At the police station, Christine explained to Dylan the details of a dangerous undercover assignment he'd accepted. Dylan learned that he'd assume the name and identity of a man called "Derek Young." Dylan's mission was to capture a drug dealer and murderer named Luther Fisk. Christine urged Dylan to learn everything about his alias' identity so he'd be less likely to slip up while operating undercover. Dylan assured Christine that his personal life wouldn't interfere with his assignment. Christine remained uneasy about Dylan's participation in the dangerous assignment.
Christine warned Dylan that Fisk's men were aware that police planned to plant an undercover officer. Christine gave Dylan a passport and an untraceable firearm. Kevin entered the office after Christine summoned him. Christine noted that Dylan would communicate only with Kevin while undercover. Kevin explained that he'd set up a secure line and would provide Dylan with some "burner" cellphones. Kevin warned Dylan to completely destroy each phone after one use. Kevin instructed Dylan to learn how to operate the voice-activated recording device on each of the phones before using them. Dylan seemed apprehensive, but he nodded that he understood.
Christine told Dylan that the risk to his life increased each day he operated undercover. Christine added that Fisk was smart and had remained elusive because loyal supporters aided him. Dylan nodded that he understood the danger. Christine told Dylan that his first task would be to meet with Fisk's lieutenant, Alex Dettmer. Dylan tucked the weapon into the waistband of his pants and insisted he'd catch Fisk. Dylan explained that if he failed, Fisk would become even more elusive and difficult to capture. Christine ordered Dylan not to take unnecessary risks.
At Sharon's ranch house, Mariah attempted to distract Sharon. Sharon was engrossed while reading a news story about the benefit gala. Sharon read aloud a statement claiming that Hilary had tripped Mariah. Mariah replied, "Hilary did it. She yanked a cord, and I fell like a ton of bricks on live TV." Sharon mentioned the role a teleprompter had played in eliciting Hilary's confession. Sharon asked Mariah if she'd considered the consequences of her actions. Mariah sighed.
Mariah showed no remorse for her actions and noted that Hilary had edited Dylan's interview to make him and their family look bad. Sharon noted that Dylan didn't need Mariah to fight his battles. Sharon added that Mariah shouldn't have sunk to Hilary's level. Mariah replied, "What I do know is Hilary was toxic. She used and lied to Devon, and I feel like he needed to know the truth." Mariah admitted that she'd tricked Hilary into making a confession she never would've made on her own. Sharon expressed concern that Mariah would end up getting hurt. Mariah said she couldn't let Hilary get away with what she'd done. Mariah embraced her mom before she left.
Dylan returned home and told Sharon that he would leave immediately. Sharon cried, "No! No! Today is too soon! Where are you going?" Dylan said he couldn't tell her where for her own security. Sharon begged Dylan to let someone else take his place. Sharon suggested that Dylan just wanted to escape because of his heartbreak over Christian. Sharon pleaded with Dylan to find another way to deal with his pain. Dylan replied, "Nick made his decision, and I can't do anything about that. But I can take this assignment, and I can do my job. I have to do this right now."
Dylan collected his packed bag and his jacket. Sharon cried that Dylan would be involved with dangerous criminals. Sharon asked Dylan to phone her occasionally. Dylan replied, "I can't. It's for your own safety. There's no contact allowed." Sharon asked how she should explain Dylan's absence to Faith. Dylan told Sharon to give Faith his love and tell her he had to go to work.
Dylan removed his wedding band, placed it in Sharon's hand, and asked her to keep the ring safe for him. Sharon tearfully kissed Dylan before he collected his bag and walked toward the door. Sharon cried, "Tell me that you'll be back soon. Tell me that you're coming home!" Dylan didn't reply before walking out the door. Sharon seemed devastated.
At Devon and Hilary's penthouse, Hilary awoke and raced upstairs, calling out to Devon. Hilary picked up her phone to call Devon, but Neil showed up. Hilary initially pretended that Devon was upstairs. After a while, Hilary admitted that Devon hadn't returned home after "the ridiculous stunt that Mariah pulled" at the gala. Neil replied, "This is about what you did, not Mariah. You deliberately tripped that girl."
Neil suggested that Hilary had pushed Devon too far. Neil said she might've lost the best thing in her life. Hilary began sobbing. Hilary turned her attention away from Neil's accusations and said she was needed at work to host her show. Hilary received a phone call. It was the hospital alerting Hilary that Devon had been injured in a car accident.
At the hospital's emergency entrance, paramedics hurriedly wheeled Devon on a gurney. Devon's face was covered in blood. Ben rushed out to meet the injured crash victim. Devon hazily recalled being rescued. A police officer, Devon remembered, had lifted the car's windshield and assured Devon that he would be rescued. As paramedics rushed Devon inside the facility, Ben told waiting medical staff that the seriously injured patient would require surgery.
Ben later met with a distraught Hilary and Neil in a hospital waiting area. Ben informed them that Devon was in surgery. Ben explained that Devon had been involved in a car accident that had left him in serious condition. Ben noted that authorities estimated that Devon had been driving 140 miles per hour when the crash had occurred. Hilary sobbed pitifully when Ben said that Devon's life was in the surgeon's hands. The grim news stunned Hilary.
Neil addressed Hilary and said, "He never should have been in that car." Hilary turned the blame on Neil and recalled that he'd stopped her from running after Devon. Neil said Hilary only wanted to pretend she hadn't chased Devon away with her "smoke and mirrors." Neil added, "You're petty. You're low. He saw it, and he ran." Hilary began sobbing and cried, "He has to be okay." Neil comforted Hilary as she continued to weep. Neil's anger turned to sympathy as he consoled Hilary.
At Victoria's house, Victoria questioned Reed about having left his father's without seeking permission. Reed told his mother that he'd rather live with her. Victoria said she'd learned from J.T. about the planned move to Warsaw for J.T.'s job. Victoria told Reed that the law required a minor child to move with the custodial parent. Reed cried that he'd be farther away from his school, his friends, and his mother. Victoria seemed sympathetic to her son.
Billy stopped by and listened as Victoria questioned Reed. Victoria asked Reed why he was reluctant to move with his family to Poland. Reed became frustrated and left to take a walk. Billy offered to help Victoria with Reed. Victoria became frustrated and told Billy he was interfering. Billy said, "Right now, you can be everything that that kid needs."
Victoria remained aloof, so Billy suggested they discuss the closeness they'd recently shared. Billy recalled that he and Victoria likely would've made love on the couch if Reed hadn't shown up. Billy reminded Victoria of their past encounters and said they still had undeniable chemistry. Reed returned from his walk. Reed pleaded with his mom to let him stay with her. Victoria agreed to talk to J.T. Reed seemed relieved.
Victoria was surprised when Victor stopped by her home, and he asked if it was a bad time. Reed called out to ask where he could find a power strip, and he greeted his grandfather with a hug. Victor marveled at how much Reed had grown in the years they hadn't seen one another, and he questioned when Victoria had intended to tell him that Reed was in town. Victoria explained that Reed had stunned her with his arrival on New Year's Eve, and Reed proclaimed that he was there to stay. Reed enthusiastically revealed his plans to go to Genoa City High School, and he raved about the school's music program.
Victoria directed Reed to the hall closet to find the power strip, and he left to grab it. Victor was suspicious that Reed had suddenly shown up out of nowhere, and he asked Victoria what was really going on. Victoria admitted that Reed had run away after J.T. had gotten a big promotion that required a move to Warsaw. Victor surmised that Reed wasn't thrilled about the idea of moving, and Victoria understood the way Reed felt. Reed reentered the room, and Victor suggested that they sit down and catch up.
Victoria mentioned that Reed was a sophomore, and Victor asked if Reed planned to study hard. Reed vowed to do his best, and he asked if he could go practice. Victoria told him to keep the noise level down, and Reed hugged Victor before he went upstairs. Victor remarked that Reed seemed to be a nice kid, and he thought it was very important for Reed and Victoria to be connected at that point in the teen's life. Victoria worried that things had already been overwhelming with work and caring for her two younger children.
Victor suggested that Reed might babysit, and Victoria admitted that she could use all the help she could get. Victor encouraged Victoria to let Reed get to know the rest of his family, and he imagined Reed would be a great cousin to Connor and Christian. Victoria admitted that she was excited about it but also a little nervous, and Victor assured her that everything would be fine. Victor called out goodbye to Reed before he departed.
Reed asked Victoria why she hadn't told Victor about his return to town, and she pointed out that Reed hadn't been there long. Reed wondered if it was still okay that he was there, and she insisted that she was thrilled to finally spend time together without the clock ticking down to one of them having to leave. He promised to try not to spring any more surprises on her, and she noted that he'd been doing that a lot with his dad.
Reed griped that J.T. had always been telling him what to do, and Victoria reminded Reed that he wasn't an adult yet. Reed replied that he wasn't a kid, either, and he'd felt like he'd been in the way with the new baby. Victoria swore that it wouldn't be like that at her house, since Johnny and Katie were beyond excited that Reed was there. Reed mused that it already felt like home, and Victoria ruffled his hair and insisted that it was his home.
At Crimson Lights, Noah filled Faith's mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and she chirped that it had been fun having him pick her up from school. He asked how she'd been doing at the ranch, and she gushed about the stables and her huge room. Noah conceded that it sounded cool, but he stressed that the situation couldn't be permanent. Faith grumbled that she hadn't known that he'd picked her up to give her a lecture, but he clarified that it was a reality check. Noah pointed out that Faith was living with her grandparents when both her mom and her dad were capable of raising her, and he thought she knew the arrangement wouldn't last forever.
Faith asserted that she thought it was her choice where to live, and Noah promised that nothing needed to change right away, but he worried that the situation was tough on their parents. Faith recognized that Dylan had also been affected, and Noah praised her for realizing that. Faith recalled that it had been really cool to spend New Year's Eve with her dad, and Noah recommended that Faith not wait for special occasions to spend time with Sharon and Nick. Noah assured Faith that she wasn't responsible for her parents' happiness, but it meant a lot to people when their loved ones reached out during unsettled times, since it was a reminder that the best things hadn't changed.
At the ranch, Nikki was irritated when the doorbell rang repeatedly. Sharon burst in and declared that she had to see Faith. Nikki couldn't get a word in edgewise as Sharon rambled that she was allowed to spend time with her daughter. Nikki started to explain why Sharon couldn't, but Sharon spat not to tell her what she could and couldn't do, and she raced upstairs. Sharon soon returned after discovering that Faith wasn't there, and she fretted that her daughter should be home from school.
Nikki chided Sharon for not hearing her out earlier, and she revealed that Faith was out with Noah. Sharon apologized for overreacting, and Nikki conceded that Faith choosing to live there was difficult for Sharon. Sharon confirmed that she missed her daughter more than she could say, but Nikki sensed that Sharon was upset about more than that. Nikki demanded to know what Sharon had done to Dylan.
Sharon swore that everything was wonderful between her and Dylan, but Nikki questioned why Sharon had blown in there like a hurricane. Nikki observed that Sharon's demeanor had changed at the mention of Dylan's name, and Sharon said she couldn't talk about it. Nikki panicked that something had happened to her son, and Sharon explained that Dylan had needed to go out of town on assignment. Nikki peppered a tight-lipped Sharon with questions, but Faith and Noah's arrival interrupted them.
Sharon plastered on a smile and declared that she'd been happy to hear that Noah and Faith were together. Faith said she'd intended to call Sharon to see if she could stop by the cottage to pick up some books that afternoon, and Sharon replied that Faith didn't have to ask, since it was still Faith's home, even if she wasn't living there. Nikki granted permission for Faith to go, and Sharon suggested that they head over right then. Nikki hoped to finish her conversation with Sharon, but Sharon firmly stated that it was over.
After Faith and Sharon left, Nikki suspected that Noah had been trying to bridge the gap between Faith and her parents. He recognized that Sharon wasn't Nikki's favorite person, but Nikki expressed sympathy for Sharon. Nikki added that Sharon had Dylan to lean on, but she complained that Sharon hadn't been forthcoming about the details of the case Dylan was working on. Noah was sure that Dylan would tell Nikki all about it soon.
Victor returned home and announced that Reed was back in town and that the teen intended to stay in Genoa City. Noah said he couldn't wait to catch up with Reed, and he departed. Victor observed that Nikki seemed forlorn, and he was surprised that she wasn't happy about Reed being back. Nikki expressed her concern over Dylan being out of town and having no idea where he was. Victor urged her to call Dylan and find out.
At the cottage, Faith said she liked living with her grandparents, but she knew it made Sharon sad. Sharon admitted that she missed Faith a lot, but it had always been her main priority to make sure Faith felt safe and happy. Faith confirmed that she did, and Sharon insisted that it was all that mattered. Faith asked if Sharon knew that Faith still loved her, and Sharon understood that Faith needed some space, since Sharon had felt that way herself at Faith's age. Faith inquired whether Sharon's parents had also gotten divorced, and Sharon vaguely replied that they "sort of" had. Sharon suggested that Faith get her books while Sharon made the girl's favorite snack.
Sharon and Faith prepared to play a board game, and Faith asked if she should set it up for two players or three, in case Dylan would be home soon. Sharon mentioned that Dylan was working, and a cell phone started ringing. Sharon claimed it was hers, but Faith spotted Sharon's cell phone on the table. Over Sharon's protests, Faith crossed over to the desk, where she discovered Dylan's cell phone and his wedding ring. Faith thought Dylan needed his phone for work, and she questioned why he'd leave his wedding ring there. Faith asked if Dylan and Sharon were getting a divorce.
Sharon swore that she and Dylan weren't divorcing, and she explained that he sometimes left the ring at home when he was dealing with bad guys, since he didn't want them to know about his personal life. Sharon remembered that she'd been worried the first time he'd taken it off, but Dylan had been just fine, just like he would be then. Faith wanted to call Dylan and tell him that she was thinking about him, but Sharon pointed out that his phone was right there. Sharon revealed that before Dylan had left, he'd asked her to tell Faith that he'd be gone for a while and that he was sorry he hadn't had a chance to say goodbye, but he loved her very much. Faith said she loved him, too, and she hoped he got back really soon.
Nikki left a voicemail for Dylan, asking him to get back to her. She hung up and wished she'd heard his voice to make sure he was okay, and Victor was certain that Dylan would call back. Victor asked where Faith was, and Nikki relayed that it had been Faith's idea to go over to Sharon's. Nikki thought it had been a good idea, and Victor agreed, since Faith needed to be where she wanted to be, no matter what they thought of Sharon.
At GC Buzz, Mariah left a message for Hilary, acknowledging that they weren't pleased with one another but insisting that they had a show to put on. An employee named Roz informed Mariah that Devon had been airlifted to the hospital after he'd totaled the car he'd won at the benefit, and Mariah said she had to go. Roz inquired about that day's show, but Mariah ran out.
At the hospital, Neil handed Hilary a bottle of water and asked if there had been any news. Hilary bemoaned that it couldn't be good, since Devon had been in surgery forever. Lily rushed in and frantically inquired about Devon, but Neil reported that they didn't know anything. Lily snarled that Devon had only been in the car because of Hilary, so it was on Hilary if he didn't make it.
Lily said she was really scared, and she asked Neil whether it was normal for surgery to take that long. Hilary stated that the doctors hadn't provided a timeframe, and Lily snapped that she hadn't been talking to Hilary. Lily questioned what Hilary was even doing there, since Devon had made it clear that he'd wanted nothing to do with his lying, scheming wife. Hilary barked that only Lily would make it about petty differences when Devon was fighting for his life, and Lily retorted that Devon wouldn't be in the situation if Hilary hadn't created it.
Mariah arrived, and Hilary guessed that Mariah blamed her for everything as well. Mariah asked about Devon, and Hilary reported that he'd been in surgery for hours. Mariah said she was sorry to hear about the accident, and Hilary ranted that Mariah was just as responsible as she was, if not more. Lily admonished Hilary for attacking and embarrassing Mariah because Hilary hadn't been able to handle being on the sidelines. Stitch announced that Devon was out of surgery and in the ICU, and he indicated that while it was good news, Devon was far from being out of danger.
Stitch explained that the accident had been severe, and Devon had suffered internal damage to his organs as well as a concussion. Neil inquired whether Devon would make a full recovery, and Stitch promised do the best they could. Stitch left to get back to work, and Mariah optimistically pointed out that Devon had gotten over the first hurdle by successfully getting through the surgery. Neil followed an upset Lily out.
Mariah hesitantly reminded Hilary that they were supposed to do a show that day, but Hilary refused to leave the hospital. Hilary invited Mariah to host the show, since she was sure Mariah was dying to tell everyone what Hilary had done. Mariah murmured that she'd never thought things would turn out that way, and Hilary hissed that Mariah hadn't been thinking at all when she'd risked Devon's life to get back at Hilary. Mariah stopped herself from arguing, and she simply hoped Hilary kept her updated about Devon's condition.
Mariah returned to GC Buzz and updated Roz about Devon's condition. Roz reported that they'd been getting calls about the accident, and she suggested that they address it live so that viewers heard about it from them rather than another network. Mariah agreed, and Roz guessed that it wasn't an option for Hilary to host the show. Roz recognized that Mariah didn't like being on-camera, but she encouraged Mariah to make a quick announcement to the public before they aired some prepackaged material. Mariah figured she owed Devon at least that much, and she didn't want his accident turning into a tabloid scandal.
Mariah filmed a segment for GC Buzz and mentioned that she was filling in for Hilary. Mariah announced that everyone there was sad after learning Devon had been in a car accident, and all they knew was that he was out of surgery and receiving the best care possible. Mariah promised that she would update the viewers with information, and she proclaimed that Devon was not only the reason the show existed but also an amazing mentor and friend. Mariah wrapped up by saying that they wouldn't be airing original episodes until further notice, and Roz complimented her on doing a great job under difficult circumstances. Mariah recognized that it had been nothing compared to what Devon was going through.
Meanwhile, Hilary told Neil and Lily that they didn't have to hang around, and she'd call when Devon regained consciousness. Lily and Neil opted to stay, and he added that he didn't want to leave Hilary alone. Stitch indicated that Devon was set up in the ICU, and he could have one visitor at a time, starting with his wife. "Try tormentor," Lily grumbled to herself, and Neil encouraged her to take deep breaths. Lily sobbed that she didn't know if she could handle it.
Hilary entered the ICU and saw Devon lying unconscious in a hospital bed, attached to machines, with his head bandaged, and she tearfully said she was sorry. Hilary softly told Devon that he'd been in a terrible accident, but he'd pulled through surgery because it was who he was -- her husband and the love of her life. She recounted that the last time she'd seen him, he'd had hate in his eyes, and she'd put it there. Hilary blamed herself for him being there, and she begged for his forgiveness. She added that all she cared about was that he opened his eyes, if only to curse her and tell her didn't want to see her again. She clutched his hand and cried that she loved him and needed him, and she willed him to be okay.
A nurse entered Devon's room, and Hilary told Devon to get some rest and that she loved him. Hilary kissed his hand and stepped out. Lily hung up the phone and relayed that Cane had sent his love and prayers, and she asked Hilary how Devon was doing. Hilary shakily reported that Devon was banged up and hooked up to machines. Stitch joined them and told Neil and Lily that they could briefly check in on Devon.
Stitch asked Hilary how she was holding up, and he offered to get her something from the cafeteria. Hilary replied that she couldn't eat, since she couldn't stop thinking about Devon, and he had to wake up. Stitch assured her that Devon was lucky to have her in his life.
Neil called to Devon, and Lily whimpered that she was sending Devon all the strength she had. Neil reasoned that the doctors had said it might be a while before Devon woke up. Lily acknowledged that she'd been taking everything out on Hilary, but she swore to be Hilary's best friend if that was what Devon wanted, as long as he was okay. Lily figured that it wouldn't be necessary, since Devon had been ready to end his marriage on New Year's Eve. Devon moved his head, and Lily excitedly wondered if he was waking up.
Devon's monitor started beeping, and Lily asked if he could hear her. Devon began convulsing, and Neil ran out to get a doctor. Hilary raced in, and Lily yelled for help. Stitch entered and ordered everyone out. Lily and Hilary huddled together and peered inside the room as Stitch applied defibrillator paddles to Devon's chest.
At the hospital, Stitch woke Hilary, who had been asleep on the couch. Hilary panicked and asked if Devon was all right. Stitch assured her that Devon was critical but stable, and it wasn't unusual for someone in his condition to have a cardiac arrest. Stitch encouraged Hilary to go home and rest, but she wasn't leaving without Devon. Stitch understood that Hilary wanted to stay, but there was nothing she could do.
Hilary blurted out that Devon wouldn't be there if it hadn't been for her. Stitch said that what had happened had been an accident. Hilary asked Stitch to guarantee that Devon would be all right. Stitch assured her they'd do their best and that Devon knew how much she loved him. Hilary demanded to see Devon.
Hilary told Devon she loved him and would stand by him because that was where she had always belonged. She acknowledged that Devon had always stood by her, protected her, believed in her, and loved her even when she hadn't deserved it. She wondered if he'd walk away when he woke up. She said if he did, she understood. She didn't care how Devon felt about her, but she wouldn't leave him there alone.
Hilary asked Stitch if Devon could hear her. Stitch advised that Devon was very heavily sedated. She wanted Devon to know she was there for him. Stitch said that sometimes Hilary had to put herself first. Hilary admitted she'd done that too often. Stitch said she was a wreck and assured her that Devon was stable. He said it would be very good for Devon to wake up and see his beautiful, healthy wife by his side. She agreed to go home. She asked Stitch to call her if there was any change. He agreed.
Jack drove into the Jabot parking lot and saw Billy exiting his car. Jack glared at Billy and entered the building.
Billy and Jack met at the elevator. Billy asked Jack to drop him off on Billy's floor. Jack pointed out that it was still Jack's floor, and Billy was lucky to still be working there. Billy said it had to irk Jack to see him daily because Victor had forced Jack's hand. Jack said that no one had forced his hand. He had just put the needs of the foundation ahead of his ardent desire to have Billy and his partners out of Jabot. Billy asked if Jack thought he was the man. Jack admitted he was the man, and Jabot would crush Billy -- and Jack had a front row seat to watch Billy crash and burn.
Billy asked if Jack planned to have the lab swept for bugs and make sure his computer hadn't been hacked. Jack said he wouldn't have to resort to any underhanded tactics because Jack knew Billy would implode like he always did. Jack felt it was unfortunate that Billy would take Victoria, Cane, and all their hard work with him. Jack said he'd sit and wait.
At Jabot, Ashley was working when Abby arrived with coffee. Ashley said she'd been waiting for Jack because they had a meeting to attend. Abby asked if Ravi had arrived yet and teased Ashley about Ravi's kiss. Ashley said Ravi had just gotten carried away. Abby said it was obvious that Ravi had a thing for Ashley. Ashley thought Ravi was a sweet kid who'd been overwhelmed by the whole thing. Ashley said Ravi was brilliant, but he was naïve about life away from the computer. Ashley agreed she needed talk to Ravi about the kiss.
Ashley noted that it couldn't have been easy for Abby to be where she'd gotten married a year earlier. Abby said she was divorced and admitted she'd had a couple of wobbly moments, but it was a new year and a fresh start. Ashley commended Abby for being the personification of grace and strength. Ashley was very proud of her. Abby felt optimistic and said they had to make the most of every day, even if that meant moving on from ending her marriage.
Jack arrived at that moment and agreed with Abby. Jack advised that his last ties with Phyllis had been severed when Phyllis had resigned. Abby and Ashley were shocked. Ashley questioned Jack about Phyllis quitting. Ashley and Abby were stunned there hadn't been a big fight or threat that Phyllis would take fifty percent of Jack's share of Jabot. Jack confirmed that Phyllis wanted to make a clean break and wanted to work on some new project. He didn't know or care what that project was. Abby was happy for him, and she left.
Jack said he wanted to talk to Ashley about business and said he'd done some digging. Fenmore's holiday sales had been much lower than expected, and they'd had a bad year. Jack said Lauren would try to spin it as a temporary downturn, but Fenmore's was vulnerable, and it was time to make their move. Jack said that with Fenmore's in their pocket, they'd have increased control over distribution and an increased market share.
Jack asked Ashley to think about all the possibilities for cross promotion. They would blow the competition away. Ashley reminded him that Brash & Sassy had an exclusive contract with Fenmore's for several more years, and she knew that Jack would terminate the contract immediately. Ashley knew that Jack really wanted to stick it to Billy. Jack said it was just business. Ashley asked if it was the right time to take on something of that magnitude, since they had a lot of irons in the fire. She reminded him that it hadn't been that long before that they'd had a cash flow problem.
Jack assured Ashley they were firmly in the black, and their numbers were largely due to Ashley's Jabot Go app. Jack said that acquiring Fenmore's would only increase their momentum. Jack said if they didn't go after Fenmore's, someone else would. Ashley asked why Jack was so sure that Lauren would sell and didn't believe Lauren would let the family business go. Jack said Lauren would have no choice.
Ravi arrived to speak to Ashley. Jack left for an appointment. Ravi apologized for the kiss at the gala and said it had been wrong. Ravi said Ashley was beautiful and amazing. He admired and respected her, and he loved working for her. It was the best job he'd ever had, but he understood it wouldn't be possible to keep working there after what had happened. He handed her his resignation.
Ashley ripped up the resignation. She didn't want Ravi making too much of the kiss. Ravi thanked her and said she was wonderful and most generous. Ashley told him he was a very important and an integral part of the team. Ravi promised not to disappoint her. Ashley left.
Billy arrived at Brash & Sassy, agitated because of Jack's comments. Billy asked Victoria if she'd spoken to J.T. Victoria said that Reed would finish his school year in Genoa City, and he was Victoria's problem until the summer.
Billy felt calling Reed her problem was a little harsh. Victoria clarified that those had been J.T.'s words. J.T. and Reed had been butting heads. Reed felt he wasn't very high on J.T.'s priority list and that he'd been cast aside because of his half-brother, the baby, Mac, and J.T.'s work. Victoria stated that all the trouble had started before the move to Europe had been on the horizon. Billy said Reed was a good kid who needed Victoria's love, support, and attention. Billy said Victoria had a chance to connect with Reed the way J.T. didn't. Victoria wanted that more than anything, but she was worried that she wouldn't be able to.
Victoria was happy to be spending time with Reed but didn't know if she was prepared to have her teenaged son living with her. Billy said that after years of Victoria living with Billy, Victoria was more than prepared. He said that Victoria was a fantastic mother and would do well. Victoria pointed out that, like J.T.'s household, she also had two small kids living with her and a demanding job.
Victoria wanted to give Reed the time and attention he needed. Billy pointed out that Victoria had him to help her. He and Reed got along well. Victoria said Reed wasn't Billy's responsibility. Billy said she didn't have to do it alone, and he'd love to help out. Reed arrived, reported he'd taken a tour of Genoa City High, and thanked Victoria for letting him stay with her.
Reed said he was taking all the music courses offered. Victoria asked if he was going to try out for baseball in the spring. Reed said he was interested in music, not baseball. Billy asked if Reed still played the guitar. Reed admitted he was still playing and described the guitar he wanted to get. Victoria saw how Billy and Reed bonded.
After Reed left, Victoria said she didn't know her own son. Billy said it was wonderful that a fifteen-year-old boy actually wanted to spend time with his mom. Billy asked if Victoria knew how lucky she and Reed were.
In the park, Lauren was on the phone and was upset about Fenmore's numbers. Phyllis arrived and said it didn't sound like good news. Lauren asked Phyllis how soon she could get her new platform up and running.
Phyllis and Lauren sat on a park bench. Lauren told Phyllis that when she'd seen the preliminary numbers, she'd thought they'd been bad enough, but she felt they'd be back in the black after a strong Christmas season. However, it had turned out to be a disaster. Lauren had always prided herself on being a confident businesswoman. When her business had a problem, she'd always had a plan and felt in control. Lauren stated that Fenmore's had lost a lot of ground, and she was worried she wouldn't be able to get it back.
Phyllis insisted that she could turn things around for Lauren. Lauren agreed to do whatever needed to be done. Lauren said it had been her father's legacy, and she couldn't let him down. Lauren wanted to know Phyllis' progress with the online presence. They went to the Athletic Club. Phyllis told Lauren the app would be user-friendly. It would be Fenmore's newest online shopping spree. Lauren understood that the customer would upload a picture then be able to "try on" every outfit that Fenmore's carried on their actual body without leaving home.
Lauren was excited and claimed it was genius. Phyllis admitted she'd been inspired by the Jabot Go app. Lauren said Phyllis' app took shopping to a whole new level. Phyllis stated they would reposition Fenmore's and make it a multi-channel company where it would combine on- and offline business and where it gave the ultimate experience to retailers.
Lauren asked if the app would be up and running by the launch of Fenmore's President's Day sale. Phyllis said it would. Lauren thanked Phyllis for her commitment. Phyllis said it wasn't just about Fenmore's -- it was also about Phyllis walking away from Jabot and a chance to show what she could do. She would also be able to help her best friend save her company. Phyllis advised Lauren that heavy costs would be incurred. Lauren assured Phyllis that she would provide Phyllis with the money she needed, and thanks to Phyllis, Lauren would be able to keep her father's legacy alive.
Lauren noticed that Phyllis kept peeking over at Jack. Lauren was aware of how hard Phyllis had fought to stay close to Jack. Lauren asked if Phyllis had any regrets about walking away.
Phyllis admitted she had a lot of regrets, but leaving Jabot wasn't one of them. She admitted she'd been fighting for something that didn't exist. Her efforts to save her marriage had made things worse. Phyllis said she was regaining her dignity and finding a purpose.
At the police station, Nikki was upset. She told Paul that Sharon had informed her that Dylan was on a case. Nikki had a bad feeling about it. Nikki hadn't been able to reach Dylan and demanded to know where he was.
Paul advised Nikki that she wouldn't be able to talk to Dylan while he was on assignment. Paul said he couldn't tell her anything, but Dylan had been the best man for the job. Nikki asked how Paul could put their son at risk. Nikki realized that Dylan had volunteered, and she was sure Dylan had jumped at the chance after losing Christian and after all the lies from Sharon.
Nikki knew Dylan had been hurt at Christmas when the whole family had gathered together and wrapped around a child Dylan had thought had been his. She hated that Dylan felt like an outsider and the rift between them. Paul said Dylan loved her, but it would take some time for him to come to terms with what had happened. Paul felt the assignment would help him. Nikki reluctantly agreed the time and distance would help, and she left.
Paul called Christine into his office. He asked if Christine had personally briefed Dylan on the case and ensured Dylan was aware that Fisk and all his associates didn't have a problem with killing anyone. Christine said Dylan knew the risks. Paul said that Nikki had stopped by, and she knew Dylan had gone on an assignment. Christine assured Paul that Dylan understood he wasn't to talk to anyone about the assignment. She asked Paul if Nikki had revealed any details. Paul admitted she hadn't.
Christine asked why Paul was so upset. He said he'd wanted to brief Dylan himself. It would have given him an opportunity to say goodbye and tell Dylan he loved him. Christine reminded Paul that he'd been out of town, and they'd been in a time crunch. They had to try to stop Fisk before the heroin shipment arrived in Genoa City. Christine assured Paul that Dylan had been well prepped and knew exactly what he was getting himself into. Paul said he hoped he'd made the right call.
Christine mentioned that she'd asked Paul about Dylan's state of mind, and Paul had been confident that Dylan was the man for the job. Paul said he had second thoughts. Paul hoped Dylan would stay focused and didn't view it as a way to escape the pain of losing Christian. Christine said Dylan had been in control, professional, and confident. Paul said that was Dylan's default mode. Paul asked if he'd missed the signs that Dylan wasn't handling things well. Christine assured him that Dylan had been ready and would return home.
Paul and Christine were in the park, and Paul received a text that Dylan had arrived at his destination and was safe.
Jack arrived at the Athletic Club and spotted Phyllis with Lauren. Jack joined Nikki at the bar. They talked about Devon, the gala, and the amount of money the foundation had made. Jack confirmed that they'd raised a great deal of money and would be able to help a lot of needy people. Nikki thanked him for letting Brash & Sassy stay in the Jabot building. Jack said it had been an exchange -- the Top of the Tower for tearing up Brash & Sassy's eviction notice. Nikki said it pleased Victor to be able to help Victoria. Jack said it had pleased Victor to extort Jack. Nikki preferred to see it as her husband and her friend reaching a mutual agreement that benefitted both of them.
Nikki asked how Jack was doing. He said Jabot had some exciting new products, and he had an intriguing business venture he'd been looking into. Nikki noticed that Jack kept peeking over at Phyllis and commented that she couldn't imagine what Phyllis had put him through.
Nikki told Jack she'd never thought she'd see the day Phyllis would admit defeat. Nikki knew Jack would bury himself in work, and that wasn't healthy. Nikki suggested that Jack take time to heal, since he'd been through a very traumatic time. Jack said he was a new man, and she and everyone else would see that he was at the top of his game.
Lauren and Phyllis arrived at the Baldwins' home, and they discussed Devon's accident. Gloria sauntered in, and Phyllis was surprised that she was still there. Gloria remarked that a mother always went where she was needed, and she said she had to run. After Gloria departed, Phyllis inquired how often "Hurricane Gloria" blew in and out, and Lauren grumbled that it was too often, adding that she thought the "hurricane" had been wearing her earrings.
Phyllis wondered why Gloria didn't want to stay somewhere more elegant, and Lauren revealed that Jeffrey had drained Gloria's bank account. Lauren confided that she needed an investor to help with Fenmore's financial burden, and she showed Phyllis a list of investors she was researching. Phyllis questioned why Lauren didn't have an assistant helping her. Lauren admitted that she'd been working from home to avoid everyone finding out how bad things were financially, but being at home hadn't been much easier because Michael was there. Phyllis realized that Lauren still hadn't told him about her financial woes.
Lauren reasoned that it hadn't been her intention to keep the information from Michael, and she'd been hoping things would turn around over the holidays, but they hadn't that year. Phyllis surmised that Lauren was finally planning to tell him, but Lauren was hesitant because he'd just get stressed out and try to fix things. Lauren balked at letting him know how bad things had gotten, and she blamed herself for letting them get that way. Lauren vowed to fix the problem, and she questioned why she should say anything when everything might be okay in another week.
At Crimson Lights, Kevin and Chloe hoped for Devon's quick recovery, and she couldn't help but think about being at the hospital with Delia. She noted that Kevin had been there for her, and he joked that he was there even when she didn't want him to be, since he was annoying like that. Gloria entered and cheerfully greeted her handsome son, but her demeanor shifted noticeably when she coolly acknowledged Chloe. Kevin noticed that Gloria was dressed up, and he asked if she had a date.
Gloria scoffed at the idea of needing a man in her life, and she announced that she was about to brighten Chelsea's day by going back to work. Chloe choked on her coffee, and Kevin suggested that Gloria and Chloe go to the studio together, since Chloe was working there again. A shocked Gloria pointed out that Chloe had tried to kill Chelsea's husband, but Kevin implored Gloria to make nice with Chloe if she wanted a job at Chelsea's studio. Gloria called it kismet that she and Chloe had both gravitated back to the studio, and she recalled that they'd had fun there before.
Chloe pointed out that the studio had changed names and ownership several times since Gloria had blown out of town, but Gloria contended that it had always been in her heart. Gloria argued that she'd worn Chelsea's designs all over the Riviera, and she was ready to go back to her position. Chloe announced that Sharon had taken over the job that Gloria had once held, and Gloria scoffed at the thought that someone who'd gotten out of a locked ward could fill the role. Chloe dryly stated that some lucky company was sure to snatch Gloria up without Gloria having to work with an interloper who was foisting someone else's child on Gloria's son.
Chloe departed for work, and Gloria reprimanded Kevin for not defending his mother. Kevin replied that Gloria's behavior had been indefensible, and he was sure that Gloria would find the right position elsewhere. Gloria envisioned supervising Sharon, and Kevin sarcastically suggested that Chelsea might hand over the whole company to Gloria. Kevin wondered why Gloria wanted to work when she could travel the world, but she bemoaned that she couldn't even afford a bus ticket, since Jeffrey had left her broke.
Kevin was shocked when Gloria recounted that Jeffrey had wasted her entire insurance settlement on racehorses and gambling. She stated that she'd been poor before, and she was determined to pick herself up again, but she needed a job to do it. Kevin offered to talk to Chloe and Chelsea, but Gloria refused to go someplace where she wasn't wanted. She pledged to knock down doors until she started cashing paychecks again.
Lauren spoke with a potential investor over the phone, and she dejectedly hung up as Gloria returned home. Gloria asked if Lauren was working from home that day, and Lauren reasoned that there were usually fewer distractions there. Gloria suggested that Lauren needed a gatekeeper to allow her to focus on being a leader, and Lauren distractedly mused that it would be nice. Lauren was startled when Gloria proclaimed that she accepted.
Gloria gushed that her experience was endless, and she was ready to put it to use, since she needed to work to feel fulfilled. Lauren called it a sweet offer, but she was fully staffed, and she didn't believe in mixing work and family. Gloria argued that Fenmore's was a family business, but Lauren rushed out to take a call privately. Gloria snooped on Lauren's computer and was aghast when she saw a chart showing the company's rapid decline.
Nick entered Chelsea's design studio, where Chelsea was deciding how to adjust a dress. He confided that he'd been trying to find a casual way to say he hoped they were okay, and she assured him that they would always be okay. Nick prepared to leave, but Chelsea suspected that it hadn't been the only reason he'd stopped by. He claimed that he wanted to hear the latest developments on little black dresses, and she joked that he had the legs for it. She recognized that they'd both been sad in 2016, but she was confident that life would get better for both of them in the new year. She added that they had to stay friends, and they hugged as Sharon walked in.
Nick inquired about Faith's visit with Sharon, and Sharon reported that it had been mellow, adding that it had probably been a lot like Nick's New Year's Eve. Chelsea abruptly excused herself, and Nick informed Sharon that Faith had told him about finding Dylan's phone and wedding ring. Sharon recounted that she'd explained that Dylan was on a case and that they weren't getting divorced, but Nick grumbled that Faith couldn't believe what people said because she'd been told too many lies. Sharon swore that her marriage was fine and that Dylan would soon be back with all the people who loved him. Sharon was irritated when Nick pointedly praised Dylan for providing Faith with some stability in her life.
Later, Chloe burst into the studio and teased that she knew something that Chelsea didn't. Chloe announced that Gloria had dumped Jeffrey, and Chelsea groaned that he'd probably show up to sleep on her couch. Chloe reported that Gloria wanted her job back, and Sharon blurted out that it was her job. Chloe complained that Gloria had managed to insult her every five minutes, and she insisted that Sharon's job was safe. A relieved Sharon remarked that she needed to stay busy, and Chelsea noted that it helped when one's personal life was unpredictable.
Chelsea asked if Sharon and Dylan were okay.Sharon insisted that things were perfect, but Chloe recognized that the couple had been through a rough time. Sharon conceded that it had been overwhelming, but she and Dylan were really strong together. Chelsea asked how they were doing individually, and Sharon explained that Dylan coped by focusing on work and dealing with problems he could solve. Chloe was glad that he wasn't spinning out, and Sharon reported that Dylan had been calm and brave, so no one had to worry that he would snap.
Phyllis found Nick at the Underground and ordered a beer. They talked about Summer getting stuck in Belize after the ATM had eaten her card, and Phyllis said she'd wired money before Victor could airdrop hundreds at the resort. Nick asked why she was there, and Phyllis revealed that she'd walked away from Jack and Jabot and that she was working at Fenmore's with Lauren. Nick called it a smart move, but Phyllis questioned whether it was a good idea to work for one of her best friends.
Nick thought the idea of Phyllis and Lauren teaming up was big and a little scary -- but in the best way possible. Nick added that Phyllis was a good person to have in one's corner, since she was a good friend. Phyllis remarked that families wouldn't put up with a lot of things that friends would, and Nick expressed confidence that Phyllis wouldn't blow it, just like he and Chelsea wouldn't. Phyllis pushed him to tell her more, and Nick confided that there had been a moment between him and Chelsea, but things hadn't gone far. Phyllis guessed that Nick had wanted them to and that maybe he still did.
Nick explained that he and Chelsea had put on the brakes and had agreed that sleeping together would be a bad idea. He added that a romance was the furthest thing from his mind, and he didn't want to do anything stupid out of grief. Phyllis referred to having an affair with her after his daughter had died, but Nick pointed out that they'd fallen in love. Phyllis said that was her point, since loneliness sometimes crept up unexpectedly, and she advised him to be cautious.
At Crimson Lights, Neil asked Hilary if she had any news about Devon, but she griped that she'd heard nothing since she'd left the hospital to get a change of clothes and a decent cup of coffee. She worried that it had been a mistake to leave Devon's side, and Neil observed that she looked exhausted. She figured that there was nothing to do but sit outside the ICU and pray, so that was what she intended to do. Neil insisted on returning to the hospital with her, and she angrily assumed that he thought she wouldn't tell him if there was a change in Devon's condition. Neil gently stated that he had to be there because Devon was his son, and Hilary apologized. They left for the hospital together.
At the hospital, a nurse expressed surprise that Stitch had convinced Devon's wife to leave, but Stitch was sure that Hilary would be back any second. The nurse mused that Hilary was obviously in love with her husband, and Devon stirred. Devon slowly woke up, and Stitch told Devon that he was in the hospital and that his throat would be very sore from the intubation. Devon tried to ask questions, and Stitch explained that Devon had been in a bad car accident and had needed surgery. Stitch continued that Devon's vitals were stabilizing, but Devon needed to take it easy and rest while they did everything they could to get him back on his feet. Devon nodded in understanding.
In the corridor, the nurse informed Hilary and Neil that Devon had just woken up, and Hilary was visibly relieved. Stitch exited Devon's room, and Hilary asked whether Devon had said anything. Stitch reported that he'd told Devon about the accident and the surgery, but he hadn't mentioned the specifics of Devon's injuries. Stitch instructed them to give him a few minutes before they went in to see Devon. Hilary worriedly hovered outside the room, and she flashed back to her argument with Devon before he'd stormed out of the benefit.
Neil called Lily to update her, and he said he and Hilary were still waiting for word about Devon's recovery. Lily became incensed that Hilary was there, but Neil insisted that Devon was all that mattered. Lily hurried out of the Athletic Club to see her brother.
Hilary fretted about what was taking so long, and Neil urged her to relax, since Stitch would let them know when Devon was ready for visitors. Hilary barked that she wasn't a visitor -- she was Devon's wife. Lily arrived and demanded to know what Hilary was doing there, since Hilary's presence would only upset Devon. Hilary asserted that she was showing her love and support, but Lily spat that Hilary had married Devon for his money. Hilary admonished Lily for allowing her spite and hate to keep her from seeing that Devon wanted Hilary there as much as Hilary wanted to be with him. Stitch reported that Devon was asking for Hilary.
Devon struggled to speak, but Hilary told him not to talk, since he needed to rest. She swore that the last thing she wanted to do was upset him, and he asked if she'd been waiting there. Hilary replied that she'd always be with him, and he mentioned that he'd wrecked his car. She referred to the car from the auction, and he remarked that she was going to host an auction. Hilary clarified that she had hosted it, but the last thing Devon remembered was getting ready for the benefit. He confirmed that he didn't know what had happened, but he was grateful that she hadn't been in the car with him.
Neil asked when he could see his son, and Stitch insisted that Devon be limited to one visitor at a time. Stitch stressed that Devon needed his wife, but Lily argued that she and Neil were Devon's family. Neil recognized that Lily was worried and that she hated the fact that Hilary was with Devon, but he thought Lily had to respect that Devon had asked for Hilary. Lily snarled that Hilary had been the reason why Devon had ended up crashing into a ditch, but Neil countered that Devon had been the one behind the wheel. Neil anticipated that Devon would do what he needed to do when the time was right, but they had to make sure Devon got well first.
Stitch warned Hilary not to stay much longer, and Devon wondered why he'd been out on the road. Hilary suggested that he'd left the benefit to take his new car for a spin, and she said she'd waited and tried to call him. He apologized for making her worry, and he begged her to forgive him. Neil and Lily listened from the doorway.
Lily told Devon that she and Neil had been worried about him, and Devon said the accident shouldn't have happened. Lily agreed, and Devon said he was sorry for scaring them. Devon mused that he was lucky to have his beautiful wife, and Lily asked what Hilary had told him. Devon wondered what Lily meant, and Hilary divulged that Devon didn't remember anything about the accident. Lily queried whether he remembered the benefit, but Hilary protested that it was too much for him.
Hilary, Neil, and Lily stepped out of the room, and Lily growled that Devon hadn't been looking at Hilary the same way that he'd been looking at her on New Year's Eve. Hilary lectured that they should be thanking God that Devon had survived the crash and major surgery, but Lily surmised that Hilary was only thankful that Devon couldn't remember anything. Neil cautioned that they shouldn't be arguing because they had to keep Devon calm, and Lily questioned whether Hilary intended to live a lie if Devon never remembered. Hilary asserted that the truth was that Devon loved her.
Neil implored Lily to let her anger go, since her brother was alive and getting better, and he never wanted to feel that kind of fear in the pit of his stomach again. Hilary refused to let Lily put Devon's recovery in jeopardy, and she opposed doing anything that would upset Devon. Stitch joined them and explained that memory loss wasn't unusual with head trauma, but it was too early to say whether Devon would recover his memories. Stitch added that Devon was unaware that he'd been driving too fast, and he advised them not to stress Devon out by telling him what they thought he should know, since anything other than giving him support might set back his recovery. Neil firmly stated that they all understood as Lily and Hilary glowered at one another.
Lily and Neil waited at the hospital, and she wondered how a witch like Hilary had gotten lucky enough to have Devon not remember anything. Neil reminded Lily that they couldn't do anything to upset Devon, and she questioned how Neil could be okay with it. Neil clarified that Devon deserved to know what had happened but not until he was out of the woods. Lily groaned that it was hard pretending that she didn't hate Hilary's guts, and Neil urged her to go back to work, since they had no control over anything but staying positive. They hugged, and Lily headed out.
Hilary helped Devon take a sip of water, and he thanked her. She asked if she could get him anything else, and he replied that he only needed her, since it had meant a lot to open his eyes and see her there. She vowed to be by his side until she could take him home with her, but she insisted that he needed time to let his body heal. Devon realized that he'd been out of it for a while, and he apologized for scaring Hilary. He asked what was going on between her and Lily, since things seemed worse than usual.
Devon asked Hilary to tell him if something was wrong, but Hilary insisted that everything was great. He complained that his head hurt, and she mentioned that Stitch had indicated that it could take a little while for the symptoms to go away. Hilary encouraged Devon not to try to rush the healing process, but he worried that there were things to take care of, like the show. She promised to handle everything, and she thought the accident had taught them to never let anyone or anything get between them. Devon was certain that nothing ever could, and Hilary said she'd make sure of it.
In the waiting area, Hilary asked Neil where Lily was, and Neil said he'd sent her back to the club. Hilary reported that Devon was sleeping, and Neil thought Devon should get as much rest as possible -- "for now." He explained that he'd sent Lily away to avoid any arguments, but he warned Hilary not to think that she would get away with any of it, since Devon would know the truth eventually. Hilary blasted Neil and Lily for being self-righteous, but Neil reminded her that Devon had driven away in a total rage. Hilary argued that Neil didn't know what Devon had been thinking, and it was possible that Devon had been turning around when he'd hit the patch of ice.
Neil considered it highly unlikely, and Hilary griped that he and Lily loved to think the worst of her. Hilary continued that they'd assumed Devon would end his marriage, but she wasn't convinced, since Devon had been loving and grateful to her. Neil cautioned that she was living on borrowed time, since Devon would find out that she'd humiliated Mariah on live television, and he expected Devon to be disgusted with Hilary all over again. Hilary asserted that she was Devon's wife, and she intended to stay married to him until Devon decided otherwise.
Hilary returned to Devon's bedside, and she claimed that Neil and Lily were giving them time alone. Hilary recalled that Devon had been there for her when she'd been scared that she'd slip back into a coma, and she reminded him that their wedding vows had included "in sickness and in health." He inquired about the show, and she informed him that they would re-cut some classic episodes. She proclaimed that she didn't want to give work a second thought, since she had her priorities straight, and all she cared about was him and their marriage. He assured her that she didn't have to worry, and she promised that she would be there with him every step of the way during his recovery.
Later, Hilary told Devon that he was about to be removed from the critical list and that he'd be moving to a regular room soon. He thought it was progress, but he still couldn't fathom why he'd been driving like a maniac on a random road, miles away from home. Hilary asserted that it didn't matter, since he was back and would be just fine. He said he was grateful, but he wished he knew why the accident had happened. She shushed him and told him to rest.
At the Athletic Club, Mariah asked Lily how Devon was doing, and Lily revealed that he'd woken up, but he was still in the ICU with a concussion and internal injuries. Lily added that it was important not to do anything to upset him, and Mariah was sure that he was upset enough after finding out who he was married to. Lily dryly replied that Devon was deliriously happy, since he had no recollection of anything leading up to the accident. Mariah guessed that Hilary had dodged a bullet, but Lily anticipated that it wouldn't be for long.
Neil joined Mariah and Lily, and Mariah lamented that she felt responsible for what had happened because she'd changed the script. Lily thought it would have been a shame if no one had found out how petty and cruel Hilary could be, and Neil swore that Mariah hadn't been to blame. Neil thought Hilary would get what she deserved when the time was right, but Lily expected Hilary to make herself indispensable to Devon.
At Crimson Lights, Ashley looked on as Jack presented a woman with a contribution to a training program that helped the foundation's clients find jobs. The woman gasped at the amount of the check, and she stammered that it would run the program for a year. The woman threw her arms around him in gratitude, and she excused herself before she started crying and lost credibility. Ashley hugged Jack, and he invited her to join him for coffee so he could tap her brain about Fenmore's, since rumor had it that Lauren was reaching out to potential investors. Ashley guessed that Lauren hadn't contacted him, but Jack questioned when that had ever stopped him.
Jack presented Ashley with a consulting firm's report that indicated Jabot was in an upward trajectory. Ashley objected to buying out Lauren because Fenmore's was in a sales slump, but Jack thought the department store chain represented class and style. He intended to keep Lauren on to do creative work while Jabot took care of the business side, but Ashley noted that Fenmore's was more than just a brand to Lauren, just like Jabot was to them. Ashley recalled how agonizing it had been during the times they'd lost Jabot, and she couldn't imagine that Lauren would be happy being a subsidiary under Jabot's umbrella. Jack quipped that when it rained, an umbrella could be handy.
At Victoria's house, Victoria sternly reminded Reed that he'd agreed to follow the rules when she'd said he could live there. She chided him for pulling a vanishing act on the first day he'd registered at school, but he defended that he'd told her that he'd be with a friend. She argued that he hadn't answered her text messages for hours, and it wasn't like his phone was ever out of his hands. Billy entered and revealed that Reed had called him from a guitar store to ask for a ride home. Reed thanked Billy for the ride, and they fist-bumped before Reed headed upstairs. Billy insisted that it was okay that Reed had called, but Victoria snapped that it wasn't okay with her.
Victoria complained that Reed had ignored her messages and that he'd expected a personal taxi service. Victoria thought he needed to learn to be accountable, and Billy surmised that she couldn't help but see some of Billy in Reed. Billy theorized that Victoria was really just freaked out because they'd almost kissed on New Year's Eve, but Victoria contended that the kiss had never happened. She insisted that the situation was about Reed being part of the family, and Billy pointed out that both Reed and Victoria were learning one another's expectations. Billy offered to let her know if Reed reached out to him again, and Victoria showed Billy out.
Victoria was on the phone with the office, and she explained that she was dealing with personal issues, so she wouldn't be in that day. The sound of an electric guitar suddenly blared through the house, and Victoria yelled for Reed to turn it down. The power suddenly went out, and Reed rushed downstairs. She asked what had happened, and he denied responsibility for the blown fuse. She barked that she was about to blow one, too.
From the basement, Victoria called out to ask which switch she should flip on the fuse box, and Reed nonchalantly replied that it was definitely the green one. She marched up the stairs and reported that she'd heard a grinding noise in the furnace, and he guessed that she should have moved another one. She scolded that he wouldn't think it was funny when they were freezing and he couldn't charge his cell phone, and she bemoaned that it was too late to get a repairman. Reed suggested calling Billy, but Victoria returned downstairs to try the red switch. Reed counted down the seconds under his breath until Victoria cursed, and she panicked that she'd done something to the hot water heater.
Ashley and Billy boarded the elevator in the Jabot building, and he wondered if she regretted letting Brash & Sassy stick around instead of getting her lab back. Ashley remarked that life was more interesting when he was in it, and she noted that she hadn't yet wished him a happy New Year because he and Victoria had taken off before the countdown. Billy reported that they'd had a sick kid to deal with, and he revealed that Reed had shown up out of nowhere to protest moving across the world for J.T.'s new job. Billy empathized with Reed, and Ashley thought Billy sounded happy to have Reed back.
Ashley wondered what Victoria thought about Reed's return, and Billy replied that Victoria loved her son, but she was having a hard time with it. Ashley was sure that Billy would be there to help as much as he could, but he anticipated that Victoria would object to his involvement. Billy accidentally stepped off on Jabot's floor with Ashley, and she offered to buy him a cup of coffee if he told her more. Billy suspected that it was a ploy to get him and Jack talking, but Ashley informed him that Jack was out of the building.
Ashley led Billy into Jack's office, and she wondered why Victoria didn't want Billy to spend time with Reed. Billy relayed that he'd tried to talk about it with Victoria but had gotten nowhere, and Ashley surmised that he really wanted to spend more time with Victoria. Ashley received a call and stated that her date that night wanted to know where they should meet. Billy said it was about time she had a man in her life, and he imagined that it felt good to have the possibility of being with someone special. Ashley questioned whether he was still talking about her, but Billy grumbled that Victoria had made it clear that she wanted to be far away from him.
Ashley made a deal with Billy not to give him advice about Victoria if he didn't grill Ashley about her date. He guessed the date was serious, and she asked if he and Victoria were really over. He confided that they'd had a small moment on New Year's Eve, but it had turned out to be a case of "Auld Lang Syne." He made a second New Year's resolution to spend more time with Ashley, and she asked what his first one had been. His phone rang with a call from Victoria.
Later, power was restored at Victoria's house, and Billy and Victoria emerged from the basement. Billy teased that she'd mastered the circuit breaker, so she'd never have to call him again. Reed prompted Victoria to thank Billy, and Billy joked that he'd send a bill in the mail. Billy referred to Reed as "Slash," and Reed was impressed that Billy was familiar with Guns N' Roses. Billy reminded Reed that it was his mother's home and that his siblings also lived there, so Reed had to turn it down a few decibels. Billy handed headphones to Reed and earplugs to Victoria.
At the Baldwins' home, Lauren caught Gloria snooping on her laptop and demanded to know what Gloria thought she was doing. Gloria huffed that she could ask Lauren the same thing, since Lauren hadn't been honest about her company being in terrible shape. Gloria realized that it made perfect sense why Lauren had been jumpy and irritable, and she asked how long it had been going on and if anyone else knew -- like Lauren's husband.
Lauren conceded that Fenmore's had had a bad quarter, but she expected things to rebound by spring. Gloria suspected that it was a much bigger downward trend, and Lauren pledged to change things by being patient and working hard. Gloria guessed that Lauren hadn't told Michael about it, and Lauren referred to Michael's cancer and near-disbarment. Lauren asserted that the one thing they'd both been able to count on had been Fenmore's, and the last thing Michael had needed had been to hear about her business issues. Gloria promised to keep the secret, since she was ready to get to work on it immediately.
Lauren reiterated that she believed in keeping work and family separate, and she didn't want to detract from Gloria's travels and adventures. Gloria insisted that she was volunteering, and she insinuated that they both had an interest in keeping the bad numbers secret so that Lauren wouldn't have to trouble Michael with the things she'd been hiding. Lauren incredulously asked if Gloria was blackmailing her into giving Gloria a job, but Gloria stated that she'd never dream of it. Gloria went to answer the door, and Jack was stunned to see her. He remarked that Lauren had drawn the short straw.
Jack and Gloria exchanged barbs, and Lauren called a draw. Gloria reluctantly stepped out when Lauren requested a moment alone with Jack. Jack noted that Lauren hadn't returned his calls, but he'd heard that Fenmore's was looking for investors, and he was hurt that she hadn't called him first. Lauren questioned why Jabot would invest in her company when it already had a fashion division, and he referred to Fenmore's amazing reputation. She informed him that she'd recently hired Phyllis to revamp the store's online presence, and she expected him to withdraw the offer. Jack said she couldn't be more wrong.
Jack insisted that it made sense for Jabot and Fenmore's to merge, but Lauren recognized that the best strategy for him would be to buy her out and sell off her plum locations for their real estate value. Lauren declared that she had no intention of watching anyone liquidate her father's legacy, and Jack offered to give her a promise in writing that he'd keep Fenmore's intact. Lauren preferred to hold out for the right investor, and he wished her luck in finding a silent partner. After Jack departed, Gloria burst back in and praised Lauren for handling it just right.
Lauren was irritated that Gloria had been listening, and Gloria swore that her lips were zipped, since she'd never betray her boss's trust. Lauren sternly stated that she wasn't Gloria's boss and that she never would be, and Gloria warned that Lauren was bound to lose with that attitude. Gloria added that Jack wouldn't give up without a fight, and she'd been in the mud with him enough times to know that it wouldn't be pretty.
Lauren insisted that she wasn't worried about Jack, since they'd been friends forever. Gloria cautioned that there was a difference between friends and people who wanted her to think they were friends, but Lauren pointed out that it was a privately held company, and Jack couldn't buy what she refused to sell. Gloria warned that Jack would take it as a challenge rather than an impediment, but Lauren maintained that she'd handled the situation.
Jack met Ashley at Jabot and relayed that Lauren had turned him down, but he thought Lauren would eventually realize that Jabot was the best hope for saving Fenmore's. Ashley departed, and Jack's phone rang. He was shocked to hear who was on the line for him, but he agreed to talk to her. Jack accepted the call and asked "what the hell" Gloria wanted. Gloria replied that it was about what he wanted -- Fenmore's -- and she could help him get it. Jack was skeptical about why she'd help him, and Gloria haughtily stated that her daughter-in-law didn't always know what was best for her.