Monday, February 23, 2015
by Mike

While Eric was cooking dinner, Serena tried to convince him to get his elephant statue back from the person he had given it to, claiming that she had been planning to ask for it herself because the movers had lost hers when she had relocated to Salem. Eric wasn't willing to do that, so he encouraged her to instead take any one of the other artifacts in his collection.

Meanwhile, Marlena arrived to give Eric an update on Sonny's condition and thank him for the unexpected gift he had given her earlier. When Eric went to check something on the stove, Marlena quietly advised Serena to taste the food before adding salt to it. "I wasn't that great an influence in the kitchen," Marlena explained.

Serena laughed and casually asked about the gift Eric had given Marlena. Marlena beamed as she explained that when Eric had lived with her mother in Colorado, he had taken a photograph that had really captured the woman's essence. Serena tried to hide her disappointment as she mused that it had been thoughtful of Eric to give Marlena such a gift.

Later, after Marlena left, Serena tried to propose a toast to getting the elephant statue back, but Eric wasn't willing to drink to that. Eric asked Serena to drop the subject, but she refused to do so, and she impatiently demanded to know who he had given the artifact to.

Nicole was on her office phone, trying to negotiate a raise, when Melanie arrived to see her. After Miles hung up on Nicole, Melanie asked for help digging up dirt on someone. Nicole suspected that Melanie might be in trouble, but Melanie promised that wasn't the case -- yet, anyway. Melanie admitted that things could change if Brady or Daniel figured out what she was up to, which was why she needed Nicole to be discreet.

Nicole refused to get involved, explaining that she had just finished an apology tour and wasn't really interested in going on another one anytime soon. Observing that Nicole seemed to really love Daniel, Melanie suggested that there might be a way to strike a mutually beneficial deal. "You would never sell your father down the river to get what you want. That's like a Donovan sister thing, or a Sami thing, or a me thing, back in the day," Nicole skeptically reasoned. Melanie conceded the point but clarified that she was making a genuine offer to help Nicole get back in Daniel's good graces because it was the right thing to do -- for Nicole and Daniel.

Melanie explained that, while she had once been in favor of Daniel's relationship with Jennifer, that relationship had ended months earlier, and Daniel was clearly ready to move on with his life. Melanie thought Daniel and Nicole were good for each other -- when Nicole wasn't scheming or breaking and entering, of course. Nicole noted the irony of Melanie -- who had shown up in Salem with a bag of stolen casino cash -- calling her out for copying a few computer files, and Melanie conceded the point. "So obviously, my dad has his hands full with me, which means you gotta be not a nut job," Melanie jokingly added.

Melanie concluded that she would sing Nicole's praises to Daniel all day long if Nicole simply endeavored to make him happy -- something Melanie truly believed Nicole was capable of doing. Nicole kept waiting for an anvil to fall on her head or a banana peel to be tossed under her feet, but Melanie swore she was just trying to make a straightforward deal with Nicole, so Nicole finally extended a hand to accept the terms. Melanie told Nicole about Mandrake, and Nicole agreed to help after Melanie promised that the whole thing wouldn't blow up in Nicole's face later. Later, after Melanie left, Nicole's initial round of research turned up something surprising.

At the hospital, a nurse started complaining about how someone who worked in the mailroom had lost the employee tax forms. Theresa remained silent about her part in the mishap as she stuffed a new batch of forms into envelopes so they could be sent out later that night. Nearby, Brady and Maggie were discussing plans to make Narcotics Anonymous meetings more accessible, and Theresa overheard part of their conversation.

A short time later, Anne stumbled out of the elevator and told Theresa it was time to party. Anne's speech was slurred as she explained that she had received a favorable job review and was up for a promotion. Anne wanted to celebrate at Edge of the Square, where it was ladies' night, so she pulled a flask out of her purse and offered it to Theresa as an incentive to finish stuffing the envelopes in a hurry so they could leave.

Theresa pushed the flask away, wondering if Anne was trying to get them both fired. Anne dismissively insisted that there was nothing to worry about because it would soon be her responsibility to make such decisions. Observing that Theresa was in a bad mood, Anne guessed that brainless billionaire Brady was to blame, and she proceeded to amuse herself with an attempt to say the tongue twister ten times fast.

Ignoring Anne, Theresa indignantly complained that Brady had looked directly at her while talking to Maggie earlier about the depths drug addicts were willing to sink to. Anne called Brady a buffoon and declared that Theresa could do much better. Anxious to leave, Anne tried to help with the tax forms but was too drunk to fold them properly, so Theresa sent her to get a cup of coffee instead.

Anne went to one of the break rooms, where she found Brady and Maggie wrapping up their discussion about Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Brady set his briefcase and cup of coffee aside so he could walk Maggie out, and after they left, Anne mischievously poured a generous amount of alcohol in his drink.

Elsewhere, Theresa confronted Brady about what he had said to Maggie earlier. Unaware that Brady and Maggie had actually just been talking about finding ways to prevent what had happened to Sonny from happening to anyone else, Theresa complained that, while she was certainly not perfect, Brady was no more qualified to get up on his soapbox and judge others than she was. Theresa stormed off before Brady could respond.

A short time later, Anne found Theresa and told her about spiking Brady's drink. Anne was quite pleased with herself, but Theresa was horrified. Theresa rushed into the break room and knocked the cup out of Brady's hand before he could take a sip. When Brady snapped at her, Theresa pretended that she was just continuing their earlier argument, and she left after telling him off again.

Theresa rejoined Anne and chastised her for spiking a recovering addict's drink. Anne still didn't think she had done anything terribly wrong, dismissively arguing that if Brady had been allowed to drink the spiked coffee, he would have just had a really bad night -- the kind she and Theresa would have enjoyed immensely -- and been fine the following morning. Theresa loaded Anne into the first available elevator and told her to get lost.

Brady followed Theresa to the town square and revealed that he had overheard her talking to Anne earlier. Theresa tried to act like Brady had misinterpreted the conversation, but he was certain she had saved him from drinking alcohol, and he wanted to know why she had done that for a person she supposedly hated.

Despite insisting she didn't care, Jennifer eventually allowed herself to be baited into asking for the identity of the man Eve had been sleeping with lately. Savoring the moment, Eve took a seat on the couch and invited Jennifer to join her. "You're gonna want to sit down for this one," Eve warned with a laugh.

As Jennifer approached the couch, she received a phone call from Marlena, who wanted to meet with her to collect some paperwork for a hospital conference that was being held the following day. Eve stared at a framed photograph of Paige while Jennifer was making arrangements with Marlena. When Jennifer ended the call, Eve ordered her to leave.

Amused, Jennifer teasingly wondered what had happened to the big confession Eve had been about to make earlier. Eve replied that, while she and Jennifer might have to share the royalties to Jack's book, a very colorful past, and one or two other things, she would never feel the need to share anything about her personal life with Jennifer. Fine with that, Jennifer started to storm out, but Eve stopped her and advised her to find a man of her own. "That little screechy, preachy tirade you've got going -- it just reeks of a certain, like, frustration," Eve observed.

Jennifer sarcastically countered that being with a man had obviously done wonders for Eve. "Oh, he has," Eve confirmed with an exaggerated sigh of satisfaction. Jennifer could tell that Eve was still dying to reveal something, so she once again took the bait and encouraged Eve to reveal the identity of the man, although she reiterated that she didn't care who Eve chose to sleep with. "Yeah, you do," Eve teased.

Jennifer complained that she felt like she was back in high school and Eve was once again trying to steal her boyfriend. Eve pointed out that Jennifer didn't actually have a boyfriend to steal at that time. Eve added that she couldn't steal Daniel because he hated her, thanks to Jennifer. Jennifer wasn't particularly sorry about that but offered Eve some unsolicited advice, urging her to appreciate the new man in her life -- if he actually existed and was actually as great as Eve had claimed, of course.

Eve assured Jennifer that the guy was very real, but Jennifer maintained that she couldn't possibly care less, and she abruptly stormed out of the apartment. Eve sighed as she thought about how close she had been to revealing the truth to Jennifer. Eve reminded herself not to get sloppy -- and to stay away from Jennifer -- and J.J. -- in the future.

J.J. was shocked when Paige stormed off after revealing that she knew what he had been hiding. "What did she see? I deleted everything!" J.J. muttered as he reached for his cell phone. After staring at the screen for a moment, J.J. tossed the device to the ground.

"Damn it! It's all going to hell!" J.J. snapped, kicking a nearby bench in frustration -- and continuing the outburst until Daniel suddenly arrived and grabbed him from behind. J.J. freed himself and insisted he was fine, offering a vague explanation about how he had simply overreacted to something. When Daniel tried to probe for more details, J.J. ordered him to mind his own business.

J.J. picked up his phone and started to walk away, but Daniel stopped him and continued to press the issue. J.J. eventually apologized for snapping at Daniel but still wasn't willing to divulge much information about what had happened, saying only that his phone had died at the worst possible moment. Refusing to buy that, Daniel urged J.J. to talk about what was really bothering him, predicting that doing so would be liberating.

"I have ruined...everything. And I have finally totally and completely screwed up my life," J.J. hesitantly admitted. Detecting a hint of disbelief from Daniel, J.J. defensively added that he wasn't exaggerating about the magnitude of the situation. Daniel denied having that suspicion and continued urging J.J. to be more specific about what was going on.

J.J. finally relented, conceding that things couldn't really get much worse, anyway. J.J. shook his head shamefully as he declared that he was an idiot. Confused, Daniel wondered if J.J. had gotten mixed up with drugs again. "No! Look, Daniel -- look, I learned my lesson, okay? That one, at least. This is so much worse," J.J. replied.

J.J. continued to bash himself, declaring that he was a pig who had hurt the most perfect person in the world. Realizing the conversation was about Paige, Daniel tried to say something reassuring about how people who were in love were inevitably going to do little things from time to time that would hurt each other, but J.J. couldn't resist laughing at that nugget of wisdom.

Still confused, Daniel tried to find out exactly how J.J. had hurt Paige, but J.J. didn't know how to even begin to answer that question. Daniel suggested starting at the beginning, but he needed to get back home to meet Parker, so he told J.J. they would have to continue their conversation on the way there. J.J. declined, backpedaling and admitting that he had been exaggerating about the magnitude of the situation earlier.

"I'm just being a wuss," J.J. added with a sigh. J.J. reasoned that he needed to deal with his problem on his own because he was the one who had caused it in the first place. Daniel pointed out that there was no shame in asking for help when necessary, and J.J. replied that he would ask -- if he ever got to the point where it was necessary to do so. Daniel tried to convince J.J. to at least give him a condensed explanation of the problem, but J.J. wasn't willing to do that yet, although he promised that he would talk to Daniel about the whole thing later, after it had all been resolved.

At Club TBD, Paige told Daphne about what had happened with J.J. Paige groaned as she realized that she had probably sounded like a creepy, obsessed stalker when she had admitted to concocting a plan to snoop through J.J.'s cell phone. Daphne insisted Paige wasn't a creepy, obsessed stalker, but Paige wasn't convinced, since J.J. was all she had been able to think about lately. "This is what I've watched my mom do with guys since I was nine years old. I've become my mother. I'm Eve," Paige concluded with a sigh of embarrassment.

After parting ways with Paige, Daphne ran into J.J. in the town square. J.J. was thrilled to see Daphne, insisting she had to help him find Paige. "She saw my phone, and she thinks --" J.J. started to explain, but Daphne interrupted and said she already knew she had mistakenly been identified as the woman he had been hooking up with.

Stunned but relieved, J.J. abruptly walked away. J.J. was glad he'd had the foresight to delete all the text messages he and Eve had exchanged, but he realized he should have deleted their call log, too -- and he was very lucky Paige hadn't seen that. As J.J. tucked his phone back in his pocket, he spotted Paige, who quickly turned and headed in the opposite direction.

J.J. stopped Paige and apologized for the mix-up involving Daphne, complaining that Cole was a jerk for making Paige think her best friend was the one J.J. had been sleeping with. Paige countered that J.J. was the jerk, adding that Daphne had told her all about how he had used her to get information about Paige. J.J. tried to correct some inaccuracies in that summary of events, but Paige kept cutting him off, insisting she wasn't interested. "I'm done. I wish I'd never met you," Paige snapped before walking away.

At the Horton house, Jennifer complained to Marlena about Eve. Pointing out that some people simply weren't capable of listening to reason, Marlena advised Jennifer to just let the situation with Eve go. Jennifer thanked Marlena for the advice, but after Marlena left, Jennifer quickly decided that she couldn't possibly back off and let Eve get away with hurting J.J.

. . .

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