Due to the New Year's Day holiday, did not air. This was a planned preemption and no episodes were "lost" as a result of this preemption.
Regular programming resumed on Tuesday, January 2, and picked up where the Friday, December 29, episode concluded.
Vivian introduces her surprise guest
At the stroke of midnight, Will kissed Paul in the square. Paul asked Will why. Will explained that he felt pressure to remember with everyone except for Paul. Will said he appreciated that Paul lived in the present. Paul said he was sorry that Will felt lost. When Paul said he wished he could help Will, Will said, "You are. You keep being you. I'll keep being me." Before Paul could respond, John and Marlena interrupted to wish Paul and Will a happy New Year.
The group made awkward small talk until Marlena asked about Sonny. Paul rambled a bit until John offered to walk home with him. Once alone, Marlena asked Will what she had walked in on. Not hesitating, Will explained that he had been kissing Paul. Marlena said she was not shocked. Smiling, Will said he felt like Marlena was the kind of person he could talk to and not be judged. Will added that only Marlena and Paul made him feel comfortable. Will explained that when Sonny talked about their relationship, it sounded like the life of a complete stranger.
Outside the pub, Paul told John about his run-in with Sonny. When John asked about Will, Paul admitted that Will had kissed him. Paul said he wanted to call Sonny and tell him the truth, but John cautioned Paul to think about the conversation first. John asked Paul if the call was about honesty or out of a desire to break up Sonny and Will. With a nod, Paul said he needed to let go of Sonny and that John was right. Paul promised not to call Sonny.
Vivian revealed herself at the New Year's Eve party at Doug's Place. Vivian needled Chad about his wedding and then mocked Chloe. Annoyed, Chloe promised to throw Vivian out of the restaurant. Smiling, Vivian cautioned everyone to wait for her plus one to arrive. Vivian said that her special guest was eager to meet the DiMera family because he had DiMera blood. As the crowd looked nervously at one another, Vivian said that her guest was Stefano DiMera.
"I said leave her in that sarcophagus, and did anyone listen to me? No. And look what we have now," Kate complained. Andre interjected that Vivian was lying about Stefano because he had despised Vivian. "Kate, I know why you're so defensive. You are married to Andre DiMera when you were married to Stefano DiMera. It's sort of like trading down from the king to the court jester," Vivian joked. "Does anybody have a bucket of water," Andre retorted.
Unaware of Vivian's entrance, Hope and Rafe talked to a drunk Ciara in the office of Doug's Place about her display at the New Year's Eve party. When Hope lectured Ciara about treating Rafe with respect, Ciara bristled. Hope begged her daughter to tell her what was wrong. Ciara said there was nothing that could help her. Before Ciara could say any more, Jennifer and Eric rushed into the office to warn Hope and Rafe about Vivian and Stefano. Jennifer and Eric stayed behind to watch Ciara while the officers ran out to the main room to investigate.
Alone with Ciara, Jennifer and Eric made comments about Ciara's drinking. Ciara asked the two not to lecture her. In tears, Ciara said she felt lost. Jennifer reminded Ciara that she had people who loved her. Frustrated, Ciara said the town was full of hypocrites. Ciara called out Jennifer and Eric for their addictions and for Eric's car accident. Seeing Eric's stricken face, Ciara apologized for her comments. Jennifer yelled at Ciara for attacking Eric, but Eric told Jennifer that he knew Ciara had not meant what she said. Jennifer softened and promised to escort Ciara home.
In the Kiriakis TV room, Brady kissed Eve at midnight. Confused, Eve slapped Brady. "What the hell are you trying to pull?" Eve asked. Eve noted that she had not given Brady any indication that she was interested in him. When Brady asked Eve what she meant, Eve said that Brady had been openly hostile to her until his fight with Victor. As Brady and Eve bickered, Eve purred, "You've got nothing I want."
Sonny interrupted to ask about Will. Eve whispered to Brady that they would finish their discussion in the morning then she left. Brady teased Sonny about his missing husband. Sonny countered by asking Brady about his relationship with Eve. Frowning, Sonny vowed to keep his eye on Brady and figure out what he had planned with Eve. After Brady marched out, Sonny called Will. Will explained that he was in the town square "with a friend."
When Will returned home, Sonny asked him about his friend in the square. Will explained that he had been with Marlena. Sonny appeared relieved. Will said Marlena had helped him "figure some things out." Sonny poured two glasses of Champagne, but Will begged off and said he was tired. Will kissed Sonny's cheek then went upstairs. Sonny stared sadly after him.
Upstairs, Brady walked into Eve's room as she was undressing for bed. "We have unfinished business," Brady said. Brady looked Eve up and down then grabbed the bathrobe out of her hand. Eve ripped open Brady's shirt, and he threw her onto the bed. The two kissed passionately.
At the Horton house, a frustrated Jennifer complained to Eric about Ciara's behavior. Eric attempted to calm Jennifer down. Eric told Jennifer that Ciara had not said anything to him that he had not said to himself about Daniel. Jennifer apologized for pushing Eric to go out, but Eric assured Jennifer that he had enjoyed spending the evening with someone that he cared about. After wishing one another happy New Year, Eric kissed Jennifer's cheek.
At Doug's Place, Chad ordered Vivian to produce Stefano or leave. Vivian opened the door to admit Stefano. A younger man, clearly not Stefano DiMera, glowered at the room as he walked in. Kate chuckled with relief and accused Vivian of pulling a hoax. Hope agreed with Kate and asked Vivian why she was calling the mystery man Stefano. The man introduced himself as Stefan Octavius DiMera. "Or, quite simply, Stefan O. DiMera. I'm Stefano's son," the man said.
Andre accused Stefan of lying. When Andre asked about Stefan's mother, Vivian reached out her hand to Stefan. "God blessed me with one of Stefano's children," Vivian said. Vivian explained that Stefano had impregnated her when he had posed as Rudolfo to steal her ruby. When Hope asked for details, Vivian said Ivan had told her that her child had been stillborn. Stefan interjected to say that he had learned the truth of his parentage recently, and he had confronted Ivan. "I think you found him on impostors.com," Kate muttered.
Vivian held up a DNA report. Raising a glass of Champagne, Chloe remarked that Vivian likely went to the "Sami Brady Paternity Lab." When Rafe argued that Vivian needed Stefano's DNA for the test, Vivian explained that a friend of hers had secured a sample from Stefano's Interpol file. Vivian handed the report to Hope. Concerned, Chad asked Stefan why he had attended the party. Stefan explained that he was concerned about his father's legacy. After Stefan smiled at Abigail and stared at her a little too long, Chad asked him what he wanted.
Stefan explained that the board had lost confidence in the family, and he was the new CEO. As Kate stared daggers, Stefan told her that she had been inept at acquisitions. Turning toward Andre, Stefan told Andre that he was unstable. Vivian handed each of them an envelope. When Stefan turned to Chad, he noted that he had been missing from work for too long. The envelopes contained a copy of the board's decision. The bombshell dropped, Vivian and Stefan walked out with a bottle of Champagne in their hands and smirks on their faces.
Will stuns Sonny with a big decision>
Chloe was busy ridding Doug's Place of the remnants of the previous night's party when she heard someone entering the club. "Sorry, we're closed," she called out with her back turned to the person.
"Guess I was misinformed," Stefan replied, joining Chloe at the bar. "'Closed' means closed, even for you," she stressed, prompting him to joke that he hadn't even been in Salem for a full twenty-four hours and was already developing a reputation. Assuming that he was looking for something he had left behind the previous night, she reached under the bar and pulled out a monogrammed handkerchief. "Thank God!" he exclaimed, taking it from her with a sigh of relief. Confused, she wondered why he cared so much about such a seemingly ordinary item. "My mother gave it to me. It's the only thing I have that belonged to my father," he explained.
Stefan guessed that Chloe was just as skeptical as everyone else in Salem seemed to be. She matter-of-factly clarified that she didn't really care who his biological parents were, adding, "But if I'm going to be honest, I wasn't really a fan of Stefano's, and I hate Vivian's guts, so if you really are their son, I hope, for your sake, that the apple fell very far away from the tree." He curiously wondered why she didn't like his mother, whom he found to be both eccentric and charming. "When she drops that act, underneath it all, [there's] a whole other thing, [and I've seen that side] up close and personal. I think she's more of a monster than all the DiMeras combined," she explained. Nodding, he pointed out, "And as far as you know, I could be just like her." She warned that if that turned out to be the case, he would have a hard time making friends in Salem.
At the DiMera mansion, Andre watched with concern as Kate rubbed her forehead while pacing around the living room and periodically checking her cell phone. Fearing that Kate would eventually cause lasting harm -- to the carpet if not herself -- Andre urged her to try to calm down. "How? Why? [Vivian Alamain] is back! I'm telling you, I cheered when Ivan dragged her off to India!" Kate grumbled.
Andre joked that Vivian's return seemed to be a clear indication that her star had burned out in Bollywood. Unamused, Kate argued that Andre was only able to joke about the situation because he hadn't been around to witness everything that had happened during Vivian's previous reign of terror in Salem. "I am telling you, she is conning us. If she'd had a son by Stefano, she would have been braying about that [instead of] trying to steal my son from Victor!" Kate reasoned, adding that Vivian had probably been planning the ruse for months with her "stud for hire" -- and had waited until it was absolutely foolproof before setting it in motion.
"She's not gonna quit until..." Kate began to add before realizing that Vivian was standing in the doorway, listening to the rant. "Until I get what rightfully belongs to my son -- and that's everything," Vivian helpfully concluded for Kate, who demanded to know how long her rival had been eavesdropping. "Long enough to know that you're about to burst an artery," Vivian answered. Kate admitted that she was somewhat agitated, since she firmly believed that Vivian and "that impostor" didn't deserve even a nickel of the DiMera fortune. Vivian argued that Stefano would gladly welcome another child into the fold if he were around to do so -- since, after all, he had eventually accepted all of his other children, including the one who was a mentally deficient psychopath. Kate started to defend Andre, but he quickly stopped her, refusing to let the dig bother him.
Vivian refused to believe that Kate was Andre's loving and protective wife, knowing that their marriage had never been anything more than a means to an end. "Well, look at that -- she did her homework," Kate observed, clearly unimpressed. "Oh, you better believe I did," Vivian confirmed, curiously adding that the only thing no level of research had been able to provide was an understanding of Kate's adoration for Chad, whom she treated better than any of her biological children. Kate wasn't interested in commenting on that particular matter -- at least not to satisfy Vivian, of all people -- but made it clear that she would always do everything in her power to protect Chad. Scoffing, Vivian argued that Chad would be much better off without Kate's protection, since it was her mismanagement that had left DiMera Enterprises vulnerable to a takeover in the first place.
"[And because of that], dear girl, you've lost, and I've won. That must really sting," Vivian mused tauntingly. "Not so much...but this will," Kate replied before slapping Vivian -- just as Stefan entered the mansion. After releasing a gasp of pain, Vivian lunged toward Kate in retaliation, but Stefan quickly jumped between the two women and ordered his mother to stand down.
"That witch slapped me!" Vivian protested, rubbing the burning side of her face. "You had it coming," Kate unapologetically replied. Andre agreed, believing that Vivian had barged into the mansion with the sole intention of antagonizing Kate, but Vivian innocently claimed that she had actually just wanted to show Stefan the house -- and the portrait of the "handsome devil" who was his namesake. Kate angrily protested that Vivian had never even liked Stefano and therefore had no business singing his praises, but Vivian countered that Stefano had once been a close friend -- for a brief period of time, at least -- and, in any case, she would always love him for giving her a son. Kate groaned in response, and Andre tiredly complained, "You know, I've had about as much of this charade as I can bear."
"I couldn't agree more," Chad said as he joined the group in the living room, with Abigail close behind. "Hello again, brother!" Stefan amiably stated. Gesturing toward Andre, Chad clarified, "He's my brother; you're a scam artist." Chad and Abigail -- who had been in their upstairs bedroom, doing some research -- proceeded to reveal that Stefan was a corporate raider whose real name was Sam Maitlin. "That's not news, Chad. My adoptive parents gave me that name. I changed it to Stefan DiMera after the DNA test; my mother thought it would placate the board," Stefan explained with a shrug, adding that he did indeed go after vulnerable companies in the hope of making them better -- and was indeed more than willing to dismantle them for profit if they ultimately turned out to be lost causes. Scoffing, Chad refused to buy Stefan's innocent act.
Vivian pointed out that Chad didn't really have a choice in the matter because Stefan had provided DiMera Enterprises' board members with proof that Stefano was his father -- and they had consequently decided to put their trust in him. Abigail and Chad questioned the authenticity of Stefan's paternity test and demanded to run another one -- and although Stefan agreed to cooperate, Abigail quickly tore some hair out of his scalp to ensure that he wouldn't have to be anywhere near the hospital when the new test was performed. Chad helped Abigail bag the sample then sent Andre off to the hospital with it, instructing him, "Make sure [Kayla] does the test as quickly as possible, with maximum security." Vivian insisted on accompanying Andre to the hospital, and Kate also decided to tag along, reasoning, "Someone has to keep them from killing each other."
Stefan, alone with Chad and Abigail, claimed that he had never intended to be their adversary. "Well, you show up at my wife's New Year's Eve party, and then you announce that you're taking over my father's company. That's not exactly how you make new friends," Chad pointed out. "Yeah, you put us on the defensive," Abigail agreed. "And you did it on purpose," Chad added.
Stefan said that had simply been his way of getting everyone's attention. "[And] if you think I'm the only shark who [smells blood in the water], you are sorely mistaken. One of them will bring this company to its knees, and I'm here because I want it to survive, so do yourself -- and the rest of our family -- a favor and don't make me the enemy," Stefan advised Chad. "Let's work together and save what he left us," Stefan added, gesturing toward Stefano's portrait. Unimpressed, Chad ordered Stefan to leave immediately. "See, that's the thing...technically, you don't own this house anymore; I do," Stefan countered.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Eve woke up in bed with Brady, who joked, "Seems we, um, brought in 2018 with a bang, didn't we?" He tried to kiss her, but she pushed him away, insisting that his attempts to distract her from her responsibilities weren't going to work. "Damn it!" he complained with a sigh. "Ha! See? I knew you had [a plan]!" she triumphantly replied. Nodding, he confirmed, while rubbing his hands over various parts of her body, that he had been planning to treat her to the time of her life. She repeatedly ordered him to stop, but when he finally complied, she reconsidered and climbed on top of him, reasoning, "Oh, what the hell?"
Meanwhile, Will entered the living room -- and found Sonny waiting for him there with Arianna, who was holding up a sign -- "Happy New Year" -- in front of an elaborate display of breakfast foods. Arianna rushed over to Will and leaped into his arms to give him a hug, prompting him to admit that he was starting to feel a bit spoiled. "We are just so happy to have you back," Sonny stressed before giving Will a kiss. "We're starting 2018 in a way that we didn't think was possible -- with all of us being together [as] a family," Sonny added. Will forced a smile as Sonny beamed at him excitedly.
Later, after Arianna went to the kitchen to help Maggie bake some cookies, Sonny tried to give Will another kiss, but Will dodged the attempt. Sonny quickly apologized, assuming that he was being too pushy, but Will clarified that he actually just had a lot on his mind. Nodding, Sonny guessed that Will was still concerned about Susan. Will confirmed that he was still worried because he hadn't heard anything else about what had upset Susan, but he added that he was also thinking about something else that had happened the previous night. Sonny hoped that Will felt comfortable talking to him about the matter -- and anything else he ever wanted to get off his chest. "You have been unbelievably supportive, so I am going to be honest with you..." Will began -- just as Chloe entered the room in search of Brady. Sonny advised Chloe to check the upstairs rooms for Brady.
Chloe went upstairs and, after checking a few other rooms, ended up outside Eve's room. Chloe, able to hear faint noises from the hallway, decided not to knock before peeking inside the room, assuming that Brady was perhaps in the middle of a phone conversation. She froze in shock when she saw Brady rolling around in bed with Eve, who unabashedly whispered, "He's busy."
Speechless, Chloe rushed off, but Brady chased after her, wearing only a pair of boxer briefs, and caught up with her outside. "I'm sorry -- I thought that was your room, and you were on the phone, and --" Chloe started to explain. Interrupting, Brady assured Chloe that he wasn't upset about the intrusion. Chloe acknowledged that Brady was a grown man who didn't have to explain his actions to her, but he was nevertheless insistent on talking to her about what she had just witnessed, knowing that Eve was a friend of hers. "So are you -- and I know that you're gonna get hurt if you keep this up," Chloe stressed.
Brady tiredly changed the subject, wondering why Chloe had been looking for him in the first place. Revealing that Vivian had just returned to town with a new offspring, Chloe added that she had wanted to warn Brady about the development because of his complicated history with Vivian. "What's complicated about locking up a woman in a mausoleum in a sarcophagus? Just shove her in and it's done. It was easy," Brady joked dismissively.
Brady thanked Chloe for the heads-up then started to head back inside the mansion to warm up, but she stopped him. "This thing between [you and Eve] -- is it real, or is it just you, you know, keeping your enemies closer?" Chloe asked, recalling that Brady had previously mentioned that Eve, as Deimos' widow, was trying to claim Titan for herself. "[And] when I talked to you about Eve last night, you didn't say anything about [wanting to be with her]; you just said that you wanted to be back [in control] at Titan and that she could help get you there," Chloe curiously added. Brady claimed that he wasn't playing games, but Chloe didn't believe him. "[But] never mind; it's not really my business, and I don't really care what your twisted plans are. Just please promise me that you'll be careful, because I care about you," Chloe stressed. Brady insisted that he had everything under control.
Eve, who had been eavesdropping from the foyer, muttered, "So, you are playing games with me, Brady. Well, I'm gonna find out what the game is!"
Meanwhile, in the living room, Will and Sonny continued their conversation. Sonny was surprised when Will admitted that he hadn't just seen Marlena in the Horton Town Square the previous night; he had seen Paul there, as well. "And?" Sonny asked hesitantly. "And we kissed again," Will admitted. "I know I haven't ever been the perfect husband, but I do want to always be honest with you," Will added before proceeding to share the details.
Sonny assumed that the kiss had occurred because Will had been caught up in the tradition of kissing someone at the stroke of midnight -- and had also been upset about Susan -- but Will clarified that there was more to the story than that. Nodding, Sonny guessed that Paul had initiated the kiss -- perhaps as a way of causing trouble -- but Will insisted that wasn't the case, either. "I kissed him...and I have to be honest -- I liked it," Will admitted, quickly adding that he wasn't sharing the information as a way of hurting Sonny. "I'm telling you this because I care about you -- and because I can't be married to you when I'm attracted to other men," Will continued. "So...what, you want out? Is that what you're telling me?" Sonny asked incredulously.
"I'm telling you that staying together right now wouldn't be fair to you -- and it wouldn't be fair to either of us," Will clarified. Sonny protested that building a family with him and their daughter had been more important to Will than anything else in the world -- and Will simply couldn't remember that yet. "I believe you, but right now, I can't feel that. It feels strange," Will explained. Sonny urged Will to consider Arianna's feelings, but Will pointed out that it wouldn't be good for her to see her fathers staying in a marriage simply for her sake. "She's [still] gonna have both of us...she's just not gonna have us together," Will continued.
"I'm sorry, Sonny, but until I figure out who I am and what I want, I have no business being with you. I hurt you once, and I won't do that again," Will insisted. Not yet ready to give up, Sonny begged Will to think about the matter for a bit longer before making a decision, pointing out that it hadn't even been twelve hours since the incident that had caused his sudden change of heart. "[Give myself more time] for my memory to come back? That might never happen...and that's why, right now, I need to let you go, Sonny. I need to make my own way in the world right now," Will maintained as Sonny tearfully begged him to reconsider.
Will refused to change his mind, apologetically insisting, "I'm moving out...and I'm filing for divorce."
Theo receives life-changing news
Ciara was lying on the couch, clearly hung over, when Claire joined her in the living room of their apartment. Realizing what was wrong with Ciara, Claire began making as much noise as she possibly could in the kitchen -- and innocently claimed, when asked, that she was simply getting ready for a trip to the hospital to see Theo. "And making an ungodly amount of noise," Ciara grumbled.
Claire pointed out that the apartment, with its open floor plan, was an inherently noisy place. "If you don't like it, you should move out. Nobody really wants you here, anyway," Claire added. Groaning, Ciara begged, "Just stop talking, Claire, okay? Your voice is like an ice pick in my brain." Laughing mockingly, Claire guessed that Ciara had gotten wasted the previous night as a way of dealing with Theo's rejection. "Now you know how he felt when you dumped him," Claire continued. Ciara again asked for silence, but Claire forged ahead, observing, "You said you wanted to ruin my life, but yours is the one that's a Dumpster fire."
Claire thought it would be best for Ciara to stay away from Theo for the time being, since he already had enough to worry about, but Ciara argued that Claire -- or, more specifically, Claire's developing relationship with Tripp -- was the real threat to Theo's recovery. "I know you, Claire. You get all obsessed with a guy, and then when you get bored, you move on," Ciara summarized. Claire dismissively insisted that Ciara didn't know her at all anymore. "And I definitely don't know this crazy, bitter person that you've turned into," Claire continued. "You're calling me crazy?" Ciara incredulously countered.
Claire, who had once been excited to have Ciara back in Salem, mused that the excitement had faded after two seconds or so, adding, "You've turned into a miserable human being, and [now] I just want you to go back to wherever it is you came from." As Tripp emerged from his bedroom, Ciara rose from the couch to lunge toward Claire -- then quickly sank back onto it again, feeling sick. Claire mocked Ciara again then excused herself, eager to see Theo. "No matter what you think, I do love him. He is everything to me," Claire told Ciara, oblivious to the pain the statement had caused Tripp.
"Feel better, Ciara!" Claire added before exiting the apartment -- and purposely slamming the door shut to mess with Ciara one more time. Groaning, Ciara rose from the couch again -- more carefully this time -- and walked over to the refrigerator to get a bottle of water. "Can you believe her? It's like she and Theo are this perfect match, destined to be together forever!" Ciara complained to Tripp as he joined her in the kitchen. "Yep," Tripp replied with a sigh, clearly uncomfortable. Oblivious, Ciara continued, "She's so transparent, too! I mean, she's totally into you, and as soon as she's tired of Theo, she's..."
Ciara stopped suddenly, feeling sick again. After the wave of nausea passed, Ciara explained to a curious Tripp that she had gotten drunk and crashed a party the previous night -- not as a way of having fun but instead as a way of preparing to deal with an issue that had needed to be addressed. "Sounds pretty important," Tripp observed. "It was. It still is. Rafe cheated on my mother with his skanky ex-wife!" Ciara spat.
Ciara grumbled that an interruption had prevented her from following through with her plan to expose the secret in front of everyone. Pointing out that Hope and Rafe seemed pretty happy together, Tripp wondered if Ciara really wanted to mess that up. "I know what it's like to be angry, okay? I've done a lot of stupid things, too, and I used to tell myself that I was defending my mom's honor, but all I did was make a whole lot of people's lives miserable in the process," Tripp continued. "This is different!" Ciara insisted. "Maybe it is. But before you blow this up, you need to ask yourself -- are you trying to help your mom...or hurt her?" Tripp advised.
Scoffing, Ciara wondered why Tripp suspected that she was trying to hurt her mother, of all people. "You're seriously asking me that question? You've been fighting with her since the minute you got back in town!" Tripp reminded Ciara, who dismissively insisted that wasn't proof that she wanted her mother to suffer. "If you say so," Tripp replied with obvious skepticism, prompting Ciara to defensively argue that he knew nothing about her relationship with her mother. "Then tell me about it," Tripp challenged Ciara, who vaguely summarized that it was complicated. "I bet it is," Tripp replied, clearly still skeptical.
"Look, I'm not telling you what to do, but you need to ask yourself how you want to handle this information about Rafe, because a lot of people could get hurt -- including you -- and once you blow this out of the water, there's no taking it back," Tripp warned Ciara, who dismissively pointed out that he was going to be late for work if he didn't leave soon. Scoffing, he retrieved a bottle of aspirin from his backpack and tossed it to her then left after advising her to take a couple pills and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help her body recover from the negative effects of her recent binge.
At the hospital, Kayla complained to Kate that Andre and Vivian were camped outside the lab, arguing with each other. "That woman is in town for one night, and already, World War III is breaking out," Kayla grumbled.
Kate was glad that Andre was watching Vivian like a hawk, since University Hospital wasn't exactly known for its ability to provide tamperproof test results. Unamused, Kayla assured Kate that all the necessary precautions would be taken when conducting Stefan's paternity test. Kate hoped that was true, warning that the hospital would be facing a liability lawsuit if things went awry. "[And remember], the DiMeras donate a lot of money to this hospital, and if you can't expedite a very simple DNA test [for us in return]...well, I don't know -- that faucet might be turned off," Kate added, forcing Kayla to grudgingly promise that, despite the fact that the lab was understaffed due to the holiday and had plenty of more urgent tests to perform, she would do everything in her power to ensure that Stefan's paternity test was made a top priority.
Meanwhile, Abe greeted Theo, who had been catching up on the news and had a lot of questions about what had happened at the party the previous night. Abe didn't want Theo to worry about such things just yet, but Theo argued that it was important to stay informed -- especially about matters that concerned DiMera Enterprises, since he worked there, and Stefan could be running the company soon.
Ignoring the point, Abe wondered when Theo had started getting comfortable with the idea of telling lies from time to time. Realizing what Abe was talking about, Theo explained that although he still didn't like lying, he was willing to do so when he believed that was the best way of protecting his family. "The DiMeras," Abe derisively concluded. "They are my family," Theo stressed.
Theo was relieved to hear that Abe wasn't planning to turn Kate in to the police. Theo got upset, however, when Abe ordered him to quit working for the DiMeras -- and stay away from every single one of them, effective immediately. "Are you kidding me? Dad, you promised you wouldn't treat me like a little kid anymore!" Theo protested. "Then stop acting like one!" Abe snapped.
Abe quickly calmed down and tried to apologize, insisting that he hadn't truly meant what he had just blurted out. "Yeah, you did. You meant exactly what you said," Theo concluded, shaking his head in disbelief -- just as Claire entered the room. Sensing the tension, Claire offered to return some other time, but although Abe was quick to encourage that idea, Theo insisted that he wanted her to stay.
"What's going on?" Claire wondered. "Theo and I were...discussing his future," Abe explained. "We weren't 'discussing'; he was telling me what to do," Theo clarified. Sighing, Abe reluctantly backpedaled, conceding that Theo was old enough to make his own decisions and could therefore continue working for the DiMeras if that was what he truly wanted to do. "Really?" Theo asked skeptically.
"I just want you to take care of yourself," Abe stressed -- just as Kayla entered the room. Abe nervously observed that Kayla seemed concerned about something. Nodding, Kayla hesitantly explained that Theo's latest test results had revealed that the weakness in his limbs wasn't, as she had hoped, just a consequence of the atrophy that people typically suffered while comatose. "There is significant loss of motor neurons as a result of the stroke that Theo had during surgery," Kayla continued. "So, you're saying this is...is permanent? I might not walk again?" Theo asked worriedly.
"No, I'm just saying that your recovery's just gonna be a little more complicated than we thought," Kayla clarified, adding that, on the bright side, a clinical trial was in progress that was focused on addressing such issues -- and Theo seemed like the perfect candidate for it. "It involves implantation of stem cells in [the] brain, in conjunction with rigorous physical therapy. In essence, [we'd] be trying to jump-start your body into healing itself," she continued. She warned that there were never any guarantees with clinical trials; she optimistically stressed, however, that the one she was referring to had thus far yielded great results.
"It's taking place at the National Institute of Health in South Africa -- Cape Town," Kayla continued, stunning Theo -- who was even more shocked when she added that the recovery process could take months or even a whole year, during which time he would be stuck in the unfamiliar country. Abe wanted Kayla to enroll Theo in the clinical trial right away, but the teen insisted on talking to his father about the matter first.
Claire started to follow Kayla out of the room, but Theo asked her to stay. "I want [to get better], but I'm not [going to] if I can't have my family and friends around me -- and, Dad, I'm gonna be so far away, no one's gonna come visit. I don't want to go!" Theo told Abe, who couldn't believe what his son was telling him. "I'm not signing up for a trial thousands of miles away before I do my research. It's my life, right? [So] it's my decision; it's a choice I should make for myself," Theo reasoned. "The choice has been made. If the doctors think this trial is what you need, you're going to Cape Town," Abe replied with finality.
After Abe went to inform Kayla that the matter had been settled, Claire tried to help Theo see that his father did have a point. "No. He doesn't understand. I'm not gonna leave you!" Theo insisted, his eyes brimming with tears. "Okay, then I'm gonna go with you," Claire assured Theo, who soon broke down in her arms.
At the police station, Rafe squirmed as Hope continued trying to figure out why Ciara had been so angry lately. "I kept thinking last night about the last time she got that drunk. It was...when Chase raped her. She was so traumatized, she couldn't tell anyone the truth, so she kept it all inside, [and] I feel like she's keeping something inside now, too -- something she's afraid to tell me," Hope mused.
"Rafe, you're looking pale," Hope suddenly noticed. Forcing a smile, Rafe assured Hope that he was fine, adding that he was simply trying to figure out why a lot of her daughter's anger had been directed at him recently. "You know, it just dawned on me -- it's probably my fault," Hope told Rafe, guessing that she had made him an enemy in her daughter's eyes when she had asked him to take the motorcycle back to the garage.
"You think that's [the day] it all started?" Rafe asked nervously. "Something set [Ciara] off that day," Hope confidently confirmed. "Could you hold down the fort for a while? I want to talk to Ciara. It's time for this to come out, once and for all, [so we can] settle it -- whatever it is," Hope spontaneously decided, standing to leave. "Hopefully this won't take too long, but I'll tell you this -- I am not leaving there until she tells me what's been making her so angry," Hope continued before giving Rafe a quick goodbye kiss. Sighing, Rafe stopped Hope and reluctantly began to confess -- just as Kate barged into Hope's office.
"Oh, for God's sake..." Rafe grumbled as Kate, oblivious, demanded to know what Hope was doing to get rid of Vivian and Stefan. Hope wondered if either person had committed a crime since arriving in Salem. Kate was certain that Stefan was impersonating a DiMera but was forced to admit, when asked, that she couldn't prove her theory yet. "[But] Vivian brought him to town, and everything she does becomes a crime!" Kate stressed, prompting Hope to mutter something to Rafe about pots and kettles. Unamused, Kate insisted, "This isn't about me; this is about Vivian!"
Hope assured Kate that no one had forgotten about Vivian's colorful past. "[But] I've checked, [and] there are not any outstanding warrants for her arrest," Hope added, prompting Kate to wonder if the DiMeras were therefore supposed to just sit back and wait for Vivian and Stefan to do horrific things to their family. "They are bringing chaos to this town! You both know that!" Kate warned. "And we have to hope for the best," Hope replied with a shrug. Sighing, Kate grumbled, "I don't even know why I bothered coming here. You two are hopeless!" While storming off, Kate added, "When this town's on fire, it's going to be on your heads!"
Once the coast was clear, Hope curiously wondered what Rafe had been about to say earlier. As Rafe started to respond, Hope received a phone call from the district attorney, who wanted to see her right away. "Does anyone take a day off around here?" Hope grumbled before rushing off, promising Rafe that they would finish their conversation some other time.
Rafe seized the opportunity to visit Ciara, who guessed that he wanted to know what she had been planning to tell her mother the previous night. "I think I already [know]," he admitted with a sigh.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan explained that Chad had used the property as collateral for a sizeable loan after Sami had taken off with most of the DiMera fortune a couple years earlier -- and the bank that had provided the loan had since fallen into his hands, meaning that until the loan was paid off, he could take full control of the house at any time. Stefan was quick to add, however, that he had no intention of doing that; he simply wanted to share the place with his newfound family. "As a fellow latecomer to the DiMera legacy, you, of all people, should understand," Stefan reasoned, but Chad refused to acknowledge Stefan as a DiMera.
Nodding, Stefan admitted that he had never expected to be welcomed into his new family with open arms right from the start. "But I do hope that we can [eventually] get past this...initial awkwardness," Stefan added, stressing that he would really like to get to know his new family. "I find it annoying, Sam, that I gotta keep telling you that you're not part of the family," Chad complained. "Not yet," Stefan conceded.
Chad insisted that it didn't matter if the new paternity test confirmed Stefan's claim or not. "[Either way], I'm gonna really enjoy kicking your ass out of my company," Chad continued. Abigail helpfully added that Chad would have the full support of the entire DiMera clan, but Stefan dismissively countered that having the full support of DiMera Enterprises' board members would be more important.
Nodding, Chad guessed that Vivian and Stefan were DiMera Enterprises' saboteurs -- and had caused the company a lot of damage so they would ultimately be able to swoop in and convince the board that only they could be trusted to save it. Abigail shared Chad's suspicion, but Stefan insisted that they were wrong -- and that, in any case, they would never be able to prove their theory.
"I'm gonna go pick out my room," Stefan added before heading upstairs. Once the coast was clear, Chad contacted Belle and filled her in on everything that had happened since her return to Hong Kong, hoping that she would be able to find proof that Stefan and Vivian were indeed the saboteurs.
At the hospital, Kate impatiently asked Kayla for the results of Stefan's paternity test. "You didn't even ask about how Theo's doing," Kayla disapprovingly noted while handing over an envelope. Ignoring the point, Kate rushed back to the DiMera mansion and announced that the results were in.
Vivian reveals a secret partner
At the DiMera mansion, Kate and Andre confirmed that Stefan was Stefano's son. Vivian celebrated, and Stefan smirked at his new family. In disbelief, Chad wanted to redo the test, and Stefan said he was open to retaking the test as often as Chad wanted. Kate asked Chad to throw Vivian and Stefan out, but Chad explained that they could not remove them from the house because Stefan had control of the mansion through the corporation.
Stefan said he wanted to keep Kate and Andre at Countess W and Abigail in PR. When Chad asked what Stefan planned for him, Stefan said he wanted Chad to continue as a VP. Chad refused and quit. Chad accused Stefan of sabotaging the company. Stefan denied the charge and asked Chad to reconsider the VP position. Calling Stefan a "lying bastard," Chad marched out of the living room. Stefan asked if anyone else wanted to quit. Abigail raised her finger and followed her husband out the door.
When Stefan turned to Kate and Andre, they refused to quit. Kate warned Stefan that she would push him out if he screwed up. Stefan complimented Kate's fire. As Kate narrowed her eyes, Stefan said he looked forward to proving himself at the company. Vivian interrupted to suggest that they retrieve their things and move in. After Vivian left with Stefan, Kate asked Andre how they could get rid of the intruders. Andre muttered that they would figure it out.
Andre mentioned their New Year's Eve kiss. Kate was hesitant to talk about it, but Andre said he had felt a spark. Andre admitted that he had developed feelings for Kate. With a shrug, Andre said he knew they did not need to remain married, but he believed they could have a real marriage. Taken aback, Kate asked Andre if he was in love with her. Stammering, Andre said he was not familiar with love, but he was interested in whether Kate felt anything for him.
"Being your wife has not been the prison that I anticipated it to be," Kate said. "You should be writing greeting cards," Andre purred. Kate asked for time to sort out her own feelings. Andre told Kate to take all the time she needed. After Kate left, Andre added, "I'm not going anywhere."
At Doug's Place, Abigail and Chad drank and discussed their next moves. Abigail suggested a new company. In disagreement, Chad said he had wanted DiMera Enterprises to be Thomas' legacy, and he did not want to roll over and hand the family business to a stranger. "If you really want to keep the company, I think I know a way," Abigail said. Abigail suggested that they prove that Stefan had committed corporate espionage.
When Chad asked how, Abigail said they needed to ask Stefan for their jobs back. Chad worried aloud that Stefan would be suspicious, but Abigail said she would convince Stefan that she had made Chad reconsider for Thomas' sake. Reluctantly, Chad agreed. After Abigail left, Kate joined Chad at the bar. Chad reiterated that he was still angry with Kate. Kate countered that she was angry that Chad had quit. Chad told a relieved Kate about his plan with Abigail.
"You and Abigail make a good team," Kate said. "So do you and Andre," Chad countered. When Kate asked what he meant, Chad said that the four of them could take down Stefan.
At the pub, Eric was surprised to see Anna with Roman. Anna went upstairs to look for an earring, and Eric playfully rolled his eyes at his father. Roman lamented that Kate was still involved with Andre, and he said he had decided to take a step forward with Anna instead. Chuckling, Eric said he had felt the same way with Jennifer. Roman asked about the date, but Eric said the evening had been sidetracked by Stefan's arrival. Roman was excited to hear that Eric was dating Jennifer again. Smiling, Eric said he was interested in "pursuing a relationship with Jennifer." Roman warned Eric to phrase his feelings a different way with her.
"Are you really sure you are over Nicole?" Roman asked. Eric admitted that he truly loved Nicole and still missed her. Anna returned downstairs, but she went outside in front of the pub so as not to interfere with Roman and Eric's discussion. Eric told Roman that he was ready to move on, and he wanted to move on with Jennifer.
At the police station, Jennifer talked to Hope about Ciara's behavior. Hope was upset to hear what Ciara had said to Eric and Jennifer about their addictions and Daniel's death. When Hope asked Jennifer if she had any insight, Jennifer shrugged her shoulders. Hope confided that she believed Ciara was on the verge of telling her something big. Jennifer advised Hope to wait for Ciara to talk.
Changing the subject, Hope asked Jennifer about her date with Eric. Jennifer said that Eric had kissed her at midnight, but she felt like Eric did not feel the same way about her as she did about him. Jennifer said that when Eric had dropped her off at home, he had kissed her on the cheek and left. Hope suggested that Eric had not wanted to overstep any boundaries. Shaking her head, Jennifer said she worried that Eric was still in love with Nicole. Hope urged Jennifer to ask Eric how he felt. Jennifer was unsure, but she agreed to talk to Eric.
As Jennifer walked past the pub, she spotted Anna on the bench out front. Anna admitted that she had spent New Year's Eve with Roman. Elated, Jennifer congratulated Anna. When Jennifer asked Anna why she was sitting outside, Anna said she had left so that Roman and Eric could talk privately. Anna said she had overheard Eric admit that he was still in love with Nicole and still missed her. Disappointed, Jennifer excused herself and left hurriedly. Inside the pub, Roman told Eric he hoped things worked out with Jennifer.
At the loft, Rafe asked Ciara if she had overheard him talking to Sami. Ciara admitted that she knew Rafe had had sex with Sami. Rafe apologized, but an emotional Ciara did not want to listen to Rafe's explanation. Rafe swore that he had never wanted to hurt Hope. "You were like a second father to me. How could you do something so gross?" Ciara asked.
Rafe explained that after he had fought with Hope, they had broken up. Rafe said that he had believed the relationship was over when he had run into Sami after her fight with Will. When Ciara groaned, Rafe added that he was friends with Sami, and they had a history with one another. Ciara asked if they had only had sex once. Rafe said he regretted his one night with Sami. "I don't know, Rafe. I don't know if I'll ever believe another word you say," Ciara said.
Ciara yelled that Hope had a right to know the truth. When Rafe wondered aloud if he would just be easing his conscience at Hope's expense, Ciara shook her head no. Rafe asked Ciara to let him be the one to tell Hope the truth. There was a knock on the door. Ciara opened the door and found Hope, who begged Ciara to say why she was angry. Hope was surprised to see Rafe. Rafe explained that he was there to talk to Ciara because he believed her anger was his fault. Hope asked Ciara if she had told Rafe why she was angry. With a nod, Ciara said her anger was because of Rafe.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail knocked on Stefan's bedroom door. When he welcomed her in, she was shocked to find him standing there naked. Downstairs, Vivian interrupted Andre's conversation with Stefano's portrait. "I was having a private moment. Don't be such a bitch," Andre growled.
"Well, you can dispense with the name-calling. We're alone," Vivian said. "And that's no way to treat your partner in crime. Especially when the plan is going so well," Vivian purred.