Laura stopped at General Hospital to see Elizabeth and to explain that she'd had to drop the boys off at the sitter's house. Kevin had had a skating accident, and Laura had been forced to take him to the ER. He was more embarrassed than anything, she assured Elizabeth. Laura talked about her great afternoon of ice-skating with the boys and how they'd kept talking about Franco.
Elizabeth agreed that her boys were fond of Franco, and Laura wondered if Elizabeth felt the same. Elizabeth admitted that she was torn, being judged by others versus being on his side. Laura reminded Elizabeth that she was the one who had encouraged Elizabeth, and she mentioned that everyone deserved a second chance.
Elizabeth felt disheartened that things always seemed to fall apart. She told Laura about Tom Baker and the fact that Franco was suspected of his murder. Franco had assured her that he hadn't committed the crime, Elizabeth continued. She might be naive, but she believed him, even though he had carried out his own "troubling" form of justice on the ex-convict.
Franco was pulling away from her and keeping his distance, Elizabeth continued. Her heart wanted her to stand by him, but her head was telling her to stay away. Laura noted that everyone was flawed, and she suggested that Elizabeth would have to decide if the good outweighed the bad.
Kiki and Dillon returned to Kiki's place after their extended bus trip, feeling dirty and hungry. Dillon wondered if the kiss they'd shared on the bus changed things between them. Kiki admitted that she'd done some thinking on the bus while Dillon had slept, and she had decided she'd have to live with the guilt that was Morgan. That had inspired her to do something useful with that guilt, and she was unsure if it would include volunteering, something at school, or helping people with mental illness.
Kiki and Dillon took separate showers, though Dillon tried to double up, and they ordered some food. By the time they started eating, they ended up on the sofa, having a make out session. They were interrupted by a knock on the door. It was Elizabeth, looking for Franco. She wanted to surprise him. Kiki didn't know where Franco was, and Elizabeth asked her not to tell him she was looking for him. Dillon noted that the other couple was having the same type of dance as he and Kiki. "One step forward, two steps back," he said. The fear of a relationship was evident, but he thought that he and Kiki should wait. "No pressure," he added.
Curtis and Jason continued to press Buzz for answers at the soup kitchen. Buzz revealed that Rudge had a female boss, and he knew because he'd heard her voice. "Kill the homeless loser who planted the bomb," Buzz had heard her say to Rudge while he'd been at the pawnshop. He'd been looking for answers after he'd realized that he had been the one to plant the bomb in Julian's car. At first, Buzz refused to say anything else, noting that he'd said too much already. Curtis and Jason promised not to say anything to anyone, and but they were especially interested in how Buzz had gotten in and out of the shop without setting off the alarm.
Jason and Curtis finally persuaded Buzz to divulge all that he knew, and the homeless man explained that there were catacombs that ran under Port Charles with a passage leading right to the basement of the pawnshop. There was a secret office there. Buzz's information was very much appreciated, and as Jason emptied his pockets for the man to get out of town, Curtis gave him the address of a shelter he knew of in Baltimore. Buzz warned the men to be careful.
Sam rushed over after Buzz left. She was unhappy to hear that Curtis and her husband would be heading to the pawnshop. She also stated that she'd spoken to Julian, and she believed that he'd had nothing to do with the bomb. He was scared for their lives. She felt that he wasn't threatening them but merely giving them a warning. Sam believed Julian to be a target. Jason assured his wife they'd be "smart" about their investigation at the pawnshop.
At the pawnshop, Rudge advised the lady in red that he had bad news. He'd been unable to locate the homeless man, though he promised to find him. Also, he'd received a text message from Julian. Sam and Jason were suspicious and had to have been watching Alexis' house because Rudge had been seen there. The woman poured hot tea on Rudge's hand. Rudge promised to take care of Jason and his accomplices.
Scott and Franco sat at a table in Gene's Branford Roadhouse as Franco tried to convince his father that he was innocent of Tom Baker's murder. Scott wanted an alibi to help him believe Franco, but Franco was hurt that Scott didn't have any confidence. After being assured of attorney-client privilege, Franco revealed how he'd been locked in a dog crate. "Ugh," was all Scott could think. He couldn't believe Elizabeth would do such a thing. Franco proceeded to tell Scott the sordid tale of how he had locked Tom in the crate, had had second thoughts, had let Tom go, and had then had the tables turned on him.
Franco had realized that he had gone too far, but he had been in the crate himself until the next day. Scott admonished his son and noted that his alibi could still land Franco in prison for assault and false imprisonment. Franco explained that that was why he had to find the killer, and he knew that Tom had been in the bar with a woman. He'd given the bartender all his money, but the bartender hadn't been much help. Franco had also run into Alexis, who'd given him a phony story about being lost, but she'd appeared nervous.
Franco grabbed Scott's tablet, and the two men accused one another of not adding the other as a Facebook friend. They also heard a nearby waitress tell some people to add a photo to Facebook with the tag of Gene's bar. That got Franco thinking. In the meantime, Scott received a phone call about the murder weapon. The analysis of the murder weapon had not turned up any fingerprints.
Franco perused Facebook, looking for any photos from the night of the murder that had been taken at the bar. He thought maybe he'd be able to spot Tom and the unknown woman. Scott noted how obsessed the younger generation was with selfies. Suddenly, Franco hit the jackpot. There was a photo from the bar, with Tom and Alexis sitting at a nearby table.
Alexis searched frantically for a bottle of vodka. Julian dumped out the box of empty bottles, advising her that he'd poured out all her liquor. "Drastic times call for drastic measures, Alexis," he stated. He was trying to prevent her from hurting herself or someone else. Alexis was furious as she kicked bottles out of her way, oblivious to Julian. Suddenly, she had a flashback to her night with Tom Baker. "What's wrong?" Julian asked as she began to lose her composure even more.
Alexis grabbed her coat and headed for the door, announcing that she was finished with Julian. She called for a cab, telling her ex-husband that she would not allow him to do an intervention. Julian asked her to go twelve hours without a drink to prove to him that she didn't have a problem. She retorted that she didn't have a problem; she just chose not to go without a drink. Julian advised Alexis that she was totally dependent on alcohol, though Alexis argued that she didn't have to prove anything. Julian changed tactics and begged her to do it for everyone else, her career, and her self-respect.
Alexis reminded Julian that he had taken her self-respect. He agreed that he had betrayed her, but he understood her. "Don't patronize me," she yelled. Julian threatened to call Sam and other family members to stage a real intervention. Again, she was hit with a flashback: she was struggling with Tom, who held a knife.
Alexis shrugged it off and informed Julian that everyone hated him and wouldn't listen to him. She changed her mind about going out, citing that a pregnant Sam didn't need any stress. Julian retorted that it would be stressful for Sam to have a drunk mother; Sam would not allow Alexis near her children, and the other girls would catch her. Alexis paced like a caged animal as Julian told her to look for the strong woman she could be once again.
Later, Julian served Alexis some food. She needed to be hydrated, nourished, and kept busy. He had some recordings for her to watch. Alexis flashed to her struggle with Tom again, and suddenly, she was demanding a drink. She was beside herself. "What have I done?" she cried. Julian didn't understand. She had been drunk at Gene's and had done something, she hastily explained. She recalled being drunk and outside with a guy. "I killed him," she said.
Jason and Curtis found the pathway to the pawnshop basement. Making their way inside, they saw nothing. It was empty.
At Greystone Manor, Diane sailed into the living room as Sonny lounged in a chair and sipped coffee. She noticed him smile when she informed him that his trial date had been moved up because the new district attorney wanted his head on a platter. Sonny assured Diane that it would be fine because Jason had been investigating the bombing. Intrigued, Diane wondered if Jason had found anything useful. Sonny conceded that Jason didn't have proof -- yet -- but everything pointed to Julian. Diane appeared skeptical that Julian would plant a bomb in his own car, but she pointed out that it didn't matter because they needed to prepare for the trial until they could clear Sonny of the murder charges.
Diane admitted that their backs were against the wall because the district attorney was hungry to make a name for herself by convicting "the great Sonny Corinthos." Diane and Sonny discussed the case and Diane's defense, but she noticed that he seemed distracted. Sonny explained that he felt cooped up, prompting Diane to suggest they take a break. She was curious if Max's stories about Sonny's refrigerator were true. Sonny smiled and confirmed there was plenty of food.
A short time later, Diane sipped wine and sang Olivia's praises because of the marvelous bolognaise sauce. Sonny agreed and took a bite of the pasta. Diane set the fork down and admitted that she'd always been fond of Sonny and his family and that she had adored Morgan. Diane knew Sonny was uncomfortable with the defense she'd devised for him, but she assured Sonny that Morgan would not want Sonny to go to jail for a crime that Sonny hadn't committed. She urged Sonny to fight with all he had.
The conversation shifted to Carly when Diane asked what to expect from Morgan's mother. Sonny smiled as he assured Diane that his wife would support him at the trial. Diane was relieved.
At Metro Court Restaurant, Carly was lost in the memory of making love to Sonny on New Year's Eve. "Earth to Carly," Bobbie repeatedly said until Carly shook off the memory and smiled sheepishly. Nelle grinned and accused Carly of being a woman in love, but she quickly regretted the words when she realized that Bobbie had no idea what she'd been talking about. Carly assured Nelle that it was fine because she'd been trying to find a way to tell Bobbie about Sonny. Bobbie suggested that Nelle sign a non-disclosure agreement, but Carly ignored the tension between her mother and Nelle and explained that Carly and Sonny had decided to take it day by day.
Bobbie assured her daughter that she wanted Carly to be happy, but she reminded Carly that any concerns that Carly had were valid and should be treated with respect. Carly agreed and promised that Sonny would not betray their marriage. Bobbie smiled and suggested that the reconciliation might not be good news for Nelle, since Carly wouldn't need Nelle's help with everything -- like picking out Carly's clothes. Nelle didn't miss Bobbie's scorn and recalled Bobbie confronting Nelle about finding Nelle's medication in Sonny's bedroom. Nelle shook off the memory when Bobbie added that Nelle might enjoy the extra free time.
Bobbie stepped away to take a phone call, so Nelle seized the opportunity to persuade Carly to fly to Australia to accompany Josslyn home because Josslyn might need time to get used to the idea of Carly and Sonny working things out. Carly realized that Nelle had a point when Nelle reminded Carly how upset Josslyn had been about Sonny. Carly acknowledged that Josslyn was stubborn like her mother and asked Nelle to make the arrangements. Carly doubted that Sonny would be happy when she broke the news to him, but she was certain he would understand. Nelle offered to check in on Sonny while Carly was in Sydney, but Carly assured Nelle that it wasn't necessary and advised Nelle to spend time with Nelle's "secret" guy.
Nelle reminded Carly that it was a long-distance relationship, but Carly sensed there was something else. Nelle admitted that it was complicated then added that he was "otherwise engaged." Carly's smile faltered as she gently advised Nelle to be careful. Nelle insisted that she was fine and promised that she would not be the one who would be hurt.
Later, Carly arrived at Sonny's and immediately noticed the delicious aromas in the air. Sonny explained that he and Diane had had lunch, and he offered to fetch Carly something to eat from the kitchen. Carly declined and asked about Sonny's meeting with Diane. He explained that Diane wanted to argue in court that Morgan had suffered a manic episode when he'd stolen the car, and Sonny had gone to the funeral to confess his guilt over passing on his bipolar disease. Carly assured Sonny that it was the best defense because it was the truth.
Carly shifted gears to tell Sonny about her trip to Sydney to pick up Josslyn because she wanted an opportunity to tell Josslyn about her renewed relationship with Sonny rather than springing it on her daughter when Josslyn returned. Carly was grateful when Sonny supported her decision, so she told him to call Nelle if he needed anything. Sonny smiled awkwardly as he declined and added that Nelle didn't appear to have a private life. Carly confided about Nelle's secret lover whom Carly suspected was a married man.
At Metro Court Restaurant, Bobbie walked up as Nelle finalized the flight reservations for Carly. "Relocating?" Bobbie asked. Nelle explained that she'd made reservations for Carly because she'd persuaded Carly to fly to Australia to break the news to Josslyn about Cary and Sonny's relationship, so Josslyn would have time to process it. Bobbie thought it was interesting how Nelle always anticipated Carly's needs. Nelle believed that her years studying to become a teacher had given her an innate ability to read people -- like Bobbie, who hadn't liked Nelle from the start. Nelle couldn't understand why and thought it was time she and Bobbie finally had it out.
"Oh, sweetie, I thought you'd never ask," Bobbie replied with relish as she followed Nelle to the bar. Nelle accused Bobbie of making passive-aggressive comments about Nelle and Sonny and challenged Bobbie to talk to Carly if Bobbie had any concerns. Bobbie refused to put her daughter in a position to doubt her own mother out of an obligation to defend Nelle. Nelle insisted that she would never want friction between mother and daughter because Nelle was the type to fix problems -- not cause them. Bobbie explained that Carly had done fine for years without Nelle's help, so Carly didn't need Nelle jumping in where Nelle didn't belong.
Offended, Nelle was curious when she'd interfered with the family -- except when she'd been too young to consent to donating her kidney. Nelle insisted that Carly had asked Nelle to stay and had even given Nelle a job. Bobbie accused Nelle of trying to make herself indispensable to Carly. Nelle didn't deny it and argued that she'd earned her position -- but not on her back like Bobbie had. Nelle insisted that Bobbie didn't have any room to judge because Bobbie had been a prostitute. "Well, it seems the real Nelle just showed up," Bobbie said with satisfaction.
Bobbie refused to feel shame for the things she'd done to fight the poverty of her past. She conceded that she hadn't been sure about Nelle at first because Bobbie might have been resentful of the way Carly had leaned on Nelle after Morgan had died. However, Bobbie realized that her instincts about Nelle had been right on the money because it was clear Nelle had studied Carly's family, including Bobbie. "What the hell are you up to, Nelle?" Bobbie wondered. Nelle claimed that she only cared about her job, but Bobbie was curious what job Nelle was referring to because she doubted it was the one that Carly had hired Nelle for.
"I've got your number, missy. Watch your step," Bobbie warned Nelle. She walked away. Seconds later, Bobbie bumped into Carly as Carly returned. Carly apologized for missing lunch with her mother and explained about the trip to pick up Josslyn. Bobbie assured Carly that it was fine and suggested that she, Carly, and Josslyn get together once Josslyn had settled in. Carly thanked Bobbie and asked her to keep an eye on Sonny and Michael. Bobbie agreed and hugged her daughter goodbye. "I will take care of your family, and I will take out the trash," Bobbie vowed as she watched Carly leave.
Nearby, Nelle's phone rang. It was Sonny. Sonny demanded that Nelle meet him because they had to talk. A short time later, Nelle entered the living room with a smile as she called out to Sonny. From his chair, Sonny glared menacingly at Nelle and told her that they needed to reach a new understanding.
At Gene's Branford Roadhouse, Franco showed his father the picture of Alexis and Tom Baker enjoying a drink together that he'd found on the bar's Facebook page. Scott conceded that it looked damaging, but it didn't prove anything. Franco admitted that he'd suspected Alexis had been drinking, but he hadn't realized she'd been hiding more. Scott reiterated that the photo didn't prove that Alexis had stabbed Tom to death, but Franco argued that Alexis had lied about being there and had returned to the bar after the murder. Scott suggested that Alexis might have been meeting a client, but Franco pointed out that her law license had been suspended. Franco decided to get some answers and promised to return shortly.
At Alexis' house, Julian became alarmed when he noticed that Alexis was distraught. He implored her to tell him what had happened. Alexis tearfully confessed that she'd gotten drunk at Gene's Branford Roadhouse and had done something. Worried, Julian gently asked what had happened. Alexis looked at him with a horrified expression as she revealed that she had killed a man. Julian was certain that Alexis was wrong and suggested that perhaps withdrawal from alcohol might have affected her judgment, but she assured him that her memories were not hallucinations -- she had killed Tom Baker.
Alexis tried to leave, but Julian explained that alcohol was not the answer because it wouldn't make her problems disappear. Julian assured Alexis that he might have a solution, but she scoffed and told him that she neither liked him nor wanted his help. "Noted," Julian replied, but he advised her to hear him out, or she'd continue to rack up a bodies. Alexis began to weep, so Julian fetched her a glass of water and encouraged her to drink it and tell him exactly what had transpired. Alexis explained that she'd left Ava's apartment after he'd announced that he intended to move in with Alexis the following day. Alexis had decided to enjoy her final night of freedom by going to a bar, and she'd met Tom there.
Alexis clarified that she hadn't known until later that Tom had been the same man who had raped Elizabeth. Alexis recalled how she'd encountered Tom the second night in the bar and that she'd rebuffed his advances when he'd tried to entice her to go to a nearby motel with him. Alexis had flashbacks of how Tom had turned ugly and had pulled out a knife to force her to cooperate. Alexis had managed to get the knife away from Tom and had pointed the knife at Tom as she'd warned him that he'd messed with the wrong person. "That's it," Alexis added. Julian was encouraged because she didn't recall stabbing Tom. Julian was also confident that he would have noticed the following morning if something terrible had happened to Alexis.
On the front porch, Scott called Franco to let Franco know that Scott had to leave the bar because there was a four-alarm fire in the Asian Quarter. Franco wondered what that had to do with Scott, so his father reminded him that someone might have been hurt. After Franco ended the call, he knocked on Alexis' front door. Inside, Julian ducked out of sight as Alexis went to answer the door. Franco greeted Alexis and explained that they needed to talk about Tom. Alexis claimed that she had no idea what Franco was referring to, but he quickly showed her the picture of Alexis and Tom enjoying a drink together that he'd found online.
Franco explained that he wanted Alexis to tell the police the truth about the night Tom had been murdered because Franco was the prime suspect, but Alexis dismissed the photograph as altered and ordered Franco to leave. After Franco left, Julian stepped out of hiding. Alexis feared the worst because the photograph proved that Alexis and Tom had crossed paths. Julian assured Alexis that everything would work out, but first Alexis needed to get sober.
At the Jerome apartment, Sam stopped by to talk to her father, but Ava told her niece that he was not there. Sam didn't believe Ava and pushed her way in as she called out to Julian. A short time later, Sam emerged from Julian's bedroom and demanded answers because it was clear that Julian had moved out. Ava claimed that the bedroom had merely been picked up, but Sam decided to make herself comfortable on the sofa and wait for Julian to return. She suggested that she and Ava could spend time engaging in small talk, or Ava could answer Sam's questions because Jason and Sam had uncovered information about the bombing. Sam knew there was a lot more to the story than anyone realized.
Shaken, Ava dropped her cocktail glass as she recalled switching Morgan's medications with placebos, but she pushed the memory away and picked up the broken shards of glass. Sam smiled with satisfaction because she'd struck a nerve, so she questioned if Ava wanted Morgan's killer to face justice. Ava pulled herself together and reminded Sam that Sonny's trial would begin soon. Sam denied that Sonny had played any role in his son's death, but Sam suspected that Ava had. Ava was offended by the accusation, but Sam questioned if Ava had decided to take control of the territory by ordering Rudge to kill Julian and frame Sonny.
Ava burst out laughing and asked Sam not to change because Sam was priceless. Ava explained that she had no idea who "Fudge" was, and Sam's story was as priceless as Sam. Frustrated, Sam grabbed her things and left. Ava's expression filled with concern as she closed the door. "Oh, Julian, what have you gotten yourself into this time?" Ava asked. Ava called Julian and left him a voicemail message to warn him about Sam's visit. Ava admitted that whatever Julian was involved with stunk to high heaven and would cave in on him.
At the pawnshop, Jason and Curtis made their way to a secret office, but they were disappointed when they discovered that Rudge and his lady boss had cleared out and had taken everything with them. Determined to find something, Jason and Curtis looked around. Jason found a picture of a young boy buried in the desk and quickly slid it into his pocket as Curtis approached with a Chinese dragon figurine that had the same Chinese symbols on the bottom as the Chinese model ship that Jason had found. Jason and Curtis jumped when the office door suddenly slammed shut, and smoke began to billow in through an air vent.
Curtis determined the door was locked as Jason pulled off his jacket and covered the vent. Curtis was confident that he and Jason could escape through the catacombs if they got the door open, so Jason tossed Curtis a credit card for Curtis to jimmy the lock the old-fashioned way.
A short time later, Jason and Curtis arrived at Gene's Branford Roadhouse, and each ordered a glass of water. Between coughs, they discussed what they'd uncovered. Jason showed Curtis the picture of the boy, but Curtis didn't recognize the child. Curtis doubted that Jordan would be impressed with the evidence they'd gathered, but Jason objected to involving the police. Curtis didn't think it made sense for them to investigate the case alone, but Sam arrived, and the conversation was cut short.
After Curtis left, Sam noticed that Jason smelled like smoke and asked what he'd been doing. Jason admitted that he'd been near the fire in the Asian Quarter, but he wanted to know about Sam's visit with Ava. Sam admitted that it had been a dead end, but Sam had discovered that Julian had moved out. Sam added that she'd tried to rattle Ava's cage, but Sam was certain that her aunt was not Rudge's boss.
Sonny questions Nelle's motives
In Canada, Nathan and Maxie entered a cabin. Maxie was exhausted, but she stopped short when she saw a moose head mounted on the wall. She warned Nathan that the décor might keep her awake, but he doubted it, since they'd flown to Canada on a whim and spent the day following up on leads, hoping to find Claudette, and Maxie was still recovering from the flu. Maxie was disappointed that they hadn't made any headway in finding Claudette, but Nathan was certain Claudette's mother might be able to help if he could persuade her to let him look through Claudette's personal items. However, he'd need Maxie's help to keep the woman distracted to speed the process along.
Maxie admitted that she'd had a fantasy that they would easily find Claudette, and everything would be resolved quickly. Nathan assured Maxie that he'd take her to Niagara Falls to get married if he could because he couldn't wait to spend the rest of his life with her. He was so eager to start their life together that he'd been thinking of buying a house with three bedrooms -- one for them, one for Georgie, and one for another baby. Maxie smiled and asked when they could move in, but he confessed that he had one condition. He wanted to mount a moose head over their fireplace and wondered if the owner would be willing to part with the one in their cabin.
Maxie realized that Nathan was joking around and hit him with a pillow. They were laughing and horsing around when someone knocked on the door. It was the Canadian police officer they had talked to earlier in the day. The police officer apologized for stopping by so late and explained that he had an update. According to the police officer, a woman's body had been recovered from a nearby lake after an apparent suicide. Nathan's inquiry had made the police officer take a second look at the case file and a misplaced test result that had confirmed that the dead woman's fingerprints had matched Claudette's.
After the police officer left, Maxie consoled Nathan because she knew that he'd once loved Claudette. Nathan admitted that it was hard to believe that Claudette had taken her own life because she'd been the type to plot and scheme when things had gotten difficult. Maxie reminded him that there had been a fingerprint match. Nathan nodded and decided to break the news to Claudette's mother in person the following day and to call Griffin.
At Metro Court Restaurant, Charlotte asked when her father would be arriving. Nina smiled and assured the little girl that Valentin would be there soon, and she couldn't wait to tell him that Charlotte had ice-skated backwards. Charlotte admitted that she wanted to learn to twirl like Nina, but Nina thought it best that a professional teach Charlotte, which Nina was certain Valentin would agree to. As if on cue, Valentin arrived and greeted his daughter with a warm hug and asked what Charlotte and Nina had been talking about. Charlotte was eager to know about her father's surprise, so Valentin and Nina told Charlotte that they'd gotten married at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Charlotte seemed quiet, prompting Valentin and Nina to paint a happy and fun picture of their new life as a family.
Valentin smiled with approval as Charlotte squealed with delight and ran to hug Nina. After Charlotte returned to her seat, he announced that he'd picked up wedding rings while Nina and Charlotte had been ice-skating. Valentin asked Charlotte to help with the ring exchange because Charlotte had missed the wedding. Charlotte happily agreed and opened the black velvet box that Valentin had set on the table. Charlotte was impressed with Nina's diamond wedding band. Nina agreed that it was beautiful and gazed adoringly at Valentin. After Valentin and Nina said a few romantic words, exchanged rings, and kissed, Valentin stepped away to take a phone call.
The Canadian police officer reported to Valentin that he'd told Nathan and Maxie the story they'd discussed, and the couple had believed it. Pleased, Valentin thanked the police officer and ended the call. Moments later, Valentin took Nina and Charlotte's hands then left the restaurant with his new family.
Meanwhile, Franco let himself into his apartment as he looked at his phone and the photo of Alexis and Tom. He was startled when Kiki entered the living room and greeted him. She was curious what he'd been looking at, but Franco closed the screen and put the phone away as he explained that it had been a cat video. Kiki wondered why he'd been jumpy, so he admitted that he hadn't expected her to be there. Kiki quickly realized that Franco hadn't known about her plans to leave town and quickly fetched the letter she'd left for him. Franco was shocked that Kiki had left without saying goodbye, but she reminded him that she'd left a letter and had ultimately returned.
Kiki opened up to Franco about her encounter with Dillon on the bus and how they'd both realized that they'd been leaving to avoid running into each other. Kiki admitted that she and Dillon had talked things out and had decided to give their relationship a try. Franco was happy for Kiki and told her that it was important to do everything possible to make certain that nothing stood in the way of her relationship with someone she cared about.
Later, Franco nibbled on some food as he observed that Kiki seemed happy. He was pleased because he knew that she'd been in a lot of pain when Morgan had died. Kiki admitted that she'd never get over losing Morgan, but she was certain that Morgan would want her to move on. Kiki added that when someone found a good thing, they had to hold onto it tight. Kiki noticed that Franco looked like he had a lot on his mind. Franco didn't want to burden Kiki with his problems, but Kiki insisted that she wanted to help and encouraged him to talk to her.
Franco revealed that Tom Baker had been murdered, but he quickly assured Kiki that he'd had nothing to do with the death. However, he admitted that the police believed otherwise and considered him the prime suspect. Kiki was surprised when Franco added that he knew who the killer was, but he refused to tell the police because he'd once hurt someone in the woman's family. Astounded, Kiki reminded Franco that he might be charged with the murder and pointed out that there was a strong chance that the woman had acted in self-defense. Franco couldn't be certain of that, so Kiki switched tactics and told him about Elizabeth's visit.
Franco admitted that he'd ended things with Elizabeth because he needed to clear his name, and he'd suspected that Elizabeth had doubts about him. Kiki argued that whatever doubts Elizabeth might have had about his innocence hadn't outweighed Elizabeth's feelings for him. "Maybe," Franco quietly replied. Kiki was confident that Franco had a good chance with Elizabeth, but he needed to decide whether to tell the truth about Tom's murder or to keep his mouth shut. Franco admitted that he had no intention of going to prison.
At Alexis' house, Alexis paced the living room as Julian tried to question her about the night that Tom had died. Alexis was agitated and resented Julian's attempt to help because his questions made her want to drink. Alexis blamed Julian for all her troubles, but he argued that she was just angry that she needed a drink to feel better. Alexis insisted that she wanted the nightmare to end, which meant that she would need a clear head to figure out what exactly had transpired in the alleyway. Julian appeared skeptical that Alexis was determined to remain sober, but she shifted gears and invited him to continue to question her about Tom.
Julian was curious if anyone had seen Alexis at the bar with Tom. Alexis conceded that Gene, the bar's owner, had seen them, but Gene hadn't mentioned it to the police. Julian appeared dubious, but she assured him it was true and added that Gene had reminded her of the encounter and had told her that he'd seen her leave the bar. Julian perked up when Alexis added that Gene had claimed that Tom had followed her out within seconds. Julian urged Alexis to think like an attorney because Gene would have no way of knowing if Tom had caught up to Alexis. Julian was curious if there had been anyone else who had witnessed what had transpired between Alexis and Tom.
Alexis shook her head, but her expression changed. Concerned, Julian asked Alexis what was wrong. Alexis stared at a vision of Tom smirking at her and holding a liquor bottle. Alexis muttered that Tom was not real, but Julian was confused and asked who Alexis was talking to. Tom accused Alexis of killing him and tempted her to have a drink, but Alexis refused. Worried, Julian realized that Alexis was suffering from hallucinations induced by alcohol withdrawal, but Alexis was focused on Tom. Tom urged Alexis to confess to the police, but she argued that she couldn't have killed him.
Julian tried to talk to Alexis, but she asked if Julian could see Tom. Alexis' horror turned to terror when she looked down and noticed that she was holding a bloody knife. Tom gloated that soon everyone would see Alexis for who she really was, but Alexis ruthlessly pushed the vision away. Julian tried to assure Alexis that everything would be fine, but the vision of Tom returned. Alexis tearfully told Tom that she had never intended to kill him, but her grief turned to anger when she focused on Julian and accused him of ruining her life. A new knife appeared in her hand as she held it up and pointed it at Julian.
Julian promised that he just wanted to help Alexis, but she argued that he didn't care about her and only wanted to send her to prison. Julian begged Alexis to let him help and finally got through to her as the vision of Tom and the knife vanished. Alexis broke down sobbing as Julian held her. "I need help," Alexis repeatedly cried as Julian rocked her in his arms.
At Gene's Branford Roadhouse, Jason and Sam talked about Jason and Curtis' search of the pawnshop before the fire had broken out. Jason showed Sam the picture he'd found, but he had no idea who the young boy was. Sam studied the photo and admitted that the young boy appeared familiar. Jason agreed, but he couldn't place the face. Sam noticed that the photograph's process and the paper seemed decades old. It dawned on her that the boy looked like her father.
Jason took a second look and agreed, which confirmed his theory that Rudge and Rudge's boss were connected to Julian. Jason questioned Sam about her visit with Ava, but Sam was adamant that her aunt hadn't been involved because Ava had seemed genuinely shocked at Sam's suggestion and had laughed at the idea of ordering a hit on Julian. Jason suggested that it was time to have a talk with Sonny.
At Greystone Manor, Nelle's smile faltered as she asked what Sonny had meant when he'd told her that they needed to reach a "new understanding." Sonny rose from his chair and approached her as he told her that he'd been under the impression that they'd agreed that they wouldn't say anything about what had happened between them. He was curious if Nelle had changed her mind. Nelle shook her head, but Sonny questioned why Nelle would tell Carly about being involved with a married man. Nelle denied that she had and insisted that she'd attempted to stop Carly's matchmaking efforts between Nelle and Michael by telling Carly a "little white lie." Nelle was adamant that Carly had jumped to her own conclusions and added that she'd tried to deflect Carly's suspicions.
Sonny made it clear that he needed Nelle's help. Nelle promised to do whatever Sonny wanted and reiterated that she'd simply tried to shut Carly down. Nelle assured him that it hadn't been her fault. "No, it never is," Sonny quietly replied. Seconds later, Jason and Sam arrived. Jason watched Nelle carefully as she explained that she had stopped by to check on Sonny at Carly's request. Sonny added that Carly had flown to Australia to fetch Josslyn. After Nelle made a hasty exit, Jason and Sam filled Sonny in on what they'd uncovered.
Sonny was surprised that Julian hadn't planted the bomb, but Sonny was curious about the woman that Rudge answered to. Jason had no idea, but the picture of Julian as a child indicated there was a personal connection. Sonny looked at the picture and agreed that it appeared to be Julian. Sam felt the baby kick hard and excused herself to go to the restroom. After she left, Jason asked Sonny about the tension between Sonny and Nelle. Sonny admitted that he was certain that Nelle was not as innocent as she appeared.
At Metro Court Restaurant, Nelle called Carly. She hid her disappointment when Carly revealed that she had already boarded the plane. Nelle wished Carly a good flight and promised that she had everything covered. "I'll make sure to take care of Sonny," Nelle added and ended the call.
Alexis attends an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting
Nathan and Maxie arrived home from their trip to Canada. As Maxie slid the key into the lock, Nathan asked if she was okay. She was touched that he'd ask because he'd been the one who'd told Claudette's mother about Claudette's demise. Nathan admitted that it had been difficult, so he was glad to be home. Maxie agreed because she was eager to get some sleep. Nathan followed her into the apartment, but they both froze in their tracks when they saw piles of boxes and Lulu in the middle of the living room.
Lulu wondered why Nathan and Maxie weren't on their honeymoon despite not getting married, but Maxie asked what Lulu was up to. Lulu explained that she'd unpacked all of Nathan and Maxie's wedding gifts and had stored them away. Nathan and Maxie filled Lulu in about their trip to Canada and the discovery that Claudette had committed suicide, but Lulu refused to believe that Claudette had taken her own life. Nathan admitted that he'd been skeptical at first, but he pointed out that Claudette's life had been a mess, and she'd been a deeply unhappy person. Lulu was certain that Valentin had murdered Claudette for keeping Charlotte away from him.
Nathan and Maxie agreed that it was possible, but Maxie urged Lulu not to act on her suspicions because Valentin was too dangerous. Nathan excused himself to take a call while Maxie and Lulu sat down to talk about Claudette's death. Lulu pointed out that Maxie and Nathan were finally free to get married, but Maxie disagreed. Maxie explained that Nathan had been in love with Claudette once, and he needed time to process everything that had happened. Lulu agreed that Maxie had made the right call, but she assured Maxie that Nathan had been in love with Maxie since the moment he'd met her.
Nathan rounded the corner and overheard Maxie and Lulu talking as Maxie walked Lulu to the door. Maxie confided that everything was in limbo because she and Nathan hadn't even discussed a new wedding date. After Lulu left, Maxie thought about Nathan's suggestion that they buy a house. Moments later, Nathan entered the living room and announced that he had to get to work. Maxie decided to check in at Crimson and asked him to give her a lift. She dashed to the bedroom to grab her things, so Nathan called someone to ask for a favor.
At Metro Court Restaurant, Anna approached Valentin's table and told him that they needed to talk. She dropped the photograph of her during her training days at the World Security Bureau on the table, but Valentin merely smiled. Anna acknowledged that Emma had taken the photo, but she promised that she'd impressed upon her granddaughter that it had been wrong to take the photo. Valentin was curious why Emma had taken it, but Anna pointed out that Emma was young, and young girls tended to be inquisitive.
Anna shifted gears by informing Valentin that she'd learned quite a deal since they'd last talked. She knew that he'd been at the WSB Training Academy during the same time she'd been there and that he'd been with her on her birthday. Valentin hid his surprise behind a tense smile. Anna pushed her advantage by asking him how he'd ended up with a picture of her taken on her birthday because she was certain he'd been in her room.
"Yeah, I was," Valentin answered. Anna was surprised by his honesty and tried to talk to him about what had transpired in her room, but he realized that she was fishing for information. Anna advised him to stop playing whatever game he was playing because she would uncover the truth. Valentin chuckled and accused her of being the one who played games. He invited her to keep the picture and suggested that it might jar her memory. Anna wanted answers about her birthday, but he coldly told her to figure it out.
Anna made it clear that she was determined to know what he'd done to her. Valentin accused Anna of being smug and added that perhaps she'd been the one who'd done something to him. Anna appeared startled as she watched him walk away.
At the nurses' station, Laura called out to Elizabeth. After they exchanged greetings, Elizabeth congratulated Laura on becoming the newest member of the hospital's board. Laura thanked Elizabeth and admitted there were challenging days ahead for the hospital, but she confessed that she'd wanted to talk to Elizabeth because Laura was curious if Elizabeth had worked things out with Franco. Elizabeth revealed that she'd gone to Franco's apartment to talk to him, but he hadn't been home. Elizabeth wondered if perhaps it had been for the best, since Franco had made it clear that he wanted to keep his distance from her until Tom's murderer had been caught.
Laura suspected that Franco had wanted to protect Elizabeth if he ended up convicted and sent to prison. Elizabeth realized that Laura was right and agreed to respect Franco's wishes. Laura was curious if Elizabeth had begun to doubt Franco's innocence. "No," Elizabeth answered, but she added that Franco claimed that he'd changed. Laura asked if he had, but Elizabeth was uncertain. She acknowledged that she believed that Franco believed that he'd changed, and she conceded that he'd done all he could to be a better person, but she wasn't certain that going to see Franco had been a good idea.
Laura advised Elizabeth to think things through and sleep on it if necessary, but Elizabeth feared that time was not on her side. Elizabeth realized perhaps she'd been unfair being too harsh with Franco because he'd done a lot for her and her boys.
At Franco's studio, Franco looked at the painting he'd done of Elizabeth as he thought about his decision to keep his distance from her until he could prove his innocence. Franco recalled telling Elizabeth that he wasn't a praying man, but he didn't want it to be the end for them and hoped that Tom's murder would be solved soon. Franco dropped a sheet over the canvas when he heard a knock at the door. It was Dante and Jordan with a search warrant to look for any possible evidence linking him to Tom's murder. Franco looked at the warrant but wanted to know what had prompted the search, since he'd already cooperated by going to the police station to answer questions. Dante began looking around and immediately spotted the metal dog crate.
Franco explained that he'd had a puppy that he'd given to Jake, but Jason had raised a stink, and Franco been forced to give it to Monica. Dante was curious why Franco had kept the crate, so Franco gestured around his studio. "Does it look like I throw anything away -- ever?" Franco asked. On her cell phone, Jordan pulled up a picture of the knife used to kill Tom and showed it to Franco. She was curious if he recognized it. Franco explained that it was an Opinel knife that was favored by artists, but he didn't have one at the moment. Jordan tried to question Franco about the "weapon," but Franco bristled and reminded her that it was a knife -- not a weapon.
Franco pointed out that the warrant was to search his studio, not for his arrest, and he decided to leave. He told Jordan and Dante to lock up when they were through, and he left. Jordan wandered over to one of the canvases and lifted the sheet. She was surprised by the painting of Elizabeth because it was beautiful and delicate. It was hard for her to imagine that a killer had painted it. Dante hadn't realized that Jordan knew so much about art, but she reminded him that she'd worked undercover for Ava at the art gallery. Dante flipped through some other paintings until he found a disturbing one of Tom and showed it to Jordan just as Elizabeth arrived looking for Franco.
Elizabeth was alarmed when she realized that Dante and Jordan were searching the studio and decided to call Scott because Franco wasn't there. Dante showed Elizabeth the painting of Tom and asked her to confirm that it was Tom. Elizabeth conceded that it might be Tom, but it might also be a personification of one of Franco's moods. Elizabeth demanded to know where Franco was, but Jordan told her that Franco hadn't mentioned where he was going when he'd left. Elizabeth opted to leave, but she stopped short when she saw the dog crate. Jordan and Dante noticed her reaction and immediately questioned her about it.
Elizabeth blamed her odd reaction on having had a long day, but Jordan accused Elizabeth of lying. Offended, Elizabeth made it clear that she hadn't appreciated Jordan's accusation. Jordan apologized and pointed out that she wasn't used to dealing with "concerned citizens." Jordan asked Elizabeth to answer some questions about Franco and Tom, but Elizabeth refused. Dante was confused because Elizabeth had seemed willing to talk at the police station when Franco had first been questioned, but Elizabeth reminded him that there had been an attorney present.
Jordan pointedly ordered Dante to arrange to have the crate taken in for testing because she wanted it checked for DNA and fingerprints. Jordan wondered if Franco had ever explained to Elizabeth why he had a dog crate. Elizabeth recalled Franco's confession about kidnapping Tom and locking him in the crate until Tom had missed a parole meeting, but she pushed the memory away and told Jordan that she had nothing to add that would help the investigation. Jordan hoped Elizabeth had been truthful, but Elizabeth refused to be intimidated and marched to the door. Jordan warned Elizabeth that Franco couldn't be saved, but Elizabeth insisted that Franco hadn't killed Tom.
Dante called out to Jordan to let her know that he'd found something, so Jordan closed the door on Elizabeth. Jordan looked at the paper Dante had found and smiled with satisfaction. "Bingo," Jordan said. She was pleased that Dante had found a receipt that showed a credit card purchase for an Opinel knife, which Franco had denied owning.
In the hallway, Elizabeth called Franco to let him know what she'd walked in on.
At Alexis' house, Alexis woke up on the sofa. Her head rested on Julian's lap, and a throw blanket covered her. She immediately jumped up and demanded to know what had been going on. Startled, Julian sat up and reminded her that he'd been helping her through the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Alexis decided to get something to drink, but he reminded her that he'd poured all the alcohol out. Alexis assured him that she remembered everything about the previous night and suddenly grabbed the phone. Concerned, Julian asked who she was calling, so she told him about her plans to confess to the police about killing Tom.
Julian snatched the phone out of Alexis' hand and ended the call as he explained that she was still detoxifying and not in any shape to make important decisions about her life. He reminded her that she'd asked for help the previous night, so he wondered if she was ready to change or if she wanted to throw everything away. Alexis decided to take a shower, change clothes, and then go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Julian was relieved. Alexis acknowledged that she needed help -- more than he could give her -- and vowed to find it. Julian assured her that he was there for her if she needed him. Alexis grudgingly thanked him and disappeared into her bedroom.
A short time later, Alexis informed Julian that she'd found an A.A. meeting at General Hospital and that she'd called a cab to pick her up. Julian offered to go with Alexis, but she became defensive because she suspected that he thought she might sneak off for a drink. Julian explained that some people took a family member or friend with them to the first meeting for support, but Alexis reminded Julian that he was nothing to her. Moments later, Alexis heard the cab's horn and left. Julian picked up the phone and made a call. "Do it. Now," Julian instructed.
Later, Julian's henchman arrived. Chad shoved Gene into the living room to face Julian. Gene nervously explained that he had no idea why he was there, but Julian assured Gene that it was Gene's lucky day -- provided Gene cooperated. Julian showed Gene a picture of Alexis and asked if Gene recognized her. Gene confirmed that he did, but Julian informed Gene that it had been the wrong answer. Gene explained that Alexis had left an unpaid tab and had returned to pay it, but Julian signaled to Chad, who promptly roughed up Gene. Julian clarified that Gene had never seen the lady in question and gave him an envelope filled with money.
Gene was surprised at the generous amount and assured Julian that threats hadn't been necessary. Julian explained that he wanted Gene to understand the consequences if Gene talked. Julian ordered Gene to wait on the porch for Chad then instructed Chad to make certain that Gene understood things. After Chad left, Julian vowed to do whatever was necessary to protect Alexis.
Meanwhile, Alexis arrived at the hospital and went to the billboard to look at the flyer for information on the A.A. Meetings. Laura saw Alexis and greeted her. Laura wondered if Alexis was okay, so Alexis said she'd been sick but was on the mend. Satisfied, Laura shifted gears and broached the subject of Nikolas. Alexis regretted that she hadn't been able to save Wyndemere from Valentin's clutches. Laura promised that she didn't blame Alexis, but Alexis felt that she'd recently let a lot of people down.
Laura reminded Alexis that there had been a silver lining to Valentin's arrival because Laura had a new granddaughter. Alexis had heard about Charlotte, so Laura revealed that Lulu was determined to get sole custody. Alexis pointed out that her law license had been suspended, but Laura explained that she and Lulu simply needed Alexis' guidance on how to deal with Valentin. Moments later, Lulu called Laura, so Laura excused herself. Alexis slowly approached the door for the A.A. meeting, braced herself, and entered. The therapist spoke to the group then invited anyone new to introduce themselves.
Alexis remained quiet, but the therapist reminded the newcomers that those in recovery were eager to help the new members. Alexis slowly raised her hand, stood up, introduced herself, and admitted that she was an alcoholic.
At Gene's Branford Roadhouse, Franco was curious why his father had asked to meet at the bar. Scott admitted that he'd decided to compile sketches of the bar's regular patrons. Franco was eager to see where he'd gotten his artistic talent, but one look at his father's sketches confirmed that it hadn't been from Scott. Franco admitted that the sketches didn't matter because the police were in the process of searching Franco's studio. Scott nervously asked if they would find anything incriminating. Franco conceded that it was possible.
Scott urged Franco to go to the police and tell them about Alexis, but Franco refused because he'd hurt Sam and her family enough, so he wouldn't put them through any more heartache. Scott feared Franco would end up in jail, but Franco couldn't save his own skin by throwing someone else under the bus. Scott admitted that he'd grown fond of his son and didn't want to lose him, but Franco's mind was made up. Franco proposed leaving town if things didn't go his way, but Scott objected. Franco was touched that his father wanted him to stay around, but he wondered why anyone should go to jail for Tom's death, since it had been a public service.
Scott reminded Franco that Franco couldn't leave Elizabeth behind, and he promised to do everything possible to keep Franco out of jail. Scott asked Franco to call if the police arrested him, and he left. Minutes later, Franco left the bar and was unaware that Chad had been watching him. Outside, Franco stopped. "All right, Alexis. Why does it always have to be you?" Franco asked. He looked down when his phone rang and answered it when he saw it was Elizabeth. Seconds later, someone hit Franco from behind and knocked him unconscious.
At Alexis' house, Julian was pleased when Chad called to report that everything had been taken care of.
At the hospital, Lulu approached her mother and told Laura about Nathan and Maxie's trip to Canada. Lulu was certain that Valentin had killed Claudette and decided that it was time for Charlotte to know the truth about Lulu.
A New Beginning for Alexis
Franco opened his eyes. He was confused and bleeding from a head wound. "Elizabeth?" he called out. "Okay, what happened?" he asked himself. He recalled being in the alley at Gene's Branford Roadhouse and getting hit over the head. "This is so not good," he mumbled as he tried to get up. Lights flickered on, and Franco noted the motion detector. "How'd I get here?" he wondered.
Franco lay back down on the floor. He called for help without success. Noticing a big box, he managed to get it open. He found a couple of lamps inside, both secured in bubble wrap. He removed the wrap, and used it as a blanket. He was very cold.
Finn led a blindfolded Hayden to the ice-skating rink. He recalled that learning to skate had been on her bucket list. As it turned out, he'd played hockey in high school, and he was going to be her teacher, he informed her. After several exhausting rounds on the rink, Hayden only wanted a hot toddy and some warmth, so they head for the Metro Court.
Finn ran a warm bath for Hayden and ordered food and drink. When she headed for the bath, he opened the closet and grabbed a syringe. Hayden reappeared, looking for a bathrobe. She wondered what Finn was doing. He quickly covered, and told her he was looking for something for his sore wrist. He handed her a robe, Hayden happily headed back to the bathroom, and Finn got back to filling the syringe.
After her bath, Hayden accepted a hot toddy from Finn and looked hungrily at all the food that had arrived. They sat and chatted, and Finn leaned in for a kiss. He told her that he had promised not to pull back anymore, and he had meant it. They talked about his formula and the chance to save lives. Finn disclosed that he didn't want anything to do with a large pharmaceutical firm. They began to kiss again. Finn picked Hayden up and took her to the bedroom.
At General Hospital, Kiki encountered Elizabeth, and they learned that they were both looking for Franco. Worried, Elizabeth mentioned that Franco hadn't shown up for work, and she was concerned that he had left town after the police had entered his studio with a search warrant. Kiki revealed that she had tried to convince Franco to go to the police to report that he might know who had killed Tom Baker.
Elizabeth wondered why Kiki would have to convince Franco to make such a move. Kiki explained that there was a woman involved, someone who had apparently already been hurt because of Franco. He didn't want to hurt her again. Apparently, he had already suffered much guilt from hurting this woman. Kiki had no clue about the woman's identity. She advised Elizabeth that Franco's face had lit up when he'd heard that Elizabeth had stopped by to see him. Kiki was certain that Franco would never leave town after that.
Nathan and Maxi arrived at the Crimson office. Nathan wanted to tell his sister about Claudette's death on his own, and Maxie would do some work. Nina showed Maxie the work that had to be done, all related to the upcoming wedding issue. Nathan went into Nina's office with his sister and closed the door. They were both excited about "Operation Maxie." First, Nathan disclosed what he knew about Claudette's death.
Nathan and Nina disagreed about whether Claudette would have committed suicide as suspected. The woman he knew would never do that, Nathan insisted. Nina felt that the manipulative woman who'd lied constantly would have done that. She felt it wrong that the only time Nathan had thought the woman had been telling the truth had been when she'd said that Valentin was dangerous. Claudette lied all the time, Nina reminded him. Valentin was a devoted father and wouldn't hurt his child's mother.
Nina told Nathan how happy she was. The brother and sister decided to table all talk of Claudette and focus on their "Operation Maxie" instead. Nathan was glad to be able to count on his big sister, and Nina assured him she'd always look after him. Nina summoned Dillon to help Maxie work and to keep her busy while her friends were plotting.
Maxie was getting more depressed by the moment as she continued to work on the wedding issue. She didn't think it fair that her own wedding had been canceled, and Nina had gotten married instead. Nathan emerged from Nina's office and told Maxie he was heading to work. He and Nina had "agreed to disagree" on Claudette's death and Valentin's possible involvement.
After Maxie chose the wedding gown for the magazine's wedding issue and had started reading vows for the best ones, she announced that "all brides are hypocrites." All the trappings of the wedding shouldn't matter, she had learned. She'd be happy to get married in much less than a gown, but she was worried that she'd missed her chance.
Nina was thrilled about the gown that Maxie had chosen for the magazine. Dillon advised Nina to hurry, as Maxie was getting upset with handling the wedding issue.
Valentin ran into Lulu and Dante in Metro Court as Operation Maxie was going full steam ahead. Dante informed Valentin that Claudette's body had been found, and her death had been ruled a suicide. Valentin noted that Claudette had been sad and troubled, and the news was not a surprise. Lulu accused him of having no conscience. Indignantly, Valentin snarled that they didn't know him or how he expressed his grief. He hoped that the responsible party would face justice if someone had actually killed Claudette. He was only concerned about his daughter.
Lulu was aware that Charlotte would need time to accept her mother's death, but she was there for the little girl as her real mother. Valentin yelled that he didn't want Charlotte to know anything about Lulu yet. Lulu was annoyed at Dante for not helping her out, but Dante admitted that he agreed with Valentin about Charlotte. He knew that Lulu was anxious to be Charlotte's mother, but he thought that the girl needed to deal with Claudette's death first.
Nathan arrived and received a call from Nina that Maxie's chosen dress was ready. His matron of honor and best man, Lulu and Dante, were waiting, and the surprise wedding was about to commence. All the decorations were in place.
Valentin called Nina, and they talked about Claudette's death. Nina offered to help with Charlotte, but Valentin declined. Besides, he knew she had her hands full with Maxie's surprise. Valentin told Nina how happy he was that they were married.
Valentin met Charlotte at the skating rink and told the little girl of her mother's death. The girl cried, and Valentin was upset. Charlotte wanted to say a prayer for her mother, but she agreed that Nina could be her new mother, which caused Valentin to smile.
Nina and Dillon rushed back into the front office to get Maxie for her surprise. She was gone.
Alexis joined the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at the hospital. She stunned herself by admitting that she was an alcoholic. She had only been away from alcohol for 24 hours, she announced. "One day at a time," the leader told her. Alexis continued to talk. She didn't know how things had gotten so out of hand, as she'd always been successful and in control. She told the group about her family and how she had lost her law license because she had lost herself to a man who was not what she'd thought he was. He had turned her into a victim.
Alexis continued that her husband didn't love her, and she was broken. A couple of glasses had turned into a couple of bottles, and then she was drinking all day and night. She'd even almost caused the death of her grandson while baking cookies, she disclosed. There was a fire, but even that hadn't stopped her drinking.
The leader promised that things would get better if Alexis continued attending meetings, and Alexis stated that things couldn't get worse. She also spoke of being drunk and hitting someone with her car. She didn't know how to forgive herself. The leader reminded her that a drunk Alexis had done the awful things, not the sober one. He suggested that she have a sponsor to talk to, and Alexis agreed.
As Elizabeth tried to call Franco again, she saw Alexis leaving the meeting. Suddenly, she put two and two together. She wondered if the woman Franco didn't want to hurt was Alexis.