At the Horton house, Daniel told Jennifer that he was aware that she had kissed Jack earlier. Jennifer apologized, and she quickly explained the situation. Daniel assured Jennifer that he understood, and he said that he wasn't ready to give up on her. Jennifer said that she wasn't ready to give up on Daniel, either.
Later, Jennifer wondered if Daniel was still planning to learn the identity of his biological father. Daniel said that he wasn't ready for any additional surprises. Jennifer nodded, and she said that things would have been different if she had learned the truth about Jack's disappearance earlier. Jennifer noted that she never would have met Daniel, and she added that his life would have been a lot less complicated.
Daniel jokingly agreed that his life had been really horrible since Jennifer had entered the picture. Jennifer started to kiss Daniel, but Daniel stopped her. Daniel reminded Jennifer that they had a date scheduled for later that night, and he said that he wanted to remain neutral. Jennifer claimed that she understood, and Daniel abruptly exited the house.
Outside the Brady Pub, E.J. tried to call Sami. Nicole arrived at the pub, and E.J. told her that his kids had been at the pub at the time of the shooting. Before Nicole could respond, E.J. received a text message from Sami. E.J. announced that Sami was at the police station, and he and Nicole rushed over there.
At the police station, Sami informed E.J. and Nicole that Johnny was missing. "We were all together, and he was fine, and then the shooting stopped, and it was total chaos, and Sydney and Allie were really upset, and I was just trying to help them feel better, and then I looked around, and Johnny was gone, and I couldn't find him anywhere!" Sami frantically explained.
E.J. lashed out at Sami, and he insisted that Sami should have called him the second that she had realized that Johnny was missing. Rafe tried to defend Sami, but E.J. refused to listen. "She took him to a public place, with a man who's been accused of defrauding people out of their pensions! A man who was beaten up in jail for doing exactly that. If she was thinking of anything, it wasn't my son's safety!" E.J. shouted.
Roman assured E.J. that everyone at the Salem Police Department was looking for Johnny. Roman added that he had also contacted the FBI and the state police. E.J. wondered why he had been foolish enough to trust the Bradys with his kids. "One little boy. One little kid...who you're all related to, and you lose sight of him in broad daylight!" E.J. exclaimed.
E.J. announced that he was going to use Stefano's men to find Johnny. E.J. warned Bo and Roman to stay out of his way. Roman assured E.J. that using Stefano's goons would be a great way to put Johnny in even more danger. Sami told everyone to shut up, and she pointed out that they were wasting time by arguing with each other. Nicole asked to speak to E.J. privately.
After Nicole and E.J. left, Roman apologized to Sami and Rafe for the outburst. Roman asked Sami to tell him about Johnny's habits. Sami said that Johnny didn't like loud noises, and she suggested that he might have tried to return home. Bo said that he had sent someone over to Sami and Rafe's apartment earlier, and he added that Johnny wasn't there.
Elsewhere, Nicole reminded E.J. that he was in the middle of an election campaign. Nicole warned E.J. that he needed to cooperate with the Salem P.D. "You need to start mending fences with the Salem P.D., and I know you hate hearing that, but right now, E.J., this is a defining moment. You need to prove that you can hold it together in the worst possible circumstances. Can you do that?" Nicole wondered.
As Sami continued to tell Bo and Roman about Johnny's favorite places, E.J. and Nicole rejoined the group. E.J. apologized for his earlier behavior. Roman showed Sami and E.J. a map of Salem, and he pointed out the areas where the Salem P.D. had already searched. E.J. and Sami started to suggest other areas that would be worth checking.
Meanwhile, in another part of the police station, Marlena and Austin tried to assure John that he wasn't to blame for Johnny's disappearance. Carrie joined the group, and she explained that she was going to ask the judge for a continuance. Carrie added that she was also going to ask the judge to move the trial to a new location. Austin was worried about Carrie's safety, so he volunteered to escort her to the courthouse.
After Carrie and Austin left, Marlena assured John that everything was going to be all right, but John wasn't convinced. "The little tyke is out there somewhere. He's alone, he's afraid...possibly in terrible danger because of me. I'm not gonna let anybody else get hurt. I'm gonna take control of the situation. The only way I can do that is by pleading guilty," John said.
"John, the only way to keep your family safe is to get these charges dropped, because the people who want revenge will come after your family if they can't get to you," Marlena pointed out. Marlena said that she needed John, and she assured him that the rest of his family felt the same way. "Listen to me. We have survived so much -- separation, sickness, Stefano's craziness -- and by God, we will survive this!" Marlena insisted.
John wondered if Marlena was sick of living her life like that. Marlena assured John that he was not responsible for all of the bad things that had happened to them, but John wasn't convinced. John showed Marlena the card that Johnny had given him earlier. "Little Johnny is missing because he came to the pub to give this to me. I've had enough -- I'm gonna stop this right now, before it goes any further!" John insisted.
John said that Marlena's love had rescued him on numerous occasions. John added that it was time for him to return the favor. "If this were just me, yeah -- I would stay here, and I would fight. But my family's in the crosshairs now, and I'm not gonna put them on the line while I sit there, day after day, for God knows how long, and still wind up being guilty. I know what I have to do," John said.
Elsewhere, Carrie assured Austin that she was going to be all right. Carrie explained that she had already talked to the head of the security team. "Oh, well, you know, tell him for me that he's doing a hell of a job," Austin dryly stated. Carrie realized that Austin wanted her to drop John's case.
Carrie reminded Austin that she was a criminal defense attorney. Carrie said that she couldn't just run away every time things started to get difficult. Carrie joked that she would wear body armor in the future. Carrie refused to drop the case, and she assured Austin that he wasn't going to lose her.
Later, Carrie and Austin went to check on Sami. Rafe wondered if John was all right. Carrie explained that Marlena was trying to assure John that the shooting wasn't his fault. "That it's not his fault? Are you kidding me? None of this would have happened if he hadn't come back to Salem. My kids wouldn't be shot at, and my son wouldn't be missing, if it were not for John Black!" Sami snapped.
Carrie said that she understood how Sami was feeling. "No, you don't! You don't have children, you don't know how I feel! I chose to take them there. I knew in my gut it was the wrong thing to do, and I did it anyway! Because everyone was telling me it was the right thing to do," Sami said. Roman said that Marlena had needed Sami's support at the pub. Sami insisted that Marlena had only been concerned about a public display of support for John.
"John isn't even our family! We all remember that, right? That he's not actually related to us, and that this is another terrible thing that has happened because of him? Just do me a favor, and let John know that I hope he pays for what he has done," Sami added, and she stormed out of the room. Rafe started to rush after Sami, but Carrie stopped him. Carrie said that she needed to be the one to talk to Sami.
At the Brady Pub, Carrie found Sami. Sami explained that she wasn't allowed to enter the pub because it was a crime scene. Carrie assured Sami that Roman and Bo were going to find Johnny. Carrie added that Marlena had asked Carrie to let Sami know that she was worried. Sami bitterly noted that Marlena wasn't concerned enough to bother to look for Johnny herself, because she was with John.
Carrie said that Sami had to know that Marlena loved her. "I know that my son is missing! I know that I can count on E.J. DiMera more than I can my own mother, because I know that she loves John more than anything else! Carrie, love is what you do, it's not what you say. And you know what she does? She stands by John's side! She always has! She chose him years ago over the family, she is still doing it today, and I hope -- I swear to God, I hope he rots in prison for the rest of his life!" Sami snapped.
Carrie wondered how Sami would feel if John turned out to be innocent. Sami avoided the question, and she abruptly excused herself so that she could search for Johnny. After Sami left, Austin arrived at the pub, and he wondered if Carrie had managed to calm Sami down. Before Carrie could respond, she received a text message from the judge.
Back at the police station, Roman and Bo studied the ballistics report. Bo noted that the report showed that the shots had been fired from the pier. Meanwhile, Roman received a call, and he announced that the state police were in pursuit of a suspect. Roman and Bo abruptly exited the station.
Elsewhere, Carrie and Austin greeted Marlena and John. Carrie announced that the judge had denied both of her motions. Carrie added that the trial had been rescheduled for the next day. John told Carrie not to worry, and he added that he was going to plead guilty. "I expect you, as my attorney, to go to the judge tomorrow and tell him there's not going to be a trial," John said.
At the Horton Town Square, E.J. muttered that if anything happened to Johnny, he would never be able to forgive himself. Nicole wondered why E.J. was blaming himself. E.J. claimed that he was upset because he had given Sami and Rafe full custody of the kids. E.J. impatiently announced that he was going to look for Johnny on his own.
"Great. The public will love finding out that you have your own militia that operates outside the law," Nicole dryly stated. E.J. ignored her, and he quietly walked away. Meanwhile, Sami and Rafe entered the town square, and Rafe received a text message. Rafe announced that the police had captured the shooter.
Two police officers escorted the suspect into the town square. Roman was shocked when he saw who the officers had apprehended. Roman referred to the man as Lauretano -- the police officer who had been guarding John when he had been attacked by some of the other prison inmates.
Before Roman could say anything else, Sami rushed over to Lauretano, and she demanded to know where her son was.
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Madison stormed into Brady's office at Titan, and angrily reminded him that they were supposed to have a meeting with Joel Finnerman about the distribution deal for Mad World -- but Brady hadn't been returning her phone calls, and Sami had not shown up for work. Brady interrupted Madison's tirade to inform her that there had been a shooting at the Brady Pub that morning, and Johnny had been missing ever since. Madison admitted that she'd been so focused on the meeting that she hadn't heard about it on the news. Brady explained that the only reason he'd gone into the office was to get Johnny's picture out on Titan's network. Madison reassured him that she could handle the meeting on her own, and urged Brady to go and be with his sister.
After Brady had gone, Madison tried to find a file on the computer, but instead found pictures of Sami's kids. She scanned through them for a minute, then slammed the computer closed and strode purposefully out the door.
Abe, Lexie, and Jennifer arrived outside the Brady Pub, where police tape still blocked the entrance. Abe informed the women that he was suspending his campaign for mayor, because he intended to focus solely on finding Johnny. With Jennifer's help, Abe then made a public, televised plea for information leading to Johnny's safe return.
In Horton Town Square, Rafe informed a distraught Sami that the police had found the gunman responsible for the attempt on John's life.
Meanwhile, E.J. was quietly issuing orders over the phone for his men to search for Johnny. He hung up just as Kate arrived to express her concern over Johnny. She then asked if E.J. or Stefano had tried to have John killed.
Two uniformed officers led a handcuffed Lauretano -- the cop who had allowed John to be attacked while in police custody -- through the square to meet Roman. When Sami saw them arrive, she charged across the square and attacked Lauretano. "What have you done with my son?" she roared. It took Rafe and one of the officers to pull her off of Lauretano. Although Lauretano demanded a lawyer, Sami continued screaming at him and demanding to know where Johnny was.
E.J. and Kate heard the commotion and rushed over. Roman had to step between E.J. and Lauretano to keep E.J. from attacking the man, as well. E.J. quietly demanded, "You know who I am? Then you better tell me where my son is." Lauretano swore that he didn't know anything about the boy's disappearance. Roman stated that he believed Lauretano, whose only intention appeared to have been to hurt John. Roman then instructed the officers to take Lauretano to the station and begin processing him.
Although Rafe tried to reassure her that the police would find Johnny, Sami was frantic, because she knew that if Lauretano hadn't taken Johnny, anything could have happened to the boy. E.J. interrupted to inform Sami that his men were searching for Johnny, because he wasn't going to wait around for the police to find his son. Rafe and E.J. nearly got into an argument, but Kate pulled E.J. away before things could get too heated. Rafe then asked Sami if she had considered whether E.J. could have taken Johnny.
Privately, Kate repeated her question to E.J. about whether he or Stefano had been involved in John's attempted shooting. E.J. insisted that they had not had anything to do with it. Kate asserted her belief that John had not stolen anyone's pension, because that was not the kind of man he was. E.J. pointed out that people were not always who they seemed to be.
When Roman returned then from booking Lauretano, he reiterated that he did not think Lauretano had kidnapped Johnny. E.J. was frustrated that the police were busily following procedure when they could be looking for Johnny.
As Brady arrived at the town square, he was giving instructions over the phone to get Johnny's picture out to every media outlet possible -- including Titan's competitors. He entered the square just in time to hear Roman ordering E.J. to let the police do their jobs. Abe, Lexie, and Jennifer arrived just then, while E.J. was shouting at Roman about how inept the entire police department was. Abe stepped in, but E.J. angrily blamed Abe and Roman for John's attempted shooting and Johnny's disappearance. Sami and E.J. both implored Abe and Roman to do something to find Johnny.
Lexie pulled E.J. aside to try to calm him down, while Brady finally made his presence known and gave Sami a hug. Brady and Jennifer informed Sami and Rafe that the news crews were getting the word out about Johnny. Jennifer observed that Sami looked exhausted, and led Sami to have a seat at a nearby table.
Just as Kate hung up from leaving a concerned message for Stefano, Madison arrived. The two women sniped at each other for a moment before Madison left to find Brady.
E.J. overheard Roman telling Rafe about a possible lead, and demanded to know what was going on. Roman divulged that someone had reported seeing a boy matching Johnny's description in the woods about a mile outside of town, but he warned E.J. against getting Sami's hopes up lest she become too upset. E.J. grudgingly agreed not to say anything.
Roman then informed Sami that he and Rafe were going to try to gather some new leads. Lexie and Jennifer reassured him that they would stay with Sami. E.J. promised Sami that he would find Johnny if it was the last thing he did.
Brady was surprised to see Madison, especially when she informed him that she'd cancelled the meeting with Finnerman. Madison asserted that she'd been working on the presentation, but hadn't been able to concentrate. "All I could think about was Sami, how awful this must be for her. Johnny's the sweetest kid; I feel really lucky I got to meet him," Madison explained. Brady encouraged her to tell Sami that, because it would cheer Sami up to know that her boss cared so much.
Kate watched Brady and Madison from across the square, and then called Joel Finnerman. "I heard through the grapevine that you're in town," Kate explained. She pretended not to know that his meeting had been cancelled, and offered to have her staff give him a tour of the new Countess Wilhelmina Cosmetics office space, since she was tied up.
Brady approached Sami's table, and the other women took his hint to leave so Sami and Madison could have some privacy. Sami suddenly remembered that she and Madison were supposed to have had the big meeting that afternoon. Madison reassured her that it was all right; she understood that Sami needed to find her son more than anything else. Sami was grateful for Madison's support, but admitted that it was getting more and more difficult to stay positive.
Roman, Rafe, and E.J. arrived at a hunting cabin outside of town, but there was no sign of Johnny anywhere. E.J. was discouraged and frustrated, but Roman assured him that the cops were searching the surrounding woods. Rafe alluded to E.J.'s kidnapping of Sydney, but E.J. swore that in spite of his past actions, he'd had nothing to with Johnny's disappearance. His voice breaking with emotion, E.J. implored Roman and Rafe, "Please, just find my son."
When E.J. went back outside, Rafe and Roman reluctantly agreed that they didn't think E.J. was involved. Both men knew that Johnny was terrified of loud noises, but they also acknowledged that the boy would not have stayed hidden for so long after the shooting. "The longer he's gone, it seems like somebody has him. The question is who -- and what the hell do they want?" Rafe wondered anxiously.
Jennifer tried to help Sami pick out some pictures of Johnny to release to the media. Sami regretted that she didn't have a more recent photograph, because she'd been so busy. Jennifer took Sami's hands, and reassured her, "You don't have to pretend, okay? I can't even imagine how scared you are right now... They're going to find him."
Abe and Lexie had to leave, but Abe promised Sami that he would authorize any police overtime needed for the search, and Lexie vowed to call if they heard anything at the hospital.
Sami was sitting alone, trying not to cry over pictures of Johnny from Halloween, when Kate joined her. Kate proffered tea and a muffin, which Sami tried to refuse, but Kate maintained that Sami had to keep her strength up. In her own oblique and vaguely insulting way, Kate extended her sympathy and support to Sami. Sami assured Kate, "You don't have to stay here with me." Kate tried to distract Sami by boasting about how fabulous the Countess Wilhelmina offices were going to be when they were finished, but Sami saw right through her. Kate encouraged Sami to be strong.
Sami tearfully admitted that she didn't think she could, because she kept picturing Johnny without his coat, and worrying that he was cold and alone -- and with some crazy person. "Don't even go there," Kate instructed firmly, as she placed a comforting hand on Sami's shoulder. The women appeared in danger of embracing when Roman, Rafe, and E.J. returned. The men sadly informed Sami that they'd been following a lead, but it hadn't panned out.
Back at the Titan offices, Madison found herself looking at the pictures of Sami's kids again. Brady arrived, and realized that Madison was far more upset than she'd let on. Madison confided that Johnny looked a lot like the little brother she'd helped raise, although she no longer had any pictures of her family to show Brady. Madison began to cry as she expressed her worry that Johnny had been missing for so long. An understanding Brady took her in his arms.
Roman cautioned Sami that it was beginning to look more and more like someone had abducted Johnny. He reminded Sami that Johnny was a DiMera, so if the kidnapper were after ransom money, he or she likely wouldn't harm Johnny. "Is that supposed to make me feel better?" Sami demanded tearfully. Rafe tried to comfort his wife, but Sami pointed out that they'd been waiting all day without a call or a ransom note. She began to flip out as she realized that she had no idea who had her son or why. E.J. tried gently to convince Sami that no one would harm Johnny, but she was terrified that she would never see her son again.
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At the police station, Bo assured Rafe that he would keep him in the loop with news about Johnny. Across the room, a frustrated Sami fumed while Hope attempted to comfort her. Rafe urged Sami to go home with him, but Sami refused to leave the precinct without her son. Bo and Hope offered to take Sami home and remain in contact with the station.
As Sami rose from her seat, she saw Will walk into the room. Without a word, Sami rushed over to Will and hugged him tightly. Will encouraged Sami to go home to the loft and let the police look for Johnny.
In the DiMera living room, Nicole reminded E.J. that Johnny had beaten cancer and that he was tough. As E.J. nodded, Quinn entered the room and offered E.J. his assistance in the search for Johnny. Curious, E.J. asked Quinn what he could offer. Quinn explained that he still had contacts with the criminal world and that he could reach out to them for information on Johnny's disappearance.
Nicole switched into protective mode and rejected Quinn's offer, but desperate to find his son, E.J. spoke up and accepted Quinn's help. "I'm not going to turn down anyone's help in finding my son," E.J. said firmly. While Quinn made some phone calls, Nicole took E.J. aside and cautioned him to be careful. Though E.J. swore that he could handle Quinn, Nicole argued that it was up to her to save E.J. from making a mistake.
After Quinn left, Nicole counseled E.J. to realize that Quinn's help would boomerang and hurt E.J. in the long run. Confused, E.J. asked Nicole why she wanted to protect him when she was not interested in dating him. "We settled that," Nicole said quietly. Shaking his head, E.J. admitted that it was likely a mistake to trust Quinn but that he was desperate to find Johnny and that he would do anything.
"I would think that you of all people would understand that," E.J. whispered. "You're right. There's nothing I wouldn't do to be with a child I love," Nicole said softly. Nicole reminded E.J. that he had enough people searching for Johnny and that he did not need Quinn in his life.
Jennifer was working on the press materials for Johnny in her living room when there was a knock at the door. When Jennifer opened the door, a smiling Jack walked into the house. Jack offered to help Jennifer with the press during the search for Johnny. Jack added that in light of the circumstances, he wanted to see his family and be close to them. Jennifer assured Jack that she was fine.
"I just wanna make sure that you know that now that we're back together you know it's my job to keep it that way," Jack said with a grin. Stunned, Jennifer's face fell. Jennifer escorted John into the living room and asked him to talk. When Jennifer asked Jack how he was feeling, Jack assured Jennifer that he was doing well. Jennifer told Jack that it would take time for Jack to deal with the trauma of his imprisonment in Afghanistan.
Buoyed by recent events, Jack noted that he would be fine because Jennifer had been able to reach him when he had his panic attack. Jennifer countered that she had not fixed Jack's problem. Disagreeing, Jack noted that his connection with Jennifer in the cabin showed him that everything would be fine. When Jack asked Jennifer if she felt that connection, she lowered her eyes.
"I feel like you're about to say that I imagined this reconnecting like I made up this whole amazing moment to balance out reliving all the bad stuff," Jack said. Jennifer noted that Jack misunderstood what happened in the cabin. Jennifer explained that she felt badly for Jack and she realized that though she loved him, it did not change their relationship. With a sigh, Jennifer admitted that she still had feelings for Daniel.
Jack noted that he had heard Jennifer say that she would always love him. Confused, Jennifer asked when she had said that. Jack explained that Jennifer had admitted her feelings when he was half asleep. "You were pretending to be asleep? Are you playing games with me?" Jennifer asked angrily. Jack argued that it did not matter if he was asleep when Jennifer told him that she loved him.
Furious, Jennifer noted that she was wrong about Jack and that he had not changed. Jennifer accused Jack of stalking her on Halloween, but Jack argued that he was innocent. "That is the problem with lies and deceit Jack. Even when you're telling the truth, no one believes you," Jennifer said. Jennifer noted that Jack had not planned to tell her what he heard Jennifer say in the cabin, which showed he was still deceitful.
"I was blown away by hearing that you still loved me and that you always would," Jack argued. Jack explained that he did not know what to do. "You thought that I was asleep so I just stayed asleep," Jack said. "Why can't being honest ever be your first choice, Jack?" Jennifer countered. Jennifer noted that Jack had a problem telling or facing the truth. Frustrated, Jennifer noted that she was tired of dealing with someone who avoided reality.
"Is that really what you think I do?" Jack asked. "Just the fact that you said that shows me how lost you are," Jennifer lamented. Jennifer noted that she was not the person to fix Jack, because she wanted to spend her life with a man that was happy with his life and who he was. "That man is not you," Jennifer whispered. "I am not some overgrown Peter Pan who denies reality. I live in the moment and I'm ready to take what comes," Jack said. Upset, Jennifer walked out.
At the penthouse, Roman informed John and Marlena that the lead the police had on Johnny did not pan out. Marlena was worried about Sami, but Roman counseled her not to reach out to Sami. Roman reminded Marlena that John was confined to the penthouse under house arrest. Marlena explained to Roman that John had plead guilty to all the charges to prevent further harm to his family.
"My decision is final," John said. Marlena noted that Sami was angry with John. "This may be the only time that John has to make amends to Sami. In case he ends up going to prison. So can't you do something to help us see her when she needs us the most?" Marlena pleaded. With a nod, Roman said he would see what he could do.
While Roman made a phone call, Marlena urged John to change his mind about the guilty plea. John stoically stood silent. When Roman returned, he informed John that he had made arrangements to take John to see Sami. "I understand that you feel guilty for what happened at the pub but I don't see how that plays into your pleading guilty if you didn't embezzle people's money," Roman said. "It's complicated," John responded. John promised to talk to Roman about his decision later and assured him that the guilty plea was his only option.
Back at the loft, Sami and Will sat down on the couch while Bo and Hope made sure that the lines of communication with the police station were open. Alone, Rafe, Will, and Sami sat in silence on the couch and stared at a photo of Johnny. Upset, Sami asked Rafe and Will to leave everything in the same place for when Johnny returned home. Gabi arrived at the loft and asked Rafe if there was anything she could do to help.
Rafe quietly informed Gabi that the police believe that Johnny was kidnapped. Worried, Gabi offered to make tea for Sami. When Sami declined Gabi's offer, Rafe urged Sami to eat something. Rafe offered to get Sami anything she wanted. Emotional, Sami yelled, "Anything? Because what I want is for you to go find him. Rafe, go find him and bring him home. That's what I want."
When Hope returned to the living room, she informed Sami that Caroline was taking care of Sydney and Allie. "I really do understand what you're going through, honey. It's easy to shut down and shut everybody out but you know what? You can't do that. You need to be 100% when Johnny comes home," Hope said.
Gabi checked the computer for news about Johnny and announced that there were a host of volunteers in town turning out to search for him. While Hope comforted Sami, Will went to talk to Rafe in the kitchen while he made a sandwich for Sami. Will thanked Rafe for being in their lives. "You just being here helps her even if she can't show that to you right now," Will said. Will noted that Sami was upset about Johnny and not really mad at Rafe.
When Rafe explained how frustrated he was that he could not do anything to help the police, Will assured him that he was doing enough. Will commented that Johnny was lucky to have Rafe as his father. "You're really the best father anybody could ask for," Will said. "You're not so bad yourself," Rafe joked. "You are Johnny's dad in every way that counts," Will said.
Rafe took the sandwich over to Sami, but she ignored it. Rebuffed, Rafe went over to Bo at the computer and reasoned that if Johnny had wandered into the stream in the woods that the dogs may have lost his scent. Nodding, Bo left to call search and rescue to tell them about the suggestion. Gabi served Rafe a sandwich but he refused it. Gabi reminded Rafe that he could not order Sami to keep up her strength by eating and then not follow his own advice.
"Sami has barely even looked at me since Johnny disappeared. The one thing that she needs from me right now I can't give her," Rafe said. Rafe confided that he was frustrated that he could not join in the search for Johnny now that he was no longer a police officer.
When Marlena arrived, she hugged Rafe and Will while Sami gritted her teeth and sat on the couch with Gabi. Marlena thanked Will for staying strong for his family, but counseled him to stay strong for himself as well. John explained that Roman had stopped to make a phone call and would be by shortly. Marlena sat next to her daughter, while Rafe slipped out of the apartment. Marlena informed Sami that she and John believed Johnny would be home shortly.
"He's the brightest little guy I know. He's tough, feisty, gonna come through this without a scratch," John added as he sat down on the couch on the other side of Sami. Across the room, Bo and Hope noticed that Rafe was missing and wondered aloud whether he had left the apartment.
On the couch, Sami asked John why he was at her apartment when he was under house arrest. Marlena explained that Roman had pulled some strings so that John could visit Sami before the trial. Reminded of the trial, Sami noted that she had gone to the party because of the trial and her decision had put her children in danger. "Now he's not here to wear this cap because of you," Sami growled at John.
Will apologized to John and noted that Sami did not mean what she said. "I did mean it!" Sami yelled as she jumped to her feet. Sami noted that whether John had stolen the money was irrelevant because his presence in their lives had caused chaos. When Marlena defended John, John quieted Marlena and spoke up. John explained that he blamed himself for what happened and that he was sorry.
"Johnny is missing and it is your fault," Sami growled. When Marlena leapt to John's defense again, Sami turned her venom toward Marlena. "Don't defend him to me," Sami said through gritted teeth. John noted that he understood how his return to town had negatively affected his family and that he had decided to plead guilty to the charges against him.
"As long as I'm in prison, at least I can't hurt the rest of the people I love," John said. "You want to stop hurting me? Then you can get out! Just get out of my face," Sami yelled. Angry, Marlena warned Sami to calm down. "You think you can cop a plea now? You're going to be noble now after my son is missing?" Sami wondered aloud. Sami noted that she was not grateful for John's gesture.
"Samantha! I know that you are hurting but that's enough," Marlena said firmly. Marlena commented that berating John would not help locate Sami's son. Shaken, Sami asked Marlena if John was all she cared about. "All you think about is John. All you care about is him," Sami said. When Marlena counseled Sami to calm down, Sami warned her mother that she would not be "managed" by her.
Will begged Sami to remember that John and Marlena cared about Johnny, and Marlena urged Sami to let all her emotions out. Sami noted that Marlena cared more about John than her children. Marlena assured Sami that she loved her family. "They may all fall for that but I know better. I lived it. I see it for the act that it is," Sami countered. Marlena swore that her love for her family was real.
Unfazed, Sami noted that even though Marlena's grandson was missing, she had escorted John to the loft to talk about his gesture to plead guilty. "You care about that more than you do me," Sami said through tears. "That's not true! I love you. I love Johnny," Marlena assured her daughter.
"Then where were you? Where were you when everybody else was looking for him?" Sami asked Marlena. Sami noted that Marlena had never been there for her. Fighting her mounting anger, Sami informed John and Marlena that if Johnny did not return home that she would make them wish she "had never been born."
While Sami went to the kitchen to talk to Will, Bo and Hope took John and Marlena aside in the living room to talk. Bo urged Marlena to remember that Sami was under a lot of pressure. Hope urged John not to take to heart what Sami said. With a nod, John said, "We know she didn't mean it." Marlena disagreed. "She meant every word," Marlena murmured.
In Horton Town Square, Roman was talking to the station on his phone when he spotted Quinn walking across the square. Riled up, Roman marched over to Quinn and demanded to know why he was in Salem. Quinn explained that he was a changed man and running a legitimate business. Nodding toward his retail space, Quinn explained that he was opening a health spa. Annoyed, Roman grabbed Quinn and told him he was going to the police station.
Across the square, Nicole and E.J. arrived and witnessed Roman pushing Quinn around. "Now maybe you'll change your mind about accepting Quinn's help? He's bad news. He's nothing but trouble for you," Nicole urged to E.J. As Roman dragged Quinn across the square, he received a phone call from the station. After talking on the phone, Roman let go of Quinn's arm and urged him to get lost.
As Roman walked away, Rafe intercepted Roman and begged him to let him help in the search for Johnny. E.J. approached Roman and asked him if the phone call he received was about Johnny. "One of my men found something. It's not good. Come with me," Roman said gruffly to E.J. and Rafe.
To ease the tension, Will told a story about Johnny and managed to get Sami to smile. As Hope hugged Sami, Roman entered the loft with Rafe and E.J. in tow. Noticing the dour look on her father's face, Sami crossed the living room to her father. Roman held out a baggie with a piece of evidence in it. Roman asked Sami to identify whether the scrap of shirt in the bag was Johnny's.
Sami gently took the bag and her eyes grew wide. "No," Sami whispered as she broke down in tears. Roman held his daughter to support her, while a stunned E.J. fought back tears. Rafe gently took his wife in his arms as she sobbed uncontrollably.
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At the DiMera mansion, Stefano found E.J. sitting alone in the darkened living room. E.J. was drowning his sorrows with a decanter of whiskey. Stefano walked over to the terrace door and pulled back the curtains, and he told E.J. to stop drinking. Stefano added that E.J. needed to start acting like a man.
E.J. insisted that it was his fault that Johnny was missing. "Father, I built this thing from the ground up. I positioned John Black to look like a world-class criminal. I turned this entire town into a lynch mob, and now one of those bastards -- who I created, mind you -- he wasn't happy just going after John, so he set his sights on an innocent, defenseless boy. My son. If I have lost him, that will be on me for the rest of my life," E.J. said.
Stefano claimed that John was getting exactly what he deserved, but E.J. wasn't convinced. E.J. noted that he and Stefano were accustomed to changing the facts to suit their own needs. E.J. told Stefano that they couldn't even admit the truth to themselves in the privacy of their own home. Stefano wondered what E.J. was talking about.
"The cold, hard truth -- that I am responsible for this. I went after John Black, and my job as a father is to protect my son, and I put him in a situation that threatens his very life. I did that! No one else," E.J. said. Stefano pointed out that E.J. had chosen a certain kind of lifestyle, and he bluntly added that nothing was ever going to change that. E.J. wondered if that was one of Stefano's grand epiphanies.
"Our family has always lived by their own rules. And, you know, those rules have given us...a lot of rewards, my dear friend. But don't be a fool and think that there is not a price. The price is sometimes -- is just too much to bear. Despite all our power, we are not always in control," Stefano explained. E.J. reminded Stefano that Johnny was not a dispensable object.
"Are you saying this is justified? That I should just accept that this is the cost of doing business? My son is not collateral damage -- he is my son!" E.J. snapped. Stefano insisted that E.J. had jumped to the wrong conclusion. "I love that boy more than my own life! And he loves me -- I'm his nonno. When I think there's a possibility that that sweet little boy's life is in danger, it is my worst nightmare. Don't forget -- I've already lost a son, you know?" Stefano said.
Stefano said that he wasn't going to coddle E.J. "We don't lie down. We do not surrender, especially to bastards like John Black. We're going to get him, and whoever else is responsible for this whole thing, you understand? If any one of them touches one hair on Giovanni's head -- one hair -- they will rue the day that they crossed this family," Stefano vowed. E.J. stared at Stefano with a look of disbelief.
"Tell me something. What could I do to somebody that's worse than losing a child? And who do I take revenge on? When I want to take my vengeance, I don't have to look any further than the reflection in the mirror," E.J. admitted. Stefano tried to argue, but E.J. insisted that he just wanted to be left alone. Stefano reluctantly exited the room. After Stefano left, E.J. clutched one of Johnny's photographs.
At the police station, Bo told Austin that Johnny had been missing for nearly twenty-four hours. Bo added that there was nothing like the pain of losing a child. Bo admitted that he was worried that Sami might do something reckless. Hope entered the room, and she quietly listened as Bo started to talk about Zack.
"The thing is...I keep hearing his laugh in my head, and those big, brown eyes looking up at me, saying, 'Hey, Daddy.' Nah...I'll never forget my boy. My heart won't let me," Bo said, as he realized that Hope was standing behind him. Hope hugged Bo, and she quietly agreed that she would never be able to forget about Zack, either.
Austin apologetically changed the subject, and he told Hope that Bo had asked him to take a look at Alice's financial records. Austin said that Alice's bank account had a very sophisticated design. "This kind of setup...this is the kind of thing that you create when you want to move money around, and you want to keep people from following your trail," Austin explained.
Austin added that the routing numbers were tied to nine different financial institutions that were spread out over three continents. Austin noted that one of the continents was Africa. Austin cautiously explained that someone had gone to great lengths to cover their tracks. Austin wondered if someone might have been blackmailing Alice. Hope admitted that she had considered that possibility.
Hope told Austin about the paperweight that she and Jennifer had found at the Horton house. Hope explained that there was a phoenix symbol inscribed on the paperweight. Hope admitted that she had started to reconsider the possibility that someone had been blackmailing Alice. Before Austin could respond, he received a phone call, and he abruptly excused himself.
Austin assured Bo and Hope that he would continue to investigate Alice's financial records. Austin added that he would talk to Kate, and he suggested that she might know something about Alice and Stefano's connection. After Austin left, Bo promised Hope that he would never give up.
At Marlena and John's townhouse, Will tearfully apologized to Marlena and John for the things that Sami had said earlier. Marlena assured Will that she understood that Sami was just worried about Johnny. Carrie added that Will already had enough to worry about. John assured Will that everything was going to be all right.
Will excused himself so that he could check on Sami. After Will left, Carrie announced that she had talked to the district attorney about John's case. "I hinted that you would be willing to plead guilty to lesser charges, if he was willing to offer a reasonable sentence in return," Carrie explained. Carrie added that she wasn't sure if the D.A. would accept her offer. Marlena said that she was going to remain optimistic.
Later, Austin arrived at the townhouse, and he explained that the D.A. had asked him to deliver something to Carrie. Carrie struggled to maintain her composure as she silently read the letter. Marlena nervously wondered what the letter said.
"I think we already know, based on her expression...but let me take a guess. 'The prosecution has considered your offer very carefully, has weighed the facts and evidence in the case, and as a result, have rejected your offer of a plea agreement. Instead, the prosecution will be seeking the maximum penalty,'" John said. Carrie tearfully admitted that John was right. Marlena sobbed as John tried to comfort her.
At Sami and Rafe's apartment, Rafe tried to convince Sami to eat something. "You think that sandwich is gonna make the difference? You think if I eat that sandwich, that it's gonna make him walk through that door?! You think that this sandwich is the difference between that bloody shirt being him and not?! Your perfect turkey sandwich is not gonna bring him back. It is not gonna change the fact that we went to that pub because of you! It is your fault that we were there, and this sandwich doesn't change that!" Sami shouted, as she threw the sandwich across the room.
Rafe tried to comfort Sami, and he said that he was sorry. Sami said that it was too late for apologies. "You wanted us to be together as a family, but John can't go from one room to the next without a bulletproof vest, and it never occurred to you that maybe we should just keep our children away from him? I mean, it's a miracle that we weren't all shot and killed at the pub. I should just be grateful that I only lost one child yesterday. Maybe I should just be happy that there are three of them still alive, huh? Maybe I should just think about that," Sami shouted.
Gabi and Will entered the apartment, as Sami continued to lash out at Rafe. "I trusted you! I believed in you! I needed you to be there to help me! How could you do that?" Sami tearfully asked, as she started to pound her fists against Rafe's chest. Will placed himself between Sami and Rafe, and he told Sami to stop blaming Rafe for something that wasn't his fault.
Sami said that Johnny was missing because she had chosen to ignore her instincts. Sami insisted that she and Rafe should have known that the pub wasn't safe. Will continued to defend Rafe, but Rafe stopped him, and he admitted that Sami was right. Rafe said that he was the one who had convinced Sami to go to the pub.
Will insisted that Rafe didn't really mean the things that he was saying. Will added that Sami didn't mean what she was saying, either. Sami asked Will not to speak for her. "Sami, you know that I would do anything to get him back. I'd walk out that door and never come back in this house again if it meant we could get him back. Our family is everything to me," Rafe said, but Sami refused to listen.
"You were supposed to know. That's what I don't understand. You were supposed to know! You're the one with the training, you're the FBI agent, you're the Salem P.D. officer -- you were supposed to know! I mean, John was in all that danger, and everybody knew that. How come you didn't know we shouldn't go there? And now we may never see Johnny again!" Sami exclaimed. Rafe waited patiently as Sami continued to vent.
Later, Will explained that he and Gabi were going to meet Chad and Sonny, so that they could all look for Johnny together. After Will and Gabi left, Rafe tried to talk to Sami. Rafe said that he was sorry, and he reminded Sami that they were still a family. Sami wondered if that was true. Before Rafe could respond, Bo and Hope arrived at the apartment.
Bo tried to tell Sami to sit down, but Sami refused to listen. "We got a call from a local TV station. They're about to go live with a story -- an unconfirmed story -- but we didn't want you to hear about it before we could tell you ourselves," Hope explained. Sami demanded to know what was wrong.
"A -- a body was found in Brookeville. A young boy, about the same age as Johnny," Bo reluctantly explained.
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At the loft, Bo and Hope reluctantly broke the news to Sami that the body of a young boy about the same age as Johnny had been found in Brookville. As Sami backed away in disbelief, Rafe tried to hold his wife to comfort her. She shoved his arms away, crying, "No! It's not him! It's not him! You're wrong -- it's not him!" Bo informed Sami and Rafe that the body had not yet been identified. Sami pulled on her coat, determined to go with the Bradys to identify the body, because she wanted to be with her son if it were his body, but Rafe cautioned her against it. Finally the reality of the situation sank in, and she allowed Rafe to put his arms around her as she began to sob.
Rafe had gotten Sami to sit on the couch, and was trying to get her to drink some water, when Will returned home, his face streaked with tears after hearing the news reports about the boy's body. Sami grabbed her son and firmly assured him that it was not Johnny. Sami then encouraged Rafe to go with Bo and Hope to Brookville to identify the body. He didn't want to leave her alone, but Will promised that he would stay with his mom. Rafe, Bo, and Hope each hugged Sami on their way out, and Rafe urged his wife not to give up hope.
After the others had gone, Will offered to get some takeout pasta for his mom from her favorite Italian restaurant. Sami agreed, so Will went into the other room to place the order. Unable to hold back the tears, Sami sat, exhausted, on the couch, but a photograph of Johnny on the end table just made her cry harder. She picked up her keys and staggered numbly out the door. When Will returned, he was surprised that he didn't see his mom there, and rushed from room to room, calling for her.
At the penthouse, Marlena, John, Carrie, and Austin were horrified as they watched the news report about the dead little boy. Carrie tried to reassure the others that if Johnny had been found, Roman would have called. John was more determined than ever to plead guilty, to keep his family out of further danger. Marlena urged her husband not to give up, but to stay and fight for his family's sake. John argued that he wouldn't be able to live with himself if something else happened to his family.
Marlena asked Carrie and Austin for a moment alone with John, so the Reeds went into the next room. Marlena then begged John to reconsider, asserting that she needed him too much, as did his family. John argued that Sami didn't need to see his face every day as a reminder of all the pain he'd caused her. "Sami named her child after you!" Marlena reminded him. She added tearfully that he couldn't leave them while Johnny was missing.
John contended that it was entirely possible that he had stolen billions of dollars from people, and if he had, he deserved to be punished. Marlena asserted that he could only have done such a thing under Stefano's control -- and reminded John that he could be killed in prison. "I would rather be shot at a thousand times than spend a day without you in my life," she declared.
Carrie and Austin returned then, and informed John and Marlena that there had been another report on the news about Johnny. The stricken looks on their faces told John and Marlena everything. Marlena burst into tears, and John held her while Austin did the same for Carrie. After taking a moment to compose herself, Marlena grabbed the phone to call Sami.
E.J. sat by the fire in the living room of the DiMera mansion, dark except for the light from the muted television. He gazed at a photograph of Johnny, and begged his boy's image, "Johnny, please come home. Everything that I've done, I've done for you. If anything were to happen to you..." Unable to continue, E.J. began to weep. "I'm so sorry!" he cried.
When the phone rang, E.J. jumped up to answer it. "Spit it out --- have you found my son?" he demanded. "What?" he asked quietly, and then dropped the phone. Sami appeared in the doorway just as E.J.'s feet went out from under him, and he crashed to the floor against a side table by the fire. She sank to the floor next to him, and buried her face in his shoulder. They wept together inconsolably. Sami managed to tell E.J. that Rafe had gone to identify the body, but she hadn't been able to go because she refused to believe it was Johnny.
Pulling himself up off the floor, E.J. declared that they had to stay strong for when Johnny returned home to them. He urged Sami not to give up hope, because Johnny had all her best qualities: "He's tough, smart, brave -- he's one hell of a kid." He added that he believed in his heart that Johnny was fighting to get home to them. Sami agreed, but declared angrily, "If I just hadn't gone to the pub!" She vehemently blamed John for Johnny's disappearance, and cursed John for returning to Salem from Switzerland.
E.J. seemed to be about to tell Sami that he had set John up, but suddenly Sami saw a news report on TV, and grabbed the remote to turn up the volume. "Sources have now confirmed that the body is, in fact, Johnny DiMera, son of mayoral candidate E.J. DiMera," the reporter announced. Sami's phone slipped out of her hand, and fell in pieces on the floor as she sank to her knees, while E.J. reeled backwards across the room as if someone had struck him.
When Rafe and the Bradys arrived at the location in Brookville, Rafe insisted on going with the uniformed officer to identify the boy's body. While Rafe climbed under the crime-scene tape, Bo and Hope held onto each other. Hope admitted that she couldn't stop thinking about Zack. "And poor Sami; she's already lost Grace. Oh, God -- if this is Johnny, God help her," Hope whispered worriedly. When Rafe returned, Bo and Hope asked anxiously if the body were Johnny's. "It's not him. It's not Johnny," Rafe finally managed. He began trying to reach Sami, while Bo called Roman.
A sobbing Will answered the phone at the loft, and informed Rafe that he didn't know where Sami was. Through his tears, Will expressed his anguish about Johnny's death, and explained to Rafe that it had been all over the news. Rafe reassured Will that the news reports had been wrong, because the boy had not been Johnny. Will agreed to call Caroline, while Rafe planned to try calling Sami. "I just hope Allie hasn't heard the news, because Johnny is her best friend in the world," Will cried. That gave Rafe an idea.
Bo and Hope arrived at the penthouse just as Marlena and Carrie were about to head over to Sami's, since they hadn't been able to reach her. Hope and Bo informed the others that the boy they'd found had not been Johnny -- and they'd gotten confirmation that the bloody shirt had not been his, either. Everyone expressed relief that the police had every reason to keep looking for Johnny, but they worried about what Sami would do if she heard the erroneous news reports. Hope declared that the Brookville police were ordering the television station to air an immediate retraction.
John announced that he wanted to see a judge that very night. "If someone has Johnny because they want revenge on me, if I plead guilty, it could be just the thing to bring the kid home," he explained. No one agreed with John's decision, and Marlena implored him to at least wait until morning. John handed the phone to Carrie, and made her call the judge for him. She reluctantly took the phone into the other room, while the others pleaded with John to take some time to think about things before making such a huge decision. John maintained that he would gladly spend the rest of his life in prison if it meant keeping his family safe.
Austin pulled John aside, and apologized for going against his gut and looking solely at the evidence against John. "After everything that I've seen here tonight, and everything that I know about you, I know that you're innocent. You're a good man, John, and I'm sorry that I ever doubted you," Austin stated. John understood that Austin had only been doing his job, but Austin promised to go back through all the evidence to figure out what he'd missed so he could clear John's name. John insisted that it wasn't necessary, but he did want Austin to promise never to stop loving Carrie, and to look after John's family while he was gone. The men embraced.
Carrie returned, and announced that the judge and prosecution had agreed to meet that night. John asked for a minute alone with Marlena, so Carrie and Austin went back into the kitchen. Marlena reiterated her plea for John not to go through with it. John apologized for letting her down. "It's not what I want, but you never, ever let me down," Marlena insisted, adding softly, "You are the bravest, most selfless man I've ever known. You are the love of my life, and I can't bear to think of losing you."
John agreed that being apart from Marlena would be the hardest thing he would ever do, but he couldn't risk anyone else getting hurt. He vowed to always love her, and urged her to be strong and hold the family together. "But I need you," she whispered. John tenderly instructed her to remember that moment, and the feeling of his arms around her, whenever she needed him. They quietly pledged their love to one another forever.
In her chambers a bit later, Judge Weston made sure John understood that by pleading guilty, he waived all rights to a trial by jury. He replied that he did, and entered a plea of guilty to all the charges against him. The judge then informed John that he would be remanded into police custody until his sentence was rendered the following week. The bailiff put handcuffs on John, but agreed to give him a moment to say goodbye to Marlena. "I can't do this," Marlena whispered tearfully to her husband, holding on tightly to him. They again pledged their love to each other. The bailiff then led John out, while Carrie tried to comfort Marlena.
A distraught Sami was convinced that the news had made a mistake. E.J. cried, "There's no mistake. He's dead. He's dead. It's your fault!" He blamed Sami for taking the children to the pub, where they had literally been in the line of fire, because the people John had stolen money from wanted him dead. Sami tearfully argued that even E.J. had said that she was a good mother, and she would have done anything to keep Johnny safe. "If you're such a great mother, why do all your kids always end up dead?" E.J. demanded bitterly.
Sami slapped him, and screamed at him to never say anything like that to her again, because she loved her kids more than anything. She tried to get her coat to leave, but E.J. shoved her furiously down onto the sofa. As she stood up and whirled to face him, he accused her of not caring about anyone but herself, and of bouncing from man to man. Her voice ragged with rage and grief, Sami reminded him that he had given her sole custody because he knew that Sydney and Johnny were better off with her than with him. She shrieked that if he thought she was a bad parent, he should look in the mirror and remember all the horrible crimes he'd committed against her family.
E.J. shouted that she had shot him in the head, and tried to shove her out the door. Still yelling and shoving him back, Sami reminded him, "I shot you in the head because of what you had done to Sydney! You forget how you kidnapped her, how you made me think she was dead?" Realization dawned, and she accused him, "You've done it again. You have Johnny! You have him, don't you? You have him! You have my son!" Sobbing, grasping for any shred of hope, she pleaded with E.J. to just tell her that he had Johnny hidden away somewhere. Eyes glassy with despair and anger, E.J. assured her that it wasn't a game: their son was dead, and they would never see him again -- because of her.
Tormenting Sami with Johnny's photo, E.J. hissed, "He's never going to graduate from college, Samantha. Never. He's never going to get married. He's never going to fall in love. You robbed him of all of that." He tossed the picture onto the coffee table, and roared at Sami, "So you apologize to me. You apologize for killing my son. You apologize!" Sami slapped E.J. again, and then began flailing wildly, furiously at him. E.J. grabbed her by the arms to fight her off, and then suddenly grabbed her and kissed her roughly. Sami tried to push him away, but then she clung to him, both of them sobbing wretchedly, before they began to kiss again.
Meanwhile, Will and Rafe rushed into the Brady Pub, turning on lights and shouting Johnny's name. Will looked under the bar, while Rafe stuck his head in the back room, but there was no sign of Johnny. Just as they were about to give up, suddenly Johnny crawled out from his hiding place underneath a table. Rafe scooped him up as Will ran over, and the two of them hugged Johnny as they cried tears of relief.
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