, who were supposed to be visiting Will later that day, might be the key to unlocking his memories.
Meanwhile, at the Evans-Black townhouse, Marlena warmly greeted Gabi and Arianna. When Gabi revealed that Arianna, in her excitement to see Will, had fallen and scraped her hand earlier, Marlena decided to take the child out to the parking lot so they could get some bandages and ointment from the medical bag in her car.
While Marlena and Arianna were gone, Will emerged from the kitchen and tentatively approached Gabi, who seized a hug from him then quickly released him and apologized. "It's okay. I've been getting hugged by strangers for days now, so go for it," Will assured Gabi, who happily accepted the offer but forcefully limited herself to only one hug.
"Is Arianna with you?" Will asked hopefully. Gabi confirmed that Arianna was outside with Marlena but would be back soon. Noticing that Will had been looking at a framed photograph of him and Arianna earlier, Gabi told him about the day that it had been taken then assured him, "It doesn't matter if you remember anything [or] if you never remember anything. We love you, okay? Nothing changes that."
Marlena soon returned with Arianna, who tentatively asked Will, "Daddy?"
• Kate visits Theo.
• Lani breaks up with J.J.
• Will reunites with Arianna.
• Sami thinks of a new way to help Will.