A brilliant fireworks display illuminated the sky during a public celebration held to mark Independence Day. Nikki also celebrated Jack's birthday by presenting him with a red-velvet cupcake. Sharon and Victor happened by. Sharon wished Jack well, but Victor pompously proclaimed that Jack was a year older but not wiser.
Victor continued taunting Jack and suggested that his method of searching for Abby was limited to an evening of stuffing his face with cake. Victor added that his own investigators were about to close in on Abby's abductor. Jack scoffed that Victor had merely enlisted Ronan Malloy's assistance. Victor noted that Ronan worked for the FBI and could engage the help of various contacts. Nikki berated Victor for his arrogant behavior.
When Ashley received a phone call, she stepped away from the noisy crowd enjoying the festive evening. Ashley was surprised to hear Abby insisting that she was fine. Ashley asked how she could be certain that someone wasn't there, holding a gun on her daughter. Abby replied, "Pink elephant." Ashley recalled that Abby had chosen that particular "safe word" when she was a child and the pair lived in Paris. Abby admitted that she had never been in danger.
Ashley became frustrated with her daughter when Abby explained that she had set up the fake kidnapping in order to avoid public humiliation over the ruined gala. Ashley angrily noted that Abby had broken the law. Abby apologized. Ashley said that Abby would be in even more trouble from Victor.
Abby overheard Tucker's voice in the background. Ashley explained that she and Tucker had reunited because the stress of Abby's disappearance had rekindled their feelings for each other. Abby was disappointed. Ashley ordered Abby to return home at once. Abby ended her covert call to her mother just before Carmine emerged from the shower.
Abby quipped that she might need a cold shower after Carmine pranced before her, clad only in a thin towel that hugged the shape of his lower body. Carmine asked Abby if she'd been on the phone. Distracted, Abby claimed that she'd phoned a pizza place but hadn't ordered anything. Abby considered telling Carmine that she'd phoned her mother, but she changed her mind.
Later, Carmine and Abby decided to take a nap. Carmine offered to let Abby use his shoulder as a pillow. Abby happily snuggled next to Carmine. After Carmine fell asleep, Abby, still dressed in the denim overalls he'd purchased for her, quietly fished her cell phone out of a deep pocket and slipped outside the motel room.
After Ashley ensured that Abby was all right, she embraced Tucker and expressed relief. Ashley seemed reluctant when she told Tucker that she'd have to inform Victor that Abby had faked her own abduction. Ashley added that she'd have to admit that Victor had been right all along.
Ashley and Tucker approached Victor, Jack, Nikki, and Sharon. Victor and Jack were still arguing about which one had launched the most effective search for Abby. Ashley interrupted and announced that Abby had phoned to let everyone know that she was okay. Ashley sheepishly explained that Abby hadn't been kidnapped. Victor and Jack listened as Ashley admitted that Abby, along with Carmine, had carried out another publicity stunt.
Victor suggested that Ashley teach Abby a lesson. Victor advised Ashley to do nothing to help Abby and force their daughter to get herself out of the predicament she'd created. Nikki phoned the authorities and informed them that Abby was all right. Sharon phoned Ronan to let him know that Abby wasn't in danger. Victor turned to Jack and said, "I told you so."
As Jack and Nikki left the park, Nikki said that at least Abby was safe. Jack replied, "She's not safe from Victor." Sharon and Victor discussed Abby over coffee at Crimson Lights. Victor expressed frustration that Abby might never grow up. Sharon said, "It can't be easy on her being half Newman and half Abbott." Victor said that he was glad Abby was safe, but he joked that he still intended to wring her neck. Sharon replied, "Not tonight, though."
Tucker and Ashley relaxed on the patio at the coffeehouse. Ashley told Tucker that she wasn't amused by Abby's elaborate stunt. Abby phoned and told her mom that she wasn't ready to return home. Ashley demanded to know why. Abby claimed that she needed to clear her head. Abby gazed through the window blinds and admired Carmine, who was peacefully napping on the bed. Abby added, "I'll see you in a couple of days." Ashley was frustrated when she realized that Abby had abruptly ended the call.
In the bathroom at Ricky's Genoa City Athletic Club suite, Paul aimed a gun at Ricky after he threatened Eden, still unconscious after her fall against the bathtub. Ricky clutched Eden against his chest with his left arm. In his right hand, Ricky held a long-bladed knife against Eden's throat. Ricky challenged Paul to save Eden.
Ricky rose to a standing position and brandished the knife high above his head, as if he were about to plunge it into Eden's torso. Paul repeatedly pleaded with Ricky to drop the knife. Paul pulled the trigger on the pistol, and Ricky, still clutching the knife, lurched backward through the bathroom window. Eden slumped to the floor.
Paul dropped the gun and rushed to the window. Paul gazed down and cried, "Oh, no!" Eden awoke on the floor and asked Paul what was the matter. Paul, breathing heavily and moaning, wrapped his arms across his chest and ambled away from the window. Eden rose to her feet and glanced out of the broken window. Arcs of flickering light from the fireworks lit up the sky. Eden gasped when she saw Ricky's body on street below.
Eden steadied herself against the walls and the door facing as she made her way toward the bedroom to join Paul, who'd evidently collected the dropped gun as he exited the bathroom. Eden again asked a visibly distraught Paul what had happened. Paul, clutching the gun against his chest, cried weakly, "Call the police."
At the police station, Heather teased Ronan by comparing him to Batman. Heather claimed that Ronan, mysterious and aloof, was, like Batman, always ready to fight crime. Ronan explained that Victor had summoned him to help find Abby. Heather said she'd gleaned from Ronan's conversation with Phyllis that he was also helping with Daniel's case. Ronan explained that though he wasn't involved officially, he'd agreed to help sort out evidence tied to Daniel's case.
Ronan told Heather that Michael was lucky to have an attorney like her on his team. An officer fielded a call from a dispatcher and informed Heather and Ronan that shots had been fired at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Heather leapt to her feet when the officer added that Paul Williams had been involved. Ronan rushed out behind Heather.
At Crimson Lights, Michael recalled to Lauren how Phyllis had glared at him because he'd ordered Daniel to be held in a cell for 48 hours. Michael added that Daniel's case was one he'd never foreseen before agreeing to serve as district attorney.
Kevin approached Lauren and Michael and told them that he still hadn't found Eden and was quite concerned about her. Kevin explained that Eden had sent him a text message stating that she had "big news." Kevin added that he became worried that the message might relate to Ricky after Eden failed to show up at their prearranged meeting at the park.
After Michael received a phone call, he told Kevin and Lauren that Ricky Williams was dead. Michael added that Eden would be transported to the hospital and that Paul, somehow involved, was still at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Kevin headed to the hospital to check on Eden. Lauren accompanied Michael to the Genoa City Athletic Club.
After police arrived to investigate the incident in Ricky's suite at the Genoa City Athletic Club, officers and a detective found Paul, seemingly in shock, sitting on the edge of the bed. A detective told Paul to hand over the gun tightly clutched against his chest. The detective then handed the firearm to an officer and instructed him to check it for prints and determine the owner through the gun's registration number. The detective attempted to question Paul, but he was too distraught to respond.
When Ronan arrived, a uniformed officer barred him from the crime scene. The detective stepped out and told Ronan that Ricky Williams had fallen through a window. The detective added that a witness recalled having heard one shot. Given the numerous explosions during the fireworks display, the detective added, the witness could be mistaken. Ronan cringed when the detective explained that Paul's hands were being tested for gunshot residue.
Ronan pressured the detective to let him question Paul, and the detective reluctantly agreed after Ronan explained that he and Paul had worked together closely on the Jenkins murder case. Ronan slipped latex gloves onto his hands and entered the room. Paul sat quietly. Yellow placards, numbered in black, marked areas about the room where evidence had been collected.
Paul, sobbing, recognized Ronan and told him that Ricky was dead. Paul uttered several incomplete statements, but Ronan learned that Paul had tried to reason with Ricky. Paul said that Ricky had held a knife and tried to kill Eden. Paul indicated an area on his own shoulder and cried that he thought he might have shot Ricky. When Ronan asked if Eden could corroborate his story, Paul said he thought she could because she'd been present. Ronan ensured that the detective had written down the entirety of Paul's statements.
After Michael and Lauren arrived at the Genoa City Athletic Club's lobby, Heather rushed to meet them and said the only fact she knew was that Paul might have been involved in a shooting. Michael gently explained that Paul might have shot Ricky. Heather, sobbing, asked, "Is that who's in the street?" Michael added that Ricky had fallen through a window. Michael quickly headed upstairs after Heather noted that Ronan had accompanied her to the club after they heard about the shooting.
Upstairs, Michael stepped into Ricky's suite. Ronan and the detective were listening as Paul briefly described the knife he'd seen in Ricky's hand. Ronan hugged Paul before stepping aside and quietly informing the detective that they needed to question Eden immediately. Ronan instructed the detective to determine why Eden had been in Ricky's room and record her account of what had taken place. The detective added that police needed to find the knife Paul claimed Ricky had held.
Michael made his way across the crowded room and checked on Paul briefly before an officer escorted a shaken Paul out of the room. The detective headed to the hospital to question Eden. Michael stepped close to Ronan and asked, "Who the hell deputized you?" Michael told Ronan that he'd had no right to question a witness. Ronan explained that he didn't have much faith in the Genoa City Police Department and that his particular method of questioning had prompted Paul to talk about what had happened.
Downstairs in the Genoa City Athletic Club's lobby, Heather embraced Paul after a uniformed office escorted him downstairs and allowed him to spend private time with his daughter. Paul, sobbing, repeatedly apologized to Heather. In a daze, Paul headed toward the door, but Heather told her father that he couldn't just walk out because Michael would need to question him.
At the hospital, a doctor told Eden that she needed to undergo tests to determine the extent of injuries evidenced by a significant bump on her head. Eden agreed when the doctor also suggested screening for drugs. Kevin arrived, and the doctor left.
Eden told Kevin that she'd awakened on the floor in Ricky's suite. Eden cried that she'd never forget what she saw when she peered out the broken window to the street below. She told Kevin she couldn't remember why she had been in Ricky's room.
After the detective arrived at the hospital, he asked Eden why she'd been in Ricky's room. Kevin showed the detective the text message Eden had sent. It simply stated: "Big news." Eden said she couldn't remember why she'd sent the message. Kevin explained that Eden had claimed that she'd suspected Ricky might be involved in Daisy's disappearance. Eden, frustrated, added that she couldn't recall why she'd believed that Ricky had been involved.
When the detective asked about what had taken place in Ricky's room, Eden explained that she couldn't recall anything that had occurred before she'd awakened on the floor. Eden explained that the first thing she recalled was seeing Paul, holding a gun, peering out the window. She added that she later looked out the window, too.
The detective asked Eden if she recalled seeing a knife. Eden thought for a moment before she responded. Eden said that she couldn't recall seeing a knife. After the detective left, Eden told Kevin that she hoped her testimony hadn't hurt Paul. Kevin noted that Eden had stated the truth. Eden admitted to Kevin that a part of her was relieved that Ricky was dead.
Ronan met up with Heather in the Genoa City Athletic Club's lobby and told her that Abby Newman's kidnapping had been a hoax. The detective joined Heather and Ronan and told them that Eden couldn't remember what had taken place in Ricky's room. He added that Eden didn't recall seeing a knife. Ronan declared, "No knife -- no self-defense." Heather defended her father and insisted that Paul was no murderer. The detective gently informed Heather that Paul would be taken downtown to the police station. Ronan went to find Paul.
Michael joined Lauren at the Genoa City Athletic Club's bar. A uniformed officer handed Michael a file containing a document. Michael glanced over the document and scoffed that Ricky's shooting appeared to be premeditated. Lauren defended Paul, but Michael explained that the gun Paul had used was unregistered and that the serial number had been filed away. Lauren seemed nervous. Ronan approached and asked about Paul. Lauren replied, "Isn't he with you?" Ronan said, "No." Michael, in a frustrated tone, cried, "Then where is he?"
The next morning, Paul arrived at a psychiatric facility in Los Angeles. He stepped into a patient's room and watched a woman seated in a wheelchair. The woman's back was facing Paul, and she repeatedly brushed her long, dark brown hair.
Paul took a seat behind the woman and called out, "Isabella?" The woman didn't respond, though Paul continued to call out to her. Paul began to weep softly. He said, "It's Paul. I have some terrible news to tell you." The woman never reacted to Paul's voice and continued brushing her hair.