Ashley flipped on the lights in the Jabot lab and stared in disbelief at the mess the intruder had left behind the night before. Later, the police arrived at the scene, and Paul theorized that a competitor had been behind it. Ashley pointed out that they would have been after formulas, not ingredients, and her computer had been untouched. Paul noted that someone had figured out how to break in without triggering the alarm, but anything could happen when chemicals and drugs were involved. He asked Ashley to identify everything that had been damaged or stolen so he could determine a possible motive for someone to break in and steal those particular chemicals.
At home, Victoria yelled repeatedly for Reed to hurry up so he wouldn't be late for school. She went upstairs to get him, but she raced back down and made a call to report that Reed was gone. A short time later, J.T. showed up, and Victoria informed him that Reed had taken off sometime overnight. She mentioned that she'd called the school, but Reed wasn't there, and his guitar, some clothes, and his computer were missing. She wondered where their son had gone and why.
Victoria confirmed over the phone that Reed hadn't been admitted to the hospital, and J.T. quipped that their son also wasn't in jail, so they were two for two. Victoria chided J.T. for making jokes, and she wanted to call the police. She pondered why Reed had taken off when she'd thought they were in a good place, and J.T. clarified that Reed had been -- until he'd learned about being rejected from the music program and J.T.'s separation from Mac. J.T. worried that the teen was falling apart.
Phyllis struggled with cooking something in her kitchen. Billy playfully grabbed her and asked what smelled good, and she informed him that she'd made pancakes. He amorously stated that he hadn't been talking about pancakes, but she insisted that they had to get Johnny and Katie ready for school. Phyllis groaned that she didn't understand why it had been easier with Summer, and Billy assured her that his kids adored her. She remarked that it had been great having them there, but she would be relieved when they headed back to their mother so she and Billy could have the place to themselves. Phyllis answered the door, and Reed burst in and told Billy that he needed a place to crash.
Billy assumed that Reed had fought with his mom, and Reed complained that Victoria wanted to send him to boarding school after the judge had made her think she had to be harder on him. Reed groused about the huge fine and the community service hours, and he ranted that Victoria had said he had to get a job or sell his guitar to pay the fine. Reed explained that he hadn't been able to take any more after his mom had mentioned boarding school, so he'd gone to the house of a friend whose parents were out of town. Phyllis and Billy realized that Reed hadn't let Victoria know that he'd left.
Billy insisted on calling Victoria to tell her that Reed was okay, but Reed grumbled that she'd probably send him to military school. Phyllis acknowledged that Victoria could be rigid, but she reasoned that Victoria was strict because she cared about Reed. Reed groaned that he felt like a warden dictated his every move, and he protested when Billy made the call. Victoria was relieved to hear that Reed was safe with Billy, and she put the call on speaker. She planned to pick Reed up, but Billy advised her against it, since Reed was upset by the idea of boarding school.
Victoria realized that Reed had heard her and J.T. talking, and she wanted to speak to her son. Billy cautioned that she didn't want to make things worse, and J.T. feared that Reed might disappear again. Victoria overheard as Johnny and Katie ran in and asked if Reed was there to drive them to school, but Reed forlornly explained that he wouldn't be driving for a while. Victoria hesitated to leave Reed there when they needed to talk about what he'd done, and Billy suggested that Reed stay with him for just one night to give everyone a chance to simmer down. Victoria agreed.
After they hung up, J.T. grappled with wanting to drag Reed back, but Victoria conceded that Billy had made a valid point about Reed acting out again if they tried to tell him that he couldn't do something. J.T. thought Reed would listen to him, since J.T. had been a rebel back in the day. Victoria wondered when she and J.T. had turned into cranky, inflexible adults with lists of "nos" and "shouldn'ts," and J.T. commented that they'd grown up. J.T. couldn't believe that he was taking advice from Billy, and Victoria admitted that Billy was a very good father to his kids. J.T. noted that she wasn't as inflexible or cranky as Reed thought.
Victoria prepared to go to the office, but J.T. suggested that they both take a personal day to unwind. Victoria objected to ditching work on a whim, especially since there was no way she would be able to unwind with the stress she was going through. J.T. reasoned that people didn't take days off when things were going great, and he offered to join her for an innocent massage if it would make her feel less guilty. She denied feeling guilty, but he recognized the look on her face as her feeling that she had to appear responsible. She said she sometimes hated how well he knew her, and she agreed to take the day off.
Victoria vowed not to let Reed give up on music, and J.T. agreed that the teen couldn't stop writing and playing because of one rejection. Victoria pledged to teach Reed to believe in himself again, but she thought he had to have thicker skin and not give up when things didn't go his way. J.T. hoped Reed hadn't inherited that trait from him, since he sometimes thought about his failures and wondered if he hadn't tried hard enough. Victoria assumed that he meant with Mac, but J.T. mused, "And you." Victoria assured him that she had been just as much to blame for their marriage falling apart, and J.T. declared that he was happy with how they got along then compared to when they'd first broken up.
Nikki stopped by and mentioned that Victoria's assistant had told her that Victoria had taken the day off. Nikki stopped short when she spotted J.T., and she asked if she was interrupting. After Victoria filled her mother in about what had happened with Reed, Nikki was appalled that Victoria and J.T. had indulged Reed by letting him stay with Billy after taking off in the middle of the night. Nikki huffed that she and Victor never would have stood for that kind of behavior. J.T. explained that Victoria had realized that being overly strict wouldn't work, so they intended to have an adult conversation once things calmed down. Nikki growled that J.T. hadn't been in Reed's life for the last year, so he should be the last one weighing in on it.
J.T. argued that he had legal custody of Reed, so he was entitled to an opinion. Nikki spat that Reed had been drinking because he'd been upset over J.T. and Mac's breakup, and she and J.T. traded barbs about one another's parenting skills. Nikki admonished J.T. for ripping Reed away from his mother, but J.T. countered that the judge had sided with him. Nikki snapped that Reed wouldn't be in trouble if he'd had his mother's influence, but Victoria intervened and suggested that Nikki leave. A shocked Nikki announced that she would personally straighten Reed out, since neither of his parents seemed equipped to do it, and she stormed out.
Victoria wished that J.T. hadn't spoken to her mother that way, but J.T. asserted that Nikki should have minded her own business. Victoria admonished J.T. for being rude and disrespectful, but he scoffed at the idea of not defending himself when Nikki hadn't been in the right. Victoria argued that he'd taken her son away and made visitation impossible, yet J.T. had been so busy with his other kids that Reed had been shortchanged. J.T. bellowed that it was typical for the Newmans to side with one another while blaming other people for things they caused. He added that he'd been naïve to think that things had changed between them.
Victoria told someone over the phone that she'd decided to go into the office, after all, and J.T. grumbled that it was no surprise that she still ran when things got too difficult. She blasted him for not taking responsibility for moving to another state and the damage it had caused, and he snarled that it was always about her. Victoria insisted that Reed had needed his mom to be there for him, but J.T. countered that she'd always been at work and never around. Victoria snapped that she'd known that she'd never had J.T.'s full attention and love, since she hadn't been the love of his life.
J.T. retorted that the ink hadn't been dry on their divorce papers before Victoria had married Billy, and she asked if he'd taken Reed to get back at her. She demanded to know if he'd expected her to stay home and bake cookies, and he replied that he hadn't expected her to have a one-night stand with Deacon. J.T. called Victoria a selfish, spoiled princess who took what she wanted without dealing with the consequences, and he recalled that she hadn't given "a damn" that she'd been married to Brad when they'd gotten together. Victoria dragged J.T. out the door and hollered that she didn't want to hear his voice or see his face.
J.T. shivered outside Victoria's house and called out to ask if he could at least have his coat, since it was really cold out there. Victoria opened the door, and he stepped back inside. Their eyes locked for a moment, and he grabbed her and kissed her passionately. They tore at one another's clothes and began to have sex on the stairs.
Meanwhile, Phyllis was mystified that Reed had ended up running to her and Billy when they were hardly the parental types. Billy thought that was the whole point, since Reed had expected them to tell him he was right about everything and that he never had to see his mother again. Phyllis recalled the look on Reed's face when they'd told him that he couldn't stay, and Billy stated that he'd officially become his dad. Phyllis cooed that Billy was a lot cuter, and they kissed.
After Hannah picked up the kids, Billy and Phyllis exchanged a high-five. She indicated that Reed was upstairs, insisting that he wasn't going to school, but she figured that he would be Victoria's problem again by that time the next day. Cane arrived and couldn't believe that Billy wasn't ready for their meeting. Cane pointed out that Billy had insisted that they drive together, and Billy explained that it had been a chaotic morning. Cane doubted that the chairman they were meeting with would think Billy had put much thought into their pitch when he saw Billy in sweatpants.
Phyllis offered to pour Cane some coffee while Billy got ready. Reed appeared, and Cane sourly asked if he was the chaos Billy had referred to. Cane lectured that Mattie had gone out of her way to help Reed, and Reed had only hurt her. Reed snapped that he didn't want to talk, and Billy suggested that Cane go to the meeting without him. Cane revealed that Jill and the chairman were old friends, and the client had insisted on meeting Jill's son. Billy acknowledged how much it had killed Cane to say that, and he went upstairs to get ready.
After Billy and Cane left, Nikki arrived and demanded to see her grandson. She yelled for Reed and sternly called out that they needed to talk. Reed descended the stairs, and Nikki ordered him to get his things because he was going with her. He guessed that Nikki had talked to his mom, and he imagined that Victoria was thrilled to get rid of him by sending him to boarding school. Nikki asserted that she wasn't interested in his spin, and she threatened to call the judge to personally see that he served time. Taken aback, Reed hurriedly gathered his things, and Nikki told him to march.
After their meeting at the Athletic Club, Billy was impressed that Cane had seemingly pulled the deal off. Cane was grateful that Billy hadn't tried to take over the discussion when he hadn't been prepared, and Billy declared that lunch was on him. Billy was irritated when Cane was preoccupied with something on his phone, and Billy grabbed it away and saw that Cane had been sending a text message to Lily. Billy taunted that people weren't known to sit in a hotel and watch TV in Paris, and he envisioned what two gorgeous women like Lily and Abby would be doing.
Cane confided that he was trying to create the perfect message to let Lily know he was thinking about her. Billy recalled that he'd missed key opportunities when he'd been attempting to get Phyllis back, and he saw Cane doing the same thing. Cane questioned if reaching out was a mistake, and Billy warned that the way Cane was doing it was lame, since Cane should be telling her that he couldn't live without her. Billy encouraged Cane to make a grand gesture, since Cane was competing with Paris for Lily's attention. Cane jumped to his feet and declared that the food could wait. "I'm going to go and get Lily back!" he exclaimed.
Billy greeted Ashley in the foyer and asked how she was doing. She informed him that Jack had presented remodeling the lab as a surprise, but she thought he'd done it for his own self-serving reasons. She continued that someone had broken in before they'd finished setting up, and she didn't know what had been taken, but there had been a huge mess with glass everywhere. Billy hoped she didn't think Victoria was behind it, but Ashley pointed out that a competitor would have been after propriety information. Ashley vowed that she'd make whoever had done it wish they'd never been born.
Over drinks at the bar, Billy implored Ashley to tell him the real reason she was upset, since no one had been hurt during the break-in, and she and Jack were working through their issues. Ashley disclosed that the arbitration was back on, since she'd realized that Jack had been trying to distract her with the lab. She refused to let Jack play games with the future of the company, and she wanted to put the attention back on Dina. Ashley informed Billy that Graham had married Dina in Florida to hold onto her finances, and Michael was trying to fight it through legal channels, but she and Jack had agreed that they had to get rid of Graham for good.
In his hotel suite, Graham pulled out a paper bag and carefully placed multiple vials on a table. He gazed at them with a sinister smirk.
Nikki returned to the ranch with Reed, and Victor said he was happy that Reed would be living with them for a while. Victor confirmed that he knew what Reed had done, but he and Nikki had agreed that it wasn't a good idea for Reed to spend more time with Phyllis and Billy. Reed firmly stated that he didn't ever want to go home, and Victor invited him to get anything he wanted to eat from the kitchen. After Reed ate heartily, Victor asked if his grandson would like something else, and Reed requested cake. Victor said Reed could have any dessert his heart desired after Reed cleaned out the stables. Reed stared at him in shock.
Victor instructed Reed to call his school to find out what he'd missed in class and to finish any assignments to return the next day. Victor continued that Reed was expected to clear his dishes after each meal, make his bed in the morning, and wake up early to exercise every morning before school. Nikki chimed in that one of them would drive Reed into town and pick him up after his last class, and Reed stammered that it hadn't been what he'd expected. Victor cheerfully stated that it would be good for Reed to have a routine and to do chores, and he told Reed to consider it his own personal boot camp.
Victor suggested that Reed start by getting his hair cut like any good soldier. Reed protested, but Nikki asserted that Reed wasn't leaving until he learned discipline and understood the seriousness of his actions. Victor insinuated that he had a vast array of private investigators who would find Reed if he left, and Reed indicated that he understood. Victor pointed out that Reed knew the way to the stables, and he asked his grandson to kindly carry out his dishes on the way. Reed obliged, and Victor and Nikki exchanged knowing smiles.