Due to the extended New Year's holiday, NBC aired this year's NHL Winter Classic hockey game in place of Days of our Lives. No original episode was broadcast.
This programming change was planned for, and there will be no "lost" episodes as a result of today's pre-emption.
Regular programming will resume on Tuesday, January 3, and pick up where the Friday, December 30 episode concluded.
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Madison was typing on her laptop in Brady's living room when he arrived downstairs. Still annoyed by Sami's departure, Madison worried aloud about finding a new executive. Madison added that she would need to push back the launch date for the promotion on the new men's line of products. With a small smile, Brady apologized for interfering, but noted that Madison could not change the launch date.
Brady explained that the lines were tied together, and it would cause havoc with the marketing push and be expensive. When Madison argued that she did not have the resources to push the men's line because she was focused on her new product line, Brady suggested that Madison should spend more time working on launching the men's line before completing the work on a newer line. Defensive, Madison told Brady that it did not matter that he owned the company, because she would run Mad World as she saw fit.
When Brady argued that Madison's decision would impact Titan's other companies, she countered that Brady was treating her harshly because they were dating. Shaking his head, Brady said that because they were dating, he was treating Madison exactly as he would treat any executive. Madison noted that Brady had dismissed her before hearing her rationale for pushing back the product line. With a sigh, Madison suggested that she and Brady should no longer sleep with one another.
When Brady stammered in confusion, Madison apologized and explained that she was frustrated, and she did not want to break up. "It doesn't matter how professional we are. What we're attempting to pull off is a very delicate balancing act," Madison said. Madison and Brady agreed that they wanted to make their romantic relationship work. After Madison and Brady worked out a compromise to assign their resources, Brady asked Madison about Sami's involvement with the new product line.
Madison noted that she was not worried because Sami had signed a confidentiality agreement. When Madison asked Brady if he thought Sami would break that agreement, Brady noted that Sami was not stupid enough to ignore the confidentiality agreement of the non-compete document.
At Countess W, Kate asked Sami about her first day of work. Sami joked that she was happy to have an office to work in rather than have to work at the Brady Pub. Sami thanked Kate for the job and offered a folder full of ideas for Countess W. Kate dismissed Sami's folder with a wave of her hand and said, "Stop. That's enough. You can put that away until later because right now we're going to get down to why you were really hired. I want you to tell me everything you know about Mad World Cosmetics."
When Sami questioned Kate's motives for hiring her, Kate assured Sami that though she wanted to know Mad World's secrets, she also believed that Sami would be a great addition to Countess W. Stunned, Sami countered that Kate was asking her to do something unethical and likely illegal. Kate argued that there was no room for righteous indignation, but Sami refused to sell out Madison to Kate.
"She gave me an opportunity, and I owe her for that," Sami said. Kate countered that Sami owed Kate for giving her a better job. Kate added that Sami only cared about herself, and she had hired Sami because of her "self-absorption." Sami noted that she had signed a confidentiality agreement and could not divulge trade secrets to Kate without exposing herself to legal ramifications. Shrugging, Kate argued that Madison would not be able to prove that Sami had told Kate any information about Mad World.
Kate ordered Sami to cooperate with her or be fired. When Kate suggested that she and Sami were alike, Sami scoffed at the notion and said that she was not as ruthless as Kate. With a smirk, Kate explained that Sami was not as ruthless in business because she had not held a job for more than five minutes, but in love, Sami was ruthless enough to shoot E.J. in the head.
"Maybe if you had used that killer instinct in your career, you wouldn't be so what? Always out of work," Kate said. Sami sulked, but Kate counseled her to move forward at Countess W. Kate promised to compensate Sami for divulging the secrets. With a sigh, Sami agreed.
Sami informed Kate that Madison was working on a new line for "young, vibrant, bold women." When Kate questioned Sami about the launch date, Sami explained that there had been delays so she was not sure when the launch date had been pushed to but that Madison had set aside a large amount of money for the marketing of the line.
After making a phone call, Kate informed Sami that they were ready to work on their new product line. Worried about the legal ramifications of telling Kate about Mad World's new product line, Sami urged Kate to ensure that the Countess W line was not too similar to the Mad World line. Kate assured Sami that she did not have to worry about Madison.
"Whatever rinky-dink ideas Madison has, we are going to improve them tenfold," Kate announced before asking Sami for more information. When Sami mentioned that she had more material on her laptop, Kate ordered Sami to hurry home and retrieve the laptop so that they could get a jumpstart on Mad World.
At the cafe in Horton Town Square, Jennifer, Lexie, Abe, Nicole, and E.J. met to talk about the mayoral debates. Jennifer asked E.J. why he did not want to allot time for the audience to ask the candidates questions during the debate. With a scowl on her face, Nicole answered that there was not enough time during the debate to entertain questions from the audience. Jennifer countered that the public had a right to be heard by the candidates.
When E.J. and Abe both stepped away to take phone calls, Nicole argued with Lexie and Jennifer. Across the square, E.J. and Abe both concluded their phone calls at the same time and turned when they heard the women arguing back at the table. E.J. and Abe joked about the ferocity of Lexie, Jennifer, and Nicole in their strategizing. Abe advised E.J. to remember that he did not control the city council and would need to listen to the citizens if he were elected mayor. "You need a strong vision. You need to stick to you guns. After all, the buck really does stop with the person in charge," Abe concluded. "For once, I actually agree with you," E.J. responded.
Across the square, Jennifer, Lexie, and Nicole's argument grew heated, and Nicole stood and announced that they should cancel the debate. Abe and E.J. asked for a ceasefire and noted that they had agreed to have three debates with three set subjects, one moderator approved by both candidates, and the public could submit questions in advance. E.J. added that the moderator would pick the questions from the public, which the candidates could not refuse to answer or see in advance.
When E.J. noted that he and Abe could make a calm decision, Jennifer, Lexie, and Nicole laughed. Confused, E.J. asked why the women were laughing. Jennifer explained that they had reached the same decisions as Abe and E.J., and she added that a passionate defense did not mean they were incapable of compromise.
As Nicole and E.J. headed home, Nicole wondered aloud whether E.J. was prepared to go for the kill with Abe. Nicole confided to E.J. that she planned to get questions to the moderator before the debate. When E.J. asked for details, Nicole advised E.J. not to worry about her plan. "You will have your answers ready, and Abe won't know what hit him," Nicole said.
At the cafe, Jennifer deduced from Nicole's posturing that she planned to get questions to the moderator before the debate. When Jennifer shared her suspicion with Abe and Lexie, Lexie agreed. Jennifer vowed to stop Nicole and E.J.
At the penthouse, Marlena was pouring coffee in the living room as Will entered. Will thanked Marlena for inviting him to stay overnight. When Marlena asked Will to talk about Sami, Will noted that he should head home in case Sami and Rafe were worried about him. Smiling, Marlena noted she had texted Sami to inform her that Will was staying overnight at the penthouse. As Will fell silent, Marlena encouraged Will not to bottle up his feelings because it would make him sick.
"I think it already has," Will countered. When Marlena mentioned what E.J. and Sami had done, Will bristled and noted that he could not forgive his mother for betraying Rafe and having sex with E.J. Confused, Marlena asked Will when he had witnessed Sami having sex with E.J. When Will noted that he had witnessed the betrayal when Johnny was missing, Marlena shook her head.
Upset, Will explained that while Sami was having sex with E.J., Rafe was looking for Sami's son. Will noted that Sami's cell phone had been off and that he had gone to the DiMera mansion to inform E.J. that his son had been found. When Marlena asked for details, Will told Marlena that he had used his key to enter the house and that Sami and E.J. had not seen him. Fighting tears, Will noted that he had known his mother was selfish but that until that night, he had not understood "what a heartless, evil slut" she was.
"She doesn't love me. She doesn't love Rafe. She doesn't love Johnny. The only person that she has ever loved ever is herself," Will said. When Marlena urged Will to remain calm, he yelled that the only good decision Sami had made was to marry Rafe and that her decision to sleep with E.J. had destroyed their family. "I hate her for that," Will screamed.
When Will recounted Sami's mistakes, Marlena defended Sami and noted that the children had a stable home. Will argued that Rafe provided a stable home, and Sami was the one that ruined it. When Marlena asked if Rafe knew that Sami had had sex with E.J., Will said that he did not believe that Rafe knew the truth because it was unlikely that Sami would come clean. Will added that he felt like he should tell Rafe that Sami had betrayed him, but he was worried that his siblings would lose Rafe.
"Mom doesn't deserve Rafe, and Rafe deserves to know the truth, but honestly, I am too scared to be the one who ruins that -- who ruins that family and takes that from them. So I don't know what to do," Will said. Will continued that he was disgusted by Sami's promise at the vow renewal ceremony to be faithful to Rafe. Shaking her head, Marlena explained that she understood Sami's desperation to renew her wedding vows to Rafe.
"She was looking for a brand new start," Marlena said. Marlena added that Sami had been consumed with fear about Johnny and when she'd heard on the news that Johnny's body had been found, she had acted out of grief. Marlena reasoned that Sami and E.J. had not acted out of lust but out of pain.
"It doesn't matter why she did it. She cheated on Rafe with the man she hates. She slept with the man that hurt our family so many times. And how do you know that that was the only time?" Will said. Marlena said that she believed that was the only time that E.J. and Sami had slept with one another and that Sami had pushed to renew her wedding vows because she loved Rafe.
"That guilt must be eating her alive inside," Marlena said. When Will asked Marlena why she defended Sami, Marlena answered that she had made the same mistake when she cheated on Roman with John. "My sins have come full circle," Marlena said softly. Will counseled Marlena not to blame herself for Sami's mistakes. Shaking her head, Marlena confided that she understood that Sami was accountable for her own actions, but that she felt as if she had scarred Sami by sleeping with John.
"She's still troubled by it, even today," Marlena said. Marlena noted that neither she nor Will could condemn Sami because they had not been in her position. Will refused to forgive Sami. "If you won't do it for her then do it for yourself," Marlena counseled Will.
Marlena noted that Sami bottled up her emotions, acted out of her anger, and that Sami did things that she regretted. With tears welling up, Marlena explained that she did not want Will to have a fractured relationship with his mother like Marlena had with Sami. Marlena urged Will to put his anger behind him because Will's anger would only hurt him.
At the loft, Sami was hurriedly working on her laptop when Will arrived home. When Will attempted to talk to Sami, a call from Kate interrupted them. Sami grabbed her laptop and asked Will what he wanted to say. Shaking his head, he told Sami that he could wait. Sami promised to talk to Will when she got home from work.
After Sami left, Will called Marlena and said that when he attempted to talk to Sami, she had made it clear that she did not have time for anyone but Sami. When Will explained that Sami had blown him off to head back to work, Marlena pointed out that it was Sami's first day at work and not to take Sami's reaction personally. Marlena advised Will to pick a time when Sami was not busy or distracted. Frustrated, Will announced that he had decided not to talk to Sami after all, then hung up the phone.
Walking around her living room at the penthouse, Marlena thought back to when Sami was a teenager and had confronted Marlena about her affair with John. With tears in her eyes, Marlena stared at a photo of Sami with Will. "Oh, dear God, this can't be happening again," Marlena whispered.
When Sami returned to the Countess W offices with her laptop, Kate asked her to email the information. Raising an eyebrow, Sami noted that email would leave a paper trail. When Sami offered to show the information to Kate, Kate smiled and commented that she and Sami made a good team. "I have a feeling we're going to be unstoppable," Kate said.
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Bo and Hope met with Marlena at the townhouse for a therapy session. Marlena first informed them that John had learned that his freedom was due in part to Stefano's help, and although John had initially been unhappy about it, he'd admitted that he would have done the same thing if he'd been in Marlena's shoes. Marlena then asked what Bo and Hope wanted to work on in therapy. Together, the Bradys explained that they were happier than they'd been in years, but they needed to explore what had gone wrong between them after Zack's death, because they had never really dealt with how it had affected them as a family.
"When our marriage was tested, we came very close to losing everything, and we don't ever want to have that happen again," Bo stated. As Marlena asked open-ended questions, Hope offered her theory that because they hadn't dealt with what had happened to Zack, it had led to their not dealing with a lot of other things as a couple. Bo added that they hadn't trusted each other with their feelings. Hope said that the two of them had pretended that they had worked through their pain and that things had returned to normal when they hadn't.
Marlena asked when Bo and Hope had realized they'd needed help. Bo replied that it had been when they'd found Zack's Christmas ornament, and Hope confessed that for her, it had also been during Johnny's disappearance. Upon further questioning from Marlena, Hope described her devastation when she'd learned that Chelsea had been behind the wheel when Zack had died. "Letting Chelsea drive, and then not telling me, then lying to me -- that's what shattered my faith, my trust in you," Hope told Bo.
Fighting to maintain his composure, Bo admitted, "Hope is right. I am responsible for what happened to our little boy, and I hate myself for it." Hope noted gently that the two of them never discussed their pain or their loss with each other. As Bo broke down in sobs, Hope put her arms around him and pulled him to her, and then began to weep as well. Bo then acknowledged to Marlena that he wasn't as open about his feelings as Hope was. Hope pointed out that although they talked about their precious memories of Zack, they never discussed their grief or the hopes and dreams they'd had for their son -- and it made her feel alone and sad. "I'm sorry," Bo said.
Hope told Marlena that Bo's decisions about Ciara's kidnapping had also contributed to their problems. Hope continued that afterwards, she'd taken a still-terrified Ciara to Doug and Julie's house in the mountains in the hopes that it would help the child, and while there, Hope had decided that she and Bo needed some time apart. Shortly after Hope had temporarily moved out, she had found Carly in Bo and Hope's bed. Bo argued that it had been Hope's decision to move out. "I thought you'd be waiting for me. Instead, you replaced me," Hope said sadly.
Bo gently reminded her that at first he had only been trying to protect Carly from people who'd been trying to kill her, and he'd never intended to get involved with Carly again. Hope understood, but pointed out that it had still hurt her deeply. Hope divulged to Marlena, "While he turned to Carly, I turned to pills that I thought would help me sleep and dull the pain." She began to cry as she continued that she had nearly killed Bo -- but she hadn't been able to go through with it because she'd loved him. The Bradys declared their love for one another, and again held each other as they both cried.
Hope expressed her amazement that Bo had forgiven her, but he said that he shared the responsibility for the things she'd done that had landed her in prison. "I nearly lost you, and I don't want to go anywhere near that place again," Bo declared. "I don't either," Hope agreed. Marlena pointed out that although they couldn't change the past, Bo and Hope could make their future whatever they chose.
"I promise to always trust you, and work out our problems together," Bo vowed, and Hope echoed his words. Marlena assured them, "You have the love. Once you have the trust, forgiveness follows." She declared that Bo and Hope had made a great deal of progress in one session, and if they could keep the lines of communication open, they could have the kind of marriage that they wanted. Bo and Hope promised each other that they would do that.
Will went to the Kiriakis mansion to return a couple of flash drives to Sonny. Sonny asked how Will was, and noted that Will had seemed troubled since before his breakup with Gabi. Will admitted, "Yeah, I've been through some stuff, and I've had some stuff to deal with. I'm just stressed." With a reassuring hand on Will's shoulder, Sonny assured Will that he could talk to Sonny about anything. Will asked if Sonny had ever wanted to leave everyone and everything he knew and start over. Sonny admitted, "I used to, but I don't want to anymore... No matter how far you run, when you wake up in the morning, you're still you. There's no escaping that."
Sonny explained that he had actually tried to run away from his problems, and that was how he knew it didn't work -- and he hoped that Will dealt with his problems head-on. Will asked how Sonny had dealt with things. Sonny explained that before he'd come to terms with being gay, he had felt so uncomfortable with who he was that it had made him uncomfortable around other people, so he'd kept his distance from his friends and family. Will asked, "Who in your family were you most afraid to come out to?" Sonny said that it had been his Uncle Victor. Will wanted to know what Sonny would have done if Victor hadn't accepted him. "Then it would have been his loss, because I can't change who I am," Sonny replied matter-of-factly.
Will then asked if Sonny had any ideas for another business venture for them. Sonny divulged that he'd asked his parents if he could turn the Cheatin' Heart into a "hip, cool coffeehouse," with live music, games, and Wi-Fi, where anyone -- gay or straight -- could feel at home. "Okay, I'm in," Will declared. Sonny cautioned him that they would need investors again, but he was confident that, despite the debacle with the website, it would all work out. Sonny asked if Will had enrolled for the spring semester yet. Will confided that he wasn't sure he was going to return to Salem U, because he didn't think he could live in Salem anymore.
Sonny reversed his original advice, and encouraged Will to leave town as soon as possible. Sonny explained, "Sometimes you have to put a distance between everything you know and everyone you love before you can find yourself. I just don't think you've been comfortable in your own skin for a while now." An uncomfortable Will said that he didn't want to discuss it with Sonny. Sonny understood, but pointed out, "If you're this down that you don't even want to go to school, I just feel like maybe you should take some time just for yourself, you know, see what you want to do. And most importantly, to find out who you really are."
At Rafe and Carrie's new office, Austin and Rafe hauled in boxes while Carrie supervised. Carrie then asked Rafe to finish up outside, because she needed Austin's help with something. Once Carrie was alone with her husband, she expressed her excitement that her new law firm would be open in a few more minutes. Austin replied with a grin, "And not a moment too soon, because clients are just lined up outside to file lawsuits and snoop on people." Carrie took offense, but Austin reassured her that he hadn't meant anything negative by the remark, because he would support her no matter what.
Austin admitted that he was worried he would never see her while she got her new business off the ground. Carrie promised that wouldn't happen. While Carrie and Austin were kissing, Rafe returned with another box -- and a new client. The woman, wearing a leopard-print top and hat with matching handbag, introduced herself: "I'm Tillie, and I am desperate!" Carrie shook the woman's hand, and introduced her to Austin. Austin then volunteered to pick up some things Carrie needed in the square. After Austin had gone, Carrie and Rafe invited Tillie to sit down and tell them how they could help her.
"The love of my life, Charlie Aaron, has gone missing, and I need your help finding him," Tillie said. While Rafe asked questions and took notes, Tillie explained that Charlie had left home about two days earlier and had not returned -- and he'd always had "an eye for the ladies." Tillie admitted that she loved Charlie more than she hated his bad habits. Rafe wasn't sure what he or Carrie could do if Charlie had left home of his own free will. Tillie replied that all they had to do was find Charlie and take him home, and she would take care of things from there. When Carrie referred to Tillie as "Mrs. Aaron," Tillie was taken aback.
"Isn't Charlie Aaron your husband?" Rafe asked. Tillie indignantly told them that her name was Tillie Inman -- and Charlie Aaron was her missing cat. She then produced a large, framed photo of the cat, along with a list of his favorite haunts, and slapped a five-dollar bill down on the desk. "This five dollars is your retainer. I've seen how they do it on the detective shows," Tillie explained. After a final entreaty for Carrie and Rafe to find Charlie Aaron, Tillie left. Rafe and Carrie tried not to burst out laughing as the door closed. "I used to chase down the likes of people like Stefano DiMera and helped free John Black, and now I'm looking for a cat," Rafe noted wryly.
Soon Rafe and Carrie were looking for Charlie Aaron outside the Brady Pub. Rafe thought he saw the cat under a delivery dock, and tried to get Carrie to go in after it. She refused, so Rafe reluctantly tried to retrieve the cat. A few seconds later, Carrie heard a cat howling, and she winced with sympathetic pain as she watched Rafe tangle with the angry feline.
After they returned to the office, Rafe opened the first-aid kit to bandage his hands. He grumbled that they were losers because they couldn't even find a cat. As Carrie was fretting about the potential damage to their reputation, the phone rang. It was Tillie, calling to thank Carrie and Rafe for finding Charlie Aaron. Carrie quickly put the call on speaker. "It was so cute the way you left him sitting out on my porch, yowling to get in!" Tillie declared with a happy giggle. As Rafe's jaw dropped open, Carrie shrugged and told Tillie, "We thought that would be a nice surprise." Tillie expressed her sincere gratitude. Carrie and Rafe celebrated their first victory with a fist bump.
As Chad waited for Melanie in Horton Square, he recalled their kiss on New Year's Eve. When Melanie arrived, she admitted that she hadn't been able to stop thinking how they had rung in the new year -- but it had been wrong. Taking her face in his hands as if to kiss her, Chad insisted, "It's as right as it gets." Just then, Abigail arrived, and demanded angrily, "What the hell is this?" Chad and Melanie weakly tried to insist that it wasn't what Abigail thought, but she didn't buy it. Abigail deduced that it had all started when Chad had kissed Melanie on Halloween, and then quietly demanded, "My God, Melanie. How could you betray me like this?"
Chad insisted that no one had betrayed Abigail. She pointed out that despite his assurances that he hadn't known he'd been kissing Melanie, the Halloween kiss had gone on long enough that Chad had to have known it wasn't Abigail. Abigail continued that Melanie had listened so kindly while Abigail had poured her heart out about how things had felt "off" with Chad, and accused Melanie of keeping Chad posted all along. Melanie and Chad tried to convince Abigail that none of her accusations were true, but Abigail stormed off anyway.
A devastated Melanie started to run after her, but Chad physically pulled Melanie back. Melanie wanted to explain that they hadn't been doing anything behind Abigail's back, but Chad thought they should give Abigail some time to cool off. Melanie was upset that she had hurt her best friend, and she realized that maybe she hadn't changed as much as she thought she had. Chad had no idea what Melanie was talking about, so she summed it up succinctly: "We cannot be together." Chad acknowledged that they were both upset about hurting Abigail, but he didn't think it meant they had to break up before they even got together.
Melanie suggested that they start over. Sticking out her hand, she introduced herself to Chad, who played along. "I have a feeling we're going to be very good friends," Melanie said. Chad laughed, but she made it clear that she just wanted to be friends for the time being. He asked what happened after that. "We'll see," Melanie replied. Chad admitted that he wasn't entirely happy about it, but he understood. To seal the deal, they shook hands again.
Austin was alone at the Brady Pub when a clearly upset Abigail walked in. He asked her what was wrong, and she replied tearfully, "Everything." Abigail put her arms around Austin with a miserable sigh. Once Abigail had calmed down a little, she explained that she and Chad had broken up. She knew that it had been the right thing to do, but she'd just found out that Chad and her best friend Melanie had a "thing" for each other -- and had since Halloween. Taking Abigail's hand, Austin reassured her that she was very special, and promised that the right guy was out there for her.
Austin asked if Abigail would be as upset if Chad had moved on with someone other than her best friend. "I don't know. Probably not," she admitted. Austin then wanted to know what had made Abigail decide to end things with Chad. Abigail confessed that she'd realized she had feelings for someone else. She explained that the guy always made her feel special, and she'd never met anyone else who'd made her feel that way. Austin stressed, "This is what you deserve." He encouraged Abigail to follow her heart, and she declared that she knew exactly what she needed to do.
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At the Intensity Day Spa, Chad quietly watched as Quinn showed Gabi and Melanie a few basic kickboxing techniques. Chad dropped his keys, and he leaned over to pick them up. As Chad was leaning over, Melanie accidentally kicked him in the face.
Chad fell to the ground, and he lost consciousness. A short time later, Chad regained consciousness, and he insisted that he was fine. Melanie wasn't convinced, but Quinn agreed that Chad was going to be all right. Melanie apologized profusely, and she explained that she had been unaware that Chad had been standing next to her. "What, am I invisible to you now?" Chad jokingly asked.
Chad reiterated that he was all right. Chad added that taking the occasional blow to the head was a good way to build character. Melanie assured Chad that she would never purposely hurt him, and he agreed. Quinn jokingly asked if he needed to brace himself for a lawsuit. Chad said that he would forget about the whole thing if Quinn agreed to teach him how to dodge a kick like that.
Quinn offered to call Abigail, but Chad explained that he and Abigail had broken up a few days earlier. Later, Chad, Melanie, Gabi, and Quinn decided to go to the Brady Pub for lunch. Quinn excused himself so that he could let his staff members know that he was going to be at the pub, and he asked Gabi to follow him.
After Gabi and Quinn left, Chad wondered if he was going to be able to hide the lump on his head with a hat. Melanie jokingly stated that Chad would need a really big hat, then she apologized for ruining Chad's workout. Chad admitted that he had gone to the spa to see Melanie. Melanie wondered what would have happened if Abigail had been at the spa. "Hey, now -- I agreed to back off for Abigail's sake; I never agreed I wouldn't see you," Chad said.
Later, at the Brady Pub, Quinn told Chad that he was shocked that Melanie was still single. Meanwhile, as Gabi and Melanie waited for their order at the bar, Gabi talked about Chad and Abigail's breakup. Gabi mentioned that Abigail had asked to borrow Gabi's copy of Break Free, Break Up. Melanie was surprised to learn that Abigail had asked to borrow the book, but she tried to hide her interest.
Gabi pointed out that she had dated Chad in the past, and she admitted that she was thinking about asking him out again. Gabi wondered if Abigail would be upset, and Melanie shrugged. Later, Quinn offered to schedule a private kickboxing class for Melanie. Melanie watched as Gabi tried to flirt with Chad, and she said that she would think about Quinn's offer. Chad glanced at Quinn and Melanie with a hint of jealousy.
At the Horton house, Jack excitedly flipped through some brochures, and he assured Jennifer that their trip to Hawaii was going to be wonderful. Jennifer thanked Jack for booking separate rooms. Jack said that he didn't want to pressure Jennifer, but he added that he was still worried about Daniel. Jennifer insisted that Daniel had moved on with his life.
"When I talk about Daniel, it's not because I'm wondering how he feels about you. It's your feelings for him that concern me," Jack explained. Jack wondered if he was wasting his time. "I'm frustrated, because I feel like I -- I'm doing something. I'm working on myself. I'm going to therapy. I'm trying to make myself a better man for you," Jack added.
Jack changed the subject, and he explained that he had arranged to meet with John later that day. Jack suggested that he and Jennifer could continue their discussion later, and Jennifer agreed. Jennifer wondered if Marlena was going to be at the meeting. Jack reminded Jennifer that he was going to an interview, not a therapy session.
Jennifer said that she was just hoping that Marlena might be able to help Jack find some closure. "Closure? Oh, yes, yes -- closure, as in...me feeling better about myself, so I don't need you to feel better about myself, so I wouldn't be putting the pressure on you," Jack said, as he exited the house.
At John and Marlena's townhouse, John told Brady about his plan to rebuild Basic Black. Brady was excited about John's plan, and he offered to forge a partnership with John. John pointed out that Brady was already running Titan, and he added that he didn't want Brady to make an impulsive decision that he would regret later.
Brady insisted that he had been thinking about working with John for a long time. "You remember when I came to visit you in jail? All you could talk about were the good old days at Basic Black -- you and me, together. I haven't been able to get that out of my mind," Brady explained. John wondered what Brady was planning to do with Titan.
"Titan's a great company. I'm very, very proud of what I did at Titan, and what I've accomplished, but...the idea of hitting the ground running with you, and planting some roots, and building something out of nothing -- that's an opportunity that doesn't come around a lot, and I want to grab it, and I don't want to miss it," Brady said. Brady urged John to accept the offer.
"I could use a partner like you. Hell, I need a partner like you...it's just that I am the last thing that you need. Therefore, my answer has to be no," John said. Brady wondered why John was declining the offer. John said that Brady was making a huge business decision based on pure emotions. John noted that Titan was thriving because of Brady's leadership.
John said that he didn't want Brady to walk away from everything that he had built at Titan. Brady pointed out that it was his decision to make. John thanked Brady, then he reiterated that he couldn't accept the offer. Before Brady could respond, Jack arrived. Jack wondered if he was interrupting something. "No, you're not interrupting anything other than my dad and I doing what we do best -- being stubborn," Brady dryly stated.
Later, Jack thanked John for the interview. Jack said that he was sure that a lot of people were going to be eager to hear John's side of the story. "Well, we'll see, but there is one thing that I'd like you to make really clear in your article. I wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for my wife; her love, support, and belief in me is what kept me going. She was that very bright light at the end of a dark, lonely tunnel. If you're lucky enough to have a woman like that love you, all I can say is...don't take her for granted," John said.
Brady jokingly reminded John that Jack wasn't writing a romantic advice column. Jack admitted that he could have used that advice a few years earlier. "I actually did take Jennifer for granted, and I'm thinking now that...it will be the biggest mistake of my life," Jack said.
After Jack left, Brady vowed that he wasn't going to take his relationship with Madison for granted. John said that was another reason for Brady to stay at Titan. Brady suggested that John was just trying to think of ways to derail Brady's plan to join John at Basic Black.
"Rebuilding Basic Black is a risky venture. There is no guarantee of success -- that's why I'm fighting you so hard on this. If this is something that you want to pursue...then there's something you have to do first. You're going to talk to Madison, you're going to tell her what you're considering, and if she's this important to you, you are going to listen carefully to what she has to say, and then you're going to think about it. Now, at the end of all of that, if you decide that you want to come on board at Basic Black, be my partner...well, I would be the happiest S.O.B. on the planet," John said, as he hugged Brady.
At the hospital, Daniel and Maggie anxiously waited for Daniel's test results. Lexie entered her office, and she explained that Daniel had an intention tremor. "It's something you sometimes see in patients with multiple sclerosis, or people who suffer from chronic alcohol abuse," Lexie said.
"Yeah, or it could be the result of a minor -- a stroke? Really? I mean, this is what's happening to me? You've got to be crazy," Daniel skeptically stated. Maggie suggested that Lexie could run some additional tests. Lexie said that she had already taken the liberty of doing that, and she assured Daniel that the results were conclusive.
"We're talking about a very minor stroke. It probably struck while he was asleep, and he wasn't even aware of it," Lexie said. Daniel impatiently asked Lexie to tell him how she planned to fix it. "There are a few approaches we can take...but as you know, these types of tremors are difficult to treat. Daniel's condition...I'm sorry. It's not reversible," Lexie admitted.
Lexie explained that she might be able to prescribe a medication that would temporarily resolve the issue, but she added that the tremors would eventually return. "So, basically, the cure hasn't caught up with the problem, right? So, until it does, what you're saying to me is that my days as a surgeon are over?" Daniel asked incredulously.
Lexie noted that Daniel was in shock, and that it was going to take a while for the news to sink in. "No, it is going to take a lot more than that -- a lot more, because me being in the operating room, it's not something I can describe. It's not some feeling I have, it's not something I do -- it is who I am. Don't...don't even say it, because I can't -- I won't -- I won't hear it. I can't hear it," Daniel said, and he stormed out of Lexie's office.
After Daniel left, Maggie said that she was worried about Daniel. "I'm afraid I really shouldn't have come here today. Sitting next to him when he learned that his career as a surgeon might be over...I just felt like I was intruding, somehow, in something so very personal," Maggie added. Lexie reminded Maggie that Daniel was her son.
"He's only been my son, in his mind, for a little while; he's wanted to be a surgeon his whole life. It's a dream that he shared with the mother who raised him, not with me," Maggie explained. Lexie said that Maggie was the mother who was going to help Daniel carve a new path in his life. Lexie added that she probably would not have been able to handle the situation as well as Maggie had, if the roles had been reversed.
Maggie cited the challenges of raising Theo, and she insisted that Lexie was an incredibly strong woman. Lexie admitted that Theo required a lot of extra attention and patience, but she added that she was lucky to be his mother. Lexie told Maggie that being Daniel's mother was the best medicine that she could give him. After Maggie left, Lexie sighed with frustration as she looked at Daniel's test results again.
At the Horton Town Square, Daniel bumped into Jennifer. Daniel apologized, and he started to walk away, but Jennifer stopped him. Jennifer said that she could tell that something was wrong, and she urged Daniel to talk to her. Daniel told Jennifer about his diagnosis, and he admitted that there was not a long-term solution for the problem. Daniel tried to joke about the situation, but Jennifer wasn't fooled by his act.
As Daniel and Jennifer embraced, Jack entered the town square.
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When Brady met Madison at the Brady Pub, she was a bit anxious about finding a replacement for Sami. Brady reassured Madison that she could handle anything. He then informed her that he had offered to leave Titan to help rebuild his father's company. Brady described how excited he'd been when the idea had begun to form while he'd been visiting John in jail, but Madison was peeved. "First Sami and now you. Soon I'll just be running Mad World all by myself," she complained. She ordered Brady to leave, but he asked her to hear him out first.
Madison pointed out that she had only agreed to merge Mad World with Titan because she'd wanted to work with Brady, and she wondered what John needed to prove after being exonerated -- and why he needed Brady to do it. Brady reminded Madison that John was broke after repaying all the stolen pension funds with his own money. Madison argued that John could make a lot of money doing consulting work instead of rebuilding Basic Black. "If this very same scenario happened to Mad World Cosmetics, wouldn't you do everything you could to rebuild it?" Brady asked. Madison understood that, but she didn't understand why it was so important to Brady.
Brady admitted that his relationship with his father had been very complicated, but, thanks to Madison's encouragement, he was starting to get to know his father again -- and he didn't want to take John for granted anymore. Madison noted that Brady didn't need her permission. Brady declared that he didn't want his going to work for Basic Black to negatively affect his relationship with Madison. Madison admitted that it might put a strain on their relationship, but she believed in "family first," and she was glad that things were better between Brady and John. "So whatever you need to do, whatever you want to do, I'm behind you one hundred percent," Madison declared.
Madison then took Brady back to her hotel room. He thanked her for hearing him out. Madison admitted that after thinking about it, she agreed that Brady working with his father was a great idea, because when she'd been starting out, she would have given anything to be able to share things with her mom. She added that she understood why Brady wanted to work with John, because she would have done the same thing if her mom were still there. "I'm happy for you, Brady. I really am," Madison declared sincerely. A relieved Brady thanked her for her support, and kissed her to show her just how grateful he was.
In the conference room at Countess Wilhelmina, Sami was looking at pictures of her kids on her laptop when Kate entered. Kate asked about Sami's progress on some figures for distribution, and Sami replied that she had saved the company two percent. Kate asserted that Sami could have a bright future at Countess W, and encouraged Sami to keep up the good work. She continued that Sami's return to "the dark side" would eventually pay off for all of them, including Sami's family.
Kate maintained, "To get the upper hand, you have to bend the rules." She then told Sami to take the rest of the night off and spend it with her family. Sami gratefully gathered her things to leave. Before Sami left, Kate gently stated, "And about those images on your computer: you don't have to hide those kind of things from me. You can look at pictures of your children as often as you want to, because I believe all this work has to be for something, or it's not worth it."
When Will arrived at the loft, Rafe was chopping vegetables for a stir-fry. Will was touched that Rafe had remembered to make a separate pot just for Will without carrots, his least-favorite vegetable. Rafe informed Will that although Sami was working late again, he was sure the late nights would only be temporary. "I hope not. It's so much better when she's out of the house," Will asserted. Rafe encouraged Will to talk to his mom if he was angry with her instead of just making snide remarks all the time. Will maintained that he would talk to his mom if she were only there. Rafe gently noted that Will was obviously very angry, and asked what exactly was bothering Will.
Will asserted that for his whole life, he had watched his mom manipulate guys and ruin their lives, and he didn't want her to do that to Rafe. Rafe maintained that he and Sami were just fine, but Will countered that Sami was going to break Rafe's heart. "Okay, Will, I'll bite: What is it that she's gonna do that's gonna break my heart?" Rafe demanded. Will hedged that his mom only cared about herself, and pointed out that Rafe was cooking, cleaning, and taking care of Sami's children. Rafe countered, "I've got bad news for you, buddy. That's what being married is all about."
Sami arrived just then, and while she greeted her husband enthusiastically, Will sulked on the couch. When she saw that Rafe had started dinner, she was impressed and thrilled. Rafe revealed that he and Carrie had already cracked their first case, but he did not say what it had been. Sami asked about Will's day. He muttered that it had been fine, so she suggested that the three of them play a game after dinner. Will declined, and left in a hurry, mumbling something about eating leftovers later.
Trying to make light of it, Sami related how Will had loved bending the rules while playing board games as a kid. Rafe didn't think that would snap Will out of his current mood. Sami surmised that Will was still hurting over his breakup with Gabi, and Rafe agreed that the kid probably just needed a little time and space to get over it. "I hope you're right, because I miss him like crazy," Sami admitted.
After dinner, Sami thanked her husband with an ardent kiss, and then began cleaning up in the kitchen. Rafe noted that Sami had been almost overly affectionate toward him for a little while. Sami confessed that ever since she'd thought she'd lost Johnny, she didn't want a moment to go by without making sure that Rafe knew how much she loved him. As the Hernandezes snuggled on the couch, Sami's cell phone chimed, and she jumped up to run across the room and grab it. With a sigh of relief, she said that it was just a text from her grandmother to let Sami know that the kids were in bed.
"Your grandma's texting now?" a surprised Rafe asked. Sami admitted that she had thought the message might have been from Kate about a report Sami had sent over. "I thought working for Kate would be a nightmare and a half, but I sort of feel like I belong there," Sami confided. Rafe just wanted his wife to be happy. He offered Sami some dessert, but she replied that she probably shouldn't have any. "That's not the kind of dessert I was thinking," Rafe clarified. "Sounds good to me," Sami declared. She kissed her husband and leapt into his arms, and he carried her into the bedroom.
John was working on a household budget when Marlena returned to the townhouse. She asked if John had heard from Will, but John demanded a kiss first, and his wife happily obliged. John then said that he hadn't heard from Will -- but Brady had dropped by with a very intriguing proposition. John filled Marlena in that Brady had offered to leave Titan and partner with John to revitalize Basic Black -- but John had urged Brady to think about it, and to discuss it with Madison before he made a decision.
Marlena noticed the work that John had been doing on the budget, and pointed out that their bill for a cable sports package seemed high. John asked if she had a better way to keep him entertained. With a mischievous grin, she crossed the item off the list, and declared, "Indoor contact sports, baby." Giggling, they kissed enthusiastically.
Later, John admitted that he would really like to work with Brady again, but he knew that Brady owed a lot to Titan, so John wasn't going to get his hopes up until Brady made a decision. Marlena asserted that although Brady had learned some "questionable" things from Victor, she knew Brady would make the right decision.
An obviously agitated Will showed up at the townhouse, and asked to speak with Marlena privately. An understanding John went into the bedroom to do some physical therapy. Will ranted about how he couldn't stand to be around his mom, and how disgusted he'd felt watching her gush about the dinner Rafe had made. Marlena quickly figured out that Will hadn't talked to Sami about what he'd seen, and urged him to get it off his chest. Will argued that the truth would kill Rafe.
Marlena asked, "What if you told your mom, and she found the courage to tell Rafe herself?" Will asserted that his mom was so selfish that she would manage to make him feel guilty about it -- and make him keep her secret forever. Marlena pointed out that everyone had secrets, but as Sami knew better than most people, those secrets had a way of getting exposed.
"But if you're strong, and you're honest with yourself, well, you've got a much better chance of having that be your choice," Marlena said. She reminded Will that he could talk to her about anything, because he was safe with her. Clearly still anxious, Will announced that he had to get out of there -- and get far away. Marlena worriedly asked if he intended to leave town. "I don't know, but I do know that if I don't get away from my mother soon, I'm going to explode," Will declared as he left.
John emerged from the bedroom after he heard the front door slam, and asked if Marlena wanted to talk about what was going on with Will. She reluctantly replied that she couldn't discuss it, and John understood. Marlena said that she wished she could do more to help her grandson, but John assured her that she was doing a great deal just by listening to the boy and offering advice. "I know; I'm just not sure it's enough," Marlena admitted.
Horton Square was empty when Will showed up there a bit later. He vented his frustrations by screaming and kicking over a trashcan. As he tried to calm himself, he spotted a poster for E.J.'s mayoral campaign, and charged over to rip it off the wall -- but then stopped as if it had given him an idea, and hurried out of the square.
At the DiMera mansion, E.J. was shouting orders into the phone when Stefano entered the room. After he hung up, E.J. expressed his anger over dropping twenty points in the polls despite having attended John Black's press conference. He added that he also could not understand how John had gotten out of a lengthy prison sentence after confessing to his crimes. "I'm sure it's going to all come out sooner or later," Stefano replied.
E.J. assumed that Stefano was somehow disappointed in him. Stefano declared, "You are not to blame. I am the one who has failed you." He explained that perhaps he could have taught E.J. better, but E.J. didn't think so. E.J. apologized for taking his frustrations out on his father, and added with gratitude, "You are the one person who has always been in my corner."
E.J. was just asserting that he had to figure out a new way to win the election when a very cheerful Kate arrived home from work. Stefano asked why his wife was in such a good mood. She informed Stefano and E.J. that she had hired Sami away from the competition, and it was working out even better than Kate had hoped. A flabbergasted E.J. wondered what Sami could possibly have to offer Kate in the workplace, and guessed with a chuckle that it was some sort of scheme on Kate's part. Eyes twinkling, Kate maintained that she was far too content to scheme any longer. Stefano and Kate then left for dinner.
As Kate and Stefano arrived outside the Brady Pub, he complained about how Harold, the butler, had been refusing to wear part of his uniform. Kate pointed out that Stefano only fixated on trivialities when something else was on his mind, and asked what was troubling him. Stefano confessed that he had been keeping a secret from Elvis. "If he were to know the truth, I don't think he would forgive me," Stefano added worriedly. He wouldn't divulge any details, except to say that he had let his son down.
Just then, John and Marlena arrived. Stefano remarked that he thought the Blacks were too destitute to pay for a meal out. Kate generously suggested that the four of them dine together, but John declared that he would rather starve than share a table with Stefano. Kate lightly asserted that they should call a truce, since they were old friends -- and since Sami was working for Kate. That news obviously stunned John and Marlena, who started to head inside without another word. Stefano reiterated Kate's suggestion, and even offered to pay for dinner. "Oh, no. You've done enough, don't you think?" John replied with a sardonic smile.
After John and Marlena went inside, Kate asked what Stefano had done. Stefano maintained that the Blacks blamed him for the missing Basic Black funds. Kate asked if Stefano were worried about what John thought about him, and Stefano admitted that John was a worthy opponent -- but one who would get his life back. Stefano then suggested, "What do you say that we go and find the most ridiculously expensive place, and have dinner -- alone?" Kate happily accepted, so the two left arm-in-arm.
Inside, Marlena expressed her disbelief and displeasure at how her former friend, Kate, had become so "deeply embedded in the dark side." Just then, Brady called John. "Hey, Dad, I was wondering if we could have that talk. I have something to tell you," Brady said.
E.J. was surprised when Will showed up at the DiMera mansion. E.J. asked what the lad was doing there. Will replied that he was going to leave Salem -- and E.J. was going to give him the money to do so. "What makes you think that I'm going to give you any money?" a bemused E.J. wanted to know. With tears in his eyes, Will declared softly but firmly, "Because I know your secret, and if you don't open up your wallet, I will tell everyone what you did."
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