At the DiMera mansion, Brady struggled to understand why Kristen had suddenly started to have second thoughts about marrying him. Kristen argued that, while it was awful that Rafe had been attacked, it was also fortuitous, because that event had reminded her of all of the reasons that she and Brady shouldn't be together.
"You're just -- you're too good, Brady. You're -- you're too good. And marrying me is gonna hurt you, and you don't see it right now," Kristen asserted. Brady skeptically wondered when Kristen had learned how to predict the future. Kristen remained silent, thinking about her secret revenge scheme. Meanwhile, Brady insisted that his issues with the rest of the DiMera family had nothing to do with his relationship with Kristen, who, unlike Stefano and E.J., had truly changed into a better person.
"Brady, I'm trying to give you an out! I'm giving you an out! Would you please -- God, just take it!" Kristen snapped. Brady refused to take the bait, assuring Kristen that he only wanted her. Brady started to apologize for being quick to blame Stefano and E.J. for Rafe's attack, assuming that was what Kristen wanted him to do, but she interrupted and insisted that Brady didn't need to apologize because, as usual, he had done nothing wrong.
With their argument apparently resolved, Brady suggestively stated that he wanted to take Kristen to a more private location. Before Kristen could respond, someone rang the doorbell. Kristen asked Brady to answer the door, explaining that she had given the staff the day off so that she could make them work extremely hard at the wedding the following day. Brady smiled, admiring Kristen's ability to be mean and nice at the same time.
After Brady left, Kristen quietly reiterated that he was too good. A short time later, Maggie entered the living room, with Brady in tow. Maggie, who was carrying a gift box, joked that Kristen and Brady were a difficult couple to purchase gifts for. Kristen laughed and politely excused herself, gesturing toward the ruined flower arrangement and explaining that she needed to take care of a minor emergency.
After Kristen left, Maggie wondered if everything was all right. Brady offered a vague explanation about cold feet, blaming John for the entire incident. Maggie tried to get Brady to calm down, but he stormed out of the mansion, declaring that he and John needed to work a few things out.
At the Horton house, Jennifer and Daniel continued to kiss, unaware that J.J. had returned home. J.J. went back to the front door, opened it, and pointedly slammed it shut to announce his presence. Jennifer and Daniel quickly pulled away from each other as J.J. entered the living room, pretending that he hadn't seen anything earlier. "You're sure around here a lot, aren't you?" J.J. observed when he spotted Daniel.
Jennifer confirmed that Daniel and Parker were always welcome in her home. With just a hint of bitterness, J.J. noted that Parker had apparently taken over J.J.'s room. Daniel offered to help J.J. move Parker's stuff out of the room so that J.J. could reclaim it, but J.J. refused the offer, claiming that it wasn't a big deal. Observing that it seemed like he had interrupted an intense conversation, J.J. started to leave, but Jennifer stopped him.
Jennifer explained that one of Daniel's friends had recently been admitted to the hospital. J.J. offered his condolences and started to leave again, but he stopped himself and randomly asked if he could play with Parker's toy train. Daniel nodded and encouraged J.J. to have fun. J.J. made another attempt to exit the room, but he stopped when he realized that he had forgotten to tell Jennifer that he had enrolled in summer school earlier.
"Hope I didn't screw it up," J.J. added before finally walking away. After J.J. left, Jennifer offered Daniel a few basic details about J.J.'s recent problems at school, choosing not to share the whole story because she didn't want to violate J.J.'s privacy. Guessing that J.J. was simply missing Jack, Daniel informed Jennifer that boys often messed up instead of expressing their grief in more common ways.
Knowing that J.J. would probably think of him as an interloper for a while, Daniel assured Jennifer that he had thick skin and could handle the criticism. After advising Daniel to enjoy Parker's youth, since parenting would eventually get much more difficult, Jennifer changed the subject, announcing that she had recently purchased an album for Daniel online.
As J.J. quietly descended the stairs, Daniel promised to load the album on his MP3 player later that day. J.J. eavesdropped as Jennifer and Daniel talked about the sentimental value of the device -- a gift from Melanie, who had gotten a special message engraved on it. Daniel had been skeptical about the item at first, but he had grown to love it, and he admitted that, aside from Jennifer, it was the thing that he would most want to have with him on a deserted island.
J.J. went back upstairs, changed his clothes, and returned to the foyer to announce that he was going for a jog to clear his head. J.J. casually mentioned that he had loaned his MP3 player to his roommate and had forgotten to reclaim it before leaving the school, and he wondered if Jennifer owned one that he could borrow. Jennifer shook her head and advised J.J. to ask Abby.
Daniel retrieved his MP3 player from his pocket and offered it to J.J., assuring him that it wasn't packed with lame songs. J.J. inspected the playlist and admitted that it was kind of cool, and he promised to return the device after he was finished jogging. Jennifer warned J.J. to be careful with the item, since it meant a lot to Daniel. Daniel dismissed Jennifer's concern, informing J.J. that the MP3 player was virtually indestructible.
Later, after J.J. and Daniel left, Jennifer told Maggie about Daniel's earlier attempts to form a relationship with J.J. Jennifer optimistically stated that it would be great if Daniel and J.J. could get along with each other. Meanwhile, at the hospital, J.J. found Daniel in an empty examination room. "Listen, um, thank you for loaning me this, but, uh, by the way, it broke," J.J. matter-of-factly stated as he handed Daniel the broken pieces of the MP3 player.
J.J. claimed that he had dropped the device and had been unable to retrieve it before it had been crushed under the wheel of a passing truck. Daniel told J.J. not to worry about it. "Thanks, but still...bummer, huh?" J.J. dismissively stated before walking away.
Outside the Brady Pub, John told Marlena that it might be best for them to just make a clean break from each other. "We just got remarried. We survived everything that Stefano has put us through. We found our way back together. And you want to make a clean break?" Marlena asked incredulously. John shrugged and said that things had changed, but Marlena countered that the only difference was that Kristen had returned to Salem.
John agreed that Kristen's return had initiated the strain in his marriage, but he asserted that he and Marlena had each made some hurtful choices along the way that had also contributed to the decline of their relationship. After conceding John's point, Marlena wondered if he really believed that divorcing her would be the best way to resolve the situation. John replied that Marlena deserved better, prompting her to slap him.
"Don't you dare play noble with me, and don't you do what you think is best for me. You have spent weeks pushing me away with both hands, trying to push me towards Roman. You know, you act as though I'm some object for which you have no more use," Marlena angrily stated. John matter-of-factly replied that Marlena's observation had effectively proven his point -- he wasn't treating her as well as she deserved to be treated.
"I never thought I would say this, but you disgust me. I fell in love with a man of action, a man who did things, and I'm looking at a man who does nothing -- not even when he's about to lose the people who love him most in the world. I can't even look at you," Marlena said before walking away. John chased after Marlena, managing to catch up to her in a secluded section of Horton Town Square.
John said that he didn't want his relationship with Marlena to end with a bitter argument. Marlena tearfully admitted that she was partially responsible for everything that had happened, since she had resorted to the same underhanded tactics that Kristen was known for. Ignoring John's protests, Marlena added that blaming Kristen had been easier than facing the truth about the person whom Marlena had turned into.
Struggling to maintain her composure, Marlena said that she understood why John couldn't forgive her for the things that she had done. John started to object, but he stopped himself and simply stated that he was sorry. Meanwhile, Kristen approached John and Marlena, silently hovering around them until Marlena finally excused herself. After Marlena left, Kristen feigned concern and wondered if there was trouble in paradise.
John announced that he and Marlena were getting a divorce. "Wow, what a thudding irony -- you ending your marriage the day before I'm starting mine. I mean...wow. Well, I hope you meet somebody new. And I hope the next one is just a little bit more stable than that one. Have a nice day," Kristen said before walking away. Shortly after Kristen left, Brady arrived and said that he wanted to talk to John.
Brady said that if John ever needed to say anything to Kristen, he needed to filter the message through Brady. John noted that it was going to be difficult to do that, since he and Brady were no longer talking to each other. Brady took John's response as confirmation that John wasn't done with Kristen yet. John impatiently replied that he was done talking to Brady, and he abruptly walked away.
A short time later, Kristen returned and greeted Brady, guessing that he had just had a conversation with John. Brady dismissively stated that John didn't matter, adding that the only person who mattered was Kristen. Brady pointed out that he was marrying Kristen -- not Stefano or E.J. Kristen reminded Brady that she was a DiMera, but he countered that she was a DiMera in name only.
Brady announced that he wanted Kristen to take his name after the wedding, meaning that she would be Kristen Black. Kristen hesitated, stating that she needing some time to think about Brady's request. Brady understood, but he reminded Kristen that no amount of time or thought was going to change the fact that they loved each other. "That's what screwed everything up," Kristen quietly muttered after Brady left. Later, John approached Kristen and wondered if she had really called off the wedding.
In Hope's office at the police station, Hope sighed as she opened an envelope that contained Rafe's badge, which the hospital had sent to her earlier. Kate entered the room and asked for an update on the case, and she was disappointed to learn that Hope had not yet managed to find Rafe's assailant. Hope wondered why Kate had never bothered to mention the fact that she had been sleeping with Rafe.
Kate said that she had been trying to protect Rafe's reputation, and Hope sarcastically agreed that thoughtfulness had always been one of Kate's most endearing qualities. Kate insisted that her relationship with Rafe wasn't relevant, since Stefano had not even known about it until after the attack. Unconvinced, Hope pointed out that Stefano could have simply feigned shock in order to avoid suspicion.
Kate asserted that she knew Stefano well enough to know that he had been telling the truth. Kate urged Hope to get confirmation from Sami and E.J., who had also witnessed Stefano's reaction to the news. After promising to do so, Hope changed the subject, wondering if Rafe had talked to Kate about any of the cases that he had recently been working on. Kate admitted that she and Rafe had never really done much talking.
Hope feigned shock, sarcastically stating that Kate and Rafe had a lot in common with each other. "You know, I'm used to snide and condescending remarks, and usually I don't give a damn, but Rafe was my friend, and I cared about him, and I saw what was done to him, so do me a favor and cut me some freakin' slack," Kate replied, and Hope apologized for her earlier comment.
Kate urged Hope to find the person who was responsible for hurting Rafe, and Hope promised that she wouldn't rest until she had accomplished that task. "Well, when you do, I'd like just five minutes alone with them...with a baseball bat," Kate said before walking away. Hope quietly muttered that Kate was going to have to stand in line.
Hope mused that, while E.J. and Stefano were obvious suspects, she had a feeling that she was still missing a piece of the puzzle. As Hope continued to ponder the case, the urgent prisoner release notice that Ciara had previously hidden remained undiscovered.
At the hospital, one of the nurses informed Sami and Lucas that Rafe's condition had not changed. Sami hugged Lucas, tearfully stating that she couldn't lose Rafe, whom the kids loved. Lucas skeptically agreed that the kids were the only people who loved Rafe. Sami conceded that she also loved Rafe, despite the fact that she could no longer stand to be in the same room with him.
Sami started to tell Lucas about Kate's earlier outburst at the DiMera mansion, but she quickly realized that he wasn't aware that Kate had been sleeping with Rafe. Sami reluctantly revealed the truth to Lucas, who muttered that Kate had always had a talent for humiliating herself. Disturbed, Lucas quickly changed the subject, pointing out that Sami was about to marry someone who had placed her ex-husband in the hospital.
Sami insisted that E.J. was innocent, but Lucas wasn't convinced. Eager to defend E.J., Sami revealed that he had arranged to meet with Rafe on the night of the attack so that Rafe could give him a new FBI jacket to give to Johnny. Lucas pointed out that Sami had just confirmed that E.J. had known Rafe's exact whereabouts on the night of the attack, but she asserted that Lucas was wrong about E.J.
"And you're in denial. You're so worried about Rafe, you're scared. He's in there fighting for his life, and you won't even admit that E.J.'s the one who put him there," Lucas countered. Gabi overheard Lucas' statement and wondered if he really believed that E.J. was responsible for Rafe's attack. Sami dismissively stated that Lucas was biased, since he hated E.J., but Gabi countered that Rafe had also hated E.J.
Pointing out that Gabi needed to avoid stress, Sami urged her to let the police figure out who had attacked Rafe. Later, after Gabi left, Sami received a phone call from Hope, who wanted to talk to her at the police station. Lucas guessed that E.J. had used Sami as his alibi, but she insisted that Lucas was wrong, leading to another round of their earlier argument about E.J.'s possible role in the attack.
"You're protesting too much again, and that means you know it's the truth! You always do that. When you hear the truth, you protest too much. You're scared of the truth, Sami," Lucas observed, but Sami ignored him and angrily walked away. Sami went to the police station, where Hope wondered what Sami and E.J. had been doing before he had decided to meet with Rafe on the night of the attack.
Sami defensively stated that she and E.J. had simply been hanging out with Johnny. Sami sighed, realizing that Johnny was going to be devastated to learn that Rafe was in the hospital, since they had always shared a really special bond with each other. Sami recalled that Johnny had recently mentioned that he had loved living with Rafe. Intrigued, Hope wondered how E.J. had felt about Johnny's revelation.
Insisting that Hope was putting words in her mouth, Sami added that E.J. hadn't even heard Johnny's comment. "Oh, and no one ever overhears anything in that house," Hope sarcastically countered. Sami said that it didn't matter either way, since E.J. was completely innocent. Still skeptical, Hope noted that it seemed like Sami was less convinced of E.J.'s innocence than she had been a few moments before.
Sami insisted that E.J. had changed and was not the same man that he had once been. "And Kristen's not the same woman. Now they're all like the von Trapp family, right?" Hope dryly stated. Hope wondered if Stefano had been pleased to learn that Kate had been sleeping with Rafe. Sami said that she believed that Stefano had been completely unaware of Kate's relationship with Rafe, adding that E.J. agreed with her.
As Hope continued to voice her skepticism, Gabi barged into the room and blurted out that she knew who had attacked Rafe. Gabi blamed the assault on E.J., recalling that she had overheard his end of a cryptic phone call on the night of the attack. After hearing Gabi's statement, Hope quickly placed a call to the man who was guarding Rafe's room, warning him that Rafe might still be in danger.
At Common Grounds, Lucas greeted Kate. "What a surprise. Thought you'd be busy pulling tricks somewhere again," Lucas said as he took a seat at Kate's table. Kate wondered if that was Lucas' not-so-subtle way of saying that Sami had told him about Kate's latest transgression.
"Did you do a Google search on 'least appropriate partners' and come up with my ex-wife's ex-husband? I mean, the guy's the uncle to your great-grandchild. Really? Mom, that's sick. But if you think it's a match made in heaven, go for it," Lucas said. Lucas started to walk away, but Kate stopped him. After acknowledging that it couldn't be easy to have her for a mother, Kate told Lucas that she was worried that Rafe's attack might have been her fault.
Lucas disagreed, theorizing that E.J. was responsible for the assault. Kate conceded that the DiMeras did have a history of taking their time before exacting revenge. Lucas suggested that it might have been a preemptive strike, pointing out that every man who had ever been with Sami knew that she always wanted the man whom she couldn't have. Lucas reasoned that it was just a matter of time before Sami would start to want Rafe again.
Kate said that if that was why E.J. had attacked Rafe, he hadn't taken the assault far enough. "With Sami's B-movie mind, what could be more romantic than nursing Rafe back to health?" Kate mused. Lucas agreed, recalling that Sami had been extremely worried about Rafe at the hospital earlier. Lucas added that he suspected that Sami was even more worried that E.J. might have had something to do with the attack.
Kate noted with surprise that she actually felt kind of sorry for Sami. Kate pointed out that E.J. was extremely good at covering his tracks, which meant that Sami would probably never be certain of his innocence or guilt. Kate summarized that Sami was going to have to live with the nagging suspicion that she might be living with the man who had tried to kill the man whom she truly loved.
Elsewhere, someone was reading the latest copy of the Salem Spectator, which featured a front-page article about Rafe's attack. The person crumpled the newspaper and tossed it in a trashcan before exiting the coffeehouse. Later, the person entered the hospital and lurked near Rafe's room, holding a bouquet of flowers.
The person seemed to resemble the man who had recently given Vargas thirty thousand dollars.