In Jack's office at Jabot, Michael covertly watched through a cracked-open door as Gloria massaged Jack's shoulders. Gloria had just begun to massage Jack's arm when Michael knocked and entered. Gloria quickly stood upright and said, "Back so soon?" Jack smoothed his hair, sheepishly addressed Michael, and said, "I thought we covered everything." Michael retrieved an amended business contract from his briefcase and handed it to Jack. Gloria took the folder and offered to escort Michael out. Michael declined and said, "Am I supposed to pretend I didn't see what I just saw?"
Jack rubbed his shoulder and explained that he'd suffered an injury while water skiing that had never quite healed. Jack thanked Gloria for using her "finger magic" to lessen his pain. Michael asked Gloria if "finger magic" was part of her secretarial duties. Gloria quipped that she'd wanted to ensure that Jack's arm was mobile enough to sign her paychecks. Michael seemed offended by his mother's glib remark.
After Gloria left, Michael demanded that Jack explain why he'd hired Gloria, knowing that she and Jack hated each other. Jack claimed that he and Gloria had both changed over the years. Michael expressed concern that Jack had set up Gloria to seek revenge. Jack explained that Gloria had helped him acquire part of Fenmore's for Jabot, so he owed her. Michael seemed satisfied with Jack's explanation and left Jack's office.
Gloria later returned to Jack's office. Jack congratulated her for adeptly handling the situation with Michael. Gloria asked Jack if they might consider their relationship to be "frenemies with benefits." Gloria added that though she didn't expect to date Jack, perhaps they should feel free to let others know that they'd put their "mutual vendetta to bed." Jack promised to reward Gloria's loyalty as long as she did was she was told and refrained from threatening or blackmailing him. Jack enticed Gloria by assuring her a "rapid rise" from her secretarial position. Gloria suggestively cooed that she was fond of "rapid rises." Gloria playfully nuzzled Jack, growled like a wild cat, and said, "See you later tonight, Jack-uar."
At Lauren and Michael's home, Paul showed up to advise Lauren how to help Scott. Paul explained that Lauren's cellphone carrier had traced a call to her phone to an unspecified area in the Middle East. Lauren, disheveled, was desperate to know who'd kidnapped her son. Lauren demanded that the state department assist in locating Scott. Paul explained that Scott had likely pursued what he believed might be a worthwhile lead, so he'd been out of contact with authorities.
Lauren began sobbing and cried that Scott's captors had demanded $10 million for his life. Lauren insisted on paying the ransom. Paul warned that doing so would be a mistake because it would invite further efforts to extort without ensuring Scott's release. Lauren lashed out at Paul for not offering a resolution. Paul noted that he, too, feared for his own son's safety. Lauren cried that Dylan had chosen to turn his back on his family. Lauren later composed herself and asked Paul to honestly tell her the next step she should pursue. Paul recommended seeking assistance from the state department and an agency that had helped other kidnapped journalists.
In Ravi's office at Jabot, Phyllis stopped by and noticed that Ravi seemed nervous as he hammered away at his keyboard. Phyllis was eager to launch her app, but Ravi explained that the program couldn't handle high-volume traffic and would likely crash. Phyllis proposed postponing the launch. Phyllis explained that she was more concerned about her dear friend's crisis. Phyllis added that she'd been unable to help her friend cope. Ravi told Phyllis about a visit to India when he was a young boy. Ravi explained that his uncle had been inconsolable after his wife's death. Ravi recalled how his uncle had lost the desire to finish a garden wall he'd begun before losing his beloved wife. Phyllis listened as Ravi explained how he, his father, and neighboring villagers had finished the wall and later planted a flower garden. Ravi added that after his uncle's spirits improved, he lovingly tended to the garden to honor his wife's memory. Phyllis was touched by Ravi's beautiful story.
Ravi insisted that he and Phyllis get the program up and running to honor Lauren. Phyllis agreed and said she'd been too close to a stressful situation to think clearly. Phyllis mentioned the difficulties Ravi had endured while working for two warring women, referring to herself and Ashley. Phyllis added that with her ex-husband Jack in the mix, the situation had become even more volatile. Ravi didn't disagree. Phyllis left to have a private conference with Jack.
Phyllis stopped by Jack's office just as Gloria was leaving. Phyllis noted that though Jack had refused to work with her, he'd hired Gloria to be his personal assistant. Jack replied, "Well, maybe I have resolved to be more forgiving in the New Year." Phyllis asked where she ranked on Jack's list of those he'd chosen to forgive. Jack said he hadn't recalled mistreating Phyllis after the merger with Fenmore's. Phyllis noted that her relationship with Jack had remained tense because they'd barely spoken to each other.
Phyllis complained to Jack that Ashley had talked trash about her behind her back to Ravi, upsetting him. Jack suggested that Phyllis return to Ravi's office and console him for enduring two misbehaving adult women bearing grudges. Jack added that unlike Phyllis, he didn't need a romantic interest to validate his life. Before Phyllis left, she told Jack that embracing forgivingness didn't seem to be working out well. Jack seemed frustrated after Phyllis abruptly left.
Phyllis was still angry when she returned to Ravi's office. Ravi eagerly shared news of the improvements he'd made to the app. When Ravi looked up from his computer screen, he noticed a scowl on Phyllis' face. Ravi seemed uneasy. Phyllis asked Ravi to tell her honestly if she seemed needy and afraid to be alone. Ravi sighed and replied, "I mean, isn't everyone?"
Jack entered the Genoa City Athletic Club. He stopped in the entryway and glanced at Gloria. Gloria was sitting at the bar talking to a gentlemen. Gloria noticed Jack, set down her glass of wine, and apologized for leaving her friend to finish his drink alone. Gloria left so quickly, the man hadn't a chance to respond.
As Gloria headed toward the stairway, she bumped into Nikki, who was taken aback by the sudden collision. Gloria apologized while she continued walking toward the stairs. Nikki set down her purse on the bar and noticed movement behind her. Nikki glanced over her shoulder and saw Jack ascend the stairs after Gloria had walked up one flight. Nikki quietly pondered what she'd witnessed.
Michael returned home and asked Lauren what was wrong. Paul stood nearby as Lauren told Michael that kidnappers had threatened to kill Scott if she didn't pay $10 million in ransom. Paul said they didn't know the identities of the kidnappers. Lauren cried that the kidnappers hadn't allowed her to speak to Scott. Lauren said she planned to liquidate her assets and sell the remaining shares of Fenmore's to Jack in order to raise enough cash.
Paul explained to Michael that he'd warned Lauren not to pay the ransom and consider other options. Lauren told Michael that they were on their own and had no other options. Paul privately told Michael that paying the ransom was unlikely to free Scott and would likely place other journalists in peril. Michael insisted that he and Lauren would follow through with whatever Lauren decided to do. Lauren seemed lost in despair as she contemplated her next step.
At Victoria's house, Nikki stopped by to visit with Reed. Nikki gave Reed some sheet music she said they might play as a duet in the future. Victoria overheard Nikki praise Reed's performance at Nick's club. Victoria approached her mother and son and angrily noted that Reed had attended an event at a bar on a school night. Reed recalled that his mother had encouraged him to follow his dreams and passions. Victoria replied that her directive hadn't given her son permission to visit a bar while he was grounded. Reed cried that his mother had grounded him from everything for two months, so practicing the music Nikki had provided would have to be postponed.
After Reed left the room, Nikki remarked that two weeks was too long for a teen to be grounded. Victoria explained that Reed had also betrayed her trust by stealing her credit card and using it to join an online porn site. Nikki laughed and noted that all teen boys were normally curious about sex. Nikki admitted that Reed shouldn't have used the credit card or viewed pornography. Nikki added that Victoria would've been greatly angered had Reed participated in a pornography. Victoria was taken aback by her mother's comment. Nikki added that she and Victor had saved Victoria from public embarrassment after Victoria had posed naked for a magazine. Victoria sighed, said that posing nude had been her worst mistake, and realized she'd been a hypocrite. Nikki encouraged Victoria, told her not to heatedly engage with Reed, and instead allow him to indulge in music as a diversion.
After Nikki left, Victoria summoned Reed. Reed seemed prepared for another angry encounter. Instead, Victoria encouraged Reed to take music lessons. Victoria gave Reed his guitar. Reed seemed flattered when his mother asked him to perform his song. Victoria beamed with pride as she listened to Reed strum his guitar and sing his catchy love song.
• Victoria praises Cane’s contribution to Brash & Sassy.
• Victor sets about to write his memoir.
• Jill tells Lauren that she doesn’t have money to lend.