Outside the Underground, Reed celebrated the delivery of a brand-new car Victor had sent as a birthday gift. Zoey told Reed that he'd be able to drive her to a concert in Madison because Victoria couldn't dictate where her son went in his own car. Kendall, jealous of Zoey's relationship with Reed, became miffed and pouted. Reed hugged Nikki because he assumed the car was also a gift from her. Nikki said, "No, honey. That's all your grandfather."
After Victoria and Nikki stepped inside to talk, Billy, Zoey, and Kendall joined Reed inside the car. Reed proclaimed his grandfather's gift to be the best he'd ever received. Kendall agreed. While the girls giggled in the back seat, Billy cautioned Reed to drive safely and avoid distractions. Reed said he'd do whatever was necessary to keep his mother's mind at ease.
The girls cheered when Reed announced he'd be driving his car to school every day. The girls requested that Reed step out of the car to take photos. Zoey handed Kendall a phone and instructed her jealous friend to snap photos. Reed told Kendall that he could only have one passenger at a time until he turned 18. Kendall seemed unfazed and insisted she'd soon have her turn as Reed's passenger.
Inside the Underground, Victoria complained to Nikki about Victor having bought a car for Reed. Nikki said Victor was probably thrilled because he'd outsmarted her for banning him from attending the party. Victoria worried that taking away the car would set back the progress she'd made in bonding with Reed. Nikki noted that if Victoria didn't stand up to Victor, he'd engage in additional power plays to prove he was in charge. Victoria, frustrated, said, "No matter what I do, I'm going to lose, and Dad knows it."
Victoria and Nikki stepped back outside. Nikki hugged Reed before she left. Victoria told Reed that they should head home. Reed told his friends the party was over. Victoria asked Billy to ride home with Reed. Reed was excited about driving his car. Victoria seemed distressed.
After Reed, Billy, and Victoria returned to Victoria's house, Victoria told Reed that she couldn't allow him to keep the car. Reed protested and said he could help Victoria run errands. Victoria explained that Victor had acted irresponsibly by giving the car to Reed without first consulting her. Reed cried that Victoria had ruined his life, and he ran upstairs. Reed's outburst seemed to trouble Victoria and intensify her distress.
Billy insisted that Victoria admit why she strongly disapproved of Victor's gift. Victoria said she'd already explained her position as clearly as she could. Billy said he believed Reed was ready for a car and should be allowed to keep it. Billy added that Victoria shouldn't punish Reed just because she was angry at Victor. Victoria insisted that Victor's sole aim was to buy Reed's loyalty. Victoria cried that her father had placed her in an awful position. Billy asked why Victoria believed Victor had given the gift to spite her. Victoria, frustrated and unwilling to discuss her father, asked Billy to leave, and he did.
At the Neman ranch, Abby stopped by to visit Victor. Abby asked about the bruise on her father's jaw. Victor claimed he and Nick had engaged in a sparring session. Abby mentioned Chloe. Abby said Victor likely felt ill after he'd realized that Adam's murderer had spent so much time around the family. Victor declined to discuss Chloe or what had happened to Adam.
Victor changed the subject and praised Abby's contributions to Newman Enterprises. Victor told Abby he planned to appoint her as the acting chief executive officer of Newman Enterprises. Abby was flattered. Victor said he would be away for a while and needed someone he could trust to be in charge during his absence. Abby was surprised that Victor had chosen her over Victoria. Victor cited Abby's passion, knack for business, and loyalty as qualities he highly valued. Abby accepted Victor's offer and promised not to let him down.
Nikki returned home and noticed the bruise on Victor's face. Abby explained that her dad and Nick had sparred. Before Abby left, she thanked Victor. Nikki later asked Victor why Abby had thanked him. Victor said he'd assigned Abby to a new position at Newman Enterprises. Nikki replied, "A way to assure her loyalty, since you've alienated your other children, apparently seriously enough for Nicholas to do that." Nikki pointed to the injury on Victor's jaw.
Nikki told Victor she felt like hitting him because he'd used Reed's birthday to stab Victoria in the back. Victor denied Nikki's accusation. Nikki replied, "Oh, go to hell, you lying son of a bitch." Victor said he'd ordered the car weeks before Reed's birthday and had also given the same model to Noah. Nikki glared at Victor.
Nikki repeated her conviction that Victor considered Victoria to be an enemy and had sought retaliation against her. Nikki told Victor that he made her sick, and she went upstairs. Nikki returned soon after and asked about Faith. Victor explained that Faith had moved back home with Nick. Nikki said she approved of Faith's decision to move. Victor disagreed and said he missed Faith.
Victor told Nikki that his family intended to inflict punishment on him. Nikki said, "You know what? Victim's not a good color on you." Victor said he wouldn't allow Nikki to poison his relationship with Abby and his grandchildren just because she wielded the power to send him back to prison. Nikki returned upstairs. Victor sat on the sofa, sipping whiskey alone.
At Brash & Sassy, Lily and Jordan met with Juliet. Juliet detailed plans to send Jordan and Lily to Philadelphia and other nearby cities to promote the cosmetic company's tie-in with the hockey league. Cane entered and seemed taken aback when Lily announced that she'd commence a public-relations tour immediately. Lily expressed excitement about her appearances at hockey games to introduce Dare products. Jordan said he was pleased to be the official photographer. Lily praised Juliet for setting up the public relations tour.
After Cane and Jordan stepped out to the lab area, Cane nervously watched as Lily and Juliet talked. Jordan noticed Cane's apprehension. Cane muttered about drinking too much and being in a different time zone. Jordan said he didn't know what Cane was talking about, so Cane changed the subject and said he always worried whenever Lily traveled. Jordan recalled Lily's recent experience with an obsessive fan. Jordan assured Cane he'd keep Lily safe.
After Jordan and Lily left, Cane questioned Juliet about abruptly sending Lily away. Juliet said she yearned to take advantage of hockey playoffs and not wait until regular season began in the fall. Cane said, "This has nothing to do with what happened between you and me in Japan? You didn't book this trip because you feel uncomfortable around my wife?" Juliet said she and Lily got along great, and Cane was the only one that felt uncomfortable.
Cane admitted to Juliet that he felt uncomfortable because he felt guilty about what had happened. Juliet downplayed what had transpired in Japan and said they'd had sex because they'd become drunk and impaired. Juliet said she didn't plan to broadcast what had happened between them in Japan. Juliet said she'd prefer to resume her working relationship with Cane. Cane said he would, too, but he didn't know how to do it. Juliet said, "It's only an issue if you make it one." Cane said he'd do his best to forget what had happened.
At a restaurant in New York City, Ashley and Ravi discussed the various cosmetics companies they'd interacted with during a conference. Ravi extoled Jabot's products, which he noted contained no harsh chemicals. Ashley was impressed that Ravi had delved into her area of expertise. Ravi showed Ashley data on his phone, proving that their presentation had already begun to trend on industry sites. Ravi changed the subject and invited Ashley to join him at a Chinese restaurant famous for its dumplings.
As Ravi and Ashley were about to leave, a man named Benjamin Hochman, of Hochman Industries, approached Ashley. Ashley introduced Ravi to Benjamin. Ashley explained that Ravi was Jabot's software engineer. After Benjamin invited Ashley to dinner at an exclusive restaurant to discuss business opportunities, she bowed out of her plans with Ravi. After Benjamin stepped away, Ravi warned Ashley that Benjamin had more on his mind than business. Ashley said, "He's married." Ravi noted that Benjamin wasn't wearing a wedding band. Ravi added that Lauren had told him that Benjamin had recently been divorced.
Before Ashley rushed off to get ready for dinner, she told Ravi to enjoy dinner and a show courtesy of Jabot. Ravi seemed disappointed about his failed plans. Ravi phoned two friends and asked to meet with them. Chad and Harper soon arrived, and Ravi said he'd treat them to a night out. After Ravi mentioned that his boss was incredibly special, Harper noted that Ravi was "into her." Ravi initially downplayed his feelings for Ashley, but he admitted he was enamored, though leery of office romances. Chad encouraged Ravi to explore a romance with Ashley. Ravi said he feared Ashley would rather be with billionaires closer to her age.
Benjamin joined Ashley at a table in a corner and ordered wine. Benjamin and Ashley discussed Jabot's partial acquisition of Fenmore's. Benjamin recalled that during a visit to a co-ed sauna, Gloria had spoken ill of Fenmore's, so Benjamin had decided not to invest. Ashley seemed annoyed when Benjamin stepped aside to take a phone call. A waiter appeared and poured a little wine into Ashley's glass. Ashley instructed the waiter to fill the glass full.
After Benjamin returned, Ashley told her date she was single. Benjamin said he was, too. Benjamin received a text message that he insisted needed an immediate reply. Afterward, Ashley told Benjamin she was looking forward to a visit with her sister. Benjamin's attention was again drawn away by a text message. Ashley sent a text message of her own to Benjamin to officially end their date. Frustrated, Ashley left.
As Ashley walked through the lounge area, Ravi called out to her. Ravi introduced Chad and Harper. Ashley asked to join Ravi and his friends. The group enjoyed conversation and drinks. Later, before Chad and Harper left, Harper assured Ravi, privately, that Ashley liked him.
Ashley told Ravi about Benjamin's inattention to her. Ashley humbly apologized to Ravi for aborting their plans. Ravi said they could still make it to the dumpling restaurant. Ashley said that because she had a full roster of meetings set for the next day, she'd retreat to her room to eat and rest. Ravi seemed disappointed.
Phyllis lends an ear (and more) to Billy
Ashley met Traci for breakfast at a hotel restaurant in New York, and Traci wanted to know everything about Jabot's big conference. Ashley explained that it was where cosmetics companies revealed their new products for the year, and she bragged that it had gone off without a hitch because of Ravi. Ashley praised his programming skills, and she imagined that it was just the beginning for him. Traci noted that her sister seemed to be a serious fan of Ravi's, and Ashley gushed that he'd been a great addition to the team. Traci asked if that was all he was as Ravi approached their table.
After breakfast, Ravi thanked Ashley for inviting him, since he was glad he'd had the chance to meet Traci. Traci said she'd heard wonderful things about his work at Jabot, and he downplayed his role as just being tech support. Ashley revealed that Traci was a very successful novelist, but Ravi wasn't familiar with Traci's work. Traci explained that she mostly wrote romance novels and hadn't published in a while, but she was working on a historical fiction project that he might enjoy. Ravi marveled that it was his favorite genre other than sci-fi, and Traci offered to send him a galley copy.
Ravi excused himself to prepare for a presentation, and he shook Traci's hand and hoped to see her again one day. After Ravi departed, Traci remarked that he was pretty adorable and that she saw why Ashley liked him. Ashley took a business call, and after she hung up, Traci suspected that Ashley had taken the call to avoid questions about her relationship with Ravi. Ashley conceded that Ravi had a bit of a crush on her, and Traci thought it was flattering.
Ashley recalled that she'd blown off Ravi to have dinner with Benjamin Hochman, but it had been a disaster because the billionaire's phone had been glued to his ear all night long. Ashley imagined that Ravi had had more fun hanging out with his college friends. Traci teased that Ashley was out of practice in that department, and Ashley conceded that her social life was nonexistent. Traci thought Ashley had trouble finding true happiness because their father had been an amazing role model, and no one lived up to John in Ashley's eyes.
Ashley wished she could hear her dad's advice, and Traci thought John would have told Ashley not to be afraid to live a little by taking chances and breaking rules. Traci recognized that Ashley had played by the rules her whole life, but it was time to change things up. Traci suggested that Ashley go on a proper date with Ravi, since she sensed that Ashley liked him. Ashley questioned what wasn't to like, and she rattled off a list of his wonderful qualities. Traci joked that Ashley was making her want to go out with him.
Ashley revealed that she and Ravi were going to the Met that night. Traci was surprised that Ashley wanted to go to the opera, and Ashley credited Ravi with inspiring her to appreciate the beauty in it. Traci lectured that Ashley had spent her whole life worrying about what others thought, and she encouraged Ashley to shrug it off and live a little, since Ashley didn't need anyone's permission to be happy. Traci urged Ashley to rejoice in the world and have a wonderful time with Ravi that night.
Billy arrived at Victoria's house, and Reed asked what Billy had seen in the driveway. Billy replied that it had been empty, and Reed groused that his mom had already sent his car away. Reed questioned what right she'd had to take away his grandfather's gift, and he couldn't figure out why Victoria had gone ballistic after she'd thrown him a cool party and given him a guitar. Billy argued that Victor should have consulted with Victoria before giving Reed the car, so Victoria wasn't the bad guy. Reed whined that he and his mom had been getting along, but she'd reverted back to being a mean, uptight person.
Reed contemplated asking Victor for the car back and keeping it at the ranch. Billy warned that Victoria would ground Reed for life when she found out, and he advised Reed not to wreck his relationship with his mom over it. Reed pleaded with Billy to try to change Victoria's mind, but Billy protested that he no longer had clout with Victoria. Reed wailed that his friends had seen him get the car, and Zoey expected him to give her a ride that morning. Reed begged Billy to try to get Victoria to give the car back, and Billy reluctantly agreed.
Later, Zoey showed up for Reed to drive her to school, and she was surprised that his hot wheels weren't out front. Reed reported that his mom had taken the car away, and he griped that he'd have to walk or bike like a kid who didn't have his license. Zoey huffed that Victoria truly was a witch, and Reed hoped Zoey didn't hold it against him. Zoey cooed that all that mattered was that he wanted to do nice things for her, and she suggested that they cut school that day. She purred that they'd have fun, and he mused that she and his music were the only good things in his life.
Zoey said she'd read about a 16-year-old actress who'd been emancipated after taking her parents to court because they'd stolen the money she'd made. Reed contended that just because Victoria had returned the car didn't mean he wanted to stop seeing her, and Zoey commented that it was too bad that his folks weren't like hers, since she could do whatever she wanted as long as she got decent grades. Zoey mentioned that sometimes her parents went away for the weekend, and she had the house to herself. Reed fantasized about Kendall's uncle giving him a record deal and sending him on tour. Zoey thought they could have fun right there, and they kissed.
Scott stopped by Phyllis' apartment to apologize, and she asked whether he meant for the drinking or for almost having sex. He replied for both, and she indicated that she'd been about to call him to say the same thing. Phyllis established that they'd both been at fault, and she proposed that they just stay friends. Phyllis and Scott agreed that they considered one another hot but that it would be weird for him to date his mom's best friend. Phyllis said she wasn't planning on telling Lauren what had almost happened. Scott mentioned that there was someone else he was hoping to get to know better, and Phyllis encouraged him to go for it.
At Crimson Lights, Nick hesitated to interrupt Sharon while she was studying, but she pointed out that she was running a business. She was stunned when he informed her that he'd taken Faith home from the ranch. Sharon reluctantly admitted that she'd thought it had been good for Faith to spend time with Victor, but Nick insisted that it had been time to move on. Nick suggested that they go back to their old schedule, but Sharon questioned whether the timing was right to move Faith out just after Victor had learned that Adam had been murdered. Nick asserted that it had already been done.
Nick wondered if Sharon would be okay resuming their routine with Dylan gone, and she swore that she'd moved on and was in a great place. Nick thought he and Sharon had proven that they were past their bitterness when they'd teamed up to find proof that Chloe had killed Adam. He marveled that Sharon was running the coffeehouse and getting her degree, and he was really happy that she was getting her life back on track. Sharon took his hand in hers and hoped he was just as happy.
Later, Scott arrived at the coffeehouse, and Sharon requested his help with another paper if he wasn't too busy. He said he was glad to assist, and he observed that she was in a good mood. Sharon announced that Faith was returning home from the ranch, and Scott asked what Sharon intended to do to celebrate. Sharon envisioned taking Faith out for ice cream, but Scott clarified that he'd meant what Sharon was going to do for herself. He noted that she had a habit of putting her own happiness last, and he advised her to make sure to soak up every drop of enjoyment by living her life for herself. He asked if she was free that night, and she wondered why. Scott implored her to say yes to find out.
Victoria angrily burst into Victor's office, prepared to confront her father, but Abby was the only one there. Abby mentioned that Victor was out of town, and she taunted that Victoria would never guess what he'd done before he'd left. Victoria ordered Abby to stop playing games, and she asked where Victor had gone. Abby chirped that he hadn't left her his itinerary, but he'd made her acting CEO until he returned. Victoria warned her not to read much into it, since he'd had to leave someone in charge, and it would be years before Abby had the experience to run the company.
Abby huffed that she was the only person in their family who cared about their father's legacy, but Victoria clucked that caring wasn't the same as competence. Abby retorted that Victor was thrilled with her work and that he'd left her in charge in record time compared to Victoria. Victoria cautioned against putting Victor on a pedestal, since he had a tendency to fall off. Victoria noted that Victor turned on a dime with people, so even those who were golden would eventually be out, including Abby. Victoria threw a keychain on the desk and instructed Abby to make sure to tell Victor it was from her, and she stormed out.
At the Newman ranch, Nikki found a note from Victor, informing her that he was going away for a while because she'd made it clear that he wasn't welcome in his own home. Tessa arrived, and Nikki invited her in. Tessa said she'd had a great time at Reed's party, and she expected to have him shredding on his new guitar in no time. Nikki pointedly stated that the guitar had been an appropriate gift, and she announced that she'd summoned Tessa over because Nikki had a proposition for her.
Nikki explained that she was in charge of an annual charity event, and she needed someone to help her keep organized. Tessa incredulously asked if Nikki wanted her as an assistant, and Nikki recognized that it wasn't music. Tessa was surprised that Nikki wouldn't use someone on Victor's payroll, but Nikki said she preferred to choose her own staff. Tessa was thrilled for the chance to earn some extra cash, and Nikki remarked that she knew what it was like to struggle, since she hadn't always had money. Tessa was surprised that someone as classy as Nikki hadn't grown up rich, and Nikki confirmed that she knew what it was like to work for tips.
Tessa asked where Nikki had waitressed, and Nikki revealed that she'd been a dancer at the Bayou, but it didn't exist anymore. Tessa whipped out her phone and researched it online, and she was flabbergasted to learn it had been a strip club. Nikki stated that she'd been an exotic dancer, and Tessa admired Nikki for performing live and handling herself with a rough crowd. Tessa figured that Nikki had a wild streak, but Nikki insisted that it had long been over.
Nick arrived, and Nikki introduced him to Tessa. Nick mentioned that Noah had told him that Tessa was quite the singer, and Nikki disclosed that she'd hired Tessa as her assistant for the gala. Nikki directed Tessa to get some coffee in the kitchen so she could speak with Nick privately. Nikki admitted that she'd miss seeing Faith every day, but it was better than pretending that everything was fine between Nikki and Victor. Nick said he was there to get the rest of Faith's stuff to avoid her spending time with Victor. Nikki relayed that Victor was out of town, and she didn't know when he'd be back.
Nikki groaned that Victor had sent a new car to Reed's birthday party, and Nick imagined that Victor was trying to buy his grandchildren's love. Nick recounted that Victor had given Noah a new SUV as a birthday gift over Nick and Sharon's protests. Nick thought it would be difficult to keep what Victor had done from the rest of the family, and he wondered if Nikki was okay living with Victor. Nikki planned to avoid Victor at all costs and to keep busy with her own projects. Nick referred to Nikki hiring Tessa, and he questioned how well Nikki knew her. He headed upstairs to Faith's room.
Nikki told Tessa that she'd set up a time to go over some notes, but she noticed that Tessa seemed distracted. Tessa pointed out that Nikki had given her two jobs and welcomed her into the family, but she wasn't accustomed to people being that trusting. Tessa asked if Victor was cool with her taking the assistant job, since he'd seemed very intimidating when she'd met him. Nikki assured Tessa that she didn't have to worry because he was out of town, and she looked forward to working together. Nikki walked Tessa to the door, and Tessa inquired whether Nikki was okay. Nikki confided that she wasn't, but she would be.
Nick startled Nikki when he returned downstairs, and she told him that Faith was welcome to stop by anytime. He wondered if Nikki was having second thoughts, but she maintained that Victor was out of her life. After Nick left, Nikki sat down at the piano and stared at a photo of her and Victor. She flashed back to telling him how much she liked "the new Victor." She began to cry as she picked up the photo, and she threw it across the room, shattering the glass.
Victoria arrived at Brash & Sassy, and Billy updated her about Lily and Jordan's schedule. Billy mentioned that Reed had told him that Victoria had returned the car, and Victoria was sure that her son hated her with a passion. Billy commented that Reed wasn't the only one who was confused, but Victoria simply asserted that she didn't want her 16-year-old to have a new car. Billy suspected that it had more to do with Victor, but Victoria snapped that she didn't want to talk about it. Billy refused to let her walk away until she told him what was going on between her and her father.
Victoria threatened to have security remove Billy from the premises. Billy wondered if he'd just imagined that they'd been breaking down the wall between them, and Victoria apologized if she'd sent the wrong signals. Billy thought everything had changed when she'd found out that Adam had been murdered, and he urged her to tell him what was happening. Victoria spat that she didn't want to be involved romantically with Billy, since she'd be insane to go there again after all the times he'd betrayed her. She stormed into the conference room, and he sauntered out of the office.
Victoria searched through some paperwork, and Nick entered and surmised that she'd had a rough morning. She admitted that she'd screwed up with Billy, and she lamented that she was ruining everything because of their father's lies. Nick informed her that he'd moved Faith home the night before, since Victor had had way too much influence over her. Victoria vowed to do whatever it took to make it up to Billy.
A clearly irritated Billy entered the Crimson Lights patio, and Phyllis jokingly asked if she should hide. She reminded him that he'd been a friend to her the last time they'd been there, and she offered to return the favor. He complained that Victoria had been constantly jerking him around, and Phyllis wondered what had changed. Billy thought Victoria had seemed like a different person ever since she'd found out Adam had been murdered, and Phyllis advised him not to waste his precious time on people who weren't sure if they wanted what he had to offer. He thanked her, and she departed. He noticed that she had left her cell phone behind.
Billy stopped by Phyllis' home to return her phone. He immediately moved to leave, but she invited him in for coffee. He noticed that she was working from home, and she imagined that he couldn't do it because he couldn't handle the quiet. Billy figured that she thought he needed to be part of the action, and he remarked that it would be nice to have something more consistent. Phyllis replied that her life also hadn't been a straight line lately, and she walked him to the door. He hesitated in the doorway before pulling her into a kiss, and he kicked the door closed. They began to tear off one another's clothes.
Victoria and Phyllis both want Billy back>
Scott escorted Sharon to a movie theater that was featuring a French film festival. She remarked that she'd been expecting something less conventional after his mysterious invitation, and he figured that he was off his game after all the time he'd spent in Third World countries. He offered to do something more extraordinary, but she noted that it would be out of sync for her if the movie wasn't animated. From several rows back, Mariah called out Sharon's name, and Kevin was surprised to see Scott.
Sharon moved back to talk to Mariah, who was stunned that Sharon hadn't told her about having a date with Scott. Sharon insisted that she and Scott were just friends and that he'd been helping her with her college papers. Kevin attempted to bow out of watching the movie, but Mariah insisted that they stay. Kevin joined Scott and explained that Mariah had forced him to stop living like a cockroach by getting out. Kevin teased that Scott had no shortage of friends, but Scott swore that his moment with Phyllis had passed.
Kevin and Sharon returned to their respective seats as the lights went down. Kevin grumbled that the film was in French with subtitles, and Mariah assured him that they would be funny ones. Mariah witnessed Tessa slip into the back of the theater. When the film ended, Sharon gushed that she'd loved it, and Mariah declared that she wanted to move to France. Kevin complained that he hated subtitles, but he thanked Mariah for getting him out of the house. Mariah looked over at where Tessa had been sitting, but the seat was empty.
At Crimson Lights, Tessa told someone over the phone that she'd become the assistant to a rich lady. Kevin and Mariah entered the coffeehouse, and she fretted about whether Scott knew how to treat women right. Kevin argued that Scott and Sharon had only had one date, but Mariah worried because Sharon had usually been with traditional family men. Kevin pointed out that those relationships hadn't worked out, and he answered a call. Mariah overheard Tessa talking about working for rich royalty, but Tessa abruptly hung up when she spotted Mariah hovering nearby.
Tessa mentioned that she'd just been talking about a day job that she'd taken as Nikki's assistant to get by, but she thought Nikki was just lonely and wanted company. Mariah stated that she'd seen Tessa in the movie theater, and Tessa admitted that she'd sneaked in after seeing another movie. Mariah recalled doing the same thing as a kid, and Tessa confessed that it had been the third time she'd seen the film. Mariah pulled Kevin over and introduced him to Tessa, and Tessa asked if they were a couple. Mariah and Kevin vehemently insisted that they weren't.
At Phyllis' apartment, Billy and Phyllis canoodled naked under a blanket on the couch after they'd had sex. She purred that she liked what he was wearing, and they agreed that they'd missed being together. Phyllis confessed that she'd fantasized about being with Billy after they'd kissed in the elevator, but she hadn't intended to act on it. Billy thanked God that she'd forgotten her phone, and she swore that she hadn't planned it. He thought fate had, and she pointed out that she'd struggled to salvage things with Jack because she'd believed that she and Jack had been fated to be together forever.
Phyllis inquired whether her encounter with Billy would mess things up for him and Victoria, since he'd really wanted to get back together with his ex-wife. Billy clarified that it was what he'd thought he'd wanted, and Phyllis urged him to go get it. She figured that their lovemaking had been a one-time thing to get it out of their systems, and he would go back to being the good family man. Phyllis stated that nothing had changed, but Billy doubted that she believed that.
Billy got dressed, and Phyllis thought he seemed upset. He lectured that she was talking like Victoria and his kids were the real world while what had happened between him and Phyllis had been something less, but he felt like he could breathe with Phyllis. Billy stressed that he loved his kids, but he thought the idea of being a happy family wouldn't happen. He complained that he was tired of not being himself and trying to live up to invisible standards that he could never meet. Phyllis thought the happiness she'd seen in his eyes had been real.
Billy confirmed that there had been moments when it had seemed like the walls had been breaking down between him and Victoria, but then they'd argued about Reed's car. Phyllis reasoned that Victoria was angry because Victor had given her 16-year-old son a car without checking with Victoria first, but Billy contended that the point was that Victoria had pushed him away like he was nothing to her. He declared that he was over trying to wait for things to change, since life was too short. Phyllis leaned in close and whispered that she was sorry, and they resumed kissing. He jokingly scolded her for distracting him from the things he was supposed to get done that day, and she realized that she had to be at a meeting with Michael. They kissed goodbye, and Billy left.
Nikki stopped by Brash & Sassy and found Victoria in a foul mood. Victoria revealed that she'd unceremoniously dropped off the keys to Reed's new car at Victor's office, and she was sure that her son was back to thinking that she was a controlling witch who wanted to ruin his life. Nikki clucked that Victor never should have put Victoria in that position, and Victoria groaned that there was no way out of it. Nikki offered to convince Reed to see Victoria's point of view, but Victoria wailed that nothing could undo the damage between her and Billy.
Victoria explained that Billy had been sticking up for Reed over the car, and she regretted that she'd told Billy to butt out of her life. Victoria revealed that she'd discovered, when she'd gone to apologize, that Billy had left the office, and Nikki asked if Victoria was concerned as an employer or as an ex-wife. Victoria recounted that she and Billy had been getting along really well and had been spending time with their kids as a family, and she confided that they'd kissed. Victoria sensed that they hadn't just been falling into an old pattern but that it had been something new that they could build on. Victoria admitted that she wanted Billy back.
Nikki thought it was wonderful that Victoria and Billy had reconnected, but Victoria asserted that whatever had been blossoming between them was dead because of Victor. Nikki blamed herself for enabling Victor by turning a blind eye to his games and manipulations, and she imagined that he would expect her to take him back when he returned. Nikki recognized that she'd loved Victor since she'd been very young, and she didn't know what shape her life without him would take, but she refused to continue to ignore what he'd done. Nikki bemoaned that she'd truly believed that Victor had had changed into a loving family man, but he would never change, and she had to accept it.
Nikki urged Victoria not to let go of what she had with Billy, and she thought one disagreement wouldn't undo all the progress the couple had made. Victoria wondered how she was supposed to explain why her reaction to the car had seemed over the top, and Nikki recommended that Victoria tell Billy the truth -- just not all of it. Nikki pointed out that even if Victoria hadn't found out that Victor had conspired with Chloe, Victoria still would have been upset that Victor had bought Reed a car without consulting her. Victoria didn't think it would be enough, and Nikki encouraged her to speak from her heart and to let Billy know how much she cared. Victoria agreed to try, and she hoped it wasn't too late.
Later, Billy returned to Brash & Sassy and coolly expressed surprise that Victoria was still there. She said she'd hoped he'd be back, and she asked where he'd gone. He claimed that he'd needed to clear his head, but he had work to do. Victoria apologized for being completely out of line, and she swore that she hadn't been trying to shut him out of her life. Billy asked why she had. Victoria explained that she'd been angry with Victor for doing as he pleased despite the fallout, and she recognized that she shouldn't have taken it out on Billy.
Victoria added that it had been great spending time with Billy and the kids, and she begged him to accept her apology. Billy flatly replied that he did, and she offered to take him to dinner to make it up to him. Victoria moved to grab her purse, but Billy stopped her and said they both needed a little time, since neither one of them was ready for where they'd been headed. He insisted that they needed more boundaries, and he thought it was best to keep things the way they were. Victoria agreed if it was what he wanted, and Billy sat down in the conference room to work. Victoria turned away to hide her disappointment.
At Top of the Tower, Abby thanked Jack for inviting her to dinner. Jack revealed that Ashley had told him that Abby had been making her mark at Newman, and he was proud of Abby. Jack added that he was sure that Victor was, too, even though Victor wasn't known for handing out accolades. Abby announced that Jack was looking at Newman's acting CEO, and he pressed for the details.
Jack toasted to his niece's meteoric rise to the top of Newman, and he wondered if she'd been surprised when Victor had named her the acting CEO. Abby noted that it had taken a lot of hard work and that she'd made bold steps of her own, and Jack was glad that taking a chance had paid off. Abby was thrilled that Victor had had the confidence to leave her in charge, and Jack speculated that Victor was positioning her to step in full-time sooner rather than later. Abby agreed to tell him once he told her everything Jabot had planned for the following year.
Abby chided Jack for trying to get her to spill information. She stated that she was accustomed to being underestimated, and she didn't mind it, since she'd been the one to brand herself as an airhead blonde. Jack apologized, but he cautioned her not to expect Victor to give her credit. Abby ranted that she was sick of people talking about how terrible her father was with following through on his promises, since that hadn't been her experience. Abby guessed that Victoria's earlier "snarkfest" had been because Victoria hadn't been getting much of Victor's attention.
Across the restaurant, Michael presented Neil and Devon with the incorporation papers for the Hamilton-Winters Group. Michael explained that the contracts established that Devon would focus on the music industry, specifically artist management and a streaming service, and Neil was to explore companies to invest in or acquire. Neil reviewed the documents and declared that something wasn't right, since it didn't make sense for him and Devon to each own 50 percent when Devon was laying out all the capital. Devon argued that Neil had years of corporate experience to offer, but Neil countered that Devon wouldn't give any other experienced person half the company to do their job.
Neil suspected that Devon was doing it out of guilt, and he proclaimed that he didn't want or need the money. Neil requested that Michael draw up a new deal that reflected Devon's sizable investment, but Devon swore that guilt had never entered into his mind and that it was simply about building a family company. Devon pointed out that Neil had worked hard to build other people's fortunes, and Devon wanted to build their own legacy as equals. Devon added that he loved, trusted, and respected Neil, and he recognized that he wouldn't be sitting there if Neil hadn't taken him in as a foster kid. Devon continued that for the first time, he felt like Katherine's money had purpose, and he wanted to make it a reality with his father as an equal partner. Michael suggested that the men shake hands to make it official, but Neil hugged Devon instead.
Neil and Devon drafted a mission statement about discovering and empowering new talent, with a special focus on women and minorities. Devon mused that it felt really good to be doing something different with his life, and Neil sensed that Devon was talking about more than business. Neil asked how Mariah was doing, and Devon said he found her honesty refreshing, since he never had to wonder if she was playing him or working an agenda. Neil found it reassuring to know that Mariah wouldn't hurt Devon like Hilary had.
Abby approached and hugged Devon, and he thought it was only right that she was first to hear the news. Neil announced that he and Devon were starting their own company, and Abby was thrilled to hear that Devon was getting back into music. Neil asked if the rumor about Abby was true, and she confirmed that she was acting CEO of Newman. Neil advised her never to forget that Victor had given her the job for a reason, and he encouraged her to make decisions based on her gut and not on what she thought Victor would do. Abby thanked him with a hug.
Sharon and Scott arrived at the restaurant, and he hoped it would be a step up after sharing popcorn with Mariah and Kevin. Sharon assured him that there was no need to up his game, since she'd had a good time. She applauded him for knowing that she'd appreciate and be moved by a foreign film, but he thought he owed them both a musical the next time. Sharon guaranteed that Mariah and Kevin would be nowhere near musical theater, and Scott thought that called for a drink.
Nikki sat at the bar and prepared to order a drink, and Jack asked to join her. Nikki swore that she'd intended to order club soda, and Jack sympathized that her marriage was an ever-shifting minefield. Nikki claimed that Victor had been a doting husband and grandfather, and Jack mentioned that he'd heard Victor was out of town. Jack was surprised that Nikki hadn't joined Victor, but she asserted that she had plenty to do there. Jack remarked that if the retirement rumor was true, she'd have plenty of time with the new and improved Victor he kept hearing about.
Nikki revealed that Victor had talked about stepping back, but she didn't want to discuss it. She spotted Sharon and Scott, and she informed Jack that Victor had asked Scott to write his biography. Jack doubted that Scott could be objective after Victor had saved Scott's life, but Nikki mentioned that Scott had insisted on editorial independence. Jack suggested that he talk to Scott, and Nikki led Jack over. Sharon went to powder her nose, and Jack offered to give Scott the real inside scoop on Victor rather than a sanitized version. The men agreed to get in touch, and Jack headed out. Nikki sat down with Scott and said she wanted to talk to him about the book.
Phyllis joined Michael, and he asked if she had a big deal in the works. He guessed that it had nothing to do with programming code, and he said he could use some good news after he'd been worrying about Kevin. Phyllis swore that Kevin would get through it with his family and friends, and she pointed out that she was living proof that things got better. Michael pushed her to tell him what was going on, and she swore him to secrecy. "Billy," she said with a smile.
Phyllis assumed that Michael thought it was a bad idea, and he conceded that he was surprised that she'd consider going back to Billy after all the pain they'd caused. She hated that people had been hurt, and she acknowledged that she never should have slept with Billy while she'd been married to Jack. She contended that Jack had moved on, so it was time for her to do the same thing. Michael worried that she was just lonely, and he cautioned that there were bound to be complications because Phyllis worked with Jack, and Billy worked for Victoria. Michael asked whether Phyllis was sure that Jack had moved on, and Phyllis divulged that Jack had -- with Michael's mother. Michael choked on his drink.
Phyllis informed Michael that Jack had owned up to being involved with Gloria when Phyllis had caught them groping one another, and Gloria had indicated that it was a friends-with-benefits situation. Michael chugged his drink and was convinced that Jack was otherwise occupied, but he still wasn't sure that Phyllis should get involved with Billy again. Phyllis said it hadn't been on her radar because she'd thought Billy had been making a wonderful life with Victoria and their kids, but it wasn't happening, so there was no reason for Phyllis to stay away. Phyllis declared that she was going for it.
Ashley and Ravi share a kiss
Scott returned to the Newman ranch with Nikki, and she hoped he hadn't cut his evening short on her account. He was sure that Sharon understood that his work was important to him, and he pointed out that Nikki had made it sound urgent that they speak in private. Nikki asked if Scott knew that Victor had left town, and Scott asked where Victor had gone. Nikki replied that it wasn't important, and she explained that she'd invited Scott over to protect her husband. Scott wondered who could be a threat to Victor.
Nikki contended that Victor needed protection from himself. Nikki explained that Victor had paid Scott's ransom not only to help Lauren but also because Victor respected Scott's integrity, and having Scott write Victor's biography would ensure credibility. Scott insisted on creating an honest portrait, but he understood that powerful people had healthy egos. Nikki cautioned that Victor wasn't like anyone else, since the rules never applied to him in his mind, but it wasn't true even though he didn't see it. Nikki worried that the book could tear their family apart, and she wanted to make sure the project died. She asserted that the true story of Victor Newman could never be told.
Scott tried calling Victor and reported that there had been a recording that Victor's phone wasn't taking messages. Nikki noted that Victor did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted, and he clearly didn't want to be contacted. Scott maintained that he wanted to present an accurate depiction of a complicated man, and Nikki explained that the more complicated moments of Victor's life were the problem. Nikki said Victor felt that every event in his life had added to the man he'd become, but many chapters could never be known by the public, or it would destroy their family.
Scott imagined that Victor felt different, and he assumed that Victor had no idea that Nikki was trying to get Scott to back off. Nikki stated that Victor had selective hearing with opposing views, so she'd had to meet with Scott directly to have him kill the project for the sake of Victor and their family. Scott guessed that there was something specific that Nikki didn't want to be made known, and he warned that he'd only dig deeper. He asked what she was trying to hide.
Nikki pointed out that her family's mistakes had been open to the public for years, and they had a long list of enemies, but many of the stories were false. Scott swore that he wouldn't print anything untrue, and he thought Victor wasn't worried. Nikki clucked that Victor wasn't looking at the big picture, since their kids and grandkids were already tabloid fodder, and Victor's mistakes would become their legacy. Nikki imagined that Scott would rather be off in the world, telling stories that could effect change. She grabbed her checkbook and offered to pay him the amount that Victor had agreed to give Scott for writing the book, plus extra for Scott's troubles.
Scott was stunned by the amount of the check, and Nikki encouraged him to write stories that the world deserved to hear. He explained that he couldn't accept her offer because he owed Victor for saving his life, but she reasoned that the best way to thank Victor would be to protect him by walking away. Scott countered that he could never repay the ten million dollars Victor had forked over to save him, but the book was something he could do, and he felt that he had a responsibility to uphold. Nikki clarified that she wasn't asking Scott but telling him that she wouldn't allow the book to be written. Nikki haughtily stated that Victor might rule the world, but she ruled their family.
Phyllis returned home and primped in front of the mirror. She sent a text message to Billy, echoing his sentiment that life was too short and asking him to call her. The doorbell rang, and she was surprised to find Jack there. He invited himself in and announced that he had new information and an opportunity that was ripe for the picking. After Phyllis heard Jack out, she admitted that she'd love to wipe the smug look off Victor's face, but she thought it was a fantasy. Jack contended that they could make it a reality if they worked together, but Phyllis worried that it would just dredge up misery for them.
Jack insisted that he had a way to "take the bastard down," since he'd sensed that something was off at the Newman house. Jack growled that Victor had never been properly punished for his crimes, but Phyllis thought they'd gotten past seeking vengeance. Jack said payback had never been far from his mind, and he thought the same was true for her. Phyllis agreed that Victor should "burn in hell," and Jack proposed that they launch an unexpected attack while Victor was vulnerable. Jack revealed that Victor had made Abby acting CEO and taken off on a road trip, and it seemed as if Victor's family had no idea where he'd gone.
Jack noted that Jabot and Brash & Sassy had closed many more deals than Newman had in recent months. Jack believed that Newman was vulnerable and that Victor would have put up a stronger firewall than Abby if he cared. Phyllis wondered what damage they could do to Newman when Victor always ended up on top, but Jack pointed out that Victor wouldn't have his family backing him that time. Jack considered it weird for Victor to leave when the Newman family was coping with the news that Adam had been murdered, and he reiterated that something was off. Phyllis couldn't deny that the idea of revenge was tempting.
Phyllis asked Jack how he knew there was an opening, and Jack explained that he'd felt and seen a fundamental change in Nikki. Jack added that Victor hadn't told Victoria that he was leaving town, but she'd shown up furious at Newman Enterprises. Jack was sure that one of the Newmans would crack, but Phyllis hated to see Jack get caught up in revenge again. Jack thought things were different that time, since something was putting Victor off his game in a way nothing else ever had, and he believed that something was Nikki.
Jack said he would stake his life on Victor and Nikki being on the outs because Nikki had evaded his questions when she'd never had a problem taking on his comments about Victor before. Phyllis argued that Victor still had the rest of his family, and they were the most important thing to him. She suggested that the way to cause Victor pain was through his family, and she pointed out that Victor hadn't destroyed her and Jack through business but by ripping out their hearts and souls to cause permanent damage. Jack agreed to forget about Newman Enterprises and to hit Victor where he lived.
Phyllis thought she and Jack had to figure out what was causing the unrest in the Newman house, and Jack hoped Phyllis could get something out of Nick. Phyllis expected that Victoria would say nothing to them but that Victoria might have talked to someone else. Jack refused to turn to Billy, and he doubted that Phyllis wanted to deal with Billy, either. Phyllis suddenly said she couldn't do it and that Jack had to do it without her. Jack pointed out that she'd just been fine with all of it, and he demanded to know "what the hell" had changed her mind.
Phyllis said it wasn't smart for her and Jack to work together. She questioned why they'd put themselves through seeking retribution, and she thought it was an addiction she needed to shake. She admitted that she'd love to make Victor feel the pain he'd caused them, but she couldn't return there. Phyllis refused to go backward after she'd pulled her life together, and she pledged to cheer Jack on from the sidelines.
Reed practiced playing his guitar at home. He called Brash & Sassy, and he was glad when Billy picked up. Reed hoped Billy had convinced Victoria to let Reed keep the car, but Billy reported that the car was history. Reed thought his mom would have listened to Billy if they were still married, but Billy sourly replied that he just worked for Victoria and that she was the one in charge. Reed questioned what had happened, since Billy and Victoria had practically been making out after their trip to the arcade. Reed pointed out that Billy had another chance, and he implored Billy to hurry up and take it. Billy received Phyllis' text message.
Reed took a selfie, added emoji tears to his face, and sent the picture to Kendall and Zoey, who were at Crimson Lights. Kendall asked if Zoey and Reed were hanging out later, and Zoey groaned that she had a chemistry test. Zoey mentioned that she'd been over at Reed's earlier to make him feel better about his mom taking his car away, and Kendall suspiciously asked how good Zoey had made him feel. Zoey confirmed that they hadn't had sex, and she stepped away to fetch some coffee.
Kendall grabbed Zoey's phone and sent a message to invite Reed to a movie that night. Thinking he was making plans with Zoey, Reed agreed to save her a seat at the theater. Kendall set the phone back down before Zoey returned. Zoey prepared to dish about what had happened with Reed, but Kendall fibbed that her mom had summoned her home, and she hurried out.
Kendall plopped down next to Reed in the theater and asked if she'd missed any good previews. A confused Reed said Zoey hadn't told him Kendall would be there, and he wondered if Zoey was getting popcorn. Kendall claimed that Zoey's mom had made Zoey study that night, and Reed was surprised that Zoey hadn't let him know. He started to write a text message to Zoey, but Kendall insisted that he power down because the movie was starting.
Reed and Kendall watched a romantic scene of a couple kissing on the beach. Kendall gazed over at Reed and suddenly planted a kiss on him, and he responded. He pulled away when the movie ended, and he asked if she wanted to stick around for the credits. Kendall apologized for getting caught up in the moment, and she swore that she'd never kissed anyone like that before. They agreed not to tell Zoey what had happened. Kendall added that she understood why Zoey was into him, since the kiss had been insane. A pleased Reed replied that she hadn't been so bad herself.
At Brash & Sassy, Cane and Juliet informed Victoria that Lily's promotional tour was going off without a hitch. Juliet mentioned that she'd put together a marketing proposal for the following quarter, and Victoria wanted to discuss it right away. Billy joined them, and Juliet recommended that they partner with social media influencers to demonstrate products online. Cane and Victoria were impressed, but Billy grumbled about handing over free products only to risk the recipients bashing them.
Victoria asserted that she had more confidence in their products than Billy did, and Cane thought it was a low risk compared to the potential rewards. Billy griped that he was outnumbered, and he wished them luck with their experiment. Billy stormed into the conference room, and Victoria followed him. She maintained that the idea was solid, but he accused her of making a power play because he hadn't jumped back into her arms. Billy told Victoria just to tell him if she was mad rather than shutting him out of business decisions to put him in his place. Victoria snapped that she was sick of coddling Billy's ego.
Meanwhile, Cane praised Juliet for her ideas and thanked her for making him look good for recommending her. Juliet sensed that Victoria liked her but that Billy wasn't a fan, and Cane urged her not to take it personally, since Billy was a hothead who didn't know how to pick his battles. Juliet inquired whether Victoria played Billy and Cane off one another, and Cane admitted that he and Billy had a history. Juliet declared that she was "Team Cane" all the way, and he said it was nice to have an ally.
Juliet was relieved that things could be normal between her and Cane after what had happened in Tokyo, and he nervously told her never to mention it again. Victoria exited the conference room and invited Juliet out for drinks, and Cane squirmed as Juliet said she had to pace herself because she was a lightweight. The ladies departed, and Billy bet Cane five bucks that the women would spend the whole night talking about them. Cane taunted Billy for being upset that he hadn't been invited for girls' night, but Billy ordered Cane not to make assumptions about his personal life. Billy stared at Phyllis' message on his phone. Cane and Billy continued to banter until Billy eventually grabbed his briefcase and sauntered out.
Meanwhile, Jack accepted that he was on his own in his quest for revenge. Phyllis' landline rang, and Phyllis and Jack stared at the empty phone cradle. He fondly recalled that she always forgot to put the phone back. The doorbell rang as Phyllis searched for the phone, and Jack volunteered to answer it. Billy stood outside the door.
Over drinks at Top of the Tower, Victoria asked Juliet what it was like to have the freedom to move across the world on short notice. Juliet replied that it had been worth it to learn from a role model like Victoria, but Victoria wasn't sure that anyone would want to follow in her footsteps. Juliet called Victoria a smart, capable businesswoman who wasn't intimidated by anyone or anything. Victoria stated that her door was always open and that she was happy to hear about anything, from new ideas to a man who was driving Juliet crazy.
Juliet asserted that she couldn't think about dating because she was too busy, and Victoria advised her to keep it that way, since men were ridiculous. Victoria rambled that men took up all of women's time and energy, and men were the ones in the clear while women made all the mistakes. Juliet stared as Victoria tipsily babbled about how it was a huge mistake for a woman to let a man know she was interested.
Juliet helped an inebriated Victoria open her front door. Victoria slurred that she was as bad with locks as she was with men, but she couldn't live without a lock on the door, whereas she could live without a man in the house. Reed returned home, and Juliet left to go back to the waiting cab. Victoria stumbled over to the couch, and Reed realized that she was drunk. Reed teased her for getting wasted, and he jokingly cautioned that he'd have to take her car away if she started throwing keg parties.
In New York, Ravi was taken aback by how stunning Ashley looked in her evening gown. She promised that they wouldn't be late for the opera, and she couldn't believe how excited she was to attend. Ravi gushed that it would be one of the greatest operas in one of the greatest opera houses in a great city with a great boss, but Ashley insisted that they take work off the table. They prepared to leave, but Ben Hochman interrupted and asked Ashley to hear him out.
Ben and Ashley stepped aside, and he apologized for his behavior the other night. He explained that he and his ex didn't see eye to eye about how to handle their daughter's antics, and things had escalated during his dinner with Ashley. Ashley empathized that parenting was difficult, especially with an ex. Ben wanted to make it up to her by taking her out for a perfect night with dinner and music, and Ashley fiddled with the opera tickets in her hand.
Ashley suggested that she and Ben have dinner the next time he was in Genoa City, and he was shocked that she was leaving. She informed him that she had plans, and Ravi joined her. Ben incredulously asked if she'd rather go out with Ravi, and she flatly wished Ben a good night. On their way out, Ravi asked if Ashley was sure, since Ben was an important businessman. Ashley quipped that no one was that important except in his own mind, and she declared that she was looking forward to the evening. Ravi gallantly extended his arm, and she took it.
Over drinks after the opera, Ashley marveled at how intense and passionate the performers had been. She asked Ravi to help her with a story point, and he explained why two of the characters hadn't been able to get married because of a societal issue. Ravi thought things shouldn't be like that, since a romance was between two people. Ashley pointed out that the reality was that what other people thought mattered. Ravi contended that if someone spent all their time worried about what others thought, that person couldn't truly call their life their own.
Ravi walked Ashley to her hotel room, and she thanked him. She realized that a few months earlier, she never would have thought she'd love going to the Met. She called it the perfect end to a wildly successful business trip, and they recounted the fun they'd had. Ashley awkwardly wished Ravi a good night, noting that they had to be ready to take off in the company jet first thing in the morning. The sexual tension between them mounted as they shared a hug. They slowly pulled apart and melted into a kiss.
Scott secretly meets with Christine
At Phyllis' apartment, Jack offered to answer the door as Phyllis searched for her ringing phone. She abruptly dismissed a telemarketer, and she opened the door to Billy. Jack called out to ask who was there. Phyllis stopped Billy from entering her apartment, curtly said she couldn't help, and shut the door in his face. She fibbed to Jack that it had been a downstairs neighbor needing help with her computer.
Phyllis wished Jack luck with going after Victor, but she maintained that she wanted to take her life in another direction. After Jack boarded the elevator, Billy burst into Phyllis' home, and she thought it wouldn't have ended well for any of them if Jack had seen Billy there. She explained that Jack had wanted her to join his campaign to annihilate Victor, but she'd decided against it. Billy remarked that revenge was sweet but time-consuming, and she had better things to do. Phyllis said she hadn't expected Billy to stop by, and he replied that he hadn't just wanted to call -- he'd needed to see her.
Phyllis had Thai food delivered, and Billy joked that he'd missed her home cooking. He commented that he couldn't have predicted how that day would have gone when he'd rung her bell earlier, and she asked if something had happened with Victoria. Billy revealed that Victoria had apologized for treating him like she hadn't wanted him in her life, and Phyllis surmised that Victoria actually did. Billy said he hadn't believed it when Victoria had said it, and Phyllis mumbled that she couldn't, either.
Billy relayed that he'd told Victoria that it was better that they stick with the status quo, and Phyllis wondered what that was after what had happened between her and Billy that day. He asserted that he and Victoria were co-parents and friends but nothing romantic, and Victoria had agreed to keep it that way if it was what he wanted. Phyllis wondered if that was really all he wanted from Victoria, since he'd just found out that he had another chance with the love of his life. Phyllis didn't buy that he'd just shrugged his shoulders at the possibility, and she simply wanted to know where it left them.
Phyllis assured Billy that he wouldn't hurt her feelings, but Billy maintained that he couldn't be with Victoria because nothing would ever change with them. Billy was glad that Victoria had admitted that she'd screwed up, but he hadn't forgotten the way she'd disregarded him. Billy pulled Phyllis over to sit with him, and he conceded that he and Victoria would always have a bond because of their children, but he was there because he wanted to be with Phyllis. He offered to leave if she needed time to think about it, but she replied that it was the last thing she wanted.
Phyllis confessed that even though she and Billy had both moved on, she'd never stopped caring about him. She pointed out that they were both single, but things between them were still very complicated. Billy argued that easy had never been their style, and Phyllis refused to give him up that time. They kissed, and Billy assured her that she didn't have to. They fell back onto the couch in a passionate embrace.
Ashley and Ravi slowly pulled away from their kiss in the hotel hallway, and he wished her a good night again. She gently wiped her lipstick from his mouth, and they silently turned toward their respective hotel rooms.
Later, Ashley sipped a glass of wine in the hotel restaurant, and she flashed back to kissing Ravi. She was surprised when Ravi appeared, and he said he'd thought she was going to turn in. She replied that she'd intended to, but she'd ended up there. Ravi stated that he wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon, but he figured that she wanted to be alone. She invited him to join her.
Ravi blurted out that there was only one thing he could think about, but he had to get another beer before he finished the sentence. He confided that he didn't want to make a mistake, but he wasn't sure what their kiss had meant. Ashley replied that she wasn't sure, either, and Ravi told her that for what it was worth, he'd enjoyed it very much. Ben Hochman approached and asked how Ashley's evening was going, and she reported that she and Ravi had had a lovely time at the Met. Ben informed her that he'd spent the whole night thinking about why she'd gone out with her "young friend" rather than him.
Ben shoved his way into Ashley and Ravi's booth and prepared to order a drink, but Ashley protested that they hadn't invited Ben to join them. Ravi said he and Ashley had been having a private conversation, and Ben scoffed at the idea that she preferred the company of "the software engineering guy." Ravi stated that if Ben had given Ashley the respect she'd deserved when Ben had invited her to dinner, she would have spent more time with Ben, but she'd had a better option with someone who had given her his undivided attention. Ben huffed that if Ravi wanted a paycheck, then he had to work for guys like Ben.
Ravi calmly replied that Ben's business wouldn't exist without guys like Ravi, since Ben might be the self-proclaimed master of the universe, but Ben didn't know how it even worked. Ravi told Ben to spare him the condescending attitude and give him the courtesy of leaving. Ben asked if Ravi was done, and Ravi replied that he wasn't. "Are you always this much of a pompous ass?" Ravi inquired. Ben asked if Ravi was seriously talking to him that way, and Ravi contended that there was nothing funny about asking someone to be polite. Ravi added that if Ben had never learned how, Ravi would be happy to teach him.
Ashley suggested that Ben call it a night, and Ben begrudgingly left. Ravi was stunned that he'd just gone off on Ben Hochman, and he stammered that he needed a second beer for sure. Ashley marveled that Ravi continued to surprise her. Ravi regretted opening his big mouth, and he apologized if he'd embarrassed her. Ashley asserted that Ben had deserved everything Ravi had said and more, and she thanked Ravi for standing up for her. She reminded him about their early flight the next day, and she headed upstairs.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon informed Nick that Faith had inquired about her grandparents, particularly whether Victor was okay with her leaving. Nick replied that his dad would survive, and he mentioned that Victor had just left town. Sharon said Faith had told her about seeing Nick hit Victor, and Nick claimed that they'd just been sparring and that everything was fine. Sharon wondered if he didn't want Faith living at the ranch because something was going on between him and his father. Nick told Sharon that he'd just realized that the longer they'd waited to move Faith home, the harder it would have been.
Nick departed as Scott entered the coffeehouse. Scott apologized to Sharon for cutting their evening short, and he revealed that Nikki had ordered him not to write Victor's biography because it might hurt their family. Scott sensed that there was more to it, and Sharon wondered if Scott thought Nikki had gone behind Victor's back while Victor was away. Scott indicated that Nikki hadn't told him where Victor was or when he'd be back, and he considered it sketchy that Victor didn't want to be reached. Sharon recalled that Victor had done that before after a crisis, and Scott asked if she thought there was more going on.
Sharon was sure that Victor would be back soon to answer Scott's questions. Scott recognized that he couldn't let the book consume him, and he suggested that they have dessert. He admitted that he was a pushover for something sweet, and she fetched him an éclair. He offered to make her a Bulgarian pastry sometime, and she was surprised that he cooked. He replied that he had a lot of secrets, and he implied that she might learn a few of them if they hung out together. He inquired whether she had anything he should know about, and she thought she should be honest about something before their friendship went any further.
Sharon disclosed that it had only been a few months since her ex-husband had left, so she was still learning to accept it and to carve out a new life for herself. Scott understood that she wanted to take things slowly, and he noted that he was still getting over the culture shock of being back in the States. He pointed out that returning home hadn't been in his plans, but he'd been making the best of it, and getting to know her had helped. He promised that there was no timetable and that he would be happy to spend time with her without any pressure. Mariah interrupted, and she hoped she wasn't crashing their date again.
Scott entertained Sharon and Mariah with a story about how his photographer had insisted on going back for a bottle of top-shelf booze when bombs had been going off around them. Scott started to bus the table, but Sharon insisted on doing it while he enjoyed his coffee with Mariah. Mariah said she could listen to him tell stories all night, whether they were true or not, and he replied that sometimes they were too true. She called him a natural storyteller, and he asked if that was her professional opinion.
Scott swore that he hadn't meant to insult Mariah at Kevin's wedding, but she conceded that he'd been right about risking the story blowing up in her face. Mariah declared her intent to stay away from fluff and gossip and do more investigative pieces, and she wondered if Scott would be willing to give her pointers. Scott said he'd be glad to, and Sharon indicated that she had to close the place. Scott glanced down at his phone and looked perplexed. He thanked Sharon for a great evening, kissed her cheek, and headed out.
As Sharon closed the coffeehouse, Mariah teased her for holding out about dating Scott. Sharon warned her not to turn it into something it wasn't, and she recalled that Mariah had told her a thousand times to get a life. Sharon wondered if Mariah had a problem with Scott, but Mariah said he seemed like a good guy, and she liked Scott as much as she could for someone she barely knew. Mariah thought what mattered was what Sharon thought about Scott, and Sharon said it was too early to know if it would go anywhere. Mariah appreciated that Scott seemed honest.
Chelsea rushed to the police station in response to a message from Paul. Paul reported that he'd been in touch with police departments all over the country, and there had been no trace of Chloe. Chelsea questioned how that could be, since staying out of sight took money, and Chloe had torn out of the house with only the clothes on her back. Chelsea suggested that the police search for a crazy woman in a custom wedding gown. Paul understood that she was frustrated, but Chloe had gone off the grid.
Chelsea couldn't fathom how Chloe had vanished when she'd had no time to prepare, but Paul pointed out that Chloe might have had a contingency plan if she had thought there had been a chance that she'd be exposed. Chelsea asked about the mental hospital Chloe had been in, and Paul said the chief of staff would contact him immediately if Chloe showed up there. Chelsea griped that they'd closed the case on Adam's death too soon, and Paul assured her that they wouldn't give up until they found Chloe. Chelsea groaned that she couldn't wait for months or years for Chloe to pay for what she'd done to Adam.
Chelsea recalled defending Chloe when other people had questioned Chloe's motives, but Chloe had really been a heartless monster out for revenge. Paul argued that Chloe was ill, and he compared her to Patty, who could be violent and cunning one minute and loving and tender the next. Paul understood what it was like to hope a loved one would get better, only to find out that they were incapable of it. Chelsea spat that she didn't care if Chloe got better, but Chloe was dangerous and needed to be locked up. Chelsea wailed that Chloe was out there while Chelsea, Connor, and Adam's family suffered, praying for justice they might never get. She stalked off.
Paul recounted to Christine that Chloe had fooled people before, but he thought they had to be missing an obvious clue. Christine worried that he was exhausted, and she urged him to go home and get some sleep. He agreed to do it if she joined him, but she anticipated that it would be a late night, since she'd just had an intimidating assignment fall in her lap. Paul hugged Christine and assured her that she'd do just fine.
Scott waited in a car, and Christine joined him and thanked her nephew for meeting her. He grumbled that he'd had no choice, and she apologized for not seeing him since he'd been back, but she was glad he was safe. He ordered her to cut to the chase, and he demanded to know what she wanted from him. Scott snapped that he had a normal life for the first time in years, so Special Agent Maxwell could "go to hell."
Scott complained that he was tired of taking assignments, and he argued that he was no longer an active journalist, so he didn't have the same access. Scott figured that Genoa City wasn't exactly a hotspot for criminal activity, but Christine insisted that Scott's contributions had been invaluable and that the people at the top didn't want to lose him. Scott angrily questioned where they'd been when he'd been kidnapped, and Christine swore that they'd had a plan in the works. Scott asserted that Victor had rescued him, and he didn't owe "those jerks" anything.
At the Underground, Nick left a message for Chelsea to say that he missed her, and he asked her to call him. Jack stopped by the bar and said Nick had been on his mind since he'd heard about Adam, and he asked how Victor was handling the news that his son had been murdered in cold blood. Nick stated that Victor had been devastated all over again, and Jack imagined that Chloe's escape had made things worse. Jack guessed that Victor's minions were tracking her down, and he wondered if Victor was on the trail himself to play the hero. Nick called it an interesting theory, but he figured that Victor was on a business trip.
Chelsea stormed in and ranted that the police had no leads, so Chloe was getting away with murder, and there was nothing they could do about it. Chelsea contemplated filling Victor in, but Nick informed her that Victor was on a trip and couldn't be reached. Chelsea surmised that Victor was alone to get a handle on his emotions, but Jack grumbled that Victor wasn't the touchy-feely type. Chelsea countered that it wasn't a normal situation, and she relayed that Victor had been devastated when she'd shown him Adam's wedding ring.
Chelsea recognized that Jack and Victor had a history, but she was sure Jack could sympathize with a father who'd lost a son in a horrific way. Jack swore that he'd never wish the loss of a child on anyone, and Chelsea lamented that no one other than Nick had seen through Chloe sooner. Jack asked if Nick had been onto Chloe, and Chelsea mentioned the tracking device that Nick had found in Connor's toy and Chloe's elaborate lie about why she'd put it there. Chelsea continued that as more evidence had piled up, Nick had tried to get Chloe to confess, but she hadn't.
Chelsea regretted that she'd trusted her friend instead of Nick, since Chloe would be behind bars if Chelsea had believed Nick from the beginning. Jack guessed that Victor was out for blood with the support of his family, and Chelsea remarked that they were all handling the tragedy in different ways. Chelsea noted that Victor wanted to be alone, whereas Nick hadn't been relating to his father's grief at all. Jack inquired whether Nick blamed Victor for what had happened to Adam, and Chelsea figured that the truth about Chloe had opened old wounds, which was why Nick didn't want to talk about it.
Nick thanked Jack for stopping by, and Jack asked Nick to pass along his condolences to Victor. Nick respected that Jack had cared about Adam, but he called Jack out on being disingenuous where Victor was concerned. Jack swore that he didn't want to see the Newman family suffer, and Nick pointedly stated that he, Victoria, and Nikki would get through it in their own way. Jack headed to the exit, but he looked intrigued by what Nick had said.