At the Brady Pub, Sami told Rafe, Will, and Allie that she didn't think she could go on without Sydney. "You don't have to, Samantha," E.J. said. She turned around, and he stood there holding Sydney. E.J. claimed he'd found Sydney. Sami hugged Sydney and was overjoyed. Caroline and Roman walked in the room and saw Sydney. They were both shocked.
Will introduced himself and Allie to Sydney. Sami asked if Rafe wanted to say hi to Sydney, but he first wanted to know exactly what had happened. He asked where E.J. found Sydney, but E.J. said it wasn't the right time and place. Rafe said that it was the right time, because the Bradys wanted to know. Roman agreed with Rafe and said that the family had the right to know what happened. E.J. claimed that he was instructed to pick up Sydney in the forest reserve and that it was close to the ransom drop.
Rafe realized that E.J. had been contacted after the bloody clothes were found in the river but didn't feel the need to contact the FBI. E.J. said he did what was necessary to get Sydney back, and he had no regrets. Rafe asked if E.J. had acted alone.
E.J. said he acted alone, and he didn't regret it, since they got Sydney back. Stephanie walked in and saw Sami with Sydney. Roman told Sami to take Sydney to the hospital to make sure she was okay and to get some evidence off her clothing that might help them find the kidnapper. Sami said she could tell that Sydney was fine, and E.J. agreed. Rafe asked E.J. exactly where E.J. found Sydney in the forest. E.J. asked if Rafe wanted him to draw a map.
Rafe said that he didn't need a map, but he wanted E.J. to take Rafe to the location and show Rafe if E.J. couldn't explain where it was. Sami suggested they put the investigation off for a while so they could celebrate Sydney's return. Rafe vowed that he wouldn't stop until he found out who kidnapped Sydney and why. Rafe said that the best chance they had of catching Sydney's kidnapper was for them to act immediately.
E.J. apologized for the way he acted. He agreed that whoever kidnapped Sydney needed to be punished. Rafe told Sami and E.J. to take Sydney to the hospital, while Rafe and Roman checked out the forest preserve. Caroline suggested letting Sami and E.J. have time alone with Sydney. Will and Allie said goodnight to Sydney. Caroline suggested they celebrate the next day. Sami tried to express her gratitude to E.J., but he said that seeing Sami holding his daughter again meant "everything" to him.
The police descended on the woods for clues on Sydney's kidnapping. Rafe wondered to Roman why they found Sydney that time and not the last time. Roman found something that might reveal who took Sydney. Roman received word that E.J. and Sami hadn't taken Sydney to the hospital like Roman advised them to.
E.J., Sami, and Sydney stopped by the DiMera mansion without going to the hospital first, against Roman's advice. E.J. ordered the nanny to send Johnny downstairs. While they waited, Sydney called E.J. "Dada." Sami was surprised, because Sydney had never said that before, and she hadn't seen E.J. in such a long time that it seemed strange. E.J. told Sami to calm down, because it wasn't a big deal.
E.J. said that Sydney called E.J. "Dada" before the kidnapping. Sami insisted that she didn't. E.J. said that Sami wasn't around that much, but he assured Sami that Sydney did call him Dada. Johnny ran into the room and interrupted them. Sami showed Johnny that Sydney was back. E.J. said that Johnny, Sydney, Allie, E.J., and Sami would be together again. E.J. suggested that Sami, Sydney, Allie, and Will all stayed at the DiMera mansion the next night.
E.J. explained that he wanted to set a new tone and reestablish that they were family. The doorbell rang, and E.J. answered the door. It was Rafe, who reminded them that they needed to take Sydney to the hospital to see if she was okay and gather any evidence that could lead them to the kidnapper. Rafe believed that by the way E.J. was hampering Rafe's investigation that E.J. didn't care about finding who took Sydney.
E.J. asked Rafe to leave. Rafe demanded to know why E.J. didn't take Sydney to the hospital. E.J. said it was because his days of answering to Rafe were over with. Sami told Rafe and E.J. to knock it off, because Sydney sensed the tension. Rafe apologized and explained that he was just trying to go by the book. Rafe got a call and excused himself to the foyer. E.J. apologized to Sami.
Sami said they needed to get along. E.J. said that Rafe was asking questions about how the ransom went, and E.J. planned to keep Sami out of it. Sami didn't think it would work. While they were talking, Rafe was standing in the doorway. Rafe overheard that Sami knew about the ransom note but didn't tell him.
At the Java Café, Stephanie thought about how she destroyed the letter that Melanie wrote to Nathan before her wedding to Philip.
Stephanie told Caroline that she realized she made a mistake by not giving the letter Melanie wrote to Nathan. Stephanie said that Nathan had said at the time that he didn't want to hear about Melanie. Caroline asked if Melanie and Nathan knew what Stephanie did. Stephanie said she didn't tell either of them yet, but that Melanie was not happy to hear that Stephanie and Nathan were dating.
Stephanie thought it was crazy that Melanie was upset that Stephanie was dating Nathan, since Melanie was married to Stephanie's ex-fiancé. Will interrupted their conversation, so she decided to find Nathan and tell him about Sydney.
Nathan confronted Carly on the docks about trying to kill Melanie. Carly was sick of defending herself again, especially to someone who had no connection to Melanie or to Carly. Nathan said that just because he wasn't Melanie's boyfriend, it didn't mean that he didn't still care. Carly asked where Nathan was while Melanie was getting shot -- if he cared about Melanie so much.
Nathan said that he didn't know Melanie would be shot. Carly asked if he got a message from Maggie or anyone. Nathan said he ignored his messages. "Not like a doctor to ignore his messages," Carly said. Nathan said he wished he had checked his messages, and he wished that things had gone down differently. Carly apologized, and she said that Nathan could be there for Melanie to help her recover, but he wasn't sure that Melanie wanted him around.
Chloe sat with Philip at the Java Café. He told her that Daniel was in Melanie's hospital room, and Philip was worried that there might have been a medical complication. Chloe assured him that that wasn't it. Chloe said that what Daniel was talking to Melanie about would change Melanie's life and everyone else's. She said that Melanie was Carly's daughter.
Chloe filled Philip in on the details surrounding behind Melanie's conception. She expressed disappointment about Daniel being a father even though she couldn't have any more kids. Philip consoled her.
Chloe asked why Melanie wouldn't want Nathan to be there for Melanie. He said that Melanie had reasons, and he excused himself and left. Chloe happened to walk by. Carly asked if Daniel told Melanie about being her father and how Melanie reacted to the news.
Chloe couldn't believe that Carly was so suddenly concerned about how Melanie was taking the news after years of keeping Daniel and Melanie in the dark. Carly said she had her reasons. Chloe couldn't understand how Carly could give up her baby. She said no matter what the circumstance, if Chloe were lucky enough to have a baby, Chloe would never give her up.
Melanie didn't believe that Daniel could be her father. She tried to throw him out. Daniel started to leave, but she called him back. She wanted to know how long he had known the truth. He said that he found out the night before. Melanie realized that that was why Daniel had stared at her, but she was mad that he didn't say anything then. Daniel said he was trying to figure out a way to tell her without shocking or hurting her more than Melanie had been hurt.
Melanie said that she was "maxed out" on the "being hurt thing." Melanie said she didn't want him to go. She realized she couldn't be mad at him for not knowing that she was his daughter. She asked him to explain how she was conceived, so Daniel explained that he and Carly were together one night at a medical convention, but he never suspected that he had a child. Melanie asked if he hated Carly as much as she did.
Daniel said he was still processing the news, and laying blame and being angry just made for "diminishing returns after awhile." Melanie didn't know how not to be angry knowing that Carly deprived her and Daniel of so many things. Daniel wanted to get to know Melanie and be there for her. Melanie asked if he even wanted kids. Daniel said that he and Rebecca, his late wife, had wanted kids, but they decided to wait.
Melanie asked if he and Chloe were going to try to start a family. Daniel said he just wanted to get to know the daughter that he had. He asked Melanie to give him a chance. Melanie said she respected Daniel for the way he fought to save Chloe, but she thought that Daniel wouldn't automatically start loving someone just because she was his daughter. Daniel agreed with that assessment, but he said that it was a place to start. He admitted feeling a connection between them, and she agreed.
Philip was frustrated that Daniel was still in Melanie's room and wouldn't let anyone else in. Nathan walked by. Philip decided to give Melanie and Daniel two minutes before Philip went into her room. Philip interrupted their conversation. Melanie told Philip that Daniel was her father, but Philip said he already knew. She said that instead of Trent raising her, she could have had Daniel as a father.
Melanie knew that she could get to know Daniel, but she felt it wasn't the same as being raised by him. Melanie refused to call Carly "Mom." She and Philip joked about their wedding.
Daniel interrupted Chloe's conversation with Carly. Carly asked if he talked to Melanie. He said he did, but he didn't want to share what was said with Carly. After Carly left, Chloe asked to hear what happened. Daniel said that it was awkward, emotional, and great, but he wanted to know how Chloe felt. She said she was fine, but he said he didn't forget what they went through "before all hell broke loose." He said he knew Chloe, and she couldn't tell him that she was just fine.
Chloe claimed she was fine and she was happy for him. Daniel insisted on helping her, but she didn't want to talk about herself. She said that Melanie was lucky, because Daniel would be a great father.
Maxine told Nathan that he could visit Melanie since Daniel already left, but Nathan was tentative. Meanwhile, Melanie assured Philip that she didn't have any regrets, because she loved him. Philip started to tell her about some real estate listings that he wanted to show her, but realized he left them in the car. While he was gone, Maxine stopped in to see her. She said that everyone in the hospital had been asking Maxine how Melanie was doing.
Melanie got a call on her cell phone, so she answered it assuming it was Maggie. It was Carly instead, who begged Melanie not to hang up on her. Carly wanted to know how things went with Daniel, but Melanie thought it was none of Carly's business. Carly tried to convince Melanie that Daniel was a good man, and Melanie needed him in her life. Melanie said Carly had no idea what Melanie needed, but Carly said Melanie needed love.
Melanie said she didn't need love from Carly, and soon Carly would be out of Melanie's life when Carly was sent to jail when Melanie wouldn't have to hear from Carly again. Carly said that love didn't disappear just because you couldn't see someone. She said that she would never stop loving Melanie. Melanie hung up on her and broke down into tears.
Stephanie showed up at the hospital and told Phillip the good news about Sydney. She said she was planning to tell Nathan, but she couldn't find him. Meanwhile, someone caressed Melanie's shoulder to console her. Melanie assumed it was Philip, but it was really Nathan.
At the Brady Pub, Gabi filled in as a waitress for her sister and took Kate and Stefano's lunch order. "Wonderful, another Hernandez. Just what Salem needs," Stefano joked. Kate thanked Stefano for buying her a multitude of expensive things, and Stefano expressed his happiness at being able to make Kate smile. Stefano noted that Kate seemed more "tolerant" of Melanie that she did of her other daughters-in-law. "I mean, you didn't even try to kill her," Stefano said as he waggled his eyebrow.
Annoyed by Stefano's joke, Kate rolled her eyes and sat back in her chair. Stefano apologized for hurting Kate's feelings. "Without [Chloe's near-death experience, you would not be my wife. So, you see, this is a happy ending," Stefano noted. "I don't know what I would do without you and this terrible thing I'm going through now," Stefano whispered. Stefano swore revenge on whomever took Sydney.
Sydney played in her crib at the DiMera mansion as Rafe grilled Sami about her involvement with the second ransom request. "Have you been lying to me again?" Rafe questioned. Holding back tears, Sami nodded and admitted that she lied to Rafe. Sami explained that E.J. informed her about the ransom the night of the memorial and that she decided not to tell Rafe. Sami argued that she understood Rafe was angry and that she felt like she deserved that anger for lying to him.
Rafe responded that his main concern was transporting Sydney to the hospital to have her examined. "We still need to catch the kidnapper, right?" Rafe urged. Stunned, Sami argued that she lied to Rafe to protect Sydney. Smiling, Rafe went over to Sydney and picked her up just as Stefano and Kate arrived home. Shocked, Stefano dropped Kate's bags when he spotted his granddaughter in Rafe's arms. "You keep your hands off my daughter. You're not to touch her," E.J. told Stefano firmly. Rafe cautioned everyone to stay calm in front of Sydney and reminded Sami that they needed to take Sydney to the hospital. As Rafe and Sami took Sydney out to the foyer, E.J. gazed at Stefano with fury.
"I don't give a damn how mad you are but this is a happy day," Stefano said with a grin. E.J. noted that Sydney's return changed nothing about his feelings toward Stefano. E.J. informed Stefano that he planned to have Stefano removed from the house. "How long are you going to keep blaming me for something that I have not done?" Stefano screamed. Stefano noted that his only crime was keeping Sydney in the house. Kate begged E.J. to find a way to move on, but E.J. declined the offer. Kate noted that while they decided who got to keep the mansion in the legal battle, they would all be living together and that E.J. should make up with Stefano. Shaking his head, E.J. countered that he would never make amends with Stefano.
Still angry after his fight with Stefano, E.J. rushed into the foyer in order to make a phone call in private. E.J. called Anna and informed her that he had taken her advice to find Sami a new hero. With a grin on his face, E.J. left the mansion to go to the hospital.
Brady took Arianna out of town for a romantic getaway. Once in their hotel room, Brady urged Arianna to get ready to go ice fishing. With her face falling in disappointment, Arianna made a plea to Brady not to make her go back outside in the cold. With a smile breaking across his face, Brady explained that he was joking about the fishing. "I wouldn't want to be here with anybody else but you, and I love you," Brady said softly.
After making love, Arianna thanked Brady for talking her into going on a vacation. Brady slipped away from the room to arrange for dinner to be delivered. When Brady informed the hotel employee that everything needed to be perfect, the employee looked at him questioningly. Brady pulled a ring box out of his pocket and told the employee that he planned to ask Arianna to marry him. With a smile on his face, Brady dropped the engagement ring into a glass of champagne and fantasized about how he was going to propose to Arianna. In Brady's fantasy, Arianna choked on her ring when she swallowed her champagne. Worried, Brady fished the ring out of the champagne and rethought his proposal.
Arianna called Gabi at the pub and told her that she though Brady "could be the one." "I've never heard you talk that way about a guy before," Gabi said. Arianna noted that she had a good feeling about Brady. When there was a knock at the door, Arianna hung up the phone and turned to find Brady wheeling a tray full of food into the room.
"We got something to celebrate," Brady said with a grin. "No matter how hard things are for us whenever I think about you, I smile. And that attitude you have and that smile you have, I love that. I don't want to be without it and I don't want to give you up," Brady said. "And I want us to be for life," Brad added as he pulled out the engagement ring. Getting down on one knee, Brady proposed to Arianna, and without missing a beat she responded, "No!"
At the hospital, Stephanie told Lexie that Sydney was home. After expressing her joy about the news, Stephanie then noted what a contrast that was to the news about Melanie. "It didn't have to happen. I mean I should have stopped it when I had the ch..." Stephanie said before trailing off. Confused, Lexie asked Stephanie to explain what she meant. Stephanie explained that she had done something to protect someone but that it might have hurt them. Lexie counseled Stephanie to forgive herself first, and then she would realize what she needed to do after that.
"I feel horribly guilty," Stephanie confessed. Lexie urged Stephanie to tell her what happened. Stephanie told Lexie that she was supposed to pass along a message and she failed to because she felt she was doing what was best for everyone. Lexie noted that Stephanie was dealing with a "sin of omission" and noted that secrets always tended to come out. As Lexie and Stephanie headed back in to the hallway of the hospital, they ran in to Sami arriving with Sydney. Lexie cooed over her niece as Stephanie asked Sami how they found Sydney. Sami explained about the ransom, and Stephanie noted how calm Sydney seemed in light of the kidnapping ordeal. Rafe asked Lexie to examine Sydney and to give Sydney's clothes to Agent Clark in the lobby.
Sami asked to go with Sydney into the exam room, but Rafe noted that there were legal issues involved and that Sydney would only be apart from her for a short time. Sami reluctantly handed Sydney over to Lexie and waited in the lobby with Rafe. When Sami asked Rafe whether he was still mad at her, Rafe responded that he knew that Sami was scared. Sami apologized again for lying and explained that she was doing what she felt was best for Sydney. Rafe assured Sami that he was not angry, but unsure, Sami asked whether they were still "good."
Rafe told Sami that the only thing he cared about was finding Sydney, and they were fine. Noting that he needed to track down the kidnappers, Rafe excused himself and left to make some calls. E.J. approached Sami from behind and asked her what was wrong. Sami explained that Rafe seemed distant, and she understood why. E.J. apologized for causing problems between her and Rafe. Raising an eyebrow, Sami asked E.J. whether he was sure that he was sorry for causing trouble in her relationship with Rafe. "You think I wanted Rafe to overhear our conversation?" E.J. asked innocently. Sami noted that E.J. blamed Rafe for the ransom drop failing the first time and that they had never gotten along even before that.
"I don't have any interest in seeing you go through any pain. The only thing I'm interested in has been getting our daughter back," E.J. said. Sami apologized for her accusation. Noting that he wanted to address his question earlier, E.J. smiled at Sami as Rafe walked toward them from a nearby hallway. "I'd like to spend the night with you please," E.J. said with a grin as Rafe overheard.
In Melanie's room, Nathan sat at her bedside and told her that he could not bear to see her "like this." As Melanie wiped away tears, Nathan assured her that she was going to make a full recovery. When Melanie still seemed depressed, Nathan urged her to tell him what was wrong. "My life. I don't think it will ever be right again," Melanie cried out. Melanie informed Nathan that she learned that Trent was not her father and that Daniel was. "So now instead of 18 years of hell, I could have had 18 years of being raised by him. By a real human being with a soul. Carly took that away from me," Melanie said.
Melanie apologized for telling Nathan about all the drama in her life, and Nathan assured her that he wanted to be a part of her life. Melanie told Nathan that he did not need to feel guilty over the letter. "What letter?" Nathan asked confused. "The one I wrote you!" Melanie exclaimed. Nathan assured Melanie that he had not received a letter from her. As Melanie started to tell him that she gave the letter to Stephanie, Nathan received a page about a patient and had to leave the room.
After checking on his patient, Nathan bumped into Stephanie in the hallway. Stephanie told Nathan about Sydney's return, and though he admitted it was good news, he seemed distracted. Stephanie asked Nathan what was wrong, and he said that he was confused after talking to Melanie. "Oh, God! Now you're really mad at me aren't you? Nathan, I feel awful," Stephanie blurted out.
When Nathan asked why he should be mad at her, Stephanie lied and said she was feeling guilty about not spending time with Melanie. Changing the subject, Nathan wrapped his arms around Stephanie and thanked her for the wonderful weekend at the lodge. Once alone, Stephanie muttered to herself, "He doesn't know. I have to make sure he never does."
"Either you're lying to me or you really didn't get my letter," Melanie said to the empty hospital room. Noting that Nathan would not lie, Melanie thought about what Stephanie had said before the wedding. "Nathan doesn't know about my letter because Stephanie never gave it to him," Melanie said with a smirk. As Melanie contemplated what had happened to her letter, Stephanie walked through the door and said hello. "How are you doing?" Stephanie said sweetly. With a sparkle in her eyes, Melanie countered, "How do you think I'm doing, bitch?"
At Maggie's, Mia was leaving a message for Chad when Will knocked on the back door. He planted a huge kiss on her, and then explained, beaming, that Sydney was back home. Mia was thrilled for Will and his family. Will thanked her for being there for him through the ordeal, and declared that she was the most important person in the world to him.
Later, Will and Mia walked to the Java Café together. As they stopped out front, he gave her a St. Christopher medal. He explained that it was supposed to protect her, adding, "I was kind of hoping that the medal could also mean that you and I are exclusive." Mia smiled halfheartedly, but a happy Will didn't even notice as he embraced her.
In their hotel room, Brady got down on one knee before Arianna. "Arianna Hernandez, will you marry me?" he asked, grinning, as he opened the ring box. "No!" she blurted, seeming to stun even herself. Stammering, Arianna tried to explain why she was turning him down, but Brady's ringing cell phone interrupted them, and he left the room to take the call. Gabi called Arianna just then to ask about a problem she was having at the pub. Arianna thrilled her sister with the news that Brady had just proposed-but then Arianna informed Gabi that she had said no.
When Brady returned, he tried to make light of the situation, to no avail. "Obviously, I'm not really good at saying how I feel, so I'm just going to show you," Arianna said, and then grabbed Brady and kissed him deeply. Brady kissed her back, but then pushed her away. "What was that?" he demanded.
Arianna tried to reassure him, "Just because I'm not ready to marry you doesn't mean I don't want to be with you." She explained that before she got married, she wanted to be sure it was going to last forever, because she knew that the longevity of a marriage wasn't solely about love. "I do understand; I even agree," conceded Brady. "But I reserve the right to make future offers." Smiling, Arianna replied that she hoped he would, and then suggested mischievously that she knew how they could pass the time until they were both ready.
Maggie lost her balance and stumbled outside the Java Café. As she steadied herself, she thought back to the times she'd dropped things around the house. "Don't overreact," she told herself. "Get your medication adjusted and you'll be just fine." Maggie was barely composed again when Nathan arrived to meet her.
After they'd gotten a table, Maggie acknowledged that she shouldn't have called Nathan, but he was eager to hear what she had wanted to discuss. Maggie observed that Nathan seemed distracted, and he confessed that he'd recently realized that he wasn't over Melanie. "Melanie is married," Maggie reminded him firmly.
Nathan wasn't completely convinced that Melanie loved Philip, because she'd been really upset when she learned that Nathan hadn't read the letter she'd written to him before the wedding. "I should have stopped that wedding when I had the chance!" Nathan declared. It appalled Maggie to learn that only Chloe had kept Nathan from interrupting the ceremony.
"You have clearly done a great deal of thinking about Melanie, and about yourself," Maggie mused. "But have you even thought at all about Philip-or Stephanie?" Nathan sheepishly insisted that he really liked Stephanie, and they'd had a great time on their ski trip, but he hadn't known then how Melanie felt. Maggie urged him to move on-like Melanie had. Just then, Nathan's pager beeped, and he reluctantly left for the hospital.
Maggie arrived at home and called out to Mia, but got no answer. Suddenly she reeled as if she were dizzy, and then collapsed on the floor. When she awakened later, she pulled herself into a kitchen chair with obvious pain, and let out a troubled sigh.
As he walked along the pier, Nathan told himself that he had to talk to Melanie, to find out what was in the letter.
Stephanie perched on the edge of Melanie's hospital bed and asked how Melanie was doing. "How do you think I'm doing, you bitch?" Melanie retorted. "You didn't give Nathan that letter because you would do anything to get him in bed with you." Stephanie accused Melanie of writing love letters to an old boyfriend while her fiancé was waiting at the altar, and of loving every second of being engaged to one man while stringing the other along.
"Nathan had a right to know how I felt," Melanie argued. "So did Philip!" countered Stephanie, adding that Melanie should have told Philip she couldn't go through with the wedding if she still had feelings for Nathan. Melanie calmly observed that Stephanie wasn't nearly as sweet as everyone seemed to think. Stephanie pointed out that she could ruin Melanie's marriage, so Melanie should be careful not to get on Stephanie's bad side.
Melanie wondered what Nathan would think when he found out that Stephanie kept the letter from him. Stephanie asserted that Nathan had been too excited about going away with her to care about a letter from Melanie. Melanie pronounced Nathan's relationship with Stephanie merely a "rebound." Stephanie divulged that the two of them had been seeing each other for a while, but they had kept it quiet out of respect for Melanie.
Laughing, Melanie asked sarcastically, "So, the night before the wedding, when Nathan came over to tell me he wanted me, it was to throw me off the trail?" Stephanie pointed out that Melanie had just become Mrs. Philip Kiriakis. "And you want to hurt the guy who's done everything for you? You really want to blow his world apart?" When Melanie shook her head, Stephanie urged her to stay away from Nathan. Philip called Melanie just then to wish her a good night, so Stephanie left.
After Melanie hung up from saying goodnight to Philip, she admitted, "Stephanie was right; I can't hurt him." Nathan arrived right after Melanie had closed her eyes to sleep, and his cell phone rang as he watched her through the window. It was Stephanie, who declared that they needed to talk. "Yeah, you're right," Nathan agreed. "We do."
At the hospital, as E.J. was telling Sami, "I'd like to stay the night with you," Rafe walked in. "Someone care to tell me what the hell's going on here?" Rafe demanded. E.J. acknowledged that it was asking a lot, but after everything that had happened with Sydney, he just wanted to be there when his children went to bed, and when they got up the next morning. Sami and Rafe were a bit taken aback, especially when E.J. confessed that he also wanted to be with Samantha, because, he maintained, only the two of them truly understood what the other was going through.
Rafe suggested that E.J. give his statement to Agent Clark while Rafe spoke to Sami privately. E.J. agreed, but first made a snide remark about Rafe's being at fault in the bungled ransom drop. Sami assured Rafe that she wanted him-and only him-to share Sydney's first night home with her and the kids, but she didn't think she could exclude E.J.
E.J. then answered Agent Clark's questions, while Rafe listened. E.J. described the ransom letters, and the website where they had watched a ransom demand scroll across a video of Sydney. E.J. claimed that he had kept the information to himself because of what had happened the previous time. The kidnappers had called E.J. later to say that the video had been a hoax, at which point he'd told Samantha that Sydney was dead. A couple of hours later, the kidnappers had called with the final ransom demand, and ordered E.J. not to involve the authorities.
Rafe wondered why E.J. hadn't questioned the kidnappers' reasons for lying about Sydney being dead. E.J. guessed that it had been to make them feel vulnerable. Rafe speculated that when they figured out what was going on during those phone calls, it would lead them right to the kidnappers. E.J. pointed out that Rafe seemed more concerned with making an arrest than celebrating Sydney's safe return.
Rafe was suspicious because E.J. seemed not to care about ensuring that the kidnapper was caught and punished-and prevented from doing it to someone else. E.J. didn't think they would do it again. "Why is that?" Rafe asked. "What is this insight that you have into the kidnapper that I don't have?" After E.J. left to get Sydney, Rafe asked Agent Clark for a copy of her recording of the interview.
Meanwhile, Abe questioned Sami, who tried to justify her and E.J.'s actions in keeping the ransom demands a secret. When Abe left to talk to Agent Clark, Sami told Rafe that she felt terrible about keeping things from him, but he reassured her that he understood. Rafe then asked if he could let the lab examine the video on her laptop, and Sami consented.
E.J. returned, carrying Sydney, and Lexie was right behind them. As Sami happily took her daughter from E.J., Lexie informed them that Sydney was fine. E.J. pulled Rafe aside and repeated his request to spend the night at the townhouse. Rafe conceded that it was all right, "If that's what Samantha wants." Lexie was dubious when E.J. insisted to her that he wanted to stay at Sami's because of the kids, and that it had nothing to do with Sami. "Oh, E.J., you just keep telling yourself that," Lexie muttered, chuckling skeptically, as she watched her brother leave.
After they got back to the townhouse, Rafe put the twins to bed, and Sami noted with a laugh that Sydney was still wide awake. When E.J. arrived, Rafe immediately pulled on his coat, reminded Sami that he had to take her laptop in to be examined, and left.
E.J. was quick to find fault with Rafe's actions, but Sami shut him down. "I'm not interested in your opinions," she declared. "And in fact, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't give him those snarky, snippy, obnoxious little things that annoy him!" E.J. burst out laughing, which just irked Sami. "I didn't just get Sydney back," E.J. noted, grinning. "I got you back." Smiling in spite of herself, Sami admitted, "You're right; I am back. And don't you forget it."
Later, E.J. returned to the living room from checking in on the twins, and found Sami asleep in a chair, with Sydney in her lap. He kissed Sydney on the head, gently covered Sami with a blanket, and sat down near them on the couch.
At the police station, Rafe instructed Agent Clark to find out everything possible about the video on Sami's laptop, and to pull the records for all of E.J.'s phone lines. Agent Clark returned shortly with E.J.'s cell phone records, which Rafe quickly reviewed. "So right there, that's right when he called Sami," Rafe noted. "I was with her when she got that call. So right before then, that's when the kidnapper must have called E.J. We're closing in on you, sucker."
Nicole bullied one of the prisoners in jail until one of the guards interrupted her. Nicole convinced the guard to take her to the infirmary. She tried to use the DiMera name to intimidate the guard, but Nicole was back before long, because the DiMera name didn't carry much weight, according to the guard. Nicole's cellmate tried to call a truce with Nicole, but Nicole ordered the inmate to make a gesture of respect and admiration. When Nicole wasn't happy with the inmate's initial gesture, the prisoner gave Nicole some alcohol instead.
When Nicole found out that she had a visitor, she thought it was her mother, but the guard discovered that wasn't the case. Instead it was Chloe, who said that Brady had sent her. She said that Sydney had been found and was back with Sami. Nicole said that Sami and E.J had everything they wanted. Nicole kept trying to remember something about Sydney's kidnapping.
Daniel checked on Melanie, but she was on the phone with Philip, so he decided to go visit Maggie instead for some advice about Melanie. Maggie told him that Melanie liked and respected him even before he was revealed to be Melanie's father. Daniel wanted to do what was best for Melanie, but he didn't know how. Maggie asked how Chloe was taking the news about Melanie being his daughter, and he said that she wasn't overjoyed about it. Daniel could tell that something was the matter with Maggie, because she didn't get up to answer the door or to get the coffee.
Maggie downplayed her condition and said that she just got a bruise from when she fell. Daniel encouraged her to get an X-ray, but she didn't want him to make a big deal out of it. In fact, he insisted that she see a doctor, because he wasn't going anywhere until she did. Maggie felt that Daniel was being pushy. Daniel encouraged Maggie to call the doctor, but she said she had already looked her condition up online, and it said that stress could bring on the symptoms. Daniel convinced Maggie to let him take her to the hospital.
Daniel asked the chief of radiology to examine Maggie. While Maggie was getting tested, he decided to check in on Melanie, who was asleep. When she woke up, she asked if she had been drooling. No drooling, he said. Melanie felt insecure about her intelligence, given that both of her parents were intelligent. Daniel said that Melanie was the brightest person in the nursing program. Daniel asked Melanie to "stick around for a while."
Sami thanked E.J. for taking the twins to school. She asked if he had seen Rafe, but E.J. hadn't. She realized that Rafe hadn't returned home the night before. E.J. apologized for spoiling Sami's first night home with Sydney, but Sami said that he didn't spoil anything. E.J. was getting ready to leave, but he told Sami how excited he was to give Sydney back to Sami. Sami asked how Sydney had recovered, but E.J. made an excuse about having to leave for work, and he rushed off. Sami called and left a message for Rafe to stop by since E.J. had left.
At the office, Rafe tried to check E.J.'s phone records to locate the kidnapper. He was able to pinpoint the kidnappers location to somewhere in the woods, and Rafe was confident that he would find a clue that the kidnapper had accidentally left behind. Rafe thought it was significant that Sydney's blood was found on the clothes in the river, yet Lexie was not able to find any scratches on Sydney when the girl was at the hospital for a checkup.
Anna packed up her money and the rest of her belongings, but she accidentally left behind the boots that she had on when she kidnapped Sydney. E.J. stopped by to remind Anna to pack everything and leave nothing behind. Anna felt that she was right -- E.J. couldn't leave Sami because he loved her. E.J. said that he couldn't leave Sami for sentimental reasons. E.J. hinted that there was more pain ahead for Sami. Anna asked what he would do if his plan worked and Sami turned to E.J. After E.J. left, Anna continued to pack her clothes.
At the Java Café, Brady told Arianna that he was going to see Sami and Sydney, while Arianna planned to visit with Melanie. After she left, Brady looked at the engagement ring he'd bought. Brady ran into Chloe, and they talked about how Sami was dealing with Sydney's return. Brady asked Chloe for a favor. Chloe complained that she was supposed to meet the travel agent with Daniel, but he asked her to cancel. Brady could tell that Chloe was upset, so he encouraged her to talk about it, but she didn't want to.
Arianna went to see Melanie and asked where Philip was. Melanie said he went back to work. Arianna mentioned Nathan's name, but Melanie didn't want to talk about him. Arianna told Melanie about Brady's marriage proposal and how she turned him down. Melanie was angry and asked why Arianna said no to Brady. "Because I'm an idiot," Arianna said.
Brady stopped by to see Sami. She mentioned that E.J. was there earlier, and Brady asked how Rafe had dealt with it. Sami said she didn't know, because Rafe didn't go home the night before. Sami explained how she lied to Rafe about the ransom note. Brady encouraged Sami to deal with Rafe, but Sami wanted to concentrate on Sydney. Brady said that Sami deserved to be happy.
Arianna visited with Rafe and asked if he was any closer to finding out who the kidnapper was. Rafe said that whoever it was had been a step ahead of the authorities. Arianna's theory was that the kidnapper got scared and decided to take the money and run, but Rafe was uneasy about the whole situation. Arianna told him to go see Sami and Sydney and take his work with him. Rafe said his theory was that the whole kidnapping was set up to hurt Sami. Arianna's theory was that Rafe was trying to stay from Sami and looking for a way to prove that E.J. was wrong. Rafe became engrossed in his work and therefore couldn't continue his conversation with Arianna.
Sami decided to stop by and see Rafe in person. Sami tried to talk to Rafe, but he got a lead and was preoccupied.
Maggie stopped in to see Melanie and accidentally knocked over a glass vase. Maggie explained to Melanie that she had a medical condition. She assured Melanie that she would be okay. Melanie said she couldn't lose Maggie.
At the Brady Pub, E.J. told Arianna that Sydney was back, and he thanked her for always seeing past the differences that he and Rafe had.
Daniel arrived at the Kiriakis mansion just as Victor was concluding a phone call with the governor. "Yesterday, you asked me what Melanie was to me," Daniel began, and explained that she was more than just a patient. Victor immediately inferred that Daniel was sleeping with Melanie. Daniel firmly clarified, "I'm her father." Victor was appalled. "Tell me that you sold sperm to pay your way through medical school," he bellowed. "Tell me that it somehow found its way into Carly Manning's turkey baster!"
Daniel irritably informed his godfather that he and Carly had slept together just once, and he'd only learned a few days earlier that Melanie was his daughter. He admitted that he was furious with Carly for letting Melanie grow up with a monster like Trent for a father, when the Carly and Daniel could have raised their daughter together.
Victor asked how Melanie had taken the news. "Her life's been one jolt after another since Carly pulled that gun, and now she wants no part of Carly," Daniel replied. "And I wouldn't blame her if she felt the same way about me." Victor urged Daniel not to let his daughter walk away from him, and to cherish their time together.
"I've got a new appreciation for Melanie," Victor declared. "She's got backbone. I'll welcome her into this house when she gets out of the hospital." Daniel asked if that meant that Victor would look out for Melanie—and keep Vivian in line. Victor vowed that he would, because Melanie was not only his daughter-in-law, but also his godson's child.
As Carly gazed glumly out over the water at the pier, Vivian arrived and taunted her foe to jump. The women traded insults. Vivian declared that Carly going to prison for shooting Melanie—and having both Daniel and Melanie hate Carly—was a far better revenge for Lawrence's murder than even Vivian could have designed. Carly was simply glad that Melanie still had a bright future, with a husband who adored her and a caring man for a father.
Carly then demanded to know if getting revenge meant that Vivian would leave Melanie alone. "Let's put it this way," Vivian replied. "If you were to go to prison, and you were alone and miserable without an ally or a friend, I would be so satisfied."
When Victor arrived on the pier, Carly crossly ordered him to keep Vivian away from Melanie. Victor needled Carly about the number of men she'd slept with. Carly chuckled her agreement. "I slept with everybody—well, except you, even though we were married," she reminded him derisively, adding, "I have my standards." Victor and Vivian each got in one last disparaging crack at Carly before they left. Carly then dialed Bo to tell him that she planned to plead guilty to shooting Melanie.
At the prison, Chloe informed Nicole that the FBI still didn't know who had returned Sydney to E.J. Nicole admitted that she hadn't stopped wracking her brain to remember any details, beyond the designer boots, that would tell them who had kidnapped Sydney, but she'd had no luck. She explained that she had recognized the woman's voice, but so far hadn't been able to identify it.
Nicole hoped that she and the kidnapper ended up in the same cell so she could make the woman pay. Chloe urged Nicole to keep her voice down so the guard didn't overhear them, and Nicole admitted that she was going a little nuts in prison. Nicole then asked how Chloe and Daniel were doing. Chloe related the story of her hysterical pregnancy, and despite Daniel being just as sad and disappointed as she was, he wouldn't talk about it.
Chloe confided that even though she felt terrible for not being able to give Daniel a child, she hadn't been to any of the therapy appointments he had made for her. "Is Daniel okay not having kids?" Nicole asked. Chloe replied bitterly, "He doesn't have to be okay with it, because—surprise! He's already a father." The news that Daniel had gotten Carly Manning pregnant years earlier floored Nicole. Nicole advised her friend to keep Daniel focused on Chloe, not on Carly or Melanie, or risk losing him.
When Lois, the guard, announced that visiting hours were over, Chloe rose to leave. As they embraced, Nicole asked Chloe to give Sydney a kiss, then added, "If you see Brady, thank him for wanting me to know about Sydney. And tell him..." She paused, and reconsidered. "No, don't tell him anything."
When Chloe met Daniel at the Brady Pub later, he asked what the prison visiting room was like. "Pretty awful," Chloe admitted, and realized then that Daniel was worried about Carly ending up in a place like that. "Carly's a big girl," Daniel assured her. "She's got Bo Brady in her corner. I just want to think about us—and our wedding day, because I cannot wait to marry you." Though Chloe seemed doubtful, she accepted his embrace gratefully.
At the Brady Pub, Arianna observed that E.J. seemed much happier since Sydney's return. E.J. asked if Arianna would like to work for him. She was puzzled as to why he would offer a job to someone with a criminal record. "Unless that makes me more qualified?" Arianna added uneasily. E.J. assured her that DiMera Enterprises was entirely legitimate, plus he knew that she had a college degree—and she did a good job of running the pub. "Do you have any interest in business?" he asked. He then gave Arianna his business card and told her to call him if she did.
When Brady arrived at the pub, he paused outside to look at the engagement ring he'd bought for Arianna. Through the window, he spotted Arianna talking with E.J., and frowned as he went inside. As soon as Brady walked up to E.J. and Arianna, E.J. left. Brady was surprised to hear that E.J. had offered Arianna a job. "I was kind of hoping that I was just going to be too busy to change jobs," she hinted mischievously.
That reminded Brady that he'd wanted to ask Arianna something. He began, "Will you," and then paused dramatically before finishing, "have some coffee with me?" Arianna looked crestfallen, but he grabbed her by the hand and led her out the door.
As Arianna and Brady sat at a table at the Java Café, he explained that he'd taken her there because he hoped no one would interrupt them. He then teased that he'd only want to ask her to share a piece of cake. "This isn't funny anymore!" Arianna snapped, and then admitted that she'd only turned down his original proposal because she'd been scared. "Please ask me again," she implored.
Brady used the opportunity to pull Arianna's leg again, then finally got down on one knee beside their table. "I should just punch you in the nose!" she declared with a laugh. "Why don't you just marry me instead?" Brady asked, and Arianna replied, "I would love to." They sealed their engagement with a kiss.
At the cottage, Anna hurriedly dragged her luggage to the door, but realized that she should take one last look around to make sure she hadn't left anything that would lead the authorities to her. She searched frantically for the designer boots she'd pulled out of her suitcase when she hadn't been able to close it, and noted with alarm that her plane left soon. Finally, she was relieved to find the boots under the sofa.
E.J. called and demanded to know whether Anna was on the plane like she was supposed to be. Anna lied that she was, and then abruptly hung up. She tried to stuff the boots into her suitcase, and flipped out when they wouldn't fit.
Sami went to the police station to apologize to Rafe, but what Agent Clark was saying on the phone distracted him. Sami wanted to know why he hadn't been home the night before. Rafe replied that he hadn't wanted to sleep under the same roof as E.J., and while he knew that Sami needed to talk, he had to put the case he was working on first. Sami understood, since her dad was a cop, and left.
Agent Clark hung up and informed Rafe that the president of the realtors' board had just given her a list of every rental over the previous six months that were within range of the cell phone tower outside of town. Sami burst back in and breathlessly asked if the case they were discussing was about Sydney's kidnapping. Rafe dropped a hint, so Agent Clark gathered up her paperwork and left Sami and Rafe alone.
Rafe told Sami that he couldn't tell her anything about the case he was working on. Sami assumed that Rafe hadn't gone home because he was still hurt and angry because she had kept the ransom notes a secret from him. Rafe assured her that although he wished she'd kept him in the loop, he understood why she hadn't—and the only thing that mattered was that Sydney was home safely. Sami tearfully admitted, "I want back every minute that I missed out on with Sydney. And I want you back. I mean, us...you and me, the way we used to be, like a team."
Rafe gently insisted that they still were a team, because they still loved each other. Sami was still frustrated and mad at herself, and worried that Rafe didn't trust her anymore. Rafe declared that one of the first things he'd loved about her was the way she always put her kids first, and he refused to let her beat herself up for what she thought she should have done. He urged her to go home and hug Sydney and appreciate having her back.
Sami noted that Rafe was an important part of her family, but she feared she had messed things up so badly that he no longer would be. Before they could discuss it further, Agent Clark called to tell Rafe that she'd found a property owner who rented his place out on a month-to-month, cash-only basis. Rafe took down the address and rushed out, murmuring apologies to Sami.
E.J. arrived at the townhouse after picking up Sydney at her grandma's, and noticed that Sami seemed a little upset. She admitted that she could tell that Rafe was still feeling hurt because of what she'd done. E.J. urged her to concentrate on her daughter, adding, "Just focus on your family. Everything will be fine; I promise you."
Rafe and Agent Clark arrived at the cottage, and quietly crept up to the door, guns drawn. "I'm going in," Rafe whispered. "Cover me." He kicked in the door, shouting, "FBI!"