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Wednesday, August 16, 2017
by Mike

Hope and Rafe were stunned when Eli finally revealed the identity of Dario's silent partner.

"All this time, we were just being played!" Hope grumbled. Nodding, Rafe added, "Dario said to me that it would be the last person we ever suspected, but this?" Hope and Rafe assured Eli that they finally understood why he had been unable to share the information with them sooner. "[But] what do we do now?" Rafe asked, prompting Eli to explain how he wanted to handle the situation.

Meanwhile, Valerie joined Abe in the Horton Town Square and quickly deduced that something was bothering him. Abe tried to insist that he didn't have time to talk about the matter, but Valerie refused to let him leave without first telling her exactly what was going on. Sighing, Abe reluctantly revealed that Theo had destroyed evidence in an effort to prevent Chad from being tied to Deimos' murder.

Valerie felt responsible because she had convinced Abe to ignore his suspicions about Theo's new job at DiMera Enterprises, but Abe reasoned, "You just wanted me to trust my son. I wanted to trust him. My mistake was trusting the DiMeras." Abe added with a sigh that Theo could face criminal charges as a result of his actions. Meanwhile, Hope and Rafe approached Abe and Valerie's table, looking quite serious.

Jumping to conclusions, Valerie preemptively sprang to Theo's defense, arguing that he had simply gotten in over his head while trying to help out a family member. Hope and Rafe clarified that they weren't planning to arrest Theo. Turning to Abe, Hope apologetically continued, "We're here to arrest you." Stunned onlookers quickly began filming the scene on various mobile devices as Abe demanded to know the exact charges he was facing. "You've been named as a co-conspirator in a counterfeiting scheme," Rafe explained.

Valerie refused to believe that Abe was guilty, insisting that he was the most honest man she knew. "We don't want to do this, Valerie, but the evidence against Abe [is] clear," Hope began to explain. Nodding, Rafe added that Dario had named Abe as his silent partner. Valerie watched in stunned silence as Rafe cuffed Abe, who glared at Hope while confirming through gritted teeth that he understood the rights she had just recited to him.

Theo was just inches away from Claire when she suddenly retreated to the other end of their apartment, apologetically acknowledging that she was supposed to be respecting the fact that he no longer wanted to be anything more than a friend to her. "I want you to know that you can trust me not to cross any lines," she continued. He approached her and confirmed, when they were again standing just inches apart, that he did trust her.

After gazing at Claire for a moment, Theo cleared his throat and asked for a change of subject. "How 'bout we don't talk at all?" she suggested. He was confused at first, but she quickly added, "[Instead, we'll] just enjoy what's left of our summer [by spending] the rest of the day at the lake. [We'll] go swimming, and get some sun, and have a picnic, and it's gonna be great!"

Claire rushed into her bedroom to change into a bathing suit, and Theo, after regaining his composure, headed into his bedroom to do the same. Later, while waiting for Claire to finish getting ready, Theo -- wearing only a pair of board shorts -- quietly reminded himself, "Friends. Claire and I are just friends. That's what I said I wanted, so that's what we are -- friends."

Claire soon joined Theo in the living room, wearing a two-piece bathing suit, and asked him to rub some sunscreen lotion on her back. He tried to convince her that it would be better to complete that task at the lake, but she wanted to give the sunscreen lotion time to soak into her skin before she entered the water. "Friends. We're just friends," he quietly repeated as he began applying the sunscreen lotion to her back. "What'd you just say?" she asked while reading alerts on her cell phone. "Nothing," he answered, awkwardly clearing his throat. She smiled knowingly as he continued rubbing her back while struggling to restrain himself.

Theo seemed to be just seconds away from succumbing to temptation when Claire suddenly pulled away from him, staring at her cell phone in disbelief. Concerned, he wondered what was wrong. "Just a nasty comment on one of my songs. No biggie," she claimed. Knowing that she usually considered such comments a very big deal, he suspiciously argued that she couldn't expect him to trust her if she wasn't willing to be honest with him. She conceded with a sigh that he was going to learn the truth soon enough, anyway. "I was just trying to protect you," she continued as she reluctantly revealed a recording of his father's earlier arrest.

At the police station, Lani informed J.J. that she had decided to stop working with Eli, effective immediately. J.J. was furious when he learned that Commissioner Raines had essentially forced Lani's hand -- and that Lani, despite having ended her partnership with Eli to prevent any further conflicts of interest, was still worried that Raines might not want her on the police force any longer.

Ignoring Lani's protests, J.J. approached Raines and insisted, "With all due respect, you can't punish Lani for not giving you details about an ongoing FBI investigation, [so] I want [her] reinstated as my partner right now." Meanwhile, Eli arrived and announced that he wanted to talk to Raines privately. Raines made it clear that he wasn't interested in hearing anything that Eli had to say unless Eli was willing to say it in front of J.J., Lani, and the other nearby police officers. Nodding, Eli revealed that Dario had been working with a silent partner and had promised to give up the name of that partner in exchange for enrollment in the Witness Protection Program.

Raines shot Lani a questioning look, prompting her to stress that she had known about the existence of a silent partner but had never learned the person's identity. Raines demanded to know if Eli had any hard evidence to back up Dario's claim. Eli admitted that Dario hadn't had a chance to deliver his evidence to the FBI before the hit-and-run driver had scared him off. "Ah, so this 'evidence' disappeared with Dario," Raines dismissively concluded. "I didn't say that," Eli coolly replied, adding that although he didn't have that evidence, he had, with Lani's help, managed to obtain other pieces of evidence that supported Dario's claim.

"[It's] good enough for me," Eli continued. As Eli started to warn Lani that Dario's silent partner was someone who was close to her, Hope and Rafe entered the police station with Abe, who angrily insisted that the charges against him weren't going to stick because he was innocent. Valerie arrived while Raines was lecturing Abe for betraying the town's trust. Abe argued that Dario had played the FBI and had fled afterward to avoid having to produce proof to back up his claims, but Eli countered that there was still plenty of proof out there because Abe had been throwing a lot of cash around lately -- most of which had turned out to be counterfeit.

Lani and J.J. defended Abe, reasoning that the counterfeit money might have simply been in circulation longer than originally suspected. Eli clarified that the FBI was convinced that only someone who was involved in the counterfeiting scheme could have access to the number of sequential bills that Abe had used to pay for Valerie's jewelry. Reminding everyone that any suspect could be held for forty-eight hours to allow time for even more evidence to be gathered, Eli added that the FBI would have an airtight case by then. Abe maintained his innocence and vowed that he would sue the Salem Police Department and the FBI for slander after being vindicated.

Lani shoved Eli, concluding that he hadn't bothered to talk her out of ending their partnership earlier because he had known all along that she wouldn't be okay with the eventual result of their investigation. J.J. intervened and tried to convince Lani to go outside to get some air, but she refused, insisting that she was fine. After taking her frustration out on a nearby filing cabinet, Lani warned Eli, "You will not get away with this!"

Raines soon approached Eli and told him, "I know how difficult things can be [when] family and friends [are involved], so I'd just like to commend you [on a] job well done, son." Eli shook Raines's hand but avoided making eye contact with him. Meanwhile, Rafe tried to tell Valerie that he was sorry, but she angrily insisted that she didn't want sympathy from him, of all people. "I don't want an apology from you, either," Valerie snapped as Eli approached her. Eli clarified that he simply needed to collect Valerie's jewelry because it was evidence. Valerie removed her earrings and necklace and threw them at Eli's feet before storming off to contact Abe's lawyer.

At the Brady Pub, Joey noted, after hearing Kayla and Tripp out, that Steve hadn't said anything yet. Steve pointed out that he had already shared his thoughts with Joey earlier.

Nodding in agreement, Kayla bitterly confirmed that Steve's opinion on the matter was already abundantly clear. Kayla started to add that Steve needed to just stay quiet and let Joey speak for himself from that point forward, but when Steve countered that he had been trying to let Joey speak for himself all along, she sarcastically conceded the point. "You know, it's truly admirable, actually, [that you're not trying] to influence him in any way, you know? Just -- just let him completely and totally self-destruct, because, after all, that's what he wants to do, anyway, right?" Kayla continued with a shrug.

"[Joey's] so ready to throw his entire life away, and it's all because of you!" Kayla shouted at Steve, who patiently clarified that Joey might not have to throw his life away in order to accept responsibility for Ava's death. Steve continued that, according to Roman, Joey might be able to get a reduced sentence if he turned himself in voluntarily, since he had been underage when he had killed Ava.

"You know, you think that you're helping him, but you're only making things worse!" Kayla told Steve. Joey warned that Kayla was being unfair, but she countered that she wasn't interested in fairness; she was only interested in saving his life. "If you go to prison, I just don't think that I can go on, Joey. Please -- please -- don't turn yourself in," Kayla tearfully begged Joey.

Joey asked to talk to Kayla privately. After Kayla followed Joey outside, Tripp apologized to Steve for having failed to talk Joey out of confessing. Steve wondered why Tripp had suddenly decided to protect Joey. Tripp explained that Claire had convinced him to try to earn a second chance with his family instead of running away from his problems. Tripp added that although Kayla had asked him to talk to Joey as a way of making amends, she hadn't forced him to do so. "I wanted to do it [because] I don't want Joey to go to prison. He's my brother -- your son -- [and] I don't want you to lose him," Tripp continued.

"When I saw you with that scalpel against Kayla's neck -- the woman I love more than anything in this world -- and then when you turned it on my son -- my own flesh and blood -- I wanted to take you out myself," Steve admitted to Tripp, who wondered what had stopped Steve from doing just that. "You're my flesh and blood, too, [and] I had to put my anger aside and put you first [because] that's what a parent does for his child," Steve explained. Nodding, Tripp vowed to find a way to make things right with every member of his family. Steve assured Tripp that he was a member of a family that had gotten through tough times before and would do so again.

Meanwhile, Joey took a seat on a bench and regretfully stressed, as Kayla joined him, that he hated seeing her fight with Steve. "I did what I did because I wanted us to be together, [and] if you and Dad break up, I don't know if I can handle it," Joey continued. Kayla assured Joey that everything would go back to normal if he abandoned his plan to turn himself in. Joey informed Kayla that what she was doing was considered emotional blackmail, adding, "You sent me to therapy for months; you don't think I learned anything?" Kayla apologized to Joey but maintained that confessing wouldn't make things better.

"What will?" Joey asked. "Wish I knew," Kayla replied with a shrug. Kayla stressed that there was no guarantee that Joey would get a reduced sentence if he turned himself in, but he insisted that he deserved whatever sentence was deemed necessary because he had taken someone's life and needed to pay a price for that decision. Kayla argued that Joey had already paid a terrible price, since he had been carrying the burden of guilt with him for months and had also been forced to face everyone who had suffered as a result of his actions, including his victim's son, who also happened to be his brother.

"None of us want you to suffer anymore," Kayla continued, adding that Joey had his whole life ahead of him. Joey countered that he could still do "normal" things, like falling in love and pursuing his dreams, after paying for Ava's death. Kayla tearfully maintained that she couldn't let Joey turn himself in as a way of earning his father's respect.

"This has nothing to do with Dad, okay? You're the reason I want to turn myself in," Joey clarified, adding that when Kayla had caught him stealing money from the pub's cash register back in high school, she had forced him to apologize to Caroline and work off the debt -- plus interest. "You were teaching me to do the right thing, even when it was hard, and that's what I'm trying to do now, Mom -- just like you taught me," Joey continued. Fighting back tears, Kayla sadly admitted, "I get it now."

Kayla followed Joey back inside the pub and informed Steve and Tripp that Joey still planned to turn himself in -- and that she had finally accepted his decision.

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