Paul met with John in the town square and said he never would have agreed to return to Salem if he had known at that time just how hypocritical John really was. "You know, the more I learn about you, I'm surprised you haven't advised me to have sex with Sonny on a conference room table so Will could walk in on us," Paul added.
John guessed Paul had heard about what had happened with Marlena years earlier, and Paul confirmed that Will had told him about how Sami had walked in on John and Marlena and had been scarred for life as a result of the experience. John agreed that it had been a traumatic experience for Sami but disagreed that it had scarred her for life. John started to explain the circumstances, but Paul interrupted. "Would you just stop making excuses? Be honest! You loved each other. You knew that you were meant to be together, and you made it happen -- the hell with whoever got hurt," Paul summarized.
John pointed out that Paul's situation with Sonny was different because Sonny had made it clear that he didn't want Paul. "Tell me something -- all those years ago, when you looked into Dr. Evans' eyes, and she said, 'Oh, no, no, no -- the right thing for me to do is to stay with my husband,' did you even once think that she didn't really love you?" Paul asked John, who shrugged and remained silent. "That's what I thought," Paul said before walking away.
At Club TBD, Chad said he understood why Sonny hadn't been able to pay him a visit immediately after hearing about Kristen's death. Chad guessed Sonny had probably had his hands full since Paul's return to town, anyway. Sonny told Chad about what Paul had done to Will. Sonny assumed Paul would always be jealous of Will, but he insisted there was still no excuse for Paul's behavior.
When the DiMera jet landed, Stefano cryptically welcomed Marlena to her final destination -- and mocked her for being naïve enough to believe he was talking about Salem, where he was still a wanted man. Marlena reminded Stefano he had promised Chad her safe return home. "And you murdered my daughter!" Stefano snarled.
Marlena argued that Kristen's psychotic behavior had caused her death. "And who made her that way, hmm? Who ruined my daughter's life, destroyed her mind, her soul? You -- and John Black," Stefano bitterly countered. Stefano said Kristen had been a beautiful, happy woman until she had made the mistake of falling in love with John -- who, because of Marlena, had never been able to love Kristen the way she had needed him to. "Then she lost John's baby. That is the day that she died," Stefano concluded.
Marlena insisted Stefano couldn't use ancient history as a way of excusing the psychotic, irrational way Kristen had behaved in Italy, but he maintained that Marlena had been responsible for turning Kristen into that person. Marlena said she was sorry Stefano had lost his daughter and was suffering as a result of that loss. Marlena added, however, that Stefano still had Chad, and she advised him to focus on that. "Meaning let you go, huh? Keep my promise?" Stefano translated. Stefano gave a nod to one of his goons, who quickly seized Marlena. "Take her! Take her! Finish it," Stefano instructed, smiling as he watched Marlena struggle to free herself.
After putting a hood over Marlena's head, the goon dragged her to a new location, where he uncovered her face and handed over her purse and cell phone. "The battery's dead, so forget about it. I don't exist. And oh, yeah -- this never happened. Have a nice day," the man said before walking away. Recognizing the wooded area, Marlena nervously made her way to the nearby town square, and when John greeted her there, she rushed over and wrapped her arms tightly around him. Concerned, John asked Marlena if something had happened. "Stefano happened," Marlena replied.
Chad boarded the DiMera jet and assured Stefano that no one had followed him there. "I didn't even know this airfield existed," Chad admitted. Stefano clarified that the airfield hadn't existed until recently. Chad asked about Marlena, and Stefano assured him that she was safe and was probably already back in Salem. Chad thanked Stefano. "You are not welcome, Chad. I thought you knew by now that I am not a man who likes to be threatened," Stefano replied.
Chad argued that threatening to disown Stefano had been the only way to get through to a man who valued family above all else. Stefano countered that Chad could have just stayed out of the matter instead, but Chad insisted that hadn't been possible because Abe and Roman had correctly guessed Stefano had been responsible for Marlena's disappearance. Stefano couldn't believe Chad had let Roman and Abe witness a son turning against his own father. Chad assured Stefano that no one had been in the room with him during their phone conversation, adding that he had simply told Abe and Roman afterward that everything was going to be okay.
Chad thought Roman and Abe had likely seen Stefano's change of heart as a display of compassion, but Stefano suspected they had instead seen it as a sign of DiMera weakness. Chad wasn't sure how killing Marlena would have shown strength, so Stefano explained that it would have shown the world that anyone who dared to hurt a DiMera would pay the price for doing so. Chad pointed out that Kristen had been out of her mind and had even been threatening to kill a bunch of people, but Stefano argued that she still hadn't deserved to die. Chad conceded the point but maintained that Marlena's only choice had been to defend herself.
"So she said," Stefano replied. Stefano dismissively added that there was no point in rehashing everything, and Chad agreed that it was in the past and that what really mattered was that they were all that remained of the DiMera family. Stefano promised to do everything he could to help and support Chad, who vowed to show Stefano the same loyalty.
Satisfied, Stefano changed the subject, reporting that his lawyers were confident that the tax evasion charges would soon go away, leaving him free to return to Salem in a week or two. Stefano admitted he was looking forward to seeing all his old friends, although he stressed that Chad was his main concern. Stefano asked if Chad had managed to get Ben out of Abigail's life yet, prompting Chad to wonder why that mattered to Stefano one way or the other.
Marlena didn't tell John much about her ordeal, admitting she wasn't really in the mood to talk about it. John stressed that he would have rushed to Marlena's rescue if he had known she had been in trouble, and she assured him she understood he had been busy with other things.
Marlena asked John to distract her with news about Brady and Paul, so John reported that Brady and Theresa had named their child Tate -- and that the boy was doing really well. John also told Marlena about his earlier conversation with Paul. John pointed out that he and Marlena had hurt a lot of people when they had tried to deny their feelings for each other years earlier, and they both agreed that it would be a huge mistake for Sonny and Paul to try to deny their feelings if they, too, were still in love with each other, despite one of them being committed to someone else.
Paul went to Club TBD to talk to Sonny, but Sonny insisted there was nothing left for them to talk about. Sonny couldn't believe Paul had hit Will, especially with Arianna sleeping in the adjacent room. Paul didn't want to talk about that, suggesting it would instead be best to just move on, but Sonny said there was nothing to move on to -- a fact that he had made clear on more than one occasion, even though Paul obviously didn't want to hear such things and had taken his frustration out on Will. "Sonny, I punched Will because he called my mother a whore," Paul clarified.
Sonny was skeptical, finding it hard to understand why Will would have said something like that. Paul shrugged and advised Sonny to ask Will for an explanation. When Sonny confirmed that he planned to do just that, Paul hoped Will would actually give Sonny the truth, since that was what Sonny deserved -- and it was what Paul had always given Sonny. Paul insisted that, while he wasn't trying to justify his actions, he never would have done such a thing to someone who hadn't been asking for it -- and Sonny had to know that was true about him, just like it was true that he didn't lie. "No, you don't," Sonny agreed.
"Can you say the same thing about Will?" Paul asked. Sonny defended Will, who had been going through a really tough time lately, but Paul said he didn't want to talk about Will; he wanted to talk about Sonny -- and himself. Sonny once again informed Paul that there couldn't be anything between them. "There already is something between us!" Paul insisted.
"Was," Sonny stressed, but Paul maintained that there had been something between them since the day they'd first met, and it had never gone away. Paul said that, while he had tried to pretend he no longer had a chance with Sonny after he had learned Sonny was married, he hadn't been able to stop thinking about Sonny. Grasping Sonny's hand, Paul challenged him to deny that he still cared about Paul. "Caring about you is not the same as loving you," Sonny said. "Okay -- then tell me that you don't still love me," Paul replied.
Eve couldn't help getting her hopes up when someone knocked on her apartment door, but the visitor wasn't Paige -- it was Cole, who wanted an explanation for the strange phone call he had received from Eve earlier. "It all seems like it happened so long ago," Eve muttered. Surprised to see that Eve had been crying, Cole wondered if she and Paige had gotten into another fight.
Eve explained that J.J. had figured out what Cole had done. Cole stressed that he hadn't said anything to J.J. -- Paige was the one who had pieced everything together. Cole assured Eve that he had kept her involvement a secret, and he added that he wasn't worried about Paige and J.J. because they didn't have any way to prove their suspicion. Eve clarified that J.J. actually had enough proof to send Cole to prison for a very, very long time.
Eve started to retreat to her bedroom, but Cole protested that she couldn't just drop a bomb like that and walk away without elaborating. Cole reminded Eve that if he went down, he would take her down with him. "You can't drag me down any lower than I already am, all right?" Eve numbly replied. Eve decided to take pity on Cole and help him get out of town, since she never wanted to see his face again because he was a reminder of how everything had gone wrong in the first place. Eve warned that if Cole didn't accept her offer, she would make sure he went to prison for what he had done to J.J. "And so will you," Cole countered.
"Well, here's the kicker -- I don't care," Eve replied. Eve insisted her life wasn't worth living without Paige in it, and she added that, while Cole had never really had a life worth living to begin with, he would be much better off living his life somewhere else regardless. Eve ordered Cole to leave, but he stayed and reminded her that he had simply tried to do what she had wanted him to do -- help her get her daughter away from J.J. "Yeah. And I got my wish," Eve tearfully muttered.
Cole started to talk about how he had never really been able to figure Eve out, but she kicked over the coffee table to interrupt him. "Just go, damn it! Just go someplace where somebody doesn't know what a failure you are as a human being!" Eve spat, so Cole rose from the couch and started to leave, but he paused at the door long enough to remind her their scheme had been her idea, not his -- and if she ratted him out, he would turn on her in a heartbeat and make her sorry. "I'm already...so very sorry. So very sorry," Eve muttered after Cole left. Eve sank to the couch and sobbed as she clutched a framed photograph of her and Paige.
At the Horton house, Paige stood frozen in shock as the party attendees took turns hugging her and wishing her a happy birthday. Jennifer eventually summoned everyone back to the living room so Paige could have a moment to catch her breath. Kayla quietly explained that she might know why Paige was acting strange, since they had once had a conversation in which Paige had revealed that she didn't like surprises.
J.J. stayed with Paige in the foyer and assured her she could talk to him about whatever was bothering her, since they always told each other everything. Rory and Daphne returned just as Paige was telling J.J. it wasn't the time or the place for such a conversation. Rory was excited to show off the video of Paige's reaction to the surprise party, which he had recorded on his cell phone, but J.J. was more interested in making sure Paige was all right. Meanwhile, Daphne hugged Paige and said it was awesome that Paige and J.J. were going to be moving to California together.
Paige hesitantly followed J.J., Rory, and Daphne into the living room, where Abigail presented her with a small chocolate cake. J.J. kissed Paige's cheek as Abigail talked about how he had been obsessed with making sure Abigail had made the cake perfect for Paige. J.J. said Paige deserved that much for putting up with him all the time. J.J. launched into a lengthy speech about how great Paige was and how much she meant to him, and as he spoke, she imagined him drinking wine with Eve and having sex with Eve.
J.J. finished his speech and went to get the cake from Abigail so he could take it to Paige and let her blow out the candles. Maggie noticed the letters "ILYF" written on the cake, and Abigail explained that J.J. had made her add that finishing touch. Maggie looked to Paige for an explanation, and Paige numbly muttered that it meant "I love you forever." As everyone gushed over the sentimental message, J.J. carried the cake over to Paige, who stared at it for a moment before angrily knocking it out of his hands with a scream of frustration.
Confused, J.J. wondered why Paige had done that. Struggling to regain her composure, Paige started to walk away before changing her mind and furiously slapping J.J. "Liar! You stand there, telling everybody how much you love me?! Empty words oozing out of your filthy mouth! They don't mean a damn thing!" Paige shouted as Jennifer and Daphne held her at bay. J.J. insisted he did love Paige, and he tried to approach her, but she backed away and warned him never to touch her again.
Paige refused to go outside with J.J. so they could talk privately about what was upsetting her, but he kept pushing for her to tell him what was wrong. "I know, J.J. -- I know all of it. You slept with my mother," Paige finally snapped. As the guests reacted to the accusation, J.J. tried to deny it, insisting Eve was just spreading lies again. J.J. assured Paige he could explain everything if she would just listen. "Oh, my God! You don't get it, do you? You don't get it! I did listen. I heard you and my mom an hour ago. I was in the other room, okay? Listening to the both of you admitting to everything you did," Paige explained.
Abigail tried to defend J.J., insisting that couldn't possibly be true, but when Paige challenged him to deny it, he remained silent. "Oh, dude!" Rory muttered in disbelief. Paige shoved J.J. a few times as she angrily ordered him to admit the truth to everyone -- or at least to her, since she deserved to hear the truth from him for once. J.J. instead stressed that he loved Paige, who countered that he didn't actually know the meaning of the word. Jennifer stepped in and tried to defuse the situation, but when Paige gauged Jennifer's fairly calm reaction to the news, she realized Jennifer had known all along.
Paige admitted that explained a lot, and she disappointedly added that Jennifer -- who had been like the mother Paige had always wished she'd had -- was actually no better than Eve. "Okay, you know what, Paige? It's nobody else's fault but mine, okay? Blame me. Me. Yeah, you're right -- your mom -- Eve and I -- we just did it. It's no one else's fault. I just -- I'm sorry," J.J. said. Paige tearfully mused that that was probably the first honest thing J.J. had ever said to her. J.J. reiterated that he loved Paige, and he begged her to give him a chance to explain, but she ignored him and rushed out of the house.
J.J. looked around the room at everyone with sadness and guilt before chasing after Paige. Daphne soon followed -- also in search of Paige -- and Rory took the hint when Daniel pointed him toward the front door. Rory -- who had filmed most of the party and subsequent confrontation on his cell phone -- assured Daniel no one would ever see the video or hear about what had happened. "Nobody would believe me, anyway," Rory added before giving Daniel a farewell high-five and walking away.
Daniel, Kayla, and Maggie left to give Jennifer some time alone with Abigail, who wanted to know if Jennifer really had known about J.J.'s affair with Eve all along. Meanwhile, as Daniel and Maggie headed back to the Kiriakis mansion, he admitted he had figured out J.J.'s secret weeks earlier. Daniel stressed that Jennifer was going to need Maggie's support, since Jennifer had known the whole thing could backfire but hadn't been able to face that fact.
J.J. followed Paige to the park, where she demanded to know why he had slept with her mother.