Maggie arrived home at the Kiriakis mansion and found Victor sitting alone in the living room. As she began telling her husband about the Salem Historical Society meeting she'd just attended, Maggie realized that Victor wasn't paying attention. Victor claimed he'd been thinking about the Titan board meeting, but Maggie guessed that he was worried about Caroline. Victor confessed that Caroline's stroke had really shaken him up. Maggie reassured him that the stroke had been mild, but she understood Victor's concern.
When Henderson sent Julie in without announcing her arrival, she accidentally interrupted the tender moment between Maggie and Victor. Victor used the interruption as an excuse to leave for his board meeting at the hospital. As Julie and Maggie looked over some old photographs and papers, Julie voiced her surprise that the Salem Historical Society had possessed so much information about a single house.
Julie regretted that her grandparents weren't alive to attend the bicentennial celebration -- but she was also glad they weren't around to see the trouble J.J. had gotten into. Maggie was optimistic that J.J. would exonerate himself. The women were excited about the big event, but they realized that November wasn't terribly far in the future.
Caroline slept fitfully in her hospital bed until Kayla entered the room with news that Caroline was about to be released. Caroline admitted that she was feeling nervous about that, though she didn't know why. Kayla offered to keep her mom in the hospital for another night, but Caroline insisted that keeping busy would be better for her health than sticking around there another minute. Kayla suggested that Caroline's feelings were residual anxiety from the frightening experience she'd just been through.
Kayla confessed that she was also feeling a bit anxious because she hadn't heard from Joey since he'd returned to school in Ohio a week earlier. Caroline urged her daughter not to worry, but Kayla pointed out that she and Joey had always been close, and it wasn't like him to be out of touch like that. Caroline suggested that Kayla get in touch with the school to check on Joey. A grateful Kayla kissed her mom and left.
Caroline was dozing -- and frowning in her sleep -- when Victor slipped quietly into her room a little later. Caroline blinked with surprise when she awakened and found Victor sitting at her bedside. He explained that he'd been at the hospital for a board meeting and had wanted to stop in and see Caroline, as well. Caroline admitted that she'd just had a horrible dream about Bo in which he had been alone in a dark and filthy place. She'd called Bo's name, but he hadn't heard her, and she had been unable to move, although she'd been able to tell that he'd been in terrible pain -- and it had all seemed very real.
Meanwhile, in an undisclosed location, in what appeared to be a cell, an unidentified man lay on a bare, dirty concrete floor.
Near the nurses' station, Kayla called Joey's school, but someone there informed her that Joey had never shown up at school. "I most certainly did not send a letter explaining his absence!" Kayla insisted, alarmed. She ordered the school to get in touch with all of Joey's friends immediately to find out if any of them had heard from him. As an anxious Kayla hung up, she informed the school that her next call would be to her brother -- the police commissioner.
Just then, Joey got off the elevator. Kayla rushed over and hugged him, breathlessly asking where he'd been. A second later, Steve exited the elevator, as well. "Hello, Sweetness. It's been a while, huh?" Steve said.
As John was dropping off a case file for Hope at the police station, Roman questioned why John was leaving to work for the ISA. John confessed that being a cop had made him realize how much he'd missed working for the ISA. Roman reminded John how dangerous that work was and how worried and scared Marlena had been when John had worked there before. "You put that woman through a lot the last several years. Don't top it off by getting hurt or getting yourself killed," Roman warned.
Ben and Abigail strolled through Horton Square after a visit to the bookstore, where, according to Ben, Abigail had purchased almost every book written about pregnancy. Laughing, Abigail admitted that she just wanted to make sure she was doing everything right for their baby. Abigail got a text message from Maxine, informing Abigail that Serena Mason, with whom Abigail had been acquainted since they'd both worked at the hospital, had been murdered the previous night. Ben was stunned when Abigail relayed that news to him.
Clyde walked up just then and overheard what Ben and Abigail were discussing. Clyde revealed that he'd seen Serena "in a hell of an argument" with Chad DiMera the night before. Abigail maintained that Chad couldn't possibly have been responsible for Serena's death, especially since he hadn't even known Serena. Clyde asserted that Chad had clearly been trying to change that situation at the club -- but Chad had obviously taken things too far, because Serena had slapped him, and when she'd left, Chad had followed her.
When Ben learned that Chad and Serena had been drinking a lot, Ben pointed out that Chad was a DiMera and could have killed Serena if he'd been angry enough. Clyde agreed with Ben, but Abigail was adamant that Chad had never wanted to be like his father. Ben pointed out that Abigail knew better than most people about how badly Chad tended to treat women, but Abigail argued that Chad had never killed anyone. Before the conversation could become more heated, Abigail suggested they stop speculating about such a serious topic. She kissed Ben goodbye and left for work.
An obviously thrilled Ben beamed as he described what he'd learned from glancing at the books Abigail had bought. "You are in for quite an adventure," Clyde declared. When Marlena approached the Weston men and said hello, Ben headed out to do the grocery shopping, as he'd promised Abigail. Marlena apologized to Clyde for canceling their last therapy session, explaining that she'd had a family emergency. Clyde said that, during the session, he had intended to tell Marlena that he was discontinuing therapy because he felt much better, thanks to her.
A disappointed Marlena started to say she thought that she and Clyde had made a lot of progress, but Clyde interrupted. "I don't care what you think," he snapped. Softening his tone a little, Clyde said he was ready to face things on his own, and he felt he was a different man because of Dr. Evans. Marlena subtly expressed her skepticism that Clyde was "cured," hinting that his overconfidence had blinded him to reality. Clyde asserted that he could see things more clearly than he ever had before. Marlena's eyes narrowed as she watched Clyde leave.
A little later, John joined Marlena in the square. John was carrying a box of his belongings from his desk at the police station. He reiterated his promise not to let working for the ISA interfere with his relationship with Marlena. John added that he also planned to sell his interest in Basic Black, once he made sure that he and Brady were in agreement, in order to focus more completely on Marlena. "I'm just trying to find a way to make you believe that nothing comes before you in my life. How about if I asked you to marry me? Would that do the trick?" John inquired.
Taken aback, Marlena demanded, "Are you thinking that was a marriage proposal?" John assured her that it hadn't been. Marlena said it would take much more than a proposal to make her believe that John was "in it for the long haul," especially since they had already walked down the aisle together quite a few times. John asked what he could say to convince Marlena that being with her forever was what he wanted. "It's not what you say," Marlena replied. John kissed her to demonstrate that he knew what she'd meant.
In his room at the Salem Inn, Chad took a big swig of whiskey before sitting down to read a news article on his tablet. The article reported that Serena Mason had been found dead in Salem Park, near Horton Square. Chad didn't think he had followed Serena to the park, although he couldn't remember many other details after Serena had slapped him and left Club TBD -- and he had followed her to the square, where they'd gotten into an argument. Chad told himself that he'd better remember what had happened, because the cops would soon learn what had happened at the club.
A little later, Chad went into Club TBD and looked around. As fuzzy memories from the previous night returned to him, Chad slipped into a booth and tried to remember what had happened after Serena had departed and he had stumbled out after her.
In the park, as a cop zipped Serena's lifeless form into a body bag and took it away, Hope admitted to Rafe that she was glad the department had put a rush on his reinstatement so he could work the case with her. Rafe and Hope agreed that Serena's manner of death -- strangulation with a necktie -- suggested the murder had been personal. Hope said the first person she'd thought of when she'd heard about the killing had been Xander Cook, although he was still in jail.
Rafe wondered if Serena's earlier resistance to answering questions about Xander after the incident with Nicole and Eric had been because Serena were loyal to Xander or afraid of him. When Aiden showed up at the crime scene, Hope reluctantly informed him that she might have to cancel their date that night. Rafe assured Hope that he would cover for her. Aiden was grateful, since he had a surprise planned for Hope.
After a search of the area, Hope found a disposable coffee cup and sealed it in an evidence bag. Rafe grumbled that the weather had been too hot and dry to find any usable footprints at the scene. Rafe got a text message from forensics informing him that they'd tracked Serena's cell phone usage to the courthouse, the hospital, Horton Town Square, and Club TBD. Hope handed the coffee cup to Rafe and headed to the station to question Xander.
Alone in a corner booth at the Brady Pub, Aiden got a text message that read, "Meet me immediately. Take the usual precautions." With a sigh, Aiden rose to leave.
As Abigail arrived at the park, a few bystanders were snapping pictures with their cell phones while the police continued their investigation. She gaped in horror at the yellow crime scene tape until she heard Chad's voice behind her. Admitting that she'd heard a rumor, Abigail quietly asked Chad, "Is it true you might've been the last person to see Serena alive?"
Chad and Abigail headed to the benches outside Horton Square so they could talk with more privacy. Abigail said she'd heard about Chad and Serena from Clyde Weston -- who'd also revealed that Serena and Chad had fought. Abigail asked what Chad had done after Serena had left the club. Chad claimed that after Serena had left, he'd realized how drunk he was, so he'd gone to the Salem Inn and booked a room because Stefano had kicked him out of the DiMera mansion. A stunned Abigail guessed that Stefano had disowned Chad because he had tried to protect her from Stefano.
Chad pointed out that he'd disappointed his father by not toeing the line like his siblings. Abigail thanked Chad, asserting that his actions had been brave and selfless. Chad pointed out that he'd always claimed not to want to be a part of the DiMera family. "It's about time I put my money where my mouth is. Or his -- I don't have any anymore," Chad joked. Abigail assured Chad that he would do just fine on his own. She added that she was glad he was away from his father, because she believed Chad was nothing like Stefano.
The subject turned back to Serena, and Abigail asked why Chad and Serena had fought. Chad maintained that they had simply had too much to drink, plus Serena had already been upset when she'd arrived. A cop walked by before Chad could answer Abigail's question about why Serena had been upset. As Chad and Abigail went their separate ways, Chad stated with seeming sincerity that he was very happy for Abigail about the baby.
Rafe went to Club TBD and showed Serena's picture to the bartender, who said Serena and Chad had "put a dent in a bottle of Scotch" the night before. The bartender added that when his shift had ended, it had appeared as if Chad and Serena had been getting quite "chummy."
Hope met Roman in her office after she'd questioned Xander, who had seemed shocked when she'd told him about Serena's murder. Hope noted that no one had visited Xander, plus his phone had been confiscated. Roman and Hope agreed that it seemed unlikely that Xander had arranged a hit on Serena, but they were hopeful that the necktie would provide some evidence that would lead them to the killer.
Aiden entered the room, and Hope apologetically told him that she would probably have to cancel their date that evening. A dejected Aiden began, "Well, I guess I can cancel all my plans that I made..." Roman interrupted and told Hope to head out and let him and Rafe cover things -- as long as she returned early the next morning. Hope gratefully headed out with Aiden.
When Chad went to the DiMera mansion to pick up a few things, he assured Stefano, "Don't worry... Harold's going to send the rest. You'll never have to lay eyes on me again." Chad removed some keys from his key ring and set them on a table, promising to mail back the key to the main gate, which he hadn't been able to find. "It did not have to be this way, you know that? If you had only done as I asked...we could have both had what we wanted," Stefano pointed out irritably.
Chad argued that he would have had to swindle the woman he loved for a "stupid piece of land." Stefano maintained that the land would have ensured the family's fortune. Chad sarcastically countered that he was well aware that he'd betrayed Stefano and the rest of the family. "You have also broken my heart," Stefano declared, noting that he and Chad had gotten very close over the previous couple of years. Chad said it had seemed more like Stefano had been manipulating Chad to get what he'd wanted. Chad vowed to make a life for himself as far away from the "DiMera shadow" as possible.
Just then, Rafe entered the study. "Hey, guys! Harold said it would be okay if I came on up. Is it a bad time?" Rafe asked, holding up his badge. "Where'd you get that? A yard sale?" Chad quipped. Rafe explained that he'd been reinstated, and he thought, as one of his first official acts, that he and Chad should have a chat about Serena Mason.
Over a candlelit dinner, Hope and Aiden reminisced about their terrible first date. "We've come a long way from that night, huh?" Aiden said, taking Hope's hand as he continued, "And every day, I've fallen more and more in love with you. Hope, I never want that to end." Aiden opened the ring box and showed Hope the beautiful ring inside as he asked, "Hope, will you marry me?"