At their apartment, Austin and Summer celebrated Christmas early. Summer said she would prefer to enjoy the decorated Christmas tree and not discuss the possibility of Austin being locked in a cell. Austin gave Summer a diamond ring as a gift. Summer was touched by the gesture. Austin explained that he'd sold his favorite camera so he could purchase the ring. Summer sobbed softly as she admired the ring.
Summer retrieved a wrapped gift from a cupboard and said she'd been meaning to give it to her groom. Summer laughed when she noted that it was a special lens for the camera Austin no longer owned. Austin produced a sprig of mistletoe. He positioned the sprig above Summer's head and tenderly kissed her. To the melody of holiday music, the couple danced while holding each other close. Summer cried, "This is the best Christmas ever!"
At the Abbott mansion, Kelly commended Jack for having arranged a trip to Georgia to visit Phyllis. Jack said, "It's important that I see Phyllis so that we can all move on." When Jack walked outside his front door, Kelly ran after him. Kelly cried that she couldn't shake the fear of being involved in a relationship that seemed too good to be true. Kelly added that she'd done her best to heal from the scars of her past and build a family of her own.
Jack seemed sympathetic to Kelly's misgivings, which she blamed on the painful experiences she'd endured. Jack told Kelly that when he returned from Georgia, he would be returning home to the woman he loved. Jack assured Kelly that they would leave their heartaches and disappointments in the past. Jack expressed apprehension about facing Summer after he returned. Kelly noted that Jack had always handled challenging situations with Summer quite well.
From a hotel room, Victor phoned Dr. Burnett. Victor said he intended to arrange the best treatment possible to ensure that Phyllis emerged from her coma. On another call, Victor spoke to the head of a renowned artists' colony. Victor mentioned his arrangement of a generous grant awarded to Daniel Romalotti. Victor said Phyllis would surely understand, after she awoke from her coma, why her son had accepted the invitation and moved to Europe.
After Victor finished his phone calls, he perused an article from a medical publication. The headline touted Dr. Hans Cutler's award-winning breakthrough treatments for coma patients. Victor smiled and seemed lost in thought. Aloud to himself, Victor said, "You're going to be one of the lucky ones, Phyllis. I'll make sure of that."
Outside Phyllis' treatment room at a facility in Georgia, Jack paused before going inside. Pamela, a nurse, recognized and warmly greeted Jack. Pamela told Jack she admired him for remaining devoted to the woman he loved. Once inside, Jack sat beside Phyllis. He clasped her hand and said, "It's good to see you, Red." Phyllis' eyes remained closed, and she didn't respond.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Mariah ran into Ian. Mariah explained that her mother, Helen, had called. Ian insisted that Helen shouldn't travel to Genoa City. Ian added, "She doesn't have your best interests at heart the way I do." Mariah noted that Sharon and Nick had treated her very well. Mariah added that Ian should be proud that she was finally building a life of her own. Ian reminded Mariah and they shared a special bond and could always rely on each other even when others let them down.
Mariah mentioned that Ian had lost his lawsuit against Nikki. Ian replied, "I'm hardly defeated. Victor and his family have power and influence that go into the courtroom and far beyond, which makes me even more determined to bring enlightenment to that misbegotten clan." Mariah condemned Ian for having thrown tabloid fodder in Nikki's face while young Faith was present. Mariah added that though Nick was older, he was unlike any guy she'd ever met. Ian was taken aback when Mariah noted that she was following her path and no longer needed Ian's close supervision and guidance.
At the Underground, Nick phoned the Kentucky licensing bureau for registered nurses. Nick claimed that he planned to hire a private nurse for an ill friend and needed a contact number for a nurse named Helen Copeland. The employee at the bureau was unable to find any record of a nurse named Helen Copeland. Sharon showed up. Nick didn't let on about his search for Helen Copeland.
Sharon told Nick that she intended to find another therapist. Dr. Mead, Sharon recalled, had betrayed her trust by talking to Victor. Sharon embraced Nick and insisted he was the only person she could trust not to be disloyal. Behind Sharon's back, Nick glanced at the piece of paper on which he'd written the name of the woman Mariah had claimed was her mother. Sharon said she wished she could forget about finding another therapist.
Nick reminded Sharon that her therapy and medication had allowed them to rekindle their relationship. Sharon assured Nick that she would stick with her treatment plan. Nick seemed relieved. Sharon said she was thankful for the emotional strength to be supportive to Faith, who'd witnessed Ian's verbal attack on Nikki. Sharon and Nick discussed Mariah and her connection to Ian. Sharon insisted that providing a loving home for Mariah would be the best remedy against Ian's influence.
Sharon later confronted Ian in the dining room at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Sharon berated Ian for traumatizing Faith. Sharon added, "What's your next dirty trick? Mariah's mother?" Ian strongly noted that Helen Copeland couldn't be trusted. Ian added that young Mariah would always be in need of guidance. Sharon replied, "Guidance that only you can provide, right?" Ian explained that he'd once served as a mentor and a parental stand-in for Mariah.
Ian told Sharon that Mariah's newfound independence was another stepping stone in her personal journey. Sharon seemed uneasy when Ian claimed he was thankful that Mariah could rely on Sharon. Ian noted that Nick should act as a father figure to Mariah and nothing more. Sharon insisted that Nick could offer Mariah something Ian never could. When Ian asked Sharon to explain her comment, she said she was late for a meeting and left.
After Mariah arrived for her shift at the Underground, she raced quickly toward Nick and offered to help him carry a bulky box down a flight of stairs. Nick said that he was still miffed at Mariah for lying about her mother being dead. Mariah apologized and expressed her gratitude to Nick for giving her a home. Mariah admitted that she'd become accustomed to lying and didn't know why she kept doing it.
Nick pressed Mariah to tell him more about Helen Copeland. Mariah explained that she was trying to put her past behind her. Mariah said she'd discovered that Ian had more than one side. Nick replied, "I'm glad you realize that." Mariah said she believed there might be "someone out there for" her. Nick said, "Ian is no good, and I don't want him around the people I care about." After Nick walked away, Mariah said aloud to herself, "In that case, Nick, I'm going to make you care about me."
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Cane shared good news with his wife. Lily was ecstatic to learn about the club's financial success. Lily recalled that some thought she'd been crazy to leave Jabot. Lily noted that it was a great achievement to turn the establishment around and make it profitable again. Cane agreed, and Lily recalled that Cane still had other interests he hoped to pursue.
At a bar, Devon lent his support to Hilary after the couple decided to move forward with their relationship. Hilary took a deep breath before placing a call to Neil. He didn't answer, and Hilary said it would be cruel to leave a message telling Neil that marrying him had been a mistake. Fearing she might lose her nerve, Hilary phoned Neil's number again and left a message requesting a meeting at their home. Devon assured Hilary that everything would be fine. Hilary was apprehensive about Devon breaking the news to Lily.
At the home Neil had purchased as a surprise for his new bride, the lights flickered. Neil located the electrical breaker box and attempted rectify the problem. Suddenly, a surge of electricity followed by a small explosion knocked Neil to the floor. Unconscious, Neil didn't move. Additional sparks flew from the breaker box and landed on the rug where Neil remained motionless.
Hilary went to the Genoa City Athletic Club and asked Cane if he knew where Neil was. Frantic, Hilary explained that she'd been unable to locate her husband. Cane drove Hilary to the house Neil had purchased. Hilary panicked when she found an unresponsive Neil lying on the floor. Cane checked Neil's vital signs and noted that he was alive. Hilary shook Neil and begged him to awaken. Cane summoned an ambulance before contacting Lily. Cane told Lily to find Devon and meet them at the hospital.
At the hospital, Victoria noted aloud that her baby was restless, and she suspected it was because she hadn't been able to sleep, since she hadn't been able to stop thinking about Billy and Stitch. She looked up and was surprised to see Stitch, and he explained that he was still suspended, but he had a meeting with the hospital board. Victoria asked if he might be reinstated, and he was grateful for the chance to defend himself, but he doubted that he would ever practice medicine again. She called him a wonderful doctor, but he understood that people couldn't easily forgive him for lying about who he was and what he'd done.
Stitch acknowledged that he didn't deserve forgiveness, since he hadn't been honest when he should have been. Victoria said that she didn't want to get into it, and he asked if everything was okay with the baby. She informed him that she was there for an ultrasound, and Abby arrived and testily inquired why Stitch was there. Stitch defended that he wasn't there for Victoria's appointment, and even though he wanted to be, he wouldn't push Victoria or stress her out. Abby snapped that it was too late, and Victoria wished Stitch luck with the board. He murmured that he needed it.
Victoria introduced Abby to Dr. Chipperton, and she said that the baby had been moving around a lot. The doctor urged Victoria to think about her birth plan, since all mothers had to file one prior to delivery, and she handed Victoria a form with questions to answer, including who Victoria wanted with her in the delivery room. Abby exclaimed that Billy would want to be there when his child was born. Dr. Chipperton left to prepare for the ultrasound, and Victoria scolded Abby for calling Billy the baby's father. Abby complained that Victoria wouldn't take the paternity test, and Victoria reasoned that the results would hurt either Billy or Stitch, but she didn't want to have to deal with other people's pain on top of everything else.
Victoria said that she wanted peace and quiet for her and the baby, and she marveled that in a few months, a new life would enter the world. She called it a miracle, since she supposedly hadn't been able to get pregnant, and she worried that something would happen to the baby. Abby suggested that Victoria choose someone calm and experienced to join her in the delivery room, but Victoria decided that she wanted Abby there. Abby argued that many other people were more qualified, but Victoria insisted that she wanted someone there who loved her and the baby unconditionally. Abby promised to still talk to Victoria after Victoria screamed at her in the delivery room, and they hugged.
During the ultrasound, Dr. Chipperton announced that the baby looked perfect, and Victoria was relieved. Abby thought that she saw the baby sucking its thumb, and she had a feeling it was a girl. Abby hoped for a niece to spoil, and Victoria said that there was no one she'd rather be sharing that moment with. The sisters gazed lovingly at the baby's image on the monitor.
At the vacation cabin, Nikki and Paul finished the jigsaw puzzle, and she remarked that it had kept her mind off her troubles, but she couldn't run from the press forever. She thanked Paul and Christine for being kind and understanding, but it was time for her to get back home and let them resume their vacation. Christine clarified that it was a belated honeymoon, and Nikki apologetically said that she wouldn't have tracked down Paul if she'd known. Christine sympathized that it had been upsetting for Nikki to have her private thoughts published, but she wondered why Nikki hadn't turned to her own husband instead.
Nikki said that she'd hoped Christine would know what to do about Ian, and Christine asked if Nikki had any proof that Ian had been behind the release of the journal to the media. Nikki contended that Ian had been the only person with motive to do it, but Christine argued that it wasn't enough to press charges. Nikki said that Michael had told her the same thing, and Christine coldly demanded to know why Nikki was there, since Paul was trying to recover. Nikki said that she was sorry she had bothered them, and she headed for the door, but she stumbled on her way out. Christine rolled her eyes as Paul helped Nikki back to the couch, and she offered to call Victor or one of Nikki's children. Nikki said that she didn't want to bother her kids, especially Dylan, who had been through enough.
At the penthouse, Kevin entered Connor's room, and he greeted Connor and complimented the baby's outfit. Chelsea gushed that her son looked handsome, and she started to say that Connor looked just like his father, but her voice trailed off. Kevin warned her not to cry on her son's birthday, and she wished that Adam could have been there to witness the first milestones in his son's life. The mysterious man watched over the surveillance camera, and Kevin questioned whether Billy would be at the party to help Chelsea celebrate.
Chelsea abruptly said that she had to pick up the cupcakes, and she asked if Kevin could meet her at the park with Connor. She cooed that she loved Connor and would see him soon, and the man shut his laptop and got up from his chair. The man's assistant stopped the man from leaving and warned that he was still recovering. The assistant added that the man was supposed to be dead, and he cautioned the man not to risk everything too soon.
Billy entered Crimson Lights and, when he saw the coffeehouse's state of disarray, asked what had happened. Dylan stated that he'd gotten frustrated by the justice system, which had sprung convicted criminals like Ian. Dylan relayed that Ian had leaked Nikki's journal to the tabloids, and Billy remarked that at least Ian hadn't killed anyone, whereas Stitch had killed his father and had created a whole new persona. Avery overheard and pointed out that Stitch had paid for his crime, and Billy questioned whether that gave Stitch a pass for lying to everyone.
Dylan asked if Billy blamed Stitch for Billy's problems with Victoria, and Billy wondered why Dylan wasn't more ticked off about Stitch's lies. Dylan quipped that he'd had practice, since a lot of people he'd thought he could trust had lied to him. Chelsea overheard as she entered, and she assumed that Dylan included her among those people. She said that she still felt terrible about letting Dylan believe that Connor was his, and Dylan noted that she'd already apologized. She regretted the pain she'd caused, especially that day, and Dylan realized it was Connor's birthday.
Chelsea recalled that Dylan had been the first person to hold her son, and she invited Dylan and Avery to join them for Connor's birthday celebration, but Dylan replied that he had to get the coffeehouse back in order. After Billy and Chelsea left, Avery suggested that it might be good for Dylan to see Connor, but Dylan replied that he'd made peace, and there was no reason to stir up the pain. Avery thought it would help if Dylan talked to someone, and he asked why she kept pushing the idea of therapy. He pointed out that he was talking to her, and she believed that not shutting her out was a giant step forward, but a therapist could help give him advice about how to deal with his anger before he started breaking things. Paul called Dylan and asked for a favor.
Dylan arrived at the cabin, and Nikki insisted that she was fine to drive, but Dylan reasoned that he was already there. Christine mentioned that Nikki had almost fainted, and Nikki admitted that she'd had a small flare-up. Nikki excused herself to answer Victor's call, and she informed Victor that Ian had exposed her journal to the public, but she didn't want Victor to cut his trip short. Meanwhile, Paul told Dylan that Nikki was putting up a strong front, but the journal incident had really gotten to her. Dylan asked what it would take to keep Ian from going after Nikki, but he promised not to do anything stupid. Paul said that he didn't want to lose his son after he'd just found Dylan.
After Nikki and Dylan departed, Christine roughly tossed the puzzle pieces back into the box, and Paul asked what was wrong. Christine complained that Nikki had dropped in to talk about her hurt feelings when Paul was the one in recovery. Christine added that Paul should be relaxing and not worrying about Nikki, but Paul said that he hated to see a friend going through a difficult time. Christine questioned why Paul wasn't furious with Nikki for depriving him of the chance to be a father to his son.
Paul conceded that he was upset that he'd lost time with Dylan, and Christine asked why he'd let Nikki in. Paul replied that they'd been through too much for him to turn his back on Nikki, and Christine turned away in tears. Christine cried that she didn't want to sound insensitive, but Nikki's pain wasn't her concern after she'd almost lost Paul. Paul swore that he wasn't going anywhere for a long time, and they embraced.
Stitch entered Crimson Lights, and Avery inquired whether he'd had a bad day. He revealed that he'd been kicked out of the residency program, and he suspected that he would lose his license to practice after the state medical board conducted an investigation. He remarked that it was better than being in jail, and she offered her legal expertise in exchange for his advice about posttraumatic stress. Stitch confided that he'd had some nightmares, and she informed him that Dylan had, too, and that Dylan had become increasingly short-tempered, although his rage was mostly aimed at Ian.
Avery questioned how she could help Dylan, and Stitch explained that the triggers weren't necessarily consistent, but there was real help out there. Avery lamented that Dylan wouldn't accept it, and Stitch urged her to keep pushing Dylan to go to therapy. Avery ranted that Ian had been making everything a nightmare, and Stitch recognized that his own situation hadn't helped.
Dylan returned to Crimson Lights with Nikki, and Stitch asked when Nikki's last checkup had been. She assured them that she knew how to control her multiple sclerosis, but her face had just been on every tabloid. She recognized that Stitch understood being stressed, and he admitted that he might not be a doctor much longer, but it had been the risk he'd taken by lying. Stitch advised that stress wasn't good for either Nikki or Dylan, and he left. Nikki imagined that Dylan might want to put distance between them, but he swore that he didn't judge her for what she'd written, and he believed that people shouldn't have to justify how they felt.
In the park, Billy commented that it had been nice of Chelsea to invite Dylan, and she acknowledged that it had been unfair to everyone to make Dylan think he was Connor's father. Billy noted that Dylan was a much better man than Adam had been, but Chelsea warned that she didn't want to argue about her dead husband on her son's birthday. Kevin entered with Connor, and Jeffrey arrived right behind them. Chelsea hugged her father, and Kevin expressed surprise to see Billy. Chelsea said that Billy was her friend, and Kevin teased that she and Billy seemed to be getting friendlier all the time.
Chelsea presented Connor with a stuffed horse from Jeffrey, but she cautioned that Jeffrey wasn't allowed to take her son to the racetrack. Chelsea noticed that Billy seemed distant, and he remembered that Delia had had a lot of stuffed animals. Kevin fondly recalled that Delia had carried Pinkerton everywhere, and a clown passed by with a bunch of colorful balloons. Billy carried Connor over and selected a yellow balloon. "Dada!" Connor cried out, and the guests exchanged uncomfortable looks.
Chelsea claimed that Connor called everything "dada," including her and his toys, and she denied that the boy thought that Billy was his dad. Kevin pointedly noted that Connor had never called Kevin that, but he understood that Billy and Chelsea had been spending a lot of time together. Jeffrey praised that the clown had been a nice touch, but Chelsea said that she'd thought someone else had hired the performer. She looked around, but the clown had left.
Later, Chelsea thanked the guests for attending, and Kevin asked Billy what he'd done with the information Kevin had dug up about Stitch. Billy recounted that he'd interrupted a meeting between Stitch and his boss, but Stitch had grabbed the file and had handed it over himself. Kevin imagined that Stitch would be out of a job soon, and Billy half-heartedly agreed. Billy griped that he was no closer to getting Victoria back, and Kevin asked if that was still what Billy wanted. Billy declared that he loved Victoria and that he would never stop wanting a life with her.
The mysterious man watched footage of the party that had been filmed on a camera the clown had been wearing. He repeatedly rewound the part where Connor had said "Dada" while he had been in Billy's arms, and the man clenched his fist.
Chelsea put Connor in his crib, and Billy handed her a present that had been by the door. She found a soccer ball inside and assumed that it was from Victor, but Billy thought the gift was too simple for Victor's tastes. Chelsea explained that Victor had talked to Connor about teaching the boy to play soccer, and Billy cautioned that everything Victor gave had strings attached.
At the clinic in Georgia, Jack told a comatose Phyllis that she was still beautiful, and it was hard for him to believe that it had been over a year since her accident. He mused that it felt like forever since he'd looked into her gorgeous eyes or heard her voice, and he would give anything for her to wake up. He sadly added that it wouldn't happen, so he was there to say goodbye. Jack kissed Phyllis' hand and asked if she could hear him, and he wondered if she was feeling any emotions or if she was just drifting.
Jack said that he'd been drifting since the night of Phyllis' accident, and he'd been sure that she'd open her eyes and return to him. He continued that it broke his heart that she was living that way, and he envisioned her walking down the aisle in a stunning dress that only she could wear. He said that he could almost hear her voice saying their vows and promising to love him until death parted them, and he became choked up as he declared that the woman he loved was in there somewhere. He rested his head over her heart.
In the hallway, Victor told Dr. Burnett that he hoped Dr. Cutler's experimental drug would be as effective with Phyllis as it had been with other patients, and Dr. Burnett reminded Victor that Dr. Cutler wouldn't proceed without permission from Phyllis' family. Victor pledged to take care of it, and he stepped out of sight as Jack emerged from Phyllis' room.
Jack asked Dr. Burnett if the medical staff had done everything possible for Phyllis, since she'd shown no sign of improvement. The doctor confirmed that there hadn't been any measureable progress, and Jack inquired whether Phyllis' condition was permanent. Dr. Burnett explained that patients recovered in some cases, but all conventional methods had failed to help Phyllis. Victor eavesdropped as the doctor said that he was deeply sorry.
Jack reentered Phyllis' room, and he wished that the doctors could have done more, but they'd done everything. Jack resolved to do what he'd traveled there to do, and he said that he loved Phyllis and that he'd planned to spend the rest of his life with her, but it was time to accept that she wouldn't ever be with him or Summer again. He added that he was proud of Summer for being certain that Phyllis would wake up, but Summer had to face reality, too. Jack swore that he'd always take care of their daughter.
Dr. Burnett expressed guilt for not disclosing the experimental treatment to Jack, and he thought Jack should be aware the drug was available. Victor argued that Jack was a resourceful man, and Jack could have obtained the same information if he'd tried.
Jack told Phyllis that he'd met someone, and he hadn't been looking to fall in love, but he had. He said that he'd found a good woman who was good for him, but a piece of him would always belong to Phyllis, just like Phyllis would always be in his heart. He pressed his face close to hers and whispered that he missed her, but she remained unresponsive when he kissed her cheek. He walked to the door and turned to look back at her before he slowly walked out. Phyllis' hand twitched repeatedly as her eyelids started to flutter.
Michael was hard at work, preparing a criminal's defense in the interrogation room at the police station, when a sultry Lauren showed up. They began kissing, but Michael broke away and said they needed to "cool it" at the station. He promised to leave work early -- they both anticipated a passionate night at home.
At the station, Detective Harding was giving Kevin a hard time -- Kevin didn't have the results of a computer search that Harding had asked for. Harding angrily walked away as Kevin typed, "Find a place to dispose of the body where the vultures can pluck out the dark bristly stubble on his chin follicle by follicle."
Esther showed up at the station and handed Kevin an envelope that Chloe had asked Esther to deliver. Kevin was thrilled, assuming that the envelope contained good news.
Michael and Lauren left the interrogation room and joined Esther and Kevin. Esther picked up a creepy-looking motorcycle helmet that was sitting on Kevin's desk and said that she would hate to meet the owner of the helmet. Esther and Lauren walked out together.
Kevin stared at the still-unopened envelope from Chloe. He was excited that she was finally reaching out to him. Kevin opened the envelope, and his mood quickly changed -- he told Michael that Chloe had sent him divorce papers.
In the interrogation room, Kevin denied that Chloe really wanted a divorce. He told Michael that a psychiatrist had probably talked her into filing. Kevin threatened to have Chloe declared mentally incompetent in order to stop the divorce from moving forward. Harding entered the room and wondered why Kevin was fighting to stay married to a "nut job." Kevin went ballistic and tried to attack Harding. Michael held his brother back and warned him not to pick a fight with a man who had a badge and a gun. A seething Harding told Kevin that Michael had just saved Kevin's life.
After Harding left, Kevin told Michael that he still loved Chloe. Michael told his brother that if he loved Chloe, he would sign the papers. Kevin asked Michael if he would simply let Lauren go if she left him. Michael admitted that he would fight for her. Kevin said that he was going to fight for Chloe.
Michael continued trying to convince Kevin to sign the papers. Kevin said that he didn't want to listen to Michael any longer and stormed out of the interrogation room. Before he left the station, Kevin grabbed the motorcycle helmet that Esther had looked at earlier. Michael shouted, "When did you get a motorcycle?" but didn't receive an answer.
Courtney arrived at the police station, and Harding warned her not to "go soft" while testifying at Austin's trial just because Summer, Courtney's best friend, had married Austin. Courtney assured Harding that she wouldn't. Harding said that was good, because he knew that girls were very weak. Noah showed up to meet Courtney and overheard Harding. Noah approached Harding and accused the detective of being the weak one -- after all, Harding was hassling a woman who was stronger than Harding would ever be. Noah warned him to leave Courtney alone.
Courtney and Noah went for a drink at the Underground. Harding entered the bar and sat in a booth. Noah wanted to approach Harding and continue arguing, but Courtney begged him not to. Harding noticed Noah and Courtney -- she told Noah to ignore the detective. Noah said that the reason Harding hassled her was because he was attracted to her -- he had noticed Harding staring at her at the station.
Noah stepped out for a moment, and Courtney walked up to Harding, telling him that he was probably a "great guy somewhere deep down," but Noah was the man who made her happy. A very attractive woman joined Harding in the booth. He put his arm around her as she introduced herself to an embarrassed Courtney. Harding said that the woman, Lonnie, had a beautiful face and had won a beauty pageant. Harding parroted Courtney's earlier remark, telling her that Lonnie made him very happy. Courtney told the couple to have a nice night as she made a beeline back to the bar.
When Noah returned, Courtney chided him for suggesting that Harding was attracted to her -- the detective was obviously only interested in the beautiful Lonnie. Courtney said that she had embarrassed herself and that Harding would probably treat her even more miserably. Noah apologized for jumping to the wrong conclusion. Courtney coyly told him that he would have to do better than an apology. Noah told her that he would become her slave. Noah and Courtney began to laugh and joke with one another.
Colin and Jill returned home from their Caribbean vacation sooner than expected, having been told by Esther that there was an emergency and that Jill was needed back in Genoa City. At the Chancellor mansion, Jill tried to find Esther to learn what the emergency was but discovered that Esther wasn't there. In the living room, Jill was shocked to find an envelope with her name written on it -- in Katherine's handwriting. Jill realized that the envelope was the reason that Esther had summoned her home.
A misty-eyed Jill opened the envelope and read Katherine's letter aloud to Colin. Katherine had written that if Jill was reading the letter, it was probably about a year since Katherine had died. Katherine wrote, "I assume that you found what I wanted you to find. Wear my necklace well, Jill, and think of me every time you do." Jill continued reading -- Katherine had written that she wanted Jill to arrange a party celebrating the one-year anniversary of her death.
Jill realized that Colin wasn't paying any attention to her. She asked him why he had "tuned out." He said that he had been thinking about Katherine. Jill saw through that excuse and guessed that Colin was distracted because Colin was experiencing happiness for the first time. Colin smiled, pleased that Jill had arrived at that conclusion.
Esther returned to the mansion and told Jill that the letter had been the reason she had asked Jill to return home. Jill and Esther hugged as Esther asked Jill to tell her what Katherine had written. Jill said that Katherine had requested that Jill plan something special, and Jill asked Esther for her assistance. Esther was thrilled, and the two women left the living room to brainstorm in the den. After they were gone, Colin poured himself a drink and turned to confront the real reason for his earlier distraction -- Colin had spotted the hoodlum Kurtz hiding behind a curtain in the living room. Kurtz showed himself, pointed a gun at Colin, and said, "Welcome home."
Kurtz closed the living room door and reminded Colin about the money Colin owed to the mob, accusing him of leaving Genoa City to avoid paying the debt. Colin, growing angry, said that he wouldn't be pushed around by the likes of Kurtz.
As the tension between Colin and Kurtz grew, Lauren showed up at the mansion to visit with Jill. In the foyer, Jill was puzzled that the door to living room had been closed.
Colin and Kurtz were able to hear the women through the closed door. Colin wanted to continue the conversation elsewhere, but Kurtz, still brandishing the gun, said that he thought they should let the women join them. Kurtz said that it was time for Colin's loved ones to get hurt -- starting with Jill. Colin warned Kurtz to leave Jill alone, saying, "If you touch her, I'll bring stuff down on you that you can't even imagine."
The men heard the women laughing loudly in the foyer, where Lauren was telling Jill that they had business to discuss. Jill said that they needed to include Colin, since he was their partner. As Lauren groaned about that, she and Jill entered the living room, where Jill immediately noticed that Colin was gone.
The sisters gossiped while enjoying some tea. Lauren checked her phone, telling Jill that she was waiting for a text message from Michael -- he was to let her know when he was finished with work so the Baldwins could enjoy a private evening. Jill wondered why and began laughing when Lauren blurted out that she and Michael hadn't had time for sex. She assured Jill that there were no problems with the Baldwins' marriage -- Lauren and Michael had simply been working so hard that they barely saw each other.
Outside the mansion, Colin offered to pay off his debt by giving Kurtz a few diamonds from Katherine's necklace. Kurtz said that he didn't want Colin's diamonds. Colin asked Kurtz what he did want. Kurtz replied, "It's not you who will do the giving. It's your wife." Colin once again warned him not to harm Jill. Kurtz said that his bosses didn't want to hurt Jill -- they needed her to "do a job."
At Genoa City Memorial Hospital's ICU, a worried Hilary asked Cane why it was taking so long to hear something about Neil's condition. Lily and Devon rushed in. Lily was hysterical, and Cane tried to comfort her as Devon and Hilary exchanged guilty glances. Devon asked Cane and Hilary what had caused Neil's injury. Cane told Devon that Neil had to have tried to fix the faulty wiring "in the house."
Lily didn't understand Cane's explanation and asked what Neil had been doing in "some old house." Before Cane had a chance to expound, Dr. Shelby joined the group and informed them that Neil had suffered a severe electric shock and might have serious internal injuries. The doctor couldn't say whether or not Neil would recover. Hilary barked at the doctor and asked him why he was heading up Neil's treatment team -- Shelby was chief of surgery and normally didn't get involved with non-surgical injuries like Neil's.
Shelby told Hilary that Leslie, because of her fondness for Neil, had asked the doctor to personally look after him. Lily, after shooting an angry glance at Hilary for snapping at Shelby, thanked the doctor for taking care of Neil. The doctor did have a modicum of good news -- a cardiologist had examined Neil and determined that he hadn't sustained any heart damage -- but Shelby reiterated that Neil might have grave internal injuries.
A panic-stricken Lily demanded to know how her father had been hurt. She angrily asked Hilary why she didn't know any details about Neil's injuries -- after all, Hilary was Neil's wife. Hilary and Lily began sniping. Cane intervened, telling Lily that Neil had purchased the house as a surprise gift for Hilary. Lily immediately told Hilary that it was Hilary's fault that Neil was fighting for his life.
Hilary and Lily resumed fighting. When Hilary said that she'd had no idea that Neil had bought the house, Lily accused her of subtly manipulating Neil into purchasing it. Lily accused Hilary of being "poison" and "toxic." Devon intervened and told Lily to calm down -- that Hilary was just as concerned about Neil as Lily was. Lily, clearly not taking her brother's advice, accused Hilary of arranging Neil's accident. Hilary didn't respond. She walked away, and Devon followed her.
Out of the Ashbys' earshot, Hilary told Devon that the house where she and Cane had found Neil was exactly like the dream house she had once described to Neil -- and Neil was fighting for his life, trying to make her dream happen.
Lily once again told Cane that Neil's accident had been Hilary's fault. Cane told his wife that wasn't true -- the accident had been Cane's fault. Cane said that there had been a problem with the wiring in the house, and he had tried to repair it. Cane had restored power before he left Neil alone, but the power had probably gone out again. Cane surmised that Neil had tried to monkey with the breaker box and had received a powerful jolt of electricity.
Devon and Hilary rejoined the Ashbys. Dr. Shelby returned with some news -- he was "cautiously optimistic" about Neil's condition. Neil had received some superficial burns but had escaped any major injuries. Lily asked if they could see her father, but the doctor said that Neil couldn't have visitors until he regained consciousness. Lily hugged Cane as Hilary and Devon walked toward Neil's ICU room.
Hilary told Devon what a crazy day it had been -- she had been planning to tell Neil that she wanted to end their marriage but instead had found him unresponsive in the house that he had bought for her. Devon said that he had been about to tell Lily about his relationship with Hilary when Cane had called Lily to tell her about Neil's accident. Devon told Hilary not to worry about anything -- that since Neil was apparently going to be okay, Devon and Hilary would be okay too.
Hilary stared at her unconscious husband through a window then told Devon that they needed to delay telling anyone about her relationship with Devon. Hilary said that once Neil recovered, she and Devon could finally be together. Devon hugged his paramour, unaware that Lily and Cane were watching them from the nurses' station.
Later, Dr. Shelby told the Ashbys, Devon, and Hilary that Neil was regaining consciousness. Lily insisted on being the first to see her father but Shelby said that Neil had requested to see one person -- Hilary. Hilary appeared nervous as she entered Neil's room. As Neil woke up, Hilary smiled and said, "Welcome back." He returned the smile, opened his eyes, and was shocked that he couldn't see his wife or anything else -- he was blind.
At the hospital, Devon, Lily, and Cane waited anxiously outside Neil's room. Cane urged Lily to give Neil time with Hilary, but Lily griped that her father had no idea that the person he'd invited into his room had been the same person who'd almost gotten him killed. Meanwhile, Hilary welcomed Neil back, and he opened his eyes and panicked when he realized that he couldn't see.
The rest of Neil's family entered his room, and they tried to reassure Neil that everything would be okay. Barton examined Neil's eyes, and he asked to speak with Neil alone. Lily and Devon protested, but Barton snapped that it hadn't been a request, and he ordered them to clear the room immediately. Outside the room, Devon theorized that Neil had hit his head, and Cane suggested that it was a temporary condition. Lily fretted that Devon's hearing loss hadn't been temporary, and Barton exited the room. Hilary asked when Neil would get his vision back.
Barton explained that he hadn't been able to determine the extent of Neil's trauma, but the hospital had a specialist on staff. Devon offered to fly in any experts that Neil needed, and Barton said that they were in a holding pattern until the specialist arrived, but Neil was awake and had no other signs of damage. Cane and Lily stepped aside to call Sofia, and Devon looked at Hilary, who shook her head and walked away. Devon followed her and contended that they both loved Neil and that they would help Neil and one another get through it. Hilary slapped Devon across the face.
Hilary snapped at Devon not to touch her, and she told him not to pretend that everything would be okay. Hilary said that she'd heard the panic in Neil's voice, and he was scared he might not be able to see again. Devon conceded that all of them were scared, but he was sure that Neil would be fine, since he knew what Neil was capable of. Devon recalled that Neil had always been there for him, and he vowed to be there for Neil and for Hilary.
Devon added that it was fine if Hilary wanted to slap him if it made her feel better, but he asked her to remember who he was and how he felt about her. He said that they couldn't turn on one another, and they had to focus on helping Neil through the crisis before they could focus on themselves. Hilary swore that Neil was all that mattered, and she walked back to his room and looked forlornly through the window.
After the specialist examined Neil, Lily asked if Neil would ever get his vision back, and the doctor said that he'd have to run more tests to get to the bottom of it, but Barton warned that Neil's vision impairment could be permanent. Lily asked to see Neil, and Barton instructed Neil's family to keep their visits brief. Devon and Lily entered Neil's room, and Cane asked if Hilary needed anything. She cried that Neil had wanted to give her a dream, and if she had known what the surprise had been, she wouldn't have waited. She hid her head in her hands, and Cane asked what she had waited to do.
Neil asked what the specialist had said, and Devon vaguely replied that the expert was on top of things. Neil told his kids not to worry, since he'd wake up the next day and see just fine. Lily asked if they could get him anything, and Neil replied that there was something. Moments later, Lily exited Neil's room, and she informed Cane that Neil had wanted her to leave so he could talk to Devon alone.
Devon recalled that when he'd been in the hospital with meningitis, Neil had had his back every step of the way, and he promised to have Neil's. Neil admitted he was scared, and he asked Devon to look after Hilary for him. Devon argued that Hilary wouldn't want anyone to hover, but Neil asserted that Hilary was fragile under her tough exterior, and he'd promised to give her happiness in their marriage, even though she didn't think she deserved it. Neil was concerned that she'd blame herself for their marriage getting off to a bad start, and he begged Devon to make her understand that there was nothing for her to feel guilty about.
Devon protested that he wasn't the person to do it, and he said that the doctor had wanted him to keep the visit short. Neil asked for Devon's hand, and he pledged that he would get his sight back soon, but he needed Devon to be his eyes and to look after his wife until then. Devon reluctantly promised that he would, and he told Neil to get some rest. The men hugged and said they loved one another, and Devon stepped out. Lily asked why Neil had wanted her to leave, and Devon claimed that Neil had requested that he help everyone stay strong and keep the faith. Meanwhile, Neil stared blankly ahead.
Paul returned to the cabin and found lit candles all over the room. Christine purred that the honeymoon elves had been at work, and he thought that he smelled apple pie. She showed him a recipe book from 1957, and he remarked that it had been a good year for pie as he tossed the book aside. Christine handed him a glass of wine and wished they could stay like that forever. He replied that maybe the elves could make that happen, too, and they kissed.
Christine marveled that the cabin was peaceful, with no courts or outside world in the way, and Paul joked that he hardly recognized her. She suggested that they stay there so that he could get to know her, and she prepared to pretend that they weren't there if Nikki returned. Paul defended that Nikki had just been trying to warn them, but Christine believed that Nikki had wanted someone to rescue her, and Nikki always chose to lean on Paul. Christine understood that Paul was worried about Dylan, but she insisted that Paul had to heal. Paul admitted that the time away had been good for him, and he proposed that they take the pie out of the oven and find a way to stay busy while it cooled.
There was a knock at the door, and a man called out that his car had broken down. Paul opened the door, and a reporter asked if Paul had seen his lover's diary. Paul threw the reporter out, and Christine groused that nowhere was safe. Paul considered having the journalist arrested, but Christine noted that the reporter had just been trying to give the public what it was dying to hear. Christine lamented that their vacation was over because their secret location was no longer a secret, thanks to Nikki. Paul said that it had been wonderful while it had lasted, and Christine handed him back his phone and tablet computer.
As Christine reviewed the hundreds of text messages and news alerts she'd received, she groaned that their trip hadn't lasted long enough. She bemoaned that they were back in the eye of the storm, but Paul said that the real world wasn't completely awful, since she was in it. He called her the love of his life, and he asked her never to forget that, no matter what happened once they left. They embraced.
At Newman-Chancellor, Victor blasted a publisher over the phone for smearing his wife's good name, and he yelled that he considered it a personal attack. He barked that it had been a mistake to go after him, and he threatened to show no mercy while putting the rag out of business. Nikki entered and begged him to hang up, but Victor huffed that he knew what he needed to do. She suspected that he'd gone straight to the office so she wouldn't overhear him dealing with the tabloids, but she anticipated that there would always be more reporters and articles.
Nikki worried that the press would also stalk Paul and Dylan, and Victor said that they could take care of themselves, but he was there for Nikki to lean on. She said that it meant everything to know that he was nearby and that he loved her, and she asked about his trip. He reported that it had been very productive, and he'd learned about some interesting research that seemed promising. He poured a drink and remarked that it could be a good thing for a lot of people, and Nikki stared at the alcohol.
Nikki informed Victor that she hadn't been herself while he'd been gone, but she was sure that things would get better. He asked if she was referring to her multiple sclerosis flaring up, but she fretted that her words would damage the people she loved. He vowed that the publisher would rue the day the tabloid had printed her journal, and she complained that more reporters were lurking outside. Victor promised to take care of them, but Nikki wailed that she didn't know how much more she could take. She regretted that others had been caught in the crossfire, and she mentioned that she'd sought out Paul to warn him in person.
Nikki revealed that Christine hadn't been thrilled with the interruption, but the tabloid story had affected Paul as much as anyone, although Paul had been more concerned about Nikki. Nikki felt as if everyone was walking in circles and saying they were fine, and Victor cautioned her against putting her health at risk by continuing to stress out. Nikki repeated that she hadn't been herself when Victor had been gone, but Victor assured her that he was there and that he would take care of things. He stepped out of his office, and she stared at his drink.
Nikki traced the rim of the glass with her fingers, and she picked up the drink. She spotted Victor in the doorway, and he asked what she was doing. Nikki covered by saying that the drink would make a ring on the table, and she reminded Victor to use a coaster. He apologized, and he informed her that he'd had security get rid of the paparazzi and the gawkers, so they could go home. He led her out, and he said that he'd missed her while he'd been gone.
Sharon returned home with a shopping bag, and Nick guessed that she'd bought a new outfit. He wondered if she'd purchased something to wear in court at his son-in-law's trial, but she explained that the clothes were for Mariah. Nick grumbled that Sharon had spent more money on Mariah's wardrobe, and he sarcastically questioned whether it was a reward for lying to them about her mother. He pointed out that it wasn't much of an incentive to stop lying, but Sharon reasoned that Mariah needed reminders that people cared, and having a sense of family would make Mariah become the young woman she was meant to be.
Nick argued that Mariah had her mother and Ian, but Sharon countered that Mariah's mother had neglected her and that Ian was a predator. Sharon imagined that Mariah could have a career one day, and she thought that Mariah could move into the tack house and study. Nick balked at the thought, and Sharon planned to ask Mariah when her birthday was so they could have a party. Nick protested that Mariah wasn't their kid, and they didn't know her well enough to make any long-term plans, but Sharon declared that she knew everything she needed to know. Sharon pledged to help Mariah have a great future, and she left to do more errands. Nick left a message for someone to request that they talk about Mariah.
Sharon placed flowers on Cassie's grave, and she said that sometimes she just needed to be with Cassie. She added that Cassie always felt nearby, but she liked having time for the two of them to catch up. Sharon said that Cassie would have been proud of Faith, and she saw Cassie in Faith, who was living the wonderful life that Cassie should have had. Sharon fought back tears and said that she didn't want Cassie to think that she was sad or broken, since she had many people to care about and to look after, including Mariah.
Sharon thought that it would have been surreal if Cassie had met Mariah, and she wondered what kind of influence Cassie would have had over Mariah. Sharon mused that Mariah hadn't been as lucky as she and Cassie had been, and she flashed back to a young Cassie thanking Sharon for taking care of her. Sharon said that she was grateful for the years she'd had with Cassie, and she swore that Cassie was in her heart and soul and that Cassie could never be replaced. Sharon added that loving Cassie had taught her how to make new memories with Noah and Faith, and perhaps she could make more with Mariah.
Sharon called Cassie her heart and conscience, but she said that Cassie had also been her first-born, and it was a wonderful thing that Mariah reminded her of Cassie. Sharon said that Mariah hadn't heard the right things about Cassie in the right way, and she wanted Mariah to know who Cassie had been. Sharon contemplated asking Mariah to join her at the cemetery the next time, and she said that she missed Cassie.
Mariah poured drinks at the Underground, and Nick asked if she was running the bar by herself. She replied that she could handle it and that she liked the tips, and he complimented her efforts. She said that her mother had been mostly useless, but her mom had taught her how to use a cocktail shaker. Mariah recalled that her mother had considered herself to be a free spirit, but it hadn't been easy for a flake to hold down a job as a pediatric nurse. Mariah grumbled that it was ironic because her mom wasn't a kid person, and she imagined that her mother had liked the fact that she could hand the kids back to their parents right away.
Nick remarked that it had been weird that Helen had called out of nowhere, and Mariah questioned why he cared about her mom. Nick claimed that he didn't, but he cared about Mariah. Nick sympathized that it couldn't have been easy to not be able to trust the person closest to her, but Mariah replied that she didn't see it that way. Mariah suggested that perhaps she was an old soul who hadn't needed parents, but Nick countered that all kids needed someone to count on. Mariah explained that she and Helen hadn't understood one another, and she'd never known families didn't have to be that way until she'd spent time with Nick and Sharon. Nick asked if Mariah had ever wondered why Helen hadn't had it in her to be a parent.
Mariah prepared to wipe down the tables before her boss noticed she was slacking off, but Nick volunteered to take care of closing the club. He explained that he'd dumped a lot on her to make her prove herself because of her connection to Ian, but he thought that she was too tough and smart to let anyone push her around. Nick pointed out that not having a mom around had made Mariah fend for herself, and he asked if Mariah had any siblings, but Mariah quipped that one child had been too many for Helen. Mariah conceded that Helen had been a young mother, but Nick said that people had to step up if they had a kid. Mariah offered to invent a new drink, but Nick insisted that she was off the clock.
Mariah went home and found Sharon eating ice cream right out of the carton, and she teased that Sharon should be wearing fuzzy pink slippers and watching a chick flick. Sharon handed Mariah a spoon and asked about work, and Mariah informed her that Nick was closing up. Mariah asked if Sharon had done anything fun that day, and Sharon simply replied that she was happy Mariah was there, since Mariah felt like family. Sharon considered herself to be a lucky woman.
Nick made some notes about what he'd found out about Helen, and he heard someone enter the club. He yelled that the bar was closed, but a woman said that he'd made it clear he'd wanted to see her. She introduced herself as Helen Copeland.
At Crimson Lights, Avery informed Dylan that Leslie had called an important meeting, and she suggested that she and Dylan grab dinner later. Paul entered, and Dylan was surprised to see him, since he'd thought Paul had still been at the cabin, but Paul declared that it had been time to get back to reality. Paul inquired about the broken furniture, and Avery revealed that Dylan had gotten upset when Ian had dropped by. Dylan clarified that he'd trashed the place after Ian had left, and it had made him feel better. Avery departed, and Dylan asked if Paul intended to give him a lecture.
Paul questioned what was really going on with Dylan, but Dylan replied that Paul was out of luck if he wanted a confession. Paul offered to listen if Dylan wanted to talk about Ian or the reporters, and he revealed that the press had found him at the cabin. Paul imagined that it had been worse for Dylan, and he wondered if that was why Dylan had smashed the chairs. Dylan swore that he wasn't looking for trouble, and Paul remarked that he'd heard it before.
Dylan argued that it was no one's business if he had broken a chair or two in his own place, and Paul assured him that he didn't consider Dylan's actions right or wrong, but he felt a sense of responsibility toward Dylan. Paul recognized that he had his own hang-ups about his issues with Ricky, and it was important that Dylan know that Paul cared about him. Dylan pointed out that Paul could have said that up front, and Paul explained that he didn't know how they would go from where they'd been to being father and son. Dylan replied that maybe they wouldn't.
A confused Paul recalled that Dylan had fought to get well to have a chance to get to know Paul, and Dylan confirmed that he wanted that, but they couldn't force a relationship they didn't have. Paul compared it to his situation with Heather, who had been resentful because he hadn't spent more time with her, and he encouraged Dylan to talk to her. Dylan pointed out that he'd had a family and a childhood that he'd loved, and learning that he'd been adopted hadn't changed any of that. Paul thought that Dylan could make room in his life for a new family, and Dylan explained that he was still reeling from finding out the truth about his parentage, so he wasn't at that point yet. Paul held on to the hope that one day, Dylan would feel the same way Paul did.
Dylan asked about Paul's recovery, and Paul said that he still had a bit of pain and that his energy wasn't quite back to normal, but he was fine. Dylan wished that he had handled the day of the shooting differently, but Paul told him to stop beating himself up, since the only guy who had been responsible was about to face the consequences in court. Dylan snarled that he couldn't wait to see Austin pay for what he'd done.
At the Athletic Club, Kelly was visibly relieved to see Jack, and he noted that she'd sounded upset on a message she'd left him. She informed him that Neil had been in an accident, but she didn't have any further details. He suggested that they go to the hospital, but she said that she was covering for Lily, and she urged him to go on his own. Jack refused to leave Kelly alone, since she was obviously shaken, and she confided that the situation reminded her of Sam.
Kelly hoped that Lily would call with the good news that Neil was okay, and Jack called Neil a great friend and sponsor. Jack recounted that Neil and Phyllis had helped him kick his addiction to pills, and Kelly asked about his trip. Jack admitted that it had been harder than he'd thought, but he had needed to do it. He confirmed that he had said goodbye to Phyllis and that he was ready to move on with Kelly, and Kelly rushed into his arms.
Jack said that the news wasn't supposed to make Kelly cry, and she acknowledged that it had taken a lot for him to get to that place, given the history and love Jack and Phyllis had shared. Jack conceded that he had mixed feelings, but there couldn't be beginnings without endings. Kelly encouraged him not to think of it that way, since what he'd had with Phyllis had made him who he was, and Phyllis would always be with him. Jack said that he'd made peace with it, and he was happy to be there with Kelly. They kissed as Avery spotted them.
Avery greeted Jack and Kelly, and she mentioned that she'd touched base with Summer, since Austin's trial was going to start the next day. Avery thought that Summer was putting on a brave front, and Jack recognized that it would be hard for Summer to survive the trial, especially if Austin was convicted. Jack pledged to deal with it as a family to get through it together, and Avery squirmed when she noticed Jack and Kelly holding hands. Avery retreated to her table, and Kelly thought that Avery had been pleasant, considering that Avery had just seen her sister's fiancé with another woman. Jack reasoned that Avery also had to face reality, just like he had.
A frazzled Leslie rushed in and apologized for being late, and she informed Avery that Neil was in the hospital after he'd been found unconscious. Avery asked what had happened, and Leslie rambled that he'd been electrocuted and that she had been able to tell from Barton's tone that it was bad. Avery urged Leslie to go to the hospital, but Leslie didn't want to upset Neil's wife or family. Leslie resolved to concentrate on business, and she turned the topic to Austin's trial. Leslie requested Avery's help to keep Austin out of jail by writing a letter to the court on Austin's behalf.
Leslie contended that Avery's opinion could make or break the case, and she pointed out that Avery had talked Leslie into representing him. Avery defended that she'd done it for Summer, and she'd felt she'd owed Austin for putting his mother's murderer back on the streets. Avery said that she needed to think about how Dylan would react, since he'd been furious when she'd taken on Austin's case, and she didn't want more people to get hurt. Leslie argued that Austin had lost his mother under tragic circumstances, and she conceded that he'd handled it badly, but he could either spend 20 years with rapists and killers, or he could atone on the outside in a positive way. Leslie recalled that Avery had always been about justice, and she questioned which scenario seemed just to Avery.
Avery returned to the coffeehouse, and Dylan asked her how things had gone with Leslie. Avery replied that her meeting hadn't gone as expected, and Paul said that he'd see them in court the next day. After Paul left, Avery remarked that the situation had seemed awkward, and Dylan said that at least he and Paul had agreed about the satisfaction they'd feel when Austin was convicted. Avery revealed that Leslie wanted her to write a letter of support for Austin, and she'd agreed in order to make things right. Dylan turned away, and Avery questioned whether he planned to just walk away from her. He testily asked if anything he said would change her mind.
Summer called out for Austin, who had just returned to their apartment after a run, and he lamented that he hadn't been able to keep his mind off his trial. Summer announced that she'd decided to do something about it, and she handed him a paper heart and wished him a happy Valentine's Day. She turned on one of his favorite songs, and he gushed that it was perfect. She presented him with a cake adorned with candy hearts, and he said it was the best cake he'd ever had, but they laughed and shook their heads when they tasted the frosting.
Summer and Austin read the inscriptions on the candy hearts, and he selected one that said, "kiss me." She obliged, but her phone rang with a call from Jack, and Austin noted that it could be about her mom. Jack informed her that he'd just gotten back, and he wished that he could report that Phyllis was doing better, but Summer realized that it had been too much to hope for. Jack assured her that nothing was worth giving up hope, especially as Austin's trial began. Jack volunteered to stop by so they could talk, but she wanted to have a night alone with Austin. Jack swore to be there for her the next day and every day thereafter, and Summer sadly surmised that he expected that Austin wouldn't be.
Summer said that it had been thoughtful of Jack to call, especially since he was probably wiped out after seeing her mom. Austin sympathized that it was hard on Summer not to be able to do anything to help Phyllis, and Summer imagined that their moms would have been really good friends. Summer presented Austin with a day planner as a gift, and she explained that she wanted him to see on paper all the holidays and other occasions they'd celebrate. He started to contemplate what would happen if things didn't work out, but she cut him off and ordered him not to say that they wouldn't be together.
Austin agreed that he needed to stay positive, and he said that he'd take the day planner with him to court and look at it whenever things got rough. She said that anything was possible, and he replied that she made him want to believe it. Summer swore that everything would work out, and Austin wished he'd had someone like her in his life sooner to give him hope. He said that she'd made him happier than he'd ever thought he could be, and they kissed. He picked her up and carried her upstairs, where they had sex and declared their love.
Kelly noticed that Jack appeared to be lost in thought, and he expressed concern about Summer, who had seemed to be willing herself to keep it together. Kelly imagined that his phone call had helped, and she wished that there was more she could do without overstepping. Jack was glad that Summer and Kelly had been getting along, but he worried about what would happen when Summer found out that he was moving on from Phyllis. Jack expected Summer to be disappointed and angry, but he'd worked hard to accept her relationship with Austin, so he hoped that she'd accept that Kelly was the woman he wanted to spend his life with.
Kelly suggested that she and Jack head to the hospital at the end of her workday, but Jack observed that she looked exhausted, and she said it had been a long day. Jack opted to call the hospital in the morning, and he invited her to go home with him. She thought that he had a lot on his mind, but he said that he'd get through the night better with her there, and she agreed to be there for him.
At the clinic in Georgia, a nurse mused to Phyllis that her handsome fiancé's show of support indicated that he loved Phyllis a lot. The nurse stated that he had just been there to see her, and she promised that they were taking good care of her engagement ring. The nurse looked at a photo of Summer and commented that Phyllis' daughter was beautiful. She imagined that Summer's father and Phyllis were proud, and she exited. Phyllis' monitor started to beep rapidly.
Faith and Sharon returned home, and Faith didn't understand why she'd been sent home from her friend's house. Mariah looked on as Sharon told Faith that Peyton's mom had called, and there were some things they needed to talk about. Mariah handed Faith a cookie as a substitute for the birthday cake the girl had missed out on, and Sharon suggested that Faith eat it while they talked. Sharon mentioned that Faith had told the other kids that she was a love child, and Mariah gasped. Faith explained that a reporter had referred to Dylan as one, and she'd learned that it meant that a mom and dad hadn't been married when they'd had a baby.
Sharon conceded that she and Nick hadn't been married when Faith had been born, but it wasn't a nice thing to call someone. Faith wished that her parents were married so people would stop asking about it, and Sharon recounted that Nick had explained that they weren't ready. Faith chirped that a wedding would be fun, but Sharon maintained that the important thing was that they'd always be a family. Mariah smiled uncomfortably as Sharon and Faith hugged.
Mariah ran her fingers over Nick and Sharon's wedding album, and Sharon returned from tucking Faith in. Mariah commended Sharon for handling the situation well and for sending the message that different types of relationships were okay. Mariah claimed that Faith had said that Nick had refused to marry Sharon, and Sharon clarified that she'd been the one who'd put it off, but she'd become less resistant to the idea. Faith called out that she couldn't find Miss Patsy, and Sharon went upstairs. Mariah looked through the photos in the wedding album, but she suddenly closed it and rushed out. Sharon returned downstairs but discovered that Mariah had left.
At the Underground, Nick said that he hadn't known that Helen had received his messages, so he was surprised that she'd shown up. He offered her a drink, and at first she declined, but she ordered bourbon after he told her it was on the house. She questioned why anyone would bother drinking if they had to hide the taste with something else, and Nick remarked that she was a no-nonsense type of person. She quipped that what he saw was what he got, and he asked what she was doing there. She replied that it wasn't every day she got a call from Nick Newman, and he said that he had questions about her daughter.
Nick informed Helen that Mariah worked at the bar, and Helen seemed stunned that Mariah was in Genoa City. Nick questioned whether Mariah hadn't mentioned it when Helen had talked to her, and Helen said that she and Mariah didn't have the easiest relationship. Nick revealed that Mariah had been upset that Helen had hit her up for money, and Helen contended that someone who'd grown up with a silver sippy cup didn't have the right to judge. Nick admitted that he was concerned about Mariah's association with Ian, who had done nothing but cause trouble for the Newman family, and he was sure that Ian wasn't done yet. Nick topped off Helen's drink, and he declared his determination to stop whatever Ian had planned. He demanded that Helen tell him what her and Mariah's involvement was with Ian.
Helen denied being involved with Ian, but Nick found it interesting that Ian, Mariah, and Helen were all in Genoa City at the same time. Helen reiterated that she hadn't known Mariah was living there, and she couldn't remember the last time she'd had contact with Ian. Helen asserted that she wouldn't even have been there if Nick hadn't left word, but he suspected that she was hiding something. He asked why Mariah had used the fact that she looked exactly like his dead daughter to gaslight the mother of his children, and he commanded that Helen tell him what she knew.
Helen swore that she'd had no idea that Mariah resembled anyone, and Nick asked if Ian had known. Helen chalked it up to being a coincidence, and Nick inquired about what Helen's story was, since he was intrigued by why she'd chosen not to raise Mariah. Helen defended that Mariah had had food and shelter, but Nick admonished her for choosing to leave Mariah with Ian. Helen blurted out that she hadn't wanted Mariah in the first place, and it had all been Ian's idea. She added that some people weren't cut out to be parents, and she grumbled that she should have known better than to think she'd get something out of the trip.
Later, in the park, Ian met with Helen and coldly asked why she was in Genoa City. He warned her not to contact Mariah, who had created a good life and didn't need Helen to interfere. Helen informed him that she'd just found out that Mariah had moved there, and she ordered him to shut up and listen. Helen revealed that she'd received a voicemail from Nick, so she'd paid him a visit, and he'd asked a lot of questions about Helen, Mariah, and Ian. A hidden Nick eavesdropped from behind the bushes.
Ian inquired about Nick's questions, and Helen divulged that Nick had been curious about how she, Mariah, and Ian were connected and what their intentions were. Ian hoped that Helen had kept her mouth shut, and she snapped to give her some credit. Helen crowed that Nick had no idea who Mariah really was as Nick taped the conversation on his phone.
Mariah raced into the Underground and called Nick's name, but no one was there. Mariah fantasized that Nick appeared, and she said that he couldn't go through with marrying Sharon and that she knew why. Nick replied that Sharon wasn't the one he wanted -- Mariah was, and he kissed her. Mariah smiled to herself.