John and Paul were eager to see Marlena and Sonny, respectively, when they arrived back in Salem after their trip to Athens; however, John wanted to buy a bouquet of lilacs for Marlena first, so Paul followed him to the Horton Town Square so they could continue discussing what Xander had hinted at during their conversation with him.
Paul, who had been skeptical of Xander's claim at first, had since convinced himself that Victor really was the mastermind behind Deimos' murder, but John still had doubts, finding it hard to believe that Victor would ever allow Sonny, of all people, to take the fall for a crime he had orchestrated. Paul reasoned that Victor was probably betting that Sonny wouldn't be held accountable for something he had done while unwillingly under the influence of Halo. Knowing that, in any case, demanding answers from Victor was a surefire way to get him to clam up in a hurry, John helped Paul think of better ways to handle the situation.
Meanwhile, in a conference room at the police station, Victor listened with interest as Sonny revealed that Paul was chasing some sort of lead. Victor wanted more information, but Sonny admitted with a sigh that he didn't know much about the lead -- or about anything else, for that matter; in fact, the only thing he really knew was that he had moved Deimos' body.
"You don't even know that!" Victor insisted, arguing that Sonny's latest memories couldn't be trusted because they had resurfaced while he had been under hypnosis. "What were you thinking, bringing [Marlena] into this whole damn act? The woman tries to shove her nose into everything!" Victor continued, shaking his head in disgust.
Sonny defended Marlena, pointing out that it wasn't her fault that, during their session, he had remembered moving Deimos' body. Sonny continued to allow for the possibility that he truly had killed Deimos, but Victor insisted, "There is no way you're going down for the murder of my worthless, son-of-a-bitch brother!" Suddenly concerned, Sonny wondered what Victor was planning to do. Victor claimed that he was simply going to ensure that Sonny had the best defense money could buy. "Just sounded like you meant something more...extreme," Sonny mused. "'Extreme'? A moderate man like me?" Victor innocently replied, eliciting a chuckle from Sonny.
Later, Victor emerged from the conference room and spotted Paul, who had just arrived. Paul clenched his fists as Victor welcomed him back to Salem. Increasingly suspicious, Paul wondered how Victor had heard about his trip out of town. Victor explained that Sonny had mentioned earlier that Paul was chasing some sort of lead.
"Did you come up with anything?" Victor asked. "Sorry -- I'm, uh, not allowed to talk about what we found out," Paul replied. "'Allowed'? 'We'?" Victor curiously repeated. Chuckling nervously, Paul noted that he had apparently already said too much about the matter. "Let's just leave it at this: if things pan out, I'll make sure you'll be the first to know. Oh, and, um, whoever tried to pin this on Sonny, I'll also make sure that they fry," Paul added before joining Sonny in the conference room.
"So, how was it?" Sonny asked Paul hopefully. Paul admitted with a sigh that he didn't have good news for Sonny yet. "But, um, I really think that I'm on the right track," Paul stressed, adding that he wasn't going to rest until Sonny was cleared of all charges. Meanwhile, Victor returned to the Kiriakis mansion and, after some thought, contacted someone and told the person, "I just saw Sonny. He looks awful. I can't let him stay in that jail any longer. It's time to give the police another suspect."
At the Evans-Black townhouse, Hattie observed that Marlena didn't seem particularly pleased to see her. Marlena impatiently demanded to know what Hattie wanted. "I want your life," Hattie jealously replied, adding that any woman would, since Marlena was not only beautiful and successful but had also found happiness with the man of her dreams. "Do you have any idea what it's like to always get the short end of the stick?" Hattie continued, complaining that her life, on the other hand, had been filled with disappointments, including a relationship with a guy who had used her as a scapegoat for a crime he had committed.
Marlena agreed that life hadn't been very fair to Hattie. "[But] I don't see what that has to do with me," Marlena continued. "You will," Hattie promised. Observing that Marlena seemed to be anticipating a romantic evening with John, Hattie grumbled, "You know, in my whole life, I never had a man that was worth diddly-squat, [but] you? You had two of 'em."
Hattie insisted that she would never treat Roman the way Marlena had, leading Marlena to conclude that Hattie was still pining for him. "He's the man of my dreams!" Hattie swooned. Marlena tried to urge Hattie to go to the Brady Pub to talk to Roman, but Hattie doubted that he would ever give her the time of day. "[But] you? I don't think he ever got over you! Why, I bet if you asked him, he'd take you back in a heartbeat!" Hattie continued. Marlena clarified that Roman was aware that John was the only man she truly loved. "Well, that's gonna change...as soon as I take your place," Hattie countered.
Suddenly worried, Marlena stumbled toward the bedroom door while stammering that Hattie needed to leave right away. "Feeling a little wobbly?" Hattie guessed, leaving Marlena even more concerned. "Oh, calm down! Come on! I may have run a con now and then, but I never killed nobody. You'll be fine," Hattie dismissively assured Marlena.
Marlena tried to warn that John was going to be home soon, but Hattie wasn't concerned. Marlena weakly insisted that Hattie would never be able to successfully pose as her. "All right, you look like me, but --" Marlena began to add. Interrupting, Hattie concluded, "What, I'm not smart like you? I'm not ladylike like you?" Marlena reached for her cell phone but collapsed on the bed before she could dial John's number.
"What's wrong with me?" Marlena asked, her speech slurring noticeably. "Acute drug toxicity," Hattie proudly answered, directing Marlena's attention to the tray of strawberries and whipped cream. "We spiked 'em," Hattie explained. "We?" Marlena curiously repeated before reaching for her cell phone again. Hattie seized the device and regretfully informed Marlena that, for once, John wasn't going to be riding to her rescue. "Hattie, this won't end well. It never does," Marlena warned. "[Maybe not] for you, but me? I'm gonna be living the life I always wanted," Hattie dismissively countered.
John soon entered the townhouse and called out to Marlena. Snorting, Hattie teasingly told Marlena, "He finally came home!" Marlena tried to call out to John but was too weak to raise her voice above the level of a whisper. When John entered the bedroom a short time later, he found it in disarray but otherwise unoccupied. Meanwhile, Hattie huffed and puffed as she worked her way through a nearby alley, dragging Marlena's body behind her in a large duffel bag. Hattie didn't seem to notice when her purse fell to the ground while she was complaining that Marlena needed to stop eating strawberries and whipped cream.
At the hospital, Tripp apologetically informed Steve that no new suspects had surfaced when he had checked the latest batch of work schedules for people who had been on duty each time Kayla had supposedly made a mistake. "[And], of course, you didn't do it," Steve pointedly stated. Tripp avoided Steve's gaze as Steve continued, "It looks like whoever went after Kayla has won...right, son?"
Meanwhile, Kayla entered the Brady Pub and sadly informed Roman that she had just finished clearing out her office. Roman offered to get Kayla a drink, but she declined, knowing that one wouldn't be enough, so he grabbed a slice of pie for her instead. Steve and Tripp soon arrived and joined Kayla and Roman at their table. Steve pointedly informed Kayla that Tripp had done a lot to help him try to clear her name.
Kayla assured Tripp that even if she lost her job, she would continue to help him explore his interest in the medical fields. "Isn't that great, Tripp? That means that all of her years of working her way through medical school, and the internship, [and the] residency, [and] all those years of studying, [and] all those three-day shifts with no sleep..." Steve began before pausing to ask if Tripp was paying attention. Tripp, who had been avoiding Steve's gaze again, turned back to him and nodded. Satisfied, Steve continued, "All Kayla's hard work and dedication to build her medical career -- well, it won't all be for nothing...because she can still help you."
Picking up on Steve's odd tone, Kayla reminded him that it wasn't Tripp's fault that she was in danger of losing her job. Steve didn't respond. Roman soon pulled Steve aside and quietly revealed that he was really worried about Joey. "[He] made me promise not to tell Kayla, but he didn't say anything about you," Roman added before filling Steve in on what Joey had shared earlier.
Meanwhile, Kayla assured Tripp that medical school wasn't as bad as Steve had made it out to be. "And you are a natural [with] the patients; you have genuine compassion, [and] that can't be taught," Kayla added. Tripp guessed that some patients could be harder to deal with than others. "You just treat them; you don't have to like them," Kayla pointed out.
"Like when you treated my mom?" Tripp replied. Nodding, Kayla confirmed that she had treated Ava despite their bad history because that had been her job. "She still ended up dying, though, right? I mean, eventually, anyway," Tripp noted. Nodding again, Kayla stressed that she was sorry that Tripp would never get a chance to know Ava. "You don't know what that means to me," Tripp replied as Steve listened with interest from the bar.
Kayla soon received a phone call from Seth Burns, who wanted to see her right away. "He sounded grim," Kayla told Steve after ending the call. Steve gave Tripp one last pointed look before following Kayla out of the pub.
Outside the Martin mansion, Abigail pushed Chad out of the path of an approaching vehicle then took the impact herself. As the vehicle disappeared from sight, Chad and Dario rushed over to Abigail's side to check on her. Dario reached out to grab Abigail's motionless body, but Chad stopped him, insisting that it would be best not to move her.
Chad called for an ambulance then curiously observed that it had seemed like the driver of the vehicle had been trying to hit someone. "It was coming for me. That's why I'm going into witness protection. They're trying to kill me," Dario tearfully admitted. "Everything around you just seems to suffer, doesn't it?" Chad pointed out. Dario conceded that Chad was right then rushed off after apologizing to Abigail and begging her not to die.
At the hospital, Steve reluctantly promised Kayla that he would resist the urge to punch Burns during their impending conversation with him. Burns soon arrived and revealed that Kayla was being reinstated immediately, explaining, "The investigation showed that the amount of medication that was in [your other deceased patient's] body was the appropriate amount -- [and] the IT department [has reported] that there may have been a glitch in the system -- or the software that's on their tablets -- [because] there's been another similar incident."
Kayla was thrilled to hear that she was being reinstated, but Burns was quick to reiterate that she was being reinstated immediately, adding that a trauma patient was being rushed to the hospital at that time. With Kayla's blessing, Steve headed back to the pub to give Roman the good news. When Steve asked Roman if Tripp was still around, Roman answered that Tripp had left a few minutes earlier.
After Steve followed Roman to the kitchen to help him with something, Tripp emerged from the bathroom, where he had been able to overhear Steve and Roman's conversation about Kayla's reinstatement. Seething with rage, Tripp grabbed a nearby vase and smashed it on the floor, grumbling, "She gets away with everything...but she's not gonna get away with murdering my mom!"
Back at the hospital, Kayla was shocked to learn that the patient Burns had mentioned earlier was Abigail. As Kayla sprang into action, Chad struggled to collect his thoughts so he could give a statement to a waiting police officer. After finishing the task, Chad regretfully recalled the things he had said to Abigail earlier that night. Later, Chad overheard a nurse informing Kayla that Abigail was coding.
Abigail fights for her life
Nicole reread one of Eric's letters in the Kiriakis living room. As Brady called out to her from the foyer, Nicole quickly hid the letter. When Brady entered the living room, he asked Nicole if she had been crying. Nicole remained silent, so Brady asked about Holly. Nicole said it was difficult in the evening, knowing that she was not there to tuck in her daughter. Nicole hinted that Holly was not the only emotional issue. Brady urged Nicole to open up to him.
Before Nicole could mention Eric, Maggie interrupted to tell Brady that Tate was upset. Brady rushed upstairs to calm his son. Nicole thanked Maggie for the pictures of Holly. With a sigh, Maggie wondered aloud if the pictures helped or hurt more. Nicole said the pictures helped her. Maggie told Nicole she was handling the situation well. A grateful Nicole smiled sadly. Maggie asked about the Horton Center, and Nicole told her that she had forgiven Eric.
"I am so happy that you forgave Eric. For your sake," Maggie said. Nicole said that it had been the right thing to do, but she had struggled to forgive him. Nicole told Maggie about her shared hallucination of Daniel with Eric. Holding back tears, Maggie said that she did not think Nicole was crazy. Maggie assured Nicole that it was okay that she had taken time to forgive Eric. With a nod, Nicole told Maggie about Eric's letters.
"Losing Daniel shut me down, but I think having Holly opened me back up. And when I read those letters, I could see how much pain Eric was in. Imagine that, Nicole Walker finally saw, finally considered what someone else was going through. And Maggie, I didn't just decide to forgive him. I just did. And when I told Eric, I could feel that Daniel was close to me," Nicole said. Maggie embraced Nicole fiercely. "He was. You know you did the right thing?" Maggie asked.
Nicole confided that she was afraid how Brady would react. Maggie said that Brady would be happy about the news. With a shrug, Nicole explained that Brady had been struggling with his jealousy. Maggie asked Nicole if there were still romantic feelings between her and Eric. Nicole insisted that she only felt friendship for Eric. When Nicole said she did not think she should tell Brady, Maggie reminded Nicole that keeping secrets was a bad idea. Nicole said she was not keeping a secret but putting the situation on hold.
"I don't want anything to come between Brady and Eric. They're brothers, and they need each other. I really do think I'm doing the right thing," Nicole said. Maggie said that she respected Nicole's decision. As Nicole confided that she did not think she needed to tell Brady what had happened between her and Eric, he walked into the foyer and overheard them talking. Lingering out of sight in the foyer, Brady scowled.
When Brady entered the living room, Maggie said goodnight. After Maggie went upstairs, Brady noted that Nicole looked better. Brady encouraged Nicole to talk to him if anything bothered her. Nicole swore that she would talk to Brady if she needed to talk about anything. As they hugged, Brady furrowed his brow.
In the Brady Pub, Roman asked Eric if he had seen Marlena. Roman explained that John had been unable to find her at home. Roman assured Eric that Marlena had likely left to deal with a patient. Chuckling, Eric agreed. Talk turned to the Horton Center, and Roman asked about Nicole. With a nod, Eric told Roman things were good because Nicole had forgiven him.
Roman asked Eric what was next with Nicole. Eric said that he was happy that Nicole had forgiven him, and he did not expect anything else. Roman reminded Eric that he and Nicole had always had a connection. Shaking his head, Eric said there was nothing there. Eric ordered Roman to butt out of the situation. Eric stressed that he just wanted to be friends with Nicole. Roman promised not to mention Nicole again. With a twinkle in his eye, Roman asked Eric how things were going with Jennifer.
At the police station, Hope and Rafe informed J.J. that Abigail and Dario were missing. When Hope mentioned the Witness Protection information, J.J. was surprised. Hope explained the legal situation with Dario. J.J. was alarmed. When Hope noted that Abigail was planning to enter Witness Protection with Dario, J.J. refused to believe it. Raines arrived and informed them that Abigail had been hit by a car. Scowling at Rafe, Raines added that Dario had also fled the scene.
When Raines noted that Abigail's injuries were life-threatening, J.J. ran out the door. Rafe and Hope turned to follow, but Raines stopped them and ordered them to stay and work. Hope was desperate to see her cousin, but Raines encouraged Hope to work the case and find the culprit.
In the DiMera living room, a worried Gabi stared at her phone. Kate asked what was wrong. Gabi explained that Chad had left to talk to Abigail and had been gone for a long time. When Kate asked what was wrong, Gabi explained that Dario was going into Witness Protection with Abigail. Gabi was furious as she realized that Kate knew that Abigail had married Dario to help him with his green card. With a shrug, Kate said it had cleared the way for Gabi to be with Chad.
Kate theorized that Abigail was leaving town to stir up trouble with Chad because that was her pattern. Gabi was unsure. When Gabi mentioned her fight with Chad about the wedding ring, Kate asked Gabi if Chad still had feelings for Abigail. Gabi told Kate about Chad's interactions with Abigail since the night at the Martin house. Kate assured Gabi that Chad had run after Abigail because she was the mother of his son and not because he still wanted to be with Abigail. Gabi decided to take Arianna home rather than wait for Chad to return, but Kate urged Gabi to call Chad. Gabi admitted that she was afraid.
Kate urged Gabi to wait for Chad at the house so that Chad could leave unstable Abigail and return home to his rational girlfriend. When Kate reminded Gabi about when they had dumped Nick's body, Gabi groaned. Kate said that since then, Gabi had grown into a strong woman. Kate urged Gabi to fight for Chad and call him.
In the hospital, Kayla worked to save Abigail's life. Jennifer arrived. Breaking down into tears, Chad stuttered that things were serious. After collecting himself, Chad told Jennifer what had happened at the Martin house. "She saved my life. Now she could die. Because of me," Chad said.
Jennifer asked Chad why he had been at the Martin house. Chad explained that he had gone there to talk Abigail out of leaving town. Confused, Jennifer asked what Chad was talking about. Chad told Jennifer that Abigail had been entering the Witness Protection Program with Dario. Jennifer said that Chad was mistaken. As Jennifer rambled, she almost mentioned that Abigail was in a sham marriage, but she stopped short. When Chad pressed Jennifer to finish her sentence, she stared at the ground.
J.J. arrived and hugged his mother. Angry, J.J. asked Chad if the accident was retaliation for Dario's theft. Jennifer urged J.J. to back off of Chad. Frustrated, J.J. warned Chad that Abigail's blood was on his head. Jennifer reminded both J.J. and Chad that they needed to think of Abigail.
After stabilizing Abigail, Kayla informed Jennifer, J.J., and Chad that Abigail had suffered internal injuries and needed surgery. Kayla advised Jennifer that the surgery was risky, but it was Abigail's best hope of survival. Jennifer signed the consent forms. As Kayla escorted J.J. and Jennifer back to Abigail's room, she told Chad to wait. "It's only family right now," Kayla said.
Chad's phone rang with a call from Gabi. When Gabi asked about Abigail, Chad told her about the car accident. Down the hallway, Jennifer and J.J. stood at Abigail's bedside and talked to her. Jennifer held her daughter's hand and talked about when Abigail had been in the hospital as a child. Smiling, Jennifer told Abigail that like her battle with aplastic anemia, Abigail would fight through this. Breaking down into tears, Jennifer told Abigail that she needed her. J.J. told Abigail that he loved her.
After leaving a supportive voicemail for Jennifer, Hope confided to Rafe at the police station that she did not think Jennifer would want to see her. Rafe asked Hope if she was thinking about Zack. Hope said she did not want her cousin to go through what she and Bo had suffered when their son had been killed by a hit-and-run driver. Hope swore to find the "son of a bitch." After confirming there was no video footage of the accident, Rafe added that the crime scene investigators had confirmed where the assailant had parked his car. The evidence showed that the hit-and-run had been planned.
"It's his fault. This is all his damn fault. He's my brother. He's my brother. My own damn brother. Why doesn't he tell me when something is wrong," Rafe said. Rafe wondered aloud if his brother was already dead. Someone called in with a tip that they had spotted Dario at the train station, so Hope and Rafe ran out to check on the lead.
In the waiting area by the nurses' station, Chad sat with his head in his hands. As Kayla wheeled past with Abigail's gurney, Chad rushed over to Abigail and kissed her forehead. Kayla whisked Abigail away, with Jennifer and J.J. close behind. Gabi arrived and hugged a stunned Chad.
John starts to get worried about Marlena>
Hattie was sitting on a bench in a secluded section of Horton Town Square, primping her hair, when Marlena's cell phone began ringing. Hattie retrieved the device from Marlena's purse and smirked when she saw that John was the caller. "Aw. Too bad, so sad, lover boy -- you are getting kicked to the curb. [But] I'll be gentle with you," Hattie teasingly stated as she prepared to answer the call.
"Don't even think about it!" Anjelica snapped as she approached Hattie from behind and seized the still-ringing cell phone. Confused, Hattie protested that she had simply been trying to move forward with the plan to end Marlena's relationship with "James Bond." Anjelica insisted, "Before you go breaking 007's heart, I need some details [about] what happened [with Marlena]."
Hattie reluctantly admitted that she'd had to think outside the box a bit while dealing with Marlena because the drug that had been planted in the whipped cream hadn't taken effect as quickly as expected -- and, to make matters worse, John had shown up earlier than anticipated. Anjelica worriedly asked if John had spotted Hattie. "Well, no -- see, the thing is, when I heard his voice, I grabbed Dr. Poo-Poo, and we got right out of there," Hattie answered. Not yet satisfied that the crucial question had been answered, Anjelica asked again if John had spotted Hattie. "What, do you like asking the same question twice? No!" Hattie stressed.
Anjelica breathed a sigh of relief, assuming that meant that everything was still on track. "So, where is Marlena now?" Anjelica asked. Gulping, Hattie hesitantly admitted, "I was kind of afraid you'd ask me that."
Meanwhile, Marlena awoke and found herself in a dark, cramped space. "Where am I?" she groggily muttered. She pounded on the enclosure and called for help but was too weak to make much noise or raise her voice above the level of a whisper.
"You put [Marlena] in your trunk? Are you out of your mind?" Anjelica asked incredulously after Hattie made her confession. Hattie defensively pointed out that there hadn't been much time to think of a better course of action. "This was not part of the plan!" Anjelica protested. "Well, neither was stopping by the nail parlor," Hattie replied with a shrug.
Anjelica was horrified to learn that Hattie had visited a nail parlor shortly after kidnapping Marlena, but Hattie, who had broken two nails while lugging Marlena around, reasoned that it had been necessary to get them repaired right away because Marlena wasn't the type of person who walked around with ragged cuticles. Anjelica warned Hattie to stay focused. "Eye on the prize, Anj!" Hattie assured Anjelica, adding that she could picture them getting dolled up together in the not-so-distant future then going on a double date, with "Mr. Roman" and "Mr. Dimples" as their respective companions. "Don't you think our men would like that, Anj?" Hattie continued.
"Quit calling me 'Anj'!" Anjelica snapped. After adding that Hattie needed to stop getting ahead of herself, Anjelica retrieved a small stack of documents from her purse and instructed her cohort, "Take these forms -- and your...'cargo' -- and make a little deposit outside of town. You think you can handle that?" Hattie inspected the documents then gave Anjelica a look of concern.
At the police station, Adrienne informed Lucas that Justin would be joining them for their visit with Sonny. "Is [that] gonna be a problem?" Adrienne asked, recalling what had happened the last time Lucas had shared a room with Justin. Conceding that he had acted like a jerk during that particular encounter, Lucas apologized for his behavior -- apparently not for the first time -- and assured Adrienne that nothing like that would ever happen again. Adrienne insisted that Lucas wasn't a jerk. "You are the most wonderful man in the world, [and] I love you," Adrienne added before giving Lucas a kiss, unaware that Justin had just arrived.
When Justin cleared his throat to announce his presence, Adrienne and Lucas pulled away from each other and somewhat awkwardly greeted him. Lani soon interrupted to reveal that Abigail had been in an accident earlier. Lucas and Adrienne both wanted to rush over to the hospital to be with Jennifer, but since Adrienne also wanted to see Sonny, Lucas ended up leaving the police station alone.
Andre entered the DiMera mansion and happily informed Kate that Theo had managed to delete Dario's incriminating photographs of Chad. "Why aren't you popping a cork?" Andre asked when Kate failed to conjure even the slightest hint of a smile in response to the news. "Because something's happened to Abigail," Kate explained with a sigh before filling Andre in on what had happened.
At the hospital, Gabi informed Chad that Abigail had only married Dario so he could avoid deportation. A short time later, while Chad was still struggling to process the news, Andre arrived and cryptically announced that he had a very important matter to discuss with Chad. "But not in front of your...former image consultant," Andre added, giving Gabi a look of disgust. Gabi assured Chad that she'd let him know right away if Abigail's condition changed at all while he was gone. After Chad left with Andre, J.J. joined Gabi at the nurses' station. While Gabi was offering J.J. words of comfort, Lani arrived and interrupted to give him a hug.
Gabi stepped aside so J.J. could be alone with Lani, who held his hand as he vowed to find out why Abigail had been willing to enter the Witness Protection Program with Dario despite having previously promised that she would never abandon her loved ones again. Nearby, Lucas -- who had arrived with Lani -- told Jennifer that Adrienne was with Sonny at the police station but was thinking about her. Jennifer admitted that she was glad to see Lucas, adding, "I know that we don't have the most conventional brother-sister relationship, but I can't imagine not having you in my life at this point." Lucas hugged Jennifer and returned the sentiment.
Meanwhile, Andre found an unoccupied examination room and pulled Chad into it so they could talk privately about "that putrid piece of flesh," Dario Hernandez. Chad preemptively informed Andre that Gabi had already told him the truth about Abigail's marriage to Dario, prompting Andre to clarify that he actually wanted to talk to Chad about a different matter. Chad was stunned and confused when Andre continued that Abigail had only agreed to enter the Witness Protection Program with Dario because Dario had been in possession of photographs that tied Chad to Deimos' murder. "So, everything that Abby did was for me?" Chad realized with a sigh of regret.
Chad wanted to turn the incriminating photographs over to the police right away so Sonny could be exonerated, but Andre clarified that, thanks to Theo, the photographs were actually gone for good. Chad admonished Andre for getting Theo to destroy evidence. Andre dismissively assured Chad that Theo was going to be fine, adding, "The only person who could blow this up has now crawled under a rock somewhere, [and] hopefully we'll never see him again." Chad insisted that he couldn't just sit back and watch as Sonny took the fall for a crime he had apparently committed, prompting Andre to counter that if Chad didn't remember committing the crime and couldn't provide any evidence that linked him to it, there was nothing he could do to cast doubt on Sonny's confession, anyway. Overwhelmed with guilt, Chad broke down in Andre's arms.
After Chad regained his composure, Andre told him that everything Abigail had done had been about her lingering love for him. "And you [still] love her, don't you?" Andre guessed. Chad quietly confirmed Andre's suspicion before realizing that they were no longer alone. "It's Abigail. She's out of surgery," Gabi announced.
John went to the DiMera mansion to see if Kate had heard from Marlena lately. "Not a word," Kate answered. Guessing that Marlena simply didn't want to be found, Kate insisted that John should have listened to her when she had recently advised him to start buying Marlena lots of shiny things to make up for his frequent absences.
John dismissively countered that his relationship with Marlena didn't work the way that Kate's relationship with Andre apparently did. "Well, how would you know? Because you're never here, [and] she's always waiting. [It's always] ISA this, ISA that..." Kate pointed out. "But I'm home for good now!" John stressed. Kate guessed that Marlena had heard that promise the last time John had returned to Salem, too.
"I knew I shouldn't have come here," John grumbled as he started to leave. Kate stopped John and apologized for her cynical comments, vaguely explaining that there was simply a lot going on within the DiMera family at the moment. "I know that's not an excuse, but I do hope you find her, and I hope everything's okay," Kate continued. "So do I," John replied before showing himself out.
While passing through the town square with Justin, Adrienne fretted that Sonny had seemed sad and defeated during their earlier visit with him. Justin assured Adrienne that Sonny would eventually be cleared of all charges. "You keep saying that, but he's still in jail," Adrienne pointed out. When Justin asked Adrienne to trust him, she softened and conceded that he was, after all, a great attorney -- and Sonny's best hope.
After Adrienne stepped aside to call Lucas, Anjelica approached Justin and revealed that she was planning to move back to Salem for good. Confused, Justin insisted, "[But] there's nothing here for you!" Anjelica vaguely clarified that she actually had business to pursue in Salem. "These plans [of yours] -- do they have anything to do with you telling some associate to keep doing their homework?" Justin asked.
Recalling that the conversation in question had taken place in her hotel room -- and that she had detected the scent of cheap cologne during it -- Anjelica guessed that Justin had hired "that one-eyed superspy" to keep tabs on her. "I understand your suspicions, but the thing is...when I went after Adrienne, I said it was because of Alexander -- because she turned our son against me -- but the real reason I went after her [is that] I was jealous," Anjelica admitted, adding that she had since realized that there was no reason for her to still be jealous because Adrienne wasn't even with Justin anymore. "Call a truce? I come in peace," Anjelica claimed. "That's not your style," Justin skeptically replied.
After Anjelica left, Justin rejoined Adrienne and told her about what had just happened. "That woman is always up to something," Adrienne worriedly reminded Justin.
Meanwhile, Anjelica met with Hattie in a secluded section of the town square. Hattie assured Anjelica that the latest phase of their plan had gone off without a hitch. Marlena's cell phone soon began ringing, but Anjelica again stopped Hattie from answering it, preferring to let John stew for a while longer. As John worriedly recorded a voicemail message for Marlena, she cried out to him for help from a padded cell at a psychiatric ward, where she was bound in a straitjacket -- and being treated as Hattie Adams.
Tripp remains determined to punish Kayla
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady was lounging on the couch with Nicole, trying to enjoy a movie.
Unfortunately, An Affair to Remember seemed to be doing nothing for Brady -- except, of course, serving as a reminder that Nicole was hiding something from him that somehow pertained to the time she had been spending with Eric lately. When Nicole began gushing that the movie depicted one of the most romantic love stories of all time, Brady decided that he'd had enough.
Turning off the television, Brady admitted with a sigh that he really wasn't in the mood for a movie; in fact, he would much rather chat with Nicole about what was going on in her life, since he felt like they had both been so busy lately that they hadn't had much time to keep each other caught up on the little things. "Well, my community service is hardly a scintillating subject, but, um...I answer the phone, I file things, I keep my head down, and I go home," Nicole explained while advancing toward the bar in an effort to avoid Brady's gaze.
"So, working with Eric -- it's not as difficult as you thought it [would be]?" Brady asked casually. Nicole stressed that every minute she spent at the Horton Center was about Holly, not Eric. "I don't know how many times I can say this, but what happened between Eric and me at the party -- it meant nothing, okay? [And] it'll never happen again, I promise," Nicole added before trying to convince Brady to turn the movie back on.
Before Brady could grant Nicole's request, he received an alert on his cell phone about an important business matter he needed to handle. After encouraging Nicole to go ahead and start the second half of the movie, Brady stepped into another room to make a phone call. When Brady returned to the living room a few minutes later to inform Nicole that the call had been cut short, the television was still off, and she was nowhere to be found.
Eric was reading in his room at the Martin mansion when he received an unexpected visit from Nicole. He explained, when asked, that he had missed her call because his cell phone had already been turned off for the night. "I was thinking about what happened the other day -- about the letters you wrote, and Daniel, and --" she began. Interrupting, he concluded, "You changed your mind [about forgiving me], didn't you?"
Nicole assured Eric that she hadn't changed her mind, adding that forgiving him had, in fact, given her a sense of peace. "I just... It's Brady. I don't want him to know," Nicole continued, explaining that she was worried that Brady would take the development the wrong way. Eric warned Nicole, "For there is nothing covered that is not revealed, neither hid that shall not be known."
Nicole snapped that she wasn't interested in a Sunday school lesson; she simply wanted a favor. Eric countered that it would be best for Nicole to be honest with Brady because, after all, she really had nothing to hide, but she remained convinced that she was doing the right thing. "Brady will hear nothing from me," Eric reluctantly assured Nicole, unaware that Brady had just arrived and was eavesdropping from an adjacent hallway.
Satisfied, Nicole rushed back to the Kiriakis mansion, hoping to return before Brady noticed that she was gone. She found the living room unoccupied, giving her the impression that he had not yet finished his business call, but as she was breathing a sigh of relief, he emerged from an adjacent room and startled her. "I thought we were gonna finish the movie. Where were you?" he asked.
Tripp met with Angelo in the Horton Town Square and informed him that Kayla, not Steve, had killed Ava. "You know, as much as I despise that S.O.B. Steve Johnson, you might be onto something here, kid," Angelo conceded after considering Tripp's theory. Tripp explained that he had tried to frame Kayla for wrongdoing at the hospital as a form of retribution, but the review board had ended up letting her off the hook, despite evidence that she had been messing up her prescriptions lately. "I'm telling you, [that] woman could bring an AK-47 into that hospital, and they wouldn't even bat an eye," Tripp grumbled.
"I can't do this anymore," Tripp continued, releasing a sigh of defeat. Confused, Angelo wondered what Tripp was talking about. "I give up, okay? Kayla Johnson killed my mom, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it," Tripp elaborated. Angelo insisted that Ava wouldn't approve of that sort of attitude, adding, "You're a Vitali. We don't capitulate." Tripp reiterated that he had already tried -- and failed -- to exact revenge. Suggesting that Tripp might just need to adopt a different approach -- one that was less subtle and more conventional -- Angelo discreetly removed his gun from its holster, covered it with a cloth napkin, and slid it across the table.
"I could never kill anybody," Tripp quietly protested. "Take it. You never know when you might need it," Angelo encouraged Tripp, adding that the gun was untraceable. "Look, kid, these people -- they got no problem eliminating anyone who gets in their way. You've got to take control. Get rid of them before they find out you crossed them -- before they figure out you're a threat," Angelo continued.
Tripp was still reluctant to resort to such drastic measures, so Angelo egged him on a bit more, telling him that punishing Kayla in less severe ways -- such as getting her fired -- would never make up for the fact that she had robbed him of the chance to have a relationship with his mother. "That...woman -- she took an oath to save lives. An oath! But did that stop her from putting a pillow over your poor mother's face and smothering her to death?" Angelo continued. Upset, Tripp begged Angelo to stop talking about what had happened to Ava.
"If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it my way," Tripp insisted, shoving the still-covered gun back to Angelo's side of the table. "I'm going to make Kayla Johnson confess," Tripp added before walking away.
Steve went to Joey and Tripp's apartment complex in search of Tripp, who wasn't there. Joey reported that he hadn't seen Tripp since earlier that day.
Joey was thrilled to learn that Kayla had been reinstated, but he curiously observed that Steve didn't seem particularly happy. Steve insisted that he was then quickly changed the subject, revealing that he had heard about Joey's recent conversation with Roman. "You gotta stop being so hard on yourself," Steve told Joey, who explained that he was trying to take that advice but was finding it increasingly hard to do so because Tripp was turning out to be not only a brother but also a friend. "His mom is dead because of me -- because of me," Joey stressed with a sigh of regret.
Joey continued, "I'm starting to think I'm never gonna be able to forgive myself for what I did. Whenever I see Tripp, all I can think about is what I did to his mom -- and how different his life would be if I hadn't screwed it up." Steve told Joey that Tripp's relationship with Ava never would have been idyllic in any case, adding, "Probably the opposite; you know how crazy she was." Steve added that Joey needed to remember that he had only killed Ava to protect his family. "That's how you saw it -- and for good reason. Now, it may not have been self-defense in the moment, but it [still] was self-defense," Steve stressed.
Changing the subject, Steve asked Joey to keep an open mind then began to explain, "The reason I was looking for your brother was --" Steve's cell phone started ringing before he could say anything else. After a quick conversation with Kayla, Steve ended the call and informed Joey that Abigail had been in a serious accident earlier. Stunned, Joey mused, "It's crazy how things can change in just a heartbeat." Steve thought Abigail was lucky that Kayla had been reinstated in time to act as her doctor, and Joey agreed that Kayla was Abigail's best hope.
"What happened with [Mom's reinstatement], anyway? Were we right? Did someone set her up?" Joey asked. Sighing, Steve reluctantly confirmed, "Your brother [did]. I think Tripp wants to hurt your mom."
At the hospital, Kayla informed Jennifer, J.J., and Chad that Abigail was in stable but critical condition. "We did what we could to address her internal injuries, but they were extensive, [and] she's lost a lot of blood, so we are just gonna have to wait and see. Time will tell. We need to pray for the best," Kayla continued. Kayla didn't want Abigail to have more than one visitor at a time, so J.J. and Chad agreed to let Jennifer go first.
Elsewhere, Gabi tried to get Andre to reveal what his earlier conversation with Chad had been about, but he refused. Gabi followed Andre to the nurses' station, where Jennifer, J.J., and Chad were wrapping up their conversation with Kayla. J.J. told Gabi and Andre that Abigail was still in critical condition. "It's all my fault. After everything she's done for me..." Chad regretfully muttered. Confused, Gabi wondered what Chad was talking about. Ignoring the question, Chad rushed off, vaguely explaining, "I gotta make this right." Gabi started to question Andre again, guessing that he knew the meaning of Chad's comments, but he, too, ignored her.
Andre chased after Chad and pulled him into an otherwise unoccupied break room. "You can't turn yourself in for Deimos' murder!" Andre quietly insisted, adding that Thomas was already in danger of losing one parent that night and couldn't afford to lose the other one, too. Chad refused to change his mind, reasoning, "Someday, my son will know the difference between right and wrong, and when he does, he's gonna know that his father did what was right, no matter how hard." Chad walked away after vowing that he would turn himself in as soon as Abigail regained consciousness.
Andre returned to the nurses' station and told Gabi that he was ready to talk to her. Gabi followed Andre out of the hospital and into the town square, but he just kept moving forward without saying anything else to her. Finally, Gabi lost her patience and demanded to know what was going on. Andre stopped and turned to face Gabi then admitted with a sigh, "[I said] something to Chad [that] upset him, and now I think [he's] gonna make the biggest mistake of his life." Confused, Gabi wondered what Andre was talking about. "It appears that Sonny was not the one who killed Deimos Kiriakis; it was Chad," Andre explained.
Elsewhere, J.J. and Lani, who had left the hospital together in search of fresh air, contacted Rafe and Hope to find out how the search for Dario was going. Lani thought it was great that Rafe and Hope had a lead on Dario's whereabouts, but J.J. didn't find the development particularly comforting. "I swear to God, when we find out who did this to [my sister], I'm gonna make 'em pay for it," J.J. vowed through gritted teeth.
Eric rushed over to the hospital after hearing about what had happened to Abigail. Jennifer seized a hug from Eric as soon as she spotted him. Meanwhile, Chad entered Abigail's room and took a seat at her bedside.
Elsewhere, a nurse informed Tripp that Kayla was napping in the on-call room. Tripp crept into the on-call room and quietly closed the door. Recalling the things Angelo had said earlier, Tripp grabbed a pillow and squeezed it tightly as he approached Kayla's cot.
Tripp attacks Kayla
In the Kiriakis living room, Brady asked Nicole where she had gone when he had been on his phone call. Nicole lied and said she had gone for a walk. Brady thought about when he had followed Nicole to Eric's room and overheard them discussing a secret. Brady asked for details about Nicole's walk. Nicole said she had purchased yogurt in the square. When Brady's phone rang with a call from Paul, Brady reluctantly answered. Paul asked Brady to meet him in the square to talk about Deimos. Brady agreed.
In the town square, Paul updated Brady on what he had learned about Xander's involvement in Deimos' murder. Paul explained that Xander had accused Victor of ordering the murder of Deimos. Shaking his head no, Brady said Victor would not work with Xander or let Sonny take the fall. Paul asked Brady to research and find out who had been on the flight to Greece around the time of the murder.
After making a call to Al, the pilot, Brady met with Al and Paul in the square. Brady pushed Al for details about the mystery flight. With pressure, Al admitted that Victor had scheduled the flight. When Al said he had moved "merchandise," Paul held up a photo of Xander and asked if the man in the photo was the merchandise. Al nodded yes. When Brady asked for more information, Al said he had flown the man to Salem and back but did not know anything about him. After Al left, Brady wondered aloud why Victor would have left Sonny out to dry. Paul asked Brady to convince Victor to confess.
In the Kiriakis living room, Victor talked to someone on the phone about finding a fall guy for the Deimos murder. Victor growled that he did not care who the evidence pointed to as long as it did not implicate anyone in his family. As Victor slammed down the phone, Nicole walked in and asked Victor who he was protecting. Victor said he was protecting Brady from her. Victor said that Nicole would eventually hurt Brady, no matter how she felt at that moment. Scoffing, Nicole reminded Victor that she remembered the person he had been before he'd married Maggie.
Nicole accused Victor of reverting to his old ways when Maggie was not around. With a raised eyebrow, Nicole asked Victor what he had planned. Victor bellowed that he was thankful that a judge had taken Holly away from her unfit mother. Fed up, Nicole reminded Victor that she could not have children because of a bullet that had been meant for Victor.
"You are alive and surrounded by your family because of me. And you know damn well that Holly is the only child that I can ever have. So for you to use her to hurt me is low, even for you!" Nicole yelled. With tears in his eyes, Victor explained that he was on edge with worry over Sonny. Nicole nodded. Nicole said that Paul had called with information about Sonny's case.
When Victor asked for details, Brady strode in. Brady asked Nicole to leave so that he could talk privately with Victor. Once Nicole was gone, Brady yelled, "How could you do this?" Victor played dumb. Brady accused Victor of orchestrating Deimos' murder.
In the park, Gabi told Andre that she did not believe Chad had killed Deimos. Andre explained that Chad had no memory of the murder, but there was a photo of Chad cleaning prints off of the knife. Andre asked Gabi to help him protect Chad. When Gabi asked how, Andre explained that Dario had taken the photo, but it had been deleted. Andre said that Abigail had not planned to leave her son but had only been stalling for time while the photo was deleted. Andre urged Gabi to convince Chad to stay quiet.
At Abigail's bedside in the hospital, Chad talked to his ex about her sham marriage as she slept. Chad said he understood why Abigail had said she was leaving town to help him. With a sigh, Chad said he had been unable to stop thinking about seeing Abigail the night of Deimos' murder. Chad talked about the photograph. With a groan of realization, Chad said he understood why Abigail had asked him not to go to the police after she had learned about the stolen money.
"I wish you wouldn't have taken this on by yourself," Chad whispered. Chad said he did not know whether he had killed Deimos. Thinking of when he had yelled at Abigail outside the Martin house, Chad pleaded for Abigail to wake up because he did not want his harsh words to be the last thing she had heard from him. Dr. Shah entered the room to examine Abigail, and he asked Chad to wait outside. Chad refused. With a nod, Dr. Shah urged Chad to wait in the corner.
Down the hallway, Eric comforted Jennifer in the waiting area of the hospital. Jennifer was restless. Eric walked Jennifer to the chapel, and he encouraged her to pray with him. As Eric said a prayer aloud for Abigail, Jennifer held back tears. Jennifer hugged Eric.
In the loft, a confused Joey told Steve that he did not believe Tripp had set up Kayla. Steve explained that he had overheard Tripp tell Claire that he believed Kayla had made those dosage mistakes. When Joey asked why Tripp would focus on Kayla instead of Steve for his mother's murder, Steve shrugged. Joey remembered that Tripp had commented that he did not believe that Kayla was the saint everyone thought she was. With a sigh, Steve said he had believed that Tripp had put the past behind him.
Joey told Steve about the photos of Ava that Tripp had been carrying around. With a sigh, Steve reasoned aloud that Tripp had to have decided that Kayla had been the one who had murdered Ava, not him. Steve wondered aloud why Tripp would have thought Kayla was to blame. Joey said that Jade had contacted Tripp by text before Tripp had reviewed the Ava pictures. Joey called Jade's voicemail and asked her to call him back. With a sigh, Joey blamed himself for the situation. Steve promised to clean up the mess, but Joey wanted to tell Tripp the truth. Steve ordered Joey to stay in the loft while Steve looked for Tripp.
While Kayla slept in the on-call room at the hospital, Tripp crept in and lifted a pillow above her. Tripp stood still, struggling with whether to smother Kayla or not. Kayla woke up, and he quickly threw the pillow aside. When Kayla turned on the light, Tripp said, "You know what you did." Stumped, Kayla asked Tripp what he was talking about. Tripp said he was sick of Kayla's fake innocent act.
"You changed those dosages? You set me up?" an angry Kayla asked. Tripp bragged that it had not been difficult. Tripp stressed that he had changed the charts after the patients had died so that no one had been in danger. When Kayla asked why, Tripp said he wanted to destroy Kayla's life like she had destroyed his mother's life. Tripp accused Kayla of being the one that had smothered Ava. Kayla swore she was innocent, but Tripp did not believe her.
"You thought you got away with it, too, didn't you? But I'm here to tell you, you are dead wrong," Tripp said through gritted teeth. Kayla reiterated that she was innocent. Kayla said that she had not hated Tripp and had wanted him to be a part of the family. Reaching out to Tripp, Kayla promised not to tell anyone that he had set her up if he was willing to start over with the family.
"For the first time in my life, I almost felt like I belonged somewhere. I almost felt like I knew what it was like to have a dad who loved me. To have a kid brother like Joey. We could've been a family," Tripp said. Kayla said she still wanted them to be a family. Angry, Tripp said that Kayla had taken away everything from him. Tripp yelled that Kayla needed to pay for what she had done to Ava.
Kayla stressed that there were witnesses that could account for her whereabouts at the time of Ava's murder, and she cautioned Tripp to give up his vendetta. Pulling herself up to her full height, Kayla announced that she needed to return to her patients. As Kayla reached for her medical bag, Tripp grabbed it from her hand. Tripp pulled out a scalpel from the bag and pointed it at Kayla. "I don't want to hurt you, but you are going to own up to killing my mom, or I'll do it," Tripp announced.
At the nurses' station, Steve saw Jennifer and Eric. Steve hugged Jennifer and asked about Abigail. Smiling, Jennifer said she was relieved that Kayla had been able to tend to her daughter. When Steve asked about Kayla, Jennifer said that Kayla had left for the on-call room to nap.
In the on-call room, Tripp held out his phone and ordered Kayla to confess. As Tripp edged closer, Kayla continued to protest. Steve opened the door. Tripp grabbed Kayla, pulled her close, and held the scalpel up to her throat. Tripp vowed to kill Kayla if Steve got any closer.
At the nurses' station, Dr. Shah called in a page for Kayla about Abigail. Gabi overheard. Gabi asked Dr. Shah about Abigail's condition. Dr. Shah said he could not give out any information, but Abigail's husband had been at her side and had appeared very devoted to his wife.
In Abigail's room, Chad told Abigail that Thomas missed her. Chad said he wished they had been able to be a family again. In the doorway, Gabi peeked around the corner. Gabi listened as Chad confided to a sleeping Abigail that he had failed to make Abigail feel loved and wanted.
Chad told an unconscious Abigail, "I have always wanted you since the day I met you. I need you. My life, there's no life without you. I love you." Upset, Gabi went to the chapel and prayed for forgiveness for thinking about herself while Abigail was struggling to survive. In Abigail's room, her eyes slowly fluttered open.