At the Top of the Tower, Victoria and Michael discussed Victor while a fierce thunderstorm brewed outside. After a loud thunderclap startled Victoria, she quipped that the intense weather might be the result of Victor's anger toward her and the rest of the family. Michael noted that Victor's predicament had arisen from the consequences of his actions. Victoria asked Michael about Victor's defense strategy. Michael replied, "Do you and the rest of the Newman family really want me to have Victor acquitted?" Victoria explained that she at least hoped her father might make an effort to change.
Michael warned Victoria that people like Victor rarely changed and often convinced themselves that everyone else was wrong. Michael promised to carry out justice. Lauren arrived. Before she left, Victoria thanked Michael for handling Victor's case. After Victoria walked away, Lauren said, "So she believes you're on Victor's side. What's going to happen when she realizes you are defending her father all the way to a guilty verdict?" Michael locked eyes with Lauren, but he didn't elaborate.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Neil ensured that preparations were in place before the Abbott-Winters Foundation gala commenced. Lily and Cane proudly told Neil that Cane had moved back home. Jack celebrated his friends' good news, too. Jack said he doubted that Billy would attend the gala. After Cane and Lily went to check the generators, Neil told Jack that John Abbott would be proud of his son for helping people. The two men discussed selecting people to serve on the foundation's board of directors.
In Billy's hotel suite, Phyllis and Billy congratulated each other for working out a satisfactory plan with Jack for their PassKey security software. Billy encouraged Phyllis to return to the dining room and celebrate with her husband. Phyllis wouldn't allow Billy to back out of attending the fundraiser, so she searched through his closet and found his tuxedo. Billy waited in his underwear while Phyllis sewed a button on his trousers. Victoria happened by and noticed that Billy was pulling on his trousers.
Victoria, miffed, said she'd had no idea Billy and Phyllis were in the middle of a meeting. Phyllis explained that she'd just sewn a button back on Billy's trousers. Victoria told Billy that she hoped to break the stereotype of the Newmans hating the Abbotts by making an appearance downstairs at the gala. Billy said he'd meet her there. After Victoria left, Phyllis encouraged Billy to sweep Victoria off her feet. Billy said it was time for him to start a new life, which he planned to do by finding another place to live. Phyllis was intrigued when Billy said he'd already acquired a new home.
At the hospital, Luca, sporting a black eye, approached Summer. Noah and Marisa joined them just as Summer asked Luca if he planned to press charges against Noah. Marisa asked Luca not to involve the police because the fight had broken the terms of Noah's probation. Luca warned that Noah's temper might jeopardize his suspended sentence. Summer pleaded with Luca not to press charges, and he agreed. Luca told Marisa that he wouldn't sign their divorce papers until Noah could prove he wouldn't hurt her when his temper flared. Marisa was shocked when she learned that Summer had invited Luca to the Abbott-Winters gala.
Noah and Marisa stopped by Crimson Lights before heading to the gala. Marisa and Noah argued about Luca, and Noah's temper flared. Noah handed over his car keys and told Marisa to greet Luca when she arrived at the gala alone. Noah abruptly left. Despondent, Marisa twirled her engagement ring and seemed lost in thought. Noah returned and apologized for letting Luca get to him. Noah promised to change and offered to call off the engagement until he proved himself worthy. Marisa accepted Noah's apology and said her ring would never leave her finger. The couple kissed.
Inside Hilary's office at Jabot, Hilary showed off the dress she'd chosen to wear to the gala. Devon was impressed. When Ashley stepped into the office to deliver a report she and Dr. Neville had prepared, Hilary angry snapped at Ashley for failing to knock first. The women traded snarky comments about their party apparel. Ashley, however, stood her ground against Hilary, who glared at Ashley.
After Ashley left, Hilary requested that she and Devon donate a million dollars to the Abbott-Winters Foundation. She admitted she wasn't thrilled that Jack's last name had been listed first, though Neil had spearheaded the foundation. Devon asked Hilary if she was the one yearning for notoriety, even after she'd already seized Ashley's title and taken over her office space. Hilary seductively pressed her body close to Devon's and purred that she could back off. Devon replied, "Don't back off. The closer the better, actually."
Hilary and Devon arrived at the gala. Hilary immediately approached Jack and told him that she hoped to be a major participant in the Abbott-Winters Foundation. Jack stepped away to take a phone call, so Hilary schmoozed with Cane, Lily, and Neil. Neil told Hilary he was aware of how much she desired a seat on the board of directors. After Hilary suggested that she could raise a great deal of money, Lily noted that the money in question was Devon's.
Hilary later overheard Jack offer a seat on the board to Ashley. Hilary rushed over to Devon. Hilary told Devon that Jack had offered a seat to Ashley. Hilary said she refused to be upstaged by Ashley and would fight her. Devon seemed troubled. Hilary listened from a distance when Jack told Neil that Ashley would sit on the board, though Ashley hadn't yet formally accepted the position.
Abby, Ben, Max, Ashley, and Neville arrived. Max, with Ashley on his arm, marveled at Ashley's beauty. Neville agreed. Ben and Ashley were overjoyed when Abby suddenly felt the baby flutter inside her womb. When the storm caused a temporary loss of power, Max kept close to Ashley for comfort. Ben said he should drive Abby home. Ashley reported that the storm had worsened, so everyone should stay put. Max clung to Ben. Abby said she'd rest upstairs in a room by herself, so Ashley could assist Jack.
After Victoria arrived, Jack explained that Billy would be detained because he and Phyllis had other business to attend to first. Jack told Victoria he was sorry that her relationship with Billy had ended, though he imagined Victor was happy. Victoria said the only people Victor would talk to were Summer and Michael. Victoria said she had confidence in Michael and knew that Victor wouldn't give up without a fight.
Summer arrived and overhead Victoria's comment. Summer said, "Can you blame Grandpa? I mean, his family has totally turned against him. He only has himself right now, but luckily that's when he's at his best." Victoria noted that Victor was at his worst. Jack defended Victoria and reminded Summer that Victor had wreaked havoc in many people's lives. Victoria wasn't thrilled when she learned that Summer had taken Luca to the gala.
Michael and Lauren arrived at the gala and privately briefly discussed Michael's plan to sabotage Victor's defense. Cane told Lily they should return home to comfort their children before the storm trapped them. Lauren and Michael overheard and congratulated Cane and Lily's decision to reconcile. Neil and Jack gathered the remaining guests together. Neil announced that the Abbott-Winters Foundation would create recovery centers across the country. Neil explained that the centers would assist recovering addicts and help them transition into the real world after rehabilitation.
Jack agreed that the Abbott-Winters Foundation would serve as a support system for anyone needing help. Jack noted that countries all over the world could also benefit. Jack explained that the Abbott-Winters Foundation would provide medical care to treat communicable diseases, provide support after environmental disasters, and help set up computers in schools at remote locations. Guests applauded after Neil and Jack announced how their foundation could help people all over the globe.
Hilary approached Neil and whipped out a check for a million dollars. Hilary challenged the Abbott family to offer the same support. Ashley stood next to Jack and pledged a million dollars. Later, Hilary bragged to Devon about publicly challenging Ashley. Hilary boasted that she might end up running the foundation.
Luca approached Victoria. Victoria said she hadn't expected to see Luca. He said he was a fan of good causes. Victoria noted that Luca was a fan of anything that benefited himself. Victoria said, "What were you doing talking to Newman's IT director?" Luca said they had a mutual interest. Victoria suggested Luca's aim was to undercut her position as CEO. Luca replied, "Maybe it's time for you to start living up to your reputation as the tough businesswoman everyone thinks you are, or you may find yourself following your daddy out the door."
Michael and Lauren quickly approached Luca and Victoria. Michael said, "Is there a problem?" Luca said there wasn't and abruptly walked away. Victoria told Michael that she needed to see her father right away. Michael said Victor wouldn't see her. Victoria explained that if Victor knew what was at stake he would see her, and she pleaded with Michael to set up a meeting. After Victoria walked away, Lauren noted that Victoria considered Luca Santori to be a threat. Michael replied, "It'll be worse if my plan works, and I lose Victor's case. Victoria won't have anyone to watch her back."
Billy escorted Phyllis into Katherine's mansion, which was in the process of being remodeled and redecorated. Billy explained that his mother had signed over the home to him. Billy said he'd promised to reserve one bedroom for Jill and Colin whenever they stopped by. Billy noted that the house, with its gloomy blue-grey walls, seemed cold. Phyllis said the house needed love and people to share it with Billy. Billy thanked Phyllis for her support.
Billy told Phyllis about his plans to build an outside play structure for his kids. A loud thunderclap made Phyllis shriek. Billy said he and Phyllis should make their way to the Genoa City Athletic Club because Jack was probably wondering where they were. Billy and Phyllis sought shelter back inside the mansion when they discovered that a large tree had fallen and blocked Billy's car. Phyllis shivered from the cold and both she and Billy shed their wet coats.
Without power or cell phone service, Billy offered to light a fire. Phyllis asked Billy if he planned to chop wood from the downed tree. While Billy searched for wine, Phyllis used an old rocking chair to build a fire in the fireplace. Billy and Phyllis sat together, covered with a blanket, in front of the fire and sipped wine. Phyllis toasted to Billy's new home. Billy toasted Phyllis as the woman who knew how to make things happen.
At Sage and Nick's penthouse, Faith tucked a pillow under her shirt during a game of charades, and Sage guessed that Faith was a kangaroo with a watermelon in her pouch. Faith chirped that she was Shawn, and she playfully threw the pillow at Nick, who scooped the girl up and tickled her. Shawn asked if it was legal to tickle someone in a pillow fight, and Nick declared that he got to make all the rules. Sage flashed back to overhearing Nick tell Shawn that Shawn had every right to keep her baby, and Nick called to Sage and asked if everything was all right.
Sage suggested that they play charades on teams, and Nick whispered something into Faith's ear. He picked Faith up, and she pretended to be flying. Sage and Shawn guessed that Faith was Supergirl, and Faith explained to Shawn that it was Nick's nickname for Summer. Nick and Shawn acted out a bullfight, and Sage led Faith to get some snacks in the kitchen. Shawn noted that Faith really loved Nick, and Nick said he loved his daughter, too. Shawn gushed that Faith and Sage were lucky to have him.
Nick prepared to take Faith home, and Shawn suggested that she and Faith team up the next time. After Nick and Faith left, Sage remarked that it hadn't been bad for a stormy night, but Shawn thought Nick had seemed distracted. Sage referred to Victor's legal issues, but Shawn worried that Nick was concerned about a stranger living in his apartment. Sage assured Shawn that they were all glad to have a chance to get to know her, and she said Shawn would always be special to them. Shawn thanked Sage for being nice to her, and Sage reiterated that they were all in it together.
Sage noticed Shawn clutching her belly, and Shawn reported that a Braxton-Hicks contraction had just subsided. Sage insisted on going to the hospital, and Shawn later informed Sage that a doctor had confirmed that Shawn was fine to go home. Sage protested that Shawn couldn't leave, but Nick walked in, and Shawn asked what he thought. Nick pulled Sage into the corridor to talk, and he stressed that Shawn didn't want or need to be there.
Sage fretted that they'd be unable to help Shawn if something happened at their apartment, but Nick swore that it wasn't the same thing as what they'd gone through with Christian. Nick promised that he'd get Shawn medical attention if she needed it, but she didn't need it then, and she wanted to go home. Sage reluctantly agreed, and she admitted that worrying about things that could go wrong was harder than she'd thought it would be.
At the Athletic Club, Jack called Paul to report that he hadn't been able to reach Billy or Phyllis during the storm, and he informed Neil that Paul had offered to have his officers keep an eye out. Neil bet that Phyllis and Billy had found somewhere safe to take shelter, but Jack knew he wouldn't be able to relax until he knew his wife and brother were safe.
At the Chancellor mansion, Phyllis and Billy waited out the storm by sipping wine in front of a fire, and she toasted to day one of his new life. He thanked her for the pep talk about moving into the place, and she recalled that Katherine had lived a good life there. He envisioned starting his life after Victoria, and he told Phyllis not to try to convince him that he and Victoria could get back together, since he was feeling the best he'd felt in a while. Phyllis remarked that as far as storms went, it was a pretty good one, and they clinked their glasses together.
Phyllis mentioned that she and Jack had been dealing with their relationship like actual adults, and she believed that things would only get better for all of them as soon as Victor was sentenced. Billy admitted that he was almost afraid to dream that it would happen, and she proclaimed that it was written in stone that Victor would be convicted. Billy thought she sounded certain, but he pointed out that Victor had weaseled out of jams before. Phyllis confidently declared that there was no other possible outcome than Victor going down.
Billy guessed that Phyllis was up to something, and he remembered from their Restless Style days that it was better to be with her than against her. She acknowledged that Billy understood better than anyone what it was like to go up against Victor, since Victor had treated them both like they hadn't even been people. She condemned Victor for showing no guilt or shame, and she wanted to take away his humanity the way he had taken hers. Phyllis observed that the fire was dying, and Billy started to get up to get more wood, but he lost his balance. Phyllis toppled onto him when she tried to help steady him, and they shared a passionate kiss.
Phyllis suddenly pulled back, and Billy apologized and muttered Jack's name. Phyllis swore that it wasn't who they were, and they agreed not to ever talk about what had just happened. She vowed to get to the club even if they had to walk there, and he suggested that they try to flag down a cab. They found a police officer outside the front door, and Phyllis stammered that they'd been trapped in the storm. The cop said he'd seen their car outside and had run the plates, and he mentioned that Jack had been worried about them.
As the fundraiser wrapped up at the club, Hilary haughtily stated with a fake smile that she was glad her financial contribution had inspired Ashley to do the same, and Ashley sweetly replied that it had been her pleasure as the newest member of the foundation's board. Devon led Hilary away to say goodbye to the guests, and Simon suggested that he run some tests to see if anything more than adrenalin had put color back in Ashley's cheeks.
Lauren overheard Michael advising Victor over the phone to hear Victoria out. After Michael hung up, Lauren questioned whether it was a good idea for Victor and Victoria to be together, and Michael explained that he had to maintain the façade of trying to get Victor free. Michael looked suspicious when he spotted Summer leading Luca away.
Jack thanked Devon for his generous donation, and Hilary added that the cause was close to her heart because she'd lost her mother to alcoholism. She rattled off a list of ways she could help the organization, but Devon steered her away. Ashley approached Jack, who recognized that Hilary had practically coerced Ashley into donating, but Ashley asserted that Hilary hadn't made her do anything. Jack imagined that Hilary could be useful under the right circumstances, and he recognized that she wanted to be on the board in the worst way. Ashley pointed out that it had looked good to give back, and she wondered where Billy and Phyllis were. Jack worried that Phyllis and Billy were plotting something behind his back again.
Jack explained that Phyllis and Billy thought alike, and both of them were preoccupied with taking Victor down. Ashley recalled that Jack had also once been on the offensive, but Jack said he'd cautioned Phyllis that she'd lose if she played Victor's games, and he didn't know what else Phyllis wanted. Simon returned to take Ashley home, and Jack tried to reach Phyllis again without success.
Neil thanked Lauren and Michael for attending, and he commented that it would be interesting to see how Victor's trial played out. The Baldwins left, and Luca asked Summer if Michael was defending Victor. Summer mentioned that Victor and Michael had been friends for years, but Luca noted that Michael was also friends with Jack, and he was surprised that Michael would defend Jack's enemy. Summer realized that Luca found the topic fascinating, and he tried to cover by saying that she was fascinating to him, but she didn't buy it.
Luca remarked to Jack that he admired Phyllis' guts for convincing Michael to throw Victor's case. Jack snarled that it was none of Luca's business, and he ordered Luca not to share it with anyone else. Later, Phyllis and Billy arrived at the club, and Luca assured Phyllis that he had her back, since he knew about Michael's plan to get Victor convicted. Phyllis asked if he was insane, and Jack condemned Luca for not keeping his mouth shut.
Summer joined Jack, Phyllis, Billy, and Luca and remarked that Jack had been cute when he'd been worried about Phyllis, and she asked if Luca was ready to go. Luca claimed that he'd remembered another obligation, but he promised to make it up to Summer, and she walked him out. Billy realized that the plan for Michael to defend Victor was why Phyllis was confident that Victor would be convicted, and he praised the idea. Jack demanded to know where Phyllis and Billy had been and what they'd been doing.
Billy said he'd wanted Phyllis to see his new home, since Jill had signed the Chancellor mansion over to him. Phyllis explained that she'd tried to call Jack, but she'd lost her signal, and a fallen tree had blocked their path. Billy thanked Jack for sending the cops, and Jack reported that the fundraiser had been a terrific success. Billy excused himself to go home to build a playhouse for the kids, and Summer said she was also leaving. Summer mentioned that Luca had asked some odd questions before he'd suddenly canceled their plans, and Jack guessed that Luca had been figuring out what other players to latch onto. Phyllis cautioned that Luca was all about getting ahead, and she didn't want Summer to spend too much time with him.
After Summer took off, Phyllis tried to turn the topic to the money raised at the event, but Jack insisted on talking about Billy. Jack asked how Phyllis thought Billy was doing, and she replied that Billy was focused on a new start and no longer holding out hope that Victoria would run back to him. Phyllis suggested that Jack give Billy a seat on the board, but Jack said he'd already offered one to Ashley, and he thought Billy wanted to concentrate on the PassKey rollout. Phyllis stressed that Billy was in an excellent place, and she wanted only good things for him. Jack called Billy a lucky man to have her as his sister-in-law, and he thought he was a lucky man to have her, too. They hugged.
Hilary and Devon retreated to their hotel suite, and she said the event had gone well, but it would have been better if she'd gotten a seat on the board. She thanked him for backing her up, and he assured her that she was remarkable with or without a seat on the board, but she was adamant that they do more. Hilary thought Katherine had expected big things from Devon, and Hilary wanted the whole world to see that she could make a difference. Hilary threw her arms around Devon and fantasized about running the town.
Later, Devon returned downstairs, and Neil asked why Devon wasn't upstairs with his wife. Devon asked Neil not to put Hilary on the board, but Neil pointed out that Hilary had made it clear that she wanted a seat. Devon replied that it was exactly why he didn't want her to get it.
At the jail, Victoria told Victor that there was a problem at Newman, and he retorted that she could deal with it without his help. She argued that if he listened to her, he'd know that she was there to help him. Victoria contended that there was a threat to their company and their family, and she wondered whether or not Victor gave "a damn" or not. Victoria relayed that Luca was angling to get back into Newman again, and Victor revealed that Luca had already approached him about letting Luca save the company. Victor called Luca a fool, and he also considered Victoria to be one for being intimidated by Luca.
Victor ordered Victoria to handle the problem as CEO, but she protested that Luca was also targeting Summer. Victor barked that Victoria was wasting his time, and she inquired whether he had a more pressing engagement. Victoria told him not to act like he didn't care, and she suggested that they work together to see if Luca was planning a power play. Victor recommended that she go to Adam if she needed an ally, and he suggested that she let Adam assume the CEO position. Victoria pointed out that Adam had moved on, but Victor contended that Adam was lying to himself and to Victor, and he hoped Adam realized it in enough time to save the company.
Victoria asserted that the board had granted her the responsibility of being CEO, but Victor growled that he would take it away. She told him to "go to hell," and she snapped that he could hardly put her in her room when he was the only one with a curfew. He blamed her for his situation, and she scoffed at the idea that he'd done nothing wrong. She maintained that she loved him and hated seeing him in there, but he bellowed for her to "get the hell out." She swore that she wouldn't return again, and she pledged to never again be stupid enough to think that they could work things out. She stormed out.
Billy returned to his hotel suite, and Victoria arrived at his door. He asked if the kids were okay, and she said she'd really needed to see him. Victoria groused that Victor had taken pleasure in seeing her hurt, and he'd wanted to pit her against Adam to fight for Victor's love and affection. Billy cut her off and asked why she was there, since she had plenty of people who would listen to her complain about Victor. Victoria noted that Billy knew what Victor was capable of, and Billy countered that she'd left him when he'd tried to do something about it.
Billy questioned whether he and Victoria were supposed to be bonding over Victor wreaking havoc again, and Victoria whined that she'd wanted to talk to someone who understood. Billy conceded that he had always understood, but it still didn't explain why she was there. A flustered Victoria said it had been a mistake, and Billy said he didn't want her to leave upset. She insisted that she would be fine, and she hurried out.
At Top of the Tower, Michael looked forward to enjoying drinks alone with his wife, and she noticed that the storm had passed. He commented that the real storm hadn't gotten there yet, and he hoped he hadn't lost his ability to lie. Lauren was sure that Michael would be able to pull off throwing Victor's case, but she admitted that the possibility of Victor finding out terrified her. Michael recognized that his career would be over if that happened, since Victor would take away everything Michael had and more.
Michael conceded that he might not be able to make Victor repent, but he could make Victor pay. Michael contemplated what would happen if he got caught, and he reasoned that disbarment wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, since it might be a signal to go in another direction. He pointed out that Fen was out of the house, and he took Lauren's hand and wondered if their adventure was just beginning. Michael promised that no one and nothing could hurt them anymore -- not even Victor Newman.
At the Jabot lab, Simon drew Ashley's blood, and she fretted that she'd gotten worse after she'd reached a plateau the last time. He offered to mix up a batch of slime to preoccupy her while they waited for the test results, but she swore that she could handle whatever it was. He sympathized that not knowing was torture, like death by a thousand cuts, and she said his bedside manner sucked. She told him that she could use some good news, and he softly replied that he would love nothing more than to say the words she wanted to hear.
Later, Simon's expression turned serious as he examined the test results. He nonchalantly stated that they were pretty good, and Ashley anxiously inquired how good they were. "Super duper good," he clarified, and he announced that she was recovering. She grinned broadly through her tears and squealed happily as she hugged him. They slowly started to pull apart, and they melted into a passionate kiss.
Luca visited Victor in jail and announced that he had information that Victor wanted, but he wondered what he would gain in exchange. Victor prompted him to continue, and Luca divulged that Michael intended to the throw the case and set Victor up for conviction. Luca added that Jack, Billy, and Phyllis all knew about it, and Luca thought he could be useful to Victor. Victor questioned whether Luca expected him to hand something over for information he'd already had, and Luca realized that it was part of Victor's plan to go free.
Victor warned Luca not to try to bargain with him, since Luca had stabbed him in the back. Victor called Luca a careless punk, and he ordered Luca to stay away from Summer. Luca swore that she wasn't part of his plan, since he was doing fine on his own. Victor accused Luca of also betraying Jack, and he ordered the "two-faced son of a bitch" to leave.
Adam gets an unexpected offer
Christine went to Adam and Chelsea's penthouse to talk to her "star witness," Adam, about Victor's trial, which was scheduled to begin the following day. Chelsea started to explain that Adam was in Chicago and probably wouldn't be back in time for the trial, but Adam interrupted, stepping into the penthouse to clarify that he was already back.
Adam assured Christine that he would be in court the following day to do his part to ensure that Victor would get convicted. Christine warned that Michael would try to capitalize on Adam's underlying love for Victor as well as the strain between Adam and his siblings, but Adam promised that he wouldn't waver. Satisfied, Christine showed herself out.
Chelsea guessed that Adam's resolve wasn't as strong as he had led Christine to believe, but when he started to deny the suspicion, she backed down and apologized for doubting him. Chelsea leaned in to kiss Adam, suggestively hinting that she wanted to properly welcome him back, but she soon pulled away with a groan, realizing that she was late for a meeting with Sharon.
Sharon awoke with a start, rousing Dylan in the process. When Dylan wondered what was wrong, Sharon reluctantly admitted that she had been having a recurring nightmare lately about the day of Sully's birth. Recalling that one of the first things she had noticed about Sully was that he didn't resemble Noah, Sharon explained that in her dream, she always reached that same conclusion then realized shortly afterward that Sully didn't exist at all.
"Sounds like anxiety," Dylan concluded. Dylan guessed that he was the source of Sharon's anxiety, since he had recently made a major change in his life, but Sharon insisted that he had never caused her any anxiety. Sharon started to add that she was proud of Dylan for deciding to pursue a career that gave him a true sense of fulfillment, but she stopped herself when she suddenly realized that she was late for a meeting about her own job.
Nick took Sage to the Athletic Club for breakfast, and while they were waiting for their food to arrive, they discussed the ongoing adoption process. Sage acknowledged that the adoption wasn't a done deal yet, and she admitted that she had been a bit overbearing lately. Sage promised to handle the situation better in the future. "Look, it's not a race or a contest; you don't have to prove anything to anyone," Nick assured Sage.
Sage observed, somewhat enviously, that Nick seemed to find it easy to interact with Shawn. Nick suspected that was because he had raised a couple teenagers and knew that they generally seemed to hate hypocrisy more than anything else. "Shawn is, naturally, very curious about us. She wants to make sure she's making the right decision. What she needs to see is who we are -- who we really are -- and all the reasons why we would be great parents to this baby. I think what needs to happen is we all need to be a little more open and honest with each other," Nick reasoned.
Chelsea soon arrived and greeted Nick and Sage. Spotting Sharon nearby, Chelsea explained that she couldn't stick around and chat because she was late for a work meeting. Chelsea made it clear that the job she had offered Sage was still available, and Sage quickly accepted, surprising Nick. Chelsea wondered if Sage could start right away. Nick assured Sage that he wouldn't mind eating breakfast alone, but shortly after she walked away with Chelsea, he received a text message and rushed off.
As Chelsea, Sage, and Sharon settled at an empty table, Sharon asked Sage how things were going with Shawn. Sage admitted that the situation had been challenging at times, prompting Chelsea to promise that it would all be worth it in the end, when Sage got to hold the baby for the first time.
"The first time I held Connor in my arms, it's like my life just changed profoundly; it's like everything just came together, you know?" Chelsea recalled. Sage wondered if Sharon had experienced similar feelings when she had held each of her kids for the first time. "Um...with Faith and Noah, yeah," Sharon distractedly confirmed while checking something on her tablet computer. "And Sully, too, I imagine?" Sage asked. Sharon forced a smile but remained silent.
Victoria asked some family members to meet her at Top of the Tower so they could go over a few things before Victor's trial began. Nikki was the first to arrive, and Victoria was quick to remind her that Victor needed to be held accountable for his actions. "If anyone changes their testimony, [this] could all fall apart," Victoria stressed. "What, you think I'm gonna be the one to cave?" Nikki asked incredulously.
Nikki promised that she wouldn't have a last-minute change of heart or turn to alcohol like she had all the other times she had been at odds with Victor. "What makes this time different?" Victoria wondered. "He's dying. Your father's soul is dying. And that's why I'm gonna walk in that courtroom tomorrow, dead sober, ready for anything that they might throw at me, because I am fighting for the Victor Newman that I married. He's a different person now. I have to fight to get him back," Nikki explained.
Victoria warned that it would be hard to face Victor and condemn him in open court. "Perhaps hardest for you," Nikki guessed. Conceding the point, Victoria predicted that Victor would never forgive her betrayal, and their relationship would never be able to survive what she was about to do to him. "That's a hard reality to face," Victoria admitted.
As Nikki started to point out that Victor wasn't the kind of person who left things to chance, Nick arrived with Noah and agreed that Victor would do everything in his power to try to control the result of the trial. "He's gonna come at us in ways we never even imagined. We have to be ready. I'm in," Nick added.
Victoria and Nikki were quick to agree, but Noah hesitated, thinking about something that had happened years earlier, on a day when he had wanted to hang out with his friends but had been forced to help out at the stables instead. Noah explained that he had eventually taken his frustration out on Summer and Faith. "[And Grandpa told me] that it's these ordinary, everyday moments that become extraordinary memories when a loved one is gone, so never take them for granted," Noah recalled.
As Nikki stood to give Noah a hug, Christine arrived and wondered if everyone was ready for the trial. Speaking for the group, Nick assured Christine that they would each tell the truth in court. Nikki agreed, adding that Victor couldn't be allowed to get away with his crimes. "What about Adam?" Noah asked. Christine said she had spoken to Adam earlier and was confident that he was just as committed to ensuring that justice would be served.
Paul entered Crimson Lights and greeted Dylan, who was going over some notes in preparation for the trial. Dylan wondered if Paul believed that Christine would be able to finally put Victor away for good. Paul admitted that, while Christine had a very strong case, Michael was a very competent attorney. Paul continued talking about the case but soon realized that Dylan's mind was elsewhere.
Dylan told Paul about Sharon's recurring nightmare. Dylan was hesitant to share his concerns with Paul because he knew that Fairview was a sensitive subject, but when Paul urged him to continue, he admitted that he felt like a lot of things had been left unresolved as a result of Paul's desire to quickly wrap up Anderson's murder investigation. "I just can't get these images out of my head, you know? On one hand, you've got Patty holding this stuffed cat [and] rocking back and forth [while] singing 'Hush, Little Baby,' and then on the other hand, Sharon's giving birth, and she starts having these weird dreams about the first day that she held Sully," Dylan added.
Paul assured Dylan that Anderson's revenge scheme hadn't involved Sharon in any way. Paul added that he wasn't surprised that Sharon was having nightmares about that time, since Anderson's brutal murder had overshadowed the birth of Sharon and Dylan's child. Before Dylan could respond, Sharon arrived and interrupted to announce that she had just finished a wonderful first day of work.
Paul excused himself so he could go say hello to Sully, who was with Esther in the back of the coffeehouse. Sharon told Dylan that an earlier conversation with Sage and Chelsea had stirred up more thoughts about the recurring nightmare. "I have these lingering, unsettled feelings. These dreams -- it's like they're telling me Sully doesn't really exist," Sharon mused. "Sully's real, he's amazing, and he's ours. You've got nothing to worry about," Dylan assured Sharon, but as they hugged, they each showed hints of doubt.
When Nick and Sage returned home, they were surprised to find that Shawn had taken it upon herself to start painting the nursery with some paint she had found in the kitchen. "Did I do something wrong?" Shawn wondered. Sage said that wasn't the case but added that she and Nick hadn't been completely honest with Shawn and would like to clear the air.
Sage explained that she had been a bit overbearing due to lingering fears and anxieties associated with losing Christian. Sage promised to try her best to give Shawn some breathing room but stressed that she didn't want Shawn to interpret that as a lack of interest in Shawn's welfare. Shawn was quick to take at least some of the blame for the issue. "I've been keeping score; I've been judging you, Sage, and that sucks. It's probably more pressure on you, and I didn't mean... I just don't know how to do this," Shawn admitted.
"We don't, either," Sage assured Shawn. Sage added that, as Nick had told her earlier, things would probably go more smoothly if the three of them simply started being more open and honest with each other. Nodding, Nick explained that he and Sage had been planning to paint the nursery themselves -- someday. "Once you were sure I wasn't gonna back out," Shawn guessed. Nick stammered, trying to think of a polite way to respond, but Shawn interrupted. "We're being honest, remember? So...here's me being honest: I couldn't imagine better, cooler parents for this baby," Shawn said.
Shawn quickly added that she was sorry about the mess she had made of the nursery in her effort to help. "I'm eight months pregnant!" Shawn pointed out as her defense. Laughing, Sage offered to help Shawn finish the task. Nick promised to join the women shortly then listened with a hint of concern as they headed upstairs while discussing Sage's new job.
At the Athletic Club, Michael assured Phyllis that he had no intention of backing out of his agreement to sabotage Victor's defense. Phyllis wondered what the potential roadblocks were. Michael answered that, while Summer would probably testify on Victor's behalf, her testimony wouldn't matter much if she was Victor's only advocate. "[But] it only takes one shaky Newman to destroy our whole plan," Michael warned.
Michael was most worried about Adam, and he guessed that Christine shared that concern. Phyllis dismissively insisted that Adam would probably volunteer to slip the noose around Victor's neck himself, but Michael wasn't convinced. "Never underestimate the influence Victor has over his less-than-favorite son," Michael warned before excusing himself.
Phyllis went to see Adam, who assured her that Victor's conviction was inevitable. "[But] are you sure that's enough to satisfy you?" Adam wondered, guessing that what Phyllis really wanted was to see Victor suffer pain and humiliation. Phyllis claimed that she just wanted to see justice served, but Adam wondered if what would probably be a very short stint in prison would qualify.
"It didn't end when Marco left our lives. It just -- the pain and the suffering that Jack and I are still repairing, the damage it has done to our marriage... It kills me every day I walk out of my house. Everybody knows me as the idiot woman who didn't even know she was with a man who wasn't her husband for months. So yeah, I want them to turn on Victor. I want them to judge him. And yes, I want him to suffer. And time in jail will only be a cherry on the top, because what will pummel him -- what will cripple him -- is losing the most precious thing he's got, and that's the love of his family. That's why I'm doing this; that's what I'm after," Phyllis admitted.
At the police station, Victor met with Michael, who outlined his strategy for the trial. Victor curiously observed that Michael seemed quite confident that the trial would go their way. Michael suggested that his confidence probably stemmed from the experience he had gained during his time as the district attorney, which had left him capable of predicting Christine's every move. Michael added, however, that Victor could always find another attorney if he was worried. "Why would I do that? I believe in you. You've given your word," Victor replied.
Later, after Michael left, Victor received another visitor: Adam, who warned that Phyllis could be dangerous. "Why are you really here?" Victor wondered. Adam suggested that it might be best for Victor to admit guilt and accept a plea bargain so he wouldn't have to be humiliated in front of his family in court. "Won't happen," Victor assured Adam, who wasn't convinced.
"Someone will break ranks," Victor maintained, but Adam warned that the family didn't feel guilty about what they were about to do to Victor because they thought of it as an act of love, not betrayal. Adam insisted that he didn't want to see Victor suffer pain and humiliation in open court. "So you want me to cop a plea to avoid a lot of hurt and unpleasantness for the family. Is that it? I might do that," Victor said, stunning Adam.
"On one condition: I'll agree to plead guilty if you take over the company," Victor continued. Stunned again, Adam reminded Victor that Victoria was already running Newman Enterprises. Victor didn't want to disparage Victoria but admitted that he believed that Adam was far more qualified to run the company. "Know why? Because I think you're ruthless, as I am, and you'll make the tough decisions if need be. Want me to plead guilty? If you take over the company, I'll do it," Victor added.
Alone at Top of the Tower, Victoria broke down after ending a phone conversation about pressing business obligations. Meanwhile, Christine entered the Athletic Club and watched with interest as Michael approached Phyllis and pulled her aside for a hushed conversation. Michael feared that Victor was onto him, but Phyllis dismissively insisted that Michael was just experiencing pretrial jitters. "Maybe so, but Victor's up to something," Michael worriedly maintained.
Adam Consults the Newmans About Victor's Deal
At the jail, Michael presented Victor with a suit and tie, but Victor announced that there might not be a trial. Victor revealed that he'd made an offer to Adam the night before, and Adam had agreed that the whole thing could be settled. Michael pointed out that Christine held all the cards if Victor intended to work out a plea deal, but Victor said Michael might not have to lift a finger to see that justice was done. Victor added that if Adam chose the path he was meant to follow, Victor would plead guilty and accept the sentence that was handed down, and Victor was sure of what his son was going to do.
At the penthouse, Adam told Chelsea that he'd hardly slept, and she urged him to talk to her. He explained that he felt like he had a big decision to make, since the future of the Newman family rested in his hands. Chelsea was shocked when Adam informed her that Victor was willing to plead guilty if Adam took over the company, and she thought the fact that Adam had been up all night implied that he was considering it. Chelsea noted that Adam had agreed to testify against Victor, but Adam pointed out that he wouldn't have to testify if Victor cut a deal without the hassle of a trial, and he thought it would be a win for everyone.
Adam sided with Chelsea in that it wouldn't be a good thing if he had to run Newman, but Victor would be out of the picture. Chelsea griped that Victor would never be out of their lives, since the company would turn Adam into the heartless, ruthless man he needed to be to run it. Adam swore that he wouldn't fall victim to the same traps that Victor had, but Chelsea anticipated that Victor would keep manipulating Adam from inside a jail cell, and she begged Adam to promise not to be sucked back in. Adam argued that if he accepted Victor's deal, Jack would get justice without the nightmare of a trial, but Chelsea expected Victor to be found guilty even if the case went to trial.
Adam argued that he was a free man because Victor had done everything in his power to keep Adam out of prison, and he imagined the lengths his father would go to keep himself out. Adam added that Victor would definitely serve jail time if Adam agreed to the deal, but Chelsea huffed that it was all about the "soul-sucking company" that Adam couldn't pry himself away from. She dared Adam to admit that he wanted to run Newman, and he conceded that he'd be lying if he said he wasn't intrigued, but he thought he'd proven where his loyalties were when he'd let Victoria take over the company. Chelsea cautioned that if he went through with the deal, he'd be the person sending his father to prison, and she wondered if he would be able to live with that. He suddenly had an idea, and he told Chelsea that he'd explain in the car.
At Top of the Tower, Victoria braced herself to take down the man who'd built the building, and she questioned how they'd gotten there. Nikki told her to ask her father, and Nick said at least they had one another. Victoria wondered where everyone else was, and Abby and Noah arrived and reported that they'd stopped by Victor's office. Abby added that she'd looked up at Victor's portrait and questioned whether it would be the day they took it down for good.
Noah remembered the first time he'd seen the portrait, and he'd heard the way Victor had proudly talked about it. Nikki recognized that Victor loved the company, but she admonished him for using it to harm people, and she contended that too many people had been hurt. Abby queried whether Victoria intended to replace the portrait with one of her own, and the sisters bickered. Nick lectured that they were there to lean on one another and not to argue, and Abby dreaded the thought of actually testifying.
Nikki advised Abby to stick to the truth, but Abby couldn't imagine looking Victor in the eye. Victoria suggested that they focus on one another to get through it, and Nikki stressed that they were all Newmans. Noah observed that one Newman had been a no-show, and he inquired whether anyone had spoken with Adam. Victoria recalled that Christine had assured her that Adam was on board, but Abby thought no one would put it past him to go rogue. Michael entered and guessed that they were talking about Adam, and he relayed that Victor had pitched a last-minute bargain to Adam.
Adam and Chelsea arrived, and he revealed that Victor had agreed to plead guilty and do time under one condition -- Adam had to take over the helm at Newman. Victoria groused that their father was pitting them against one another, and Nikki doubted that Victor's strategy included going to prison. Chelsea pointed out that Victor had conned them all before, and Nick asked what Adam had decided to do. Adam said he was there to get their take on it, and his siblings were stunned. Adam insisted that the last thing he wanted was the job, but he thought the trial would be "hell" for everyone, and Victor was giving them an opportunity to put him in jail while avoiding the trial.
Noah was skeptical that Adam was willing to take one for the team, but Adam stated that he was willing to take the job if that was what they all wanted. Abby suspiciously noted that it wasn't like Adam to let them in on a decision, and Chelsea condemned the rest of the Newmans for making Adam the bad guy. Noah surmised that Adam was trying to shift blame in case things went wrong, but Adam pointed out that he wasn't the one with the most to lose. Adam swore that he wasn't working an angle, and he was just trying to get through the ordeal with the least amount of pain possible. Victoria realized that Adam wanted to spare Victor the torture of watching them testify.
Victoria advised Adam to make the devil's bargain, but Nick warned that it would be like Victor was controlling her life from prison. Nikki voiced concern that Victor's antics had already put a strain on Adam's marriage, but Adam snapped that it was insulting for the Newmans to pretend to care. Nikki maintained that she wanted Victor to have nothing to do with the company, but she imagined that he wanted Adam in charge so Victor could call the shots from afar. Adam vowed to cut off all communication with Victor, but the entire family agreed that whatever Victor had up his sleeve couldn't be good. Adam prepared to tell his father that they had no deal.
Abby and Noah departed, and Nikki told Nick that she'd meet him in the lobby. Once alone with Victoria, Nick asked her what was up, and she blamed herself for putting them all in that position by turning over the evidence against Victor. Nick recalled that he'd turned Victor over to the Feds years earlier, but Victoria noted that Nick hadn't jumped into Victor's chair at Newman afterward, and she thought Victor would never forgive her. Nick argued that Victor had forgiven him, and he thought the same thing would happen with her. He asserted that he'd never regretted his decision, and he assured Victoria that Victor loved her and always would.
Luca arrived at Marisa's hotel suite, and Marisa guessed that he was there to ask her not to testify against Victor. Luca reminded her that he worked for Jabot, but she grumbled that his loyalties changed hourly. He announced that he wanted to give her a gift she'd actually like, and he handed her the signed divorce papers. Marisa was surprised that Luca hadn't put up a fight, and he declared that it was time for both of them to move on. She wondered what he was getting out of it, and he swore that all he wanted was her happiness, but he advised her to be careful when dealing with the Newmans.
In the Athletic Club dining room, Jack offered to get Phyllis some herbal tea, but she wanted to stay sharp. Jack noticed that she seemed wound up, and Phyllis looked forward to having a front-row seat to watch Victor go down. Summer entered and said they didn't have to pretend, since she knew they wanted to see Victor behind bars. Jack agreed that they shouldn't treat Summer like a child, but he warned her to prepare herself. Billy crowed that nothing could help Victor, and Summer asked if there was something they knew about the trial that she didn't.
Summer asserted that she had a right to know, and Phyllis admitted that she was thrilled that Victor's day of reckoning had finally arrived. Phyllis hissed that Victor had been responsible for what had happened, and she suggested that Summer avoid the trial completely if she didn't want to see the entire Newman family turn their backs on him. Summer reasoned that she couldn't miss it because she was testifying, and Phyllis tearfully demanded to know how Summer could betray her by defending Victor in court. Summer argued that she'd been subpoenaed, and Phyllis imagined that Victor wanted to use Summer's sweet face to sway the jury. Phyllis encouraged Summer to hire a lawyer to contest the subpoena, but Summer replied that she didn't want to fight it, since she intended to tell the truth.
Jack and Billy left for the courthouse, and Summer swore that she wasn't siding with Victor, but Phyllis said that was bull. Phyllis understood that Summer had been straddling the line between the Abbotts and the Newmans for years, but it was different, since people who Summer loved had been scarred forever because of Victor. Phyllis questioned what kind of woman Summer was for not only giving Victor a pass but helping him escape, and Summer whimpered that Phyllis wasn't being fair. Phyllis demanded to know if Victor had been fair to Courtney and Austin, and she couldn't believe Summer had forgotten them.
Summer wailed that she thought about her husband and best friend every day, but Victor hadn't had anything to do with their murders, since Harding had killed them. Phyllis was adamant that Victor had been responsible, and she forced Summer to imagine climbing into bed with Kyle and waking up with a complete stranger, spending months sharing the most intimate moments possible. Phyllis told Summer that Victor had messed with Phyllis' mind and had made her doubt her sanity, and she urged Summer to remember that when she was telling the world what a wonderful grandpa she had.
After Phyllis left, Luca approached Summer, who relayed that she'd had an awful conversation with her mom. Luca guessed it had been because Summer was testifying on Victor's behalf, and Summer regretted that she hadn't seen Phyllis' pain until then. Luca asked if Summer was reconsidering, but Summer didn't want to fight the subpoena. She thought Victor had to answer for what he'd done, but she didn't want him to have to do it alone. Luca marveled that Summer had a wonderful heart, and he encouraged her to follow it and become her own person.
Summer sensed that Luca wasn't just talking about her, and he confided that he'd granted Marisa a divorce. Summer worriedly asked if he was okay, and he assured her that he would be. He added that Summer had changed his mind, since she'd made him realize that he'd treated Noah and Marisa poorly, and he hadn't wanted Summer to be disappointed in him. Summer said she was proud of him, but she acknowledged that moving on was never easy. She thought that he'd make someone else really happy one day, and he told her to count on it.
Outside the courtroom, Paul asked how Christine was feeling, and she replied that she felt like she was about to go into the ring. Paul vowed that Victor wouldn't buy himself out of that one, and he voiced his confidence in her. Paul stepped inside, and Lauren asked if Christine was ready. Lauren mentioned that Michael had been up at the crack of dawn, and she hoped the trial wouldn't affect their friendship with Christine. Christine swore that they would always be friends, but she remarked that it had been a shock when Michael had gone from warning her about Victor to offering to be Victor's legal counsel.
Paul entered the jail's visiting room and informed Victor that it was almost time, and he observed that Victor almost seemed to be enjoying it. Victor asked if Paul had heard from Adam, and Paul reported that he'd heard nothing from Victor's family. Paul inquired whether Victor was expecting a last-minute reprieve, and Victor replied that he only expected complete justice to be done.
At the courthouse, Christine assured Jack that she had the situation under control, and Phyllis warned her not to mess it up. Meanwhile, Michael greeted Lauren and mumbled that he needed all the support he could get, since Victor had been acting too confident. Lauren mentioned that Christine had seemed suspicious about why Michael had decided to represent Victor, and she asked if Michael still wanted to do it. Michael recognized that he couldn't get out of it, and he had to do whatever he could to keep Victor from being acquitted. On his way into the courtroom, Michael stopped to greet Christine, Jack, Phyllis, and Billy, and he sincerely hoped the correct verdict was reached that day.
Michael entered courtroom and was surprised that Victor was wearing a prison uniform rather than the suit Michael had dropped off earlier. Victor asked what Adam had decided, and Michael revealed that Adam had consulted with the rest of the Newman family. Victor guessed that they'd all refused the offer, and Michael replied that they all thought Victor would still be convicted. Victor pointedly questioned how he could be convicted when he had the great Michael Baldwin in his corner.
In the corridor, Phyllis proclaimed that Victor's reign of terror would end that day, and the Newmans flocked in. Billy joked that there was safety in numbers, and he asked to speak to Victoria privately. Victoria told him that she was hanging in there, and Billy said he was sorry she had to go through it, but he was proud of her. He offered to walk into the courtroom with her, but she opted to stick with her family. Everyone began to file inside, but Marisa rushed in and grabbed Noah. She breathlessly informed him that Luca had stopped by with signed divorce papers, so she and Noah were free to get married.
Marisa added that she'd been skeptical, but Luca had said he'd wanted her to be happy. Noah and Marisa agreed that Luca had an ulterior motive, and Summer and Luca overheard as they walked in. Summer ranted that Noah and Marisa had gotten what they'd wanted, but they still weren't happy. Luca suggested that Noah and Marisa try moving on, and he and Summer entered the courtroom. Marisa said she knew why Luca had granted the divorce -- he wanted to marry into the Newman family. Noah snickered at the idea that anyone would want to be a Newman right then.
Inside the courtroom, Victor turned around and glared at his family, and he faced the court and steeled himself for the trial to begin. In her opening remarks, Christine mentioned that Victor had faced felony charges multiple times but had avoided punishment until that day. She demanded that he be held accountable, since even though he was known for being a wealthy titan of business and a generous family man, he was also a criminal.
Christine recounted that Victor had conspired to kidnap Jack and arrange for a convicted felon to take Jack's place. She continued that Victor had allowed a dead ringer to take over Jack's life while enlisting the help of an unstable woman to hold Jack captive against his will. She blasted Victor for feeling justification rather than remorse, and she imagined that Victor would talk about how important family was to him, but his own daughter had turned in the evidence that had led to his arrest. Christine told the jury that they'd hear each family member tell a different story about Victor's obsession with winning at any cost.
Michael said Christine made it sound neat and tidy, but she'd failed to mention the extreme threat that Victor had faced, since the Paragon virus had been attacking his family legacy from the inside out. Michael conceded that Victor's response might have been extreme, but he asserted that Victor's back had been against the wall, and Victor had acted in self-defense. Phyllis flew into a rage and yelled that it was a lie, since Jack hadn't had anything to do with the computer virus. Phyllis bellowed that Victor hadn't cared, since he'd do anything to silence the competition, including letting her husband die.
Victor decides to defend himself in court
At the courthouse, the judge ordered Phyllis to remain silent after her outburst during Michael's opening remarks. Michael resumed his statement by saying that the threat of Paragon had been extreme enough for Victor to feel compelled to take action. He was confident that once the jury heard the evidence, they'd realize that Victor had been justified, and they would vote to acquit.
Michael returned to his seat, and Victor groused that Michael had made it sound like Victor had kidnapped people for fun because he'd had a computer bug. Victor hissed that his family had almost died in the fire that Paragon had caused, and Michael claimed that he'd been laying the groundwork for everything that would be revealed during the testimony. Michael added that Phyllis' outburst had made the prosecution's side look like a bunch of lunatics, and he urged Victor to trust that he had it covered. "That makes two of us," Victor mumbled.
The judge called a short recess, and Michael suggested that Victor change into his suit. Victor barked that he wouldn't change "a damn thing," and he asked the guard to take him to the visitation room. Michael demanded to know why Victor hadn't dressed appropriately, and Victor huffed that Michael knew all he needed to know. The guard escorted Victor out, and Lauren asked if Michael was okay. Michael told her to ask him when it was all over.
Nick imagined that the trial was upsetting for Summer, and Luca offered to try to help her through it. Summer recognized that she was supposed to testify, but she had to handle something, and she promised she'd be back in plenty of time. Nick stopped Luca from following her and warned that he'd hurt Luca if Luca hurt Summer in any way.
Chelsea observed that the proceedings were getting to Adam, and he confided that he was confused by Michael's lackluster opening statement. Chelsea guessed that Phyllis' emotional reaction had affected Michael, and Adam predicted that things wouldn't go well for Victor if Michael didn't pull it together.
Summer tracked down Victor in the visitation room and asked for one reason why she should believe in him anymore, and he asked what had happened. Summer said she hadn't wanted to walk away and desert him like the rest of the family had, but maybe she should have. She realized that she'd gotten caught up in his vision of how awful the world would have been without him in it, but he'd left out all the terrible things he'd done. Summer cried that her mom was still wrecked by his actions, and Victor swore that he hadn't meant to hurt Phyllis when he'd been defending his family and company.
Victor guessed that Phyllis had tried to turn Summer against him, but Summer asserted that everything Phyllis had said was true. Victor admitted that he'd mistakenly gone after Jack, but he warned Summer that all the signs indicated that Phyllis was about to spin out of control. Victor recounted that he'd seen Phyllis become destructive and unpredictable, and he referred to Phyllis renting a car to run down Christine in cold blood. Summer protested that it had happened a million years earlier, but Victor insisted that it hadn't been an isolated incident.
Victor revealed that Phyllis had arranged for Adam to be kidnapped in order to get PassKey, but Summer refused to believe it. Summer questioned why Phyllis hadn't been arrested if Victor's claims were true, and Victor prompted Summer to answer her own question. Summer guessed that Victor had felt guilty about Marco and had wanted to spare Phyllis, and Victor confirmed that was right. He added that Phyllis was in a dangerous state of mind, and he compared her to a runaway train that would run over anything in its path.
Jack and Billy wondered if Phyllis' fit of anger had been part of the plan, and Phyllis explained that she hadn't been able to stand hearing Michael defend what Victor had done. Jack acknowledged that they all had to listen to things that none of them wanted to hear, but he advised her to keep calm and quiet or risk sabotaging her own cause.
Christine called Marisa as the prosecution's first witness, and Marisa testified that Marco had told her that Victor had been behind the whole plan for Marco to take over Jack's life and that Victor had passed along details that had allowed Marco to convincingly pretend to be Jack. Marisa added that Victor had paid the prison warden to release Marco, and Victor had paid Marco to impersonate Jack. Christine turned the witness over to the defense, and Michael said he had no questions, but he reserved the right to recall the witness. Victor expressed surprise that Michael hadn't torn a known liar like Marisa to shreds, but Michael flatly stated that his strategy didn't involve badgering the witnesses. Victor was skeptical.
Chris called Paul to the stand, and she asked him to identify the men in a picture. He recognized the still photo from a maximum-security prison in Peru, and it showed Victor with Marco outside the gates next to a car that Victor had hired to take them to the airport. Paul identified a third man in the photo as Warden Santiago, and he voiced suspicion that the warden had never been available when the authorities had tried to depose him.
Michael asked if Paul had traveled personally to Lima to check out the story, and Paul revealed that it hadn't been necessary or cost-effective to send anyone from his department. Michael forced Paul to admit that he'd never actually met Santiago, and he tried to cast doubt on Paul's ability to identify the prison warden. Paul explained that his private investigator in Lima had provided a list of law enforcement personnel who had identified Santiago and Marco in the photo, and he offered to provide the list. Michael said he had no further questions.
Christine called Jack to the stand, and she asked if there was any truth to Michael's theory that Victor had been operating in self-defense. Jack replied that Ian was serving time for unleashing the virus, and Jack hadn't been any threat to Victor's family or company. Christine inquired why Victor had still gone after Jack, and Jack explained that they'd been feuding for decades, but Victor had gone too far. Christine requested that Jack explain to the court why Victor had committed crimes of such magnitude, and Michael objected, but Jack asserted that Victor was a sadist, since there was no other way to describe the pleasure Victor had taken in Jack's suffering.
Christine wondered why Jack hadn't gone to the police immediately, and Jack recounted that he'd believed that he'd been responsible for a cargo ship explosion that had killed the entire crew. He divulged that he'd later learned that Victor had paid the crew off to make Jack think that he'd face extradition if he told the truth. Jack explained that Victor had wanted to keep him in line so he wouldn't share Victor's crimes with the world, and Victor dared Jack to reveal what had happened to the deranged woman who'd held him captive. The judge threatened to remove Victor from the courtroom if he didn't keep quiet.
Jack recalled that Kelly had kept him strapped to a mattress for weeks, and the only water she'd given him had been laced with drugs. He continued that Kelly had withheld food for days because he wouldn't tell her that he was in love with her, and she'd tormented him by presenting evidence that had indicated Phyllis was dead. Christine asked how he'd escaped, and Jack replied that he'd blacked out and woken up with Kelly dead next to him, so he'd assumed that he'd been responsible for her death. Christine pointed out that no one had pressed charges, and she had no further questions. Michael again declined to cross-examine the witness but reserved the right to call Jack later. Christine's jaw dropped, and Michael told Victor to be patient, since it was all part of his strategy. Christine called Phyllis to the stand.
Christine inquired whether Phyllis had experienced moments when things had seemed off with the man who she'd believed had been her husband, and Phyllis recalled that Marco's work ethic, sense of fashion, and food preferences had been different from Jack's. Christine asked how Phyllis had explained the changes to herself, and Phyllis replied that she'd figured that the concussion that Jack had suffered in a building collapse had caused the behavioral changes. Christine asked how long the masquerade had gone on, and Phyllis became choked up as she recounted that it had started on her honeymoon.
Phyllis' voice began to shake as she explained that she'd thought the man in her bed had been the same man she'd known and loved for years, and it hadn't been until months later that she'd found out she'd been with a sick criminal. She sobbed that a stranger had been having intercourse with her without her consent, and he'd violated her repeatedly, but Victor hadn't lifted a finger to stop it even though he'd known what had been happening. Phyllis spat that she hated Victor for what he'd done to her, and she condemned him for thinking he could brainwash everyone, including her daughter.
The judge called for order, but Phyllis flew into a rage and tried to lunge at Victor. Billy and the bailiff held Phyllis back and dragged her out, and Billy told Jack to stay in the courtroom to make sure Victor didn't get away with anything else. Victor demanded that Michael put Phyllis back on the stand and make her confess to resurrecting Paragon to destroy his company, but Michael argued that it would only make Victor look like more of a monster. Victor defended that Phyllis wanted revenge, and Michael warned that the looks on the jury's faces indicated that she might get it.
In the corridor, Summer urged Phyllis to calm down, since it had looked like Phyllis had wanted to kill Victor, and Phyllis couldn't believe that Summer was still defending him. Summer conceded that Victor had made mistakes, but she pointed out that Phyllis was lashing out all over the place. Phyllis wailed that Summer was ripping her heart out, and she told her daughter to just go. Summer insisted that she was worried about Phyllis, but Phyllis turned away, and Summer returned to the courtroom. Phyllis leaned up against the wall and sobbed.
Christine cross-examined Adam, Victoria, Nick, Abby, and Noah, who all provided similar responses about it being difficult to testify against Victor. Noah said it was rare that their family agreed on anything, but it was unanimous that Victor had crossed the line. Victor's next of kin called Victor's actions sickening and immoral, and they scoffed at the notion that Victor had acted in self-defense. Victoria stressed that turning Victor in had been one of the hardest things she'd had to do in her life, but her father had left her no choice when he'd put her on the spot in front of the police chief and asked her to lie.
Adam said he'd spent his entire life trying o be his father's son, but he was done doing so, since he was disgusted with what Victor had done to Jack. Victor called Adam a pathological liar who had been behind all of it, and the judge threatened to put Victor back in his cell. Adam declared that Victor had taken himself down, and he announced that he'd washed his hands of Victor for good. Nick warned Victor not to use him or anyone else in their family as an excuse to hurt people again, and he noted that Jack and Phyllis hadn't been the only victims, since Victor had put them all in danger by inserting a drug dealer into their lives. Nick added that people they'd loved had been killed, and it had to stop one way or another.
Billy exited the courtroom to find Phyllis, and she was adamant that she couldn't be in the same room with Victor. She whimpered that she was a mess, and Billy consoled her. Phyllis rambled that Victor had brainwashed Summer into feeling sorry for him, and she couldn't believe it was happening. Billy chalked it up to Summer's youth and big heart, but he assured Phyllis that Summer would figure Victor out, just like everyone else had. Phyllis beat herself up for being weak on the stand, but Billy hugged her and assured her that she had proven that she was stronger than Marco and Victor could ever be.
Christine called Nikki to the stand, and she asked when the feud between Victor and the Abbotts had started. Nikki estimated that it had been going on for over 30 years, and she stated that Victor and Jack were bitter rivals on a good day. Christine imagined that it had been natural for Victor to assume that Jack had been behind an outside threat, and Nikki conceded that Jack was no saint, but she opined that even if Jack had been behind Paragon, he hadn't deserved what Victor had done. Christine asked what Nikki thought of Victor's history of bending the law, and Michael objected, but Nikki preferred to answer the question.
Nikki pointed out that her husband was a famous man, and he would say that others resented his success, but she believed that he had no respect for authority. Nikki added that Victor followed his own code and set of rules, and she'd been forced to adhere to them over the years to have a prayer of making their marriage work. Nikki asserted that there was no question that Victor had broken the law, and she'd prayed that he'd learn to trust the authorities and stop taking matters into his own hands, but he'd served as judge, jury, and executioner. Christine questioned why Nikki was testifying when legally she could have refused. Nikki contended that actions had consequences, and she thought it took something drastic like going to prison to finally hammer that into Victor's head.
Nikki turned to Victor and tearfully said he'd been the love of her life, but she didn't know him anymore. Christine ended her interrogation, and Michael simply reserved the right to recall the witness. Christine looked puzzled, and Victor asked if Michael had gone mad. Michael said he'd go after the witnesses at the right time, and Christine rested her case.
The judge called a recess before the court heard from the defense, and Victor groused that Michael's strategy "stunk to high heaven." Michael countered that the jury had only heard a bunch of crybabies, but Victor argued that they'd also heard hard facts. Michael swore that by the time he finished, the jury would understand every decision Victor had made, and he was certain that Summer's testimony would turn the tide. Victor ordered Michael to call Luca to the stand, and he scribbled down what he wanted Michael to ask Luca.
Luca asked Summer what had happened between her and Phyllis, but Summer didn't want to talk about it. He resolved to be the strong, silent type with broad shoulders that Summer could rest her weary head on, and she smiled and said it was good to know.
The judge told Michael to call his first witness, and Michael whispered to Victor that he didn't like asking a question when he didn't know the answer. Victor replied that Luca's response would be the answer, and he stressed that it was his name on Michael's retainer check, so Michael would do as Victor wished. Michael called Luca to the stand and said he understood that Luca had information regarding the case that the jury should know. Luca announced that he knew that Michael wasn't representing his client to his utmost ability, since Michael was attempting to throw the case.
Nikki dabbed away tears in the corridor, and Phyllis sat next to her and said she was sorry she'd missed Nikki's testimony, but she'd heard that Nikki had been a force to be reckoned with. Nikki replied that she didn't feel like any kind of force, and Phyllis recognized that they'd had their battles, but she'd never forget Nikki standing up to Victor in court. Nikki thanked her for saying that, and the women grasped hands. Billy ducked outside and told the women to get inside, since things were blowing up, and they reentered the courtroom.
The judge noted that Luca's allegations were serious, and Luca maintained that they were true. The judge asked for evidence, and Luca said he'd unintentionally overheard a conversation between Michael and his wife about Michael conspiring with Phyllis to make sure Victor got convicted and sent to jail. The judge sternly inquired whether Luca knew the penalty for perjury, and Luca pointed out that he'd taken an oath to tell the truth. Michael requested an opportunity to explain, but Victor interrupted and proclaimed that he had no choice but to fire his legal counsel.
Victor barked that Michael hadn't been defending him, since Michael hadn't even cross-examined a witness, and he knew what Michael's strategy had been about. Victor said he'd once called Michael a friend, but it was apparent that Michael's loyalties rested with people other than Victor. The judge warned that Michael could lose his license if the accusations were true, and Michael acknowledged that he was aware of that.
The judge granted Victor time to find a new attorney, and he adjourned the proceedings until the following week. Victor declared that he didn't need a postponement, since he didn't intend to hire another lawyer -- he intended to serve as his own counsel, and he called himself to the stand.