Ciara was asleep when Ben returned to the cabin. After quietly setting aside two overstuffed bags of supplies and two jugs of water, he walked over to the bed to cover her with a blanket -- and inadvertently woke her in the process. Disoriented, she instinctively grabbed the knife and pointed it at him, demanding to know what he was doing. He quickly backed away, keeping his hands open and raised, and waited for her to get her bearings.
"I had to walk, like, ten miles to the nearest store, and when I got there, they were closed, [so] I hid out 'til they reopened," Ben told Ciara to explain why he had been gone for such a long time. "[I got] some acetaminophen for your leg; some bandages; food, of course; some gas for the generator; and, uh, a portable phone charger, just in case you decide you want to call home," he continued while unpacking the bags. She was reluctant to charge her cell phone, knowing that it could be traced once it was turned back on -- if anyone was even bothering to look for her. "Well, look, you have the charger. Use it, don't use it -- it's up to you," he assured her.
Ben made some pancakes for Ciara and convinced her to try them. She was surprised to discover that they were actually really good. He explained, when asked, that he had taught himself how to cook at the age of six, just so his mother would have one less thing to worry about every day. "My sister always said [my pancakes] were the best," he recalled with a smile.
Ciara told Ben that doughnuts had always been the popular thing in her family. "My great-grandmother had this amazing recipe, [and] when I was little, sometimes she would let me help her out," Ciara revealed between bites. "You mean she let you make a giant mess, [and then she] pretended it was all good?" Ben guessed. "Exactly," Ciara confirmed with a grin.
Changing the subject, Ben guessed that Hope was probably getting really worried about Ciara, who had been gone for more than 24 hours. "If my mom had it her way, she'd have you thrown right back into that mental hospital. I thought you'd be glad she's suffering," Ciara mused, clearly confused. "[Wait], is that why you brought me here -- [to] get revenge on my mom and all the other people in Salem that hate you?" Ciara asked. "Back in the day, that's exactly what I would have done...[and] I would have enjoyed it, [too] -- making people suffer," Ben admitted. "But that's not me anymore," Ben added.
Ciara couldn't decide if Ben was being sincere or if he was just trying to lull her into a false sense of security so it would be easier for him to eventually make her his next victim. "[If] you still think I'd hurt you [after everything I've done to help you, then] I don't think there's much more I can say to convince you [otherwise]...but I get it -- that feeling of just wanting to trust somebody so bad, and then you finally take the risk on them, and they just..." he mused before letting his voice trail off. "What?" she asked curiously. "Nothing. Never mind. It's dumb," he replied, sighing. "You can tell me," she assured him.
"I was just thinking about when me and my sister were little kids," Ben began. "We found this little stray kitten, and we took care of it for months -- we played with it, we fed it... We loved this cat. And then, one day, it went missing. [And] my dad said that we probably left the door open, and it ran away, but...Jordan and I knew we didn't. [And] then he says, 'You better go check the road!' And there it was -- dead, hit by a car. [And] he sees my sister and I crying -- two little kids, devastated -- and he starts laughing. He thought it was funny," he continued, shaking his head as he recalled the traumatic experience.
"Maybe that's why I am the way I am; maybe that's why I got pleasure out of people's pain," Ben mused. "[Because] I'll tell you one thing -- my dad may have been a sadistic jerk, but that man had power. He could make me feel exactly how he wanted me to feel, and he knew there was nothing I could do about it. [And] after that happened over and over again, I just decided that was it -- I didn't want to be a victim anymore. I wanted that power for myself," he continued, sighing as he fought back tears. "I didn't know any other way. I'm sorry. I am so...so sorry," he stressed.
"[Anyway], I didn't tell you that story to make you feel bad for me," Ben told Ciara after regaining his composure. "I just wish someone could understand what made me this way. When a kid grows up just feeling worthless and powerless all the time, it..." he started to add before letting his voice trail off again. "Ciara, I have no desire to hurt you; I have no desire to hurt anyone. I'm not that monster anymore -- I swear to God," he concluded. "I'm not [a] monster, either," she replied. "I mean, I hate knowing that my mom is worried about me. I -- I'm just not ready to go back yet. Just thinking about seeing Claire and Tripp together..." she continued.
Nodding, Ben informed Ciara that, in addition to the other supplies he had picked up earlier, he had also gotten a burner phone for himself. "You can use it to call your mom [instead]. It can't be traced," he suggested.
At the police station, Rafe overheard Hope lashing out at Tripp in one of the conference rooms. Rafe intervened, and Hope quickly calmed down and apologized, admitting that Tripp didn't deserve to be blamed for whatever had happened to Ciara. Hope informed Tripp that Ciara had apparently been in an accident -- and that a man had apparently found her. Tripp assumed that was a good thing, but Hope allowed for the possibility that it wasn't.
After Tripp left, Hope noted that the FBI would want to get involved if Ciara really had been kidnapped. Rafe offered to contact the FBI, but Hope thought it might be better for Eli, who had more recent experience with the organization, to do that. Rafe reluctantly revealed that Eli wasn't going to be able to help out that day. Hope felt terrible for Eli and Lani, knowing what it was like to lose a child. "What if I lose [Ciara], too?" Hope fretted.
John and Marlena went to see Claire, who was starting to get really worried about Ciara. John soon made up an excuse to leave, sensing that Claire needed some time alone with Marlena.
"This is all my fault," Claire admitted to Marlena once the coast was clear. "I swear, if something happens to [Ciara], I don't know what I'm gonna do," Claire added, sighing.
Marlena wondered if Claire had gone after Tripp as a way of hurting Ciara. Claire allowed for the possibility that, on a subconscious level, that might have been a motivating factor. "You're the psychiatrist. What do you think?" Claire asked. Marlena agreed that it was certainly possible, especially since subconscious actions were often difficult to decipher. "But that's in the past. Now we've gotta focus on the future. [When Ciara comes home], you've gotta figure out a way to end this damaging competition between the two of you -- once and for all," Marlena stressed. "What if I don't get that chance? What if she never comes back?" Claire fretted.
At the Martin mansion, Paul finished reading the first draft of Will's article about Leo's sexual harassment lawsuit against Sonny. "[This is] fantastic! [I mean], Sonny wanted you to get the truth out about what happened between him and Leo, and you did that perfectly -- [and] in such a powerful way!" Paul raved. "[And], Will, I am telling you, you captured Sonny perfectly -- [which is] really impressive for someone who doesn't [really] know Sonny...or [even] remember him at all," Paul continued, prompting Will to think about the memory that had resurfaced the previous night.
"You okay?" Paul asked curiously, noticing an odd expression on Will's face. "Yeah. Yeah, um...you know, I just want to do a good job for Sonny," Will replied. "And I know the article needs to be objective, but if I can somehow show how outrageous these claims are, then, you know, the public reaction might put so much pressure on Leo that he has to drop the whole lawsuit," Will continued.
Paul vowed to keep digging into Leo's past in the meantime. "I have this feeling that this isn't the first time he's done something like this," Paul mused. "Oh, no. You know, it's crazy how some people are so desperate to -- to leave their past behind, you know, when I would do just about anything to get mine back...up to and including injecting myself with a formula made by a mad scientist," Will replied.
"Yeah. Well, I know that you're bummed that the serum didn't bring back your memories. Is that why you couldn't sleep last night?" Paul asked, pointing out that Will had tossed and turned the whole night. "I guess I just got a lot on my mind," Will replied with a sigh. "I mean, Gabi's still in prison, and Ari's having a really hard time, and if this, you know, lawsuit thing goes south for Sonny..." Will continued.
"Then Titan's gonna lose a lot of money," Paul acknowledged. "But, no matter what, Sonny will always be there for Ari, and we'll be there to support him and help in any way we possibly can," Paul continued. Nodding, Will thanked Paul for the reassurances. "You are so loyal and caring, and I'm so lucky to have you in my life," Will added before kissing Paul, who blindly set aside Will's tablet computer while responding to the kiss.
Claire was alone when Tripp returned home to get more missing-person fliers. He told her about what he had learned at the police station. They decided to go to the crash site and post some fliers there.
Meanwhile, at the police station, Rafe tried to assure Hope that everything was going to be okay. Hope's cell phone soon rang. "No I.D.," Hope curiously noted before taking the call. "Mom? It's...it's me," Ciara began.
Chad went to the Kiriakis mansion to check on Sonny, who appreciated the gesture of friendship and confirmed, when asked, that the sexual harassment lawsuit was still a big problem. Eager to talk about something else, Sonny thanked Chad for having managed to convince Ben to leave Salem. "[Well, I tried, but] who knows with that psychopath. [I mean], maybe I should have done more," Chad admitted with a shrug.
Chad pointed out that Stefano would have made Ben disappear -- permanently. "Yeah, but you're not Stefano, and that's a good thing," Sonny insisted. "Is it?" Chad asked skeptically.
"Maybe if I were more like my father, then we wouldn't be going through all this -- [and] I'm not just talking about Ben; I'm talking about everything. I'm talking about Stefan, I'm talking about the company... I mean, my wife wouldn't be a thousand miles away, getting psychiatric help; she'd be here, with me and our son, like she's supposed to be... [And] Gabi's still in prison, Theo was shot, Andre's dead... I mean, everybody that I love has been affected [by my decision to be a better man than my father was], and I'm just...here...and that pisses me off. And I'm not gonna let that son of a bitch [Stefan] get away with it," Chad continued.
"What are you gonna do?" Sonny asked curiously. "I don't know. What would my father be willing to do?" Chad replied, shrugging again.
Chad soon changed the subject, wanting to instead focus on Sonny's problems for a while. Sonny admitted that, although Will and Paul were both trying to discredit Leo, Titan was going to remain in crisis mode until the sexual harassment lawsuit went away. Chad advised Sonny to get a strong leader in place at Titan as soon as possible to prevent someone like Stefan from swooping in and seizing control of the company.
Sonny couldn't think of anyone to assume the role of CEO, since Justin was too busy fighting the lawsuit to take on that kind of responsibility, and neither Brady nor Philip was interested in the position. "What about somebody outside the family?" Chad asked. "The only way that would work is if we found someone who understands who we are [and] what we want..." Sonny began. "What about me?" Chad suggested.
At the Martin mansion, Will and Paul showered and dressed -- just in time for a visit from Marlena, who wanted to see how Will was handling the fact that Rolf's serum hadn't worked. "I take it there's been no change? You [still] haven't had any memories?" Marlena asked. "Um...well, you know, I haven't had any coffee yet, so I don't know what day of the week it is, let alone what memories I may or may not have," Will evasively joked.
"Still nothing," Paul translated for Marlena before rushing off to the Brady Pub to meet up with John. "Is what Paul said true? You haven't had any memories?" Marlena asked Will once the coast was clear. "Well, um...actually, I may have remembered something...about Sonny," Will admitted before proceeding to tell Marlena about what had happened the previous night.
"It felt like a real memory from my past -- from back when I was first starting to fall in love with Sonny," Will concluded. Nodding, Marlena guessed that Will hadn't told Paul about the memory. "No, not yet," Will admitted with a sigh of guilt. "But, I mean, they're just two, you know, really...fuzzy, brief memories," Will added. "But...I -- I really think they were real...[which means] maybe the serum is working," Will excitedly concluded.
Will still wanted to take another dose of the serum, but Marlena confirmed Kayla's claim that the hospital board wasn't going to allow that. "In fact, they're forcing [her] to destroy the other vial [that has already been created]," Marlena reported. "That's insane! Why can't they give it to me?" Will asked incredulously. "Grandma, now that I've gotten a glimpse of my past, I have to see all of it -- [and] I'm not gonna stop until I do," Will added.
Marlena understood Will's frustration but insisted that he needed to be patient and give the initial dose of the serum more time to work its magic. "I mean...it's not gonna be easy, but I -- I will try," Will eventually told Marlena.
At the Brady Pub, John and Paul compared notes on Leo's past. Paul confirmed, when asked, that Rolf's serum still hadn't had any sort of effect on Will. "To be honest...I'm relieved. [I mean], I know Will loves me, but if he remembers how he felt about Sonny, that could change everything," Paul admitted to John before rushing off.
Back at the Martin mansion, Marlena said goodbye to Will. As soon as the coast was clear, Will dialed the hospital's phone number and asked the operator for Kayla's extension. The operator revealed that Kayla was going to be out of the office for a while. Will declined to leave a message for Kayla.
When Paul returned to Will's room a short time later, Will was gone. A note had been left on the desk: "Not sure when I'll be home. Catch you later."
At the hospital, Will emerged from Kayla's office and casually boarded an elevator, holding the second vial of serum in his closed right hand.
• Steve lashes out at Stefan.
• Kayla gets caught snooping.
• Chad makes a pitch to Victor.
• Hope receives unsettling news.