At Crimson Lights, Jack watched as Hilary mindlessly let sugar flow from a container into her coffee. Jack approached Hilary and got her attention. Seeking advice, Hilary asked Jack how people survived divorce without losing their minds. Jack said he was practically a professional because he'd been married and divorced a number of times. Hilary joked that she was catching up to Jack after two ugly divorces.
Hilary admitted to Jack that Devon had taken another woman to bed. Hilary claimed Devon had slept with the other woman just for spite. Jack told Hilary that perhaps a long-term commitment to Devon wasn't what she'd truly wanted. Jack attempted to cheer Hilary. Jack explained that Hilary would learn lessons from her painful experience and soon find love again. Hilary didn't seem hopeful.
On the patio at the coffeehouse, Abby ran into Scott. Abby proposed that Scott include her stint as acting CEO at Newman Enterprises in Victor's biography. Scott explained that Nikki had opposed the book, so Victor had dropped the project. Abby suggested that Scott publish an article about her in a high-profile magazine. Scott mentioned that he'd recently viewed a montage of Abby's past videos that someone had posted online. Abby grabbed Scott's laptop, viewed videos of herself during her "naked heiress" days, and cried that she wanted the content deleted. Scott reminded Abby that once posted, content remained online forever. Abby became increasing distressed, but Scott didn't attempt to appease her.
Scott mentioned one video showing Abby bathing in a giant champagne glass. Abby explained that her stunt, which she'd considered to be fun and edgy at the time, had been part of a reality show. Abby, suddenly recalling a recent meeting with a business colleague, seemed horrified when she realized that the man's joke about champagne had likely been in reference to her stunt. Scott reminded Abby that she'd dubbed herself the "naked heiress." Scott added that his chapter about Abby would've been flattering, though his latest video discoveries had given him a renewed perspective about her priorities. Abby, livid, abruptly left.
At the Newman ranch, Nikki glared at Victor when he entered the front door. As Victor sorted through the mail, Nikki reminded him that he could take the mail back to the guesthouse, where he belonged. Victor changed the subject and mentioned that he'd seen Nikki perform with "that music teacher" at the Underground. Victor added that Noah had invited him to enjoy the performance because their grandson believed that his grandparents were still married.
Nikki replied, "Good. Then our performance is working." Victor said Nikki had seemed to enjoy herself at the Underground. Nikki reminded Victor that the music teacher's name was Tessa. Nikki noted that music was a good escape from life's miseries.
Victor said Nikki could strike one of her worrisome concerns off her list because he'd decided not to write his biography in hopes that it might make her happy. Nikki explained that her only concern was protecting their family from Victor's mistakes. Victor suggested that he and Nikki should reconcile. Nikki said she had no plans to cave in to him again.
Victor asked if Nikki planned to continue her musical performances. Nikki said she didn't want Victor watching her perform, so it wasn't any of his business whether she played the keyboard or performed a striptease. Victor replied, "You're still Mrs. Victor Newman. You don't embarrass me, and you don't embarrass the Newman name."
Nikki angrily lashed out at Victor. She asked what people might think if they knew he'd arranged for a mentally unstable woman to help frame his son for murder. Nikki added that the only thing that mattered to Victor was his company. Victor reminded Nikki that he'd helped her become respectable after finding her working in a strip joint. Victor angrily added, "I will not allow anyone to sully the name of Newman or to take that respect away from you, not even you yourself!"
At Newman Enterprises, Victor's company accountant, Gracie, showed him a payment receipt from a company called Proven Success. Gracie said she had no idea why the company had sent the payment. Victor noted that it appeared to be for a real estate transaction handled through Newman Holdings. Gracie explained that she'd received the payment while Victor had been away and would do more research on the matter. Victor seemed perplexed about the mysterious payment.
After Gracie left Victor's office, Abby arrived. Victor told Abby about the payment and showed her the invoice. Abby seemed apprehensive. Victor asked Abby if she knew anything about the payment. Abby pretended she didn't know and said perhaps someone had feared owing a debt to Victor Newman. Abby nervously returned the invoice to Victor and quickly left.
Scott entered Victor's office. Victor said he'd found another way for Scott to repay him. Victor offered Scott an executive position at Newman Enterprises. Scott said he wasn't suited to that type of position. Victor replied, "You have exactly the skill set I need." Victor told Scott that he'd learn about all aspects of the company. Victor praised Scott's journalism skills and told him that his first task would be to keep a close watch on Abby.
In the dining room at Crimson Lights, Tessa spoke on the phone to someone she knew. Tessa said that Nikki Newman seemed to be her new best friend. Tessa remarked that she couldn't believe how the Newmans lived. Tessa paused and added, "I think I'll be able to take care of things now. Finally." Noah entered, and Tessa quickly told her caller that things would be okay then she hung up.
Noah and Tessa talked about Nikki's musical performance at the Underground. Tessa explained that Nikki had seemed tense and had needed an outlet to help her relax. Noah showed Tessa a video he'd made of the performance. Noah noted that Tessa was still wearing the same outfit she'd worn the night before. Tessa claimed that she'd been so tired, she'd fallen asleep in her car. Noah offered to give Tessa a ride the next time she felt too exhausted to drive herself home.
Tessa praised Nikki for being a patient employer. Tessa admitted that she'd made mistakes while helping Nikki with a fund-raiser for the women's shelter. Noah explained that Nikki's charity was important to her. Nikki understood, Noah added, that some women had no way to escape from bad relationships. Before Tessa left for work, Noah said they should talk about their date plans.
In an alley, Nikki secretly watched Tessa. Standing beside a dilapidated car, Tessa quickly changed her clothes. Tessa picked up several tops and smelled each before choosing one. Tessa removed the blouse she'd been wearing and put on another. After changing, Tessa collected her backpack and her guitar and walked away. Tessa's plight seemed to concern and sadden Nikki.
At Devon's penthouse, Mariah and Devon ventured downstairs after a night of lovemaking. Mariah said that when she'd awakened, she'd hoped their "amazing night in bed" hadn't just been a dream. Devon said he wanted to know more about Mariah. Mariah admitted she'd been silly to worry that taking the next step might've ruined their relationship. Devon and Mariah, wearing only Devon's white shirt, kissed.
Devon suddenly noticed the lock on his door and inspected it. Mariah watched as Devon turned the deadbolt and said, "I could've sworn that I'd locked the door." Mariah suggested that during the throes of passion, Devon had forgotten to lock the door. Devon said he was certain he'd locked it. Mariah's phone alarm sounded, and she told Devon she'd have to stop by her apartment to shower and dress before heading to work. Devon suggested that Mariah shower with him and choose one of the dresses Hilary hadn't taken with her. Devon noted that some dresses Hilary had left behind still had tags attached. Mariah joked that Devon was crazy to suggest she wear Hilary's clothes.
At GC Buzz, Hilary was hostile to Mariah and berated her for being late. Hilary asked Mariah if she'd experienced air sickness on Devon's jet. Mariah noted that Devon had "shown her the world and blown her mind." Hilary glared at Mariah. After Mariah walked away, Hilary remembered hiding in a dark corner of Devon's penthouse while secretly watching Mariah and Devon kiss.
Hilary followed Mariah to the drink bar and complained about being short on time before the start of the show. Mariah, wearing a long cardigan, said she'd heeded Hilary's advice about evolving her fashion style. Just before Hilary and Mariah's show began, Mariah removed her cardigan. Mariah was wearing one of Hilary's dresses with the tag still attached. Mariah flaunted the dress and removed the tag. Hilary glared at Mariah.
After the show began, Hilary became flustered, but she quickly gathered her thoughts. Mariah seemed stunned when Hilary told the audience that Genoa City's most wealthy man was pining for his ex-wife. Hilary added that the bachelor had settled for a sad and pitiful single girl. Hilary challenged Mariah to guess the identity of the single girl she'd spoken about. Mariah didn't respond.
After the show ended, Hilary confronted Mariah. Hilary said, "You are not me, and you will never be me. You cannot pull off this show, that dress, or my man." Mariah noted that Devon was no longer Hilary's man. Mariah added that Devon had told her to wear the dress. Hilary said she planned to take back everything that was hers, and she tried to remove the dress. Hilary and Mariah began fighting.
At Jabot, Ashley congratulated Neil on his association with Hamilton-Winters. Neil announced that he and Devon had already set their sights on a new acquisition. Ashley joked that Jabot wasn't for sale. Neil replied, "Actually, I'm here to tell you that we're pursuing an international conglomerate called Mergeron Enterprises." Neil said he'd met with Dina Mergeron in France, aboard Devon's jet. Ashley had nothing positive to say about Dina, claiming that Dina's late husband had been in charge of the company. Noting her surprise that Dina hadn't turned the company into rubble, Ashley asked Neil if he truly wanted to work with a woman like that.
Neil shared his feelings about his own mother with Ashley. Neil recalled that he'd resented his mother until the end of her life, when he'd realized how wrong he'd been. Ashley explained that her mother had left her young children so she could build a new life and had never expressed regrets about abandoning her family. Ashley added that her mother didn't deserve her forgiveness.
Jack entered his office and greeted Neil. Ashley was sullen. After Jack learned that Neil and Devon had placed a bid for Mergeron Enterprises, Jack said it was a bold move. Jack asked about the meeting with Dina. Neil said Dina had been cordial. Neil noted that Dina was aware that he and Devon were from Genoa City. Neil promised to let Jack and Ashley know if Dina accepted their offer.
After Neil left, Ashley told Jack that their mother was up to something. Jack didn't share Ashley's suspicions. Ashley insisted that their mother's decision to deal with Devon and Neil was more about Dina's children than it was about business. Ashley said she'd rather Dina stay out of their lives. Jack disagreed and noted that whatever she'd done, Dina was still their mother.
While Ashley continued to rant, Jack became distracted when Abby sent him a text message. Abby wrote that Victor had discovered the payment sent for purchase of the building Jack had bought. Abby stated that she'd handled the matter. Ashley became frustrated and asked Jack if he'd been listening to her. Jack turned his attention back to Ashley and noted that he, Ashley, and Traci had grown past the stage of being dependent on their mother. Ashley, seething, proclaimed their mother to be vile, cold, and vicious.
After Neil left Jack's office, he went to Devon's. Devon said he expected to hear from Dina soon. Devon's phone rang. Devon set the call on speakerphone and informed Dina that Neil could also hear her. Dina explained that though she'd had reservations about selling to a new company, Devon and Neil had won her over with their passion. Dina added that she had favored Devon's offer because he was Katherine Chancellor's grandson.
Quietly, Devon and Neil jubilantly celebrated. Dina said that if Katherine had trusted Devon with her fortune, then she could trust Devon with her company. Devon and Neil thanked Dina for accepting their offer. After the call ended, Devon told Neil that news of their acquisition would blow up the business world. Neil's mood suddenly changed, and he replied, "Yeah, that's not all it's going to blow up, son."
At Newman Enterprises, Scott was stunned that Victor wanted him to keep an eye on Abby. Victor explained that she was headstrong but lacked experience, and he thought Scott could help her make the right decisions, since her success and loyalty were important to Victor. Scott realized that Victor wanted him to spy on Abby. Victor contended that it was a good idea for Abby to work with a contemporary, but Scott pointed out that he had no corporate experience.
Victor believed that Scott knew a lot about the real world from researching companies and governments, and Scott commented that the world wasn't a pretty place. Victor recognized that Abby had grown up privileged, but she lacked street smarts, and he hoped Scott could help her hone her skills. Scott reluctantly agreed to honor his commitment to work for Victor, but he refused to be a babysitter. Abby entered and tried to duck out when she saw Scott, but Victor informed her that Scott was the reason he'd asked her to be there.
Victor announced that Scott would be working there, but Abby was certain that there were more qualified people. Victor referred to Scott's real-life experience, and he wanted Abby to instruct Scott. Victor named Scott as vice president of special projects. Abby huffed that it didn't mean anything, and she asked to speak to Victor alone. Scott pointedly stated that he'd go find the executive break room, and he headed out. Abby barked that it was good to know how little Victor thought of her.
Abby thought it was no wonder that Victoria had bailed. She accused Victor of thinking that a woman wasn't worthy of his legacy, or he wouldn't have hired a journalist whose only qualification was that he was a man. Victor pointed out that he'd only asked her to teach Scott the ins and outs of the corporate business world, but Abby sensed a setup, and she resented Victor putting her in that position. Victor asked if she had something against Scott.
Abby called Scott condescending and self-righteous, and she thought Victor's decision to hire him seemed arbitrary. Abby scolded that Victor didn't have to test her loyalty, but Victor contended that everyone had to earn his trust. She begrudgingly agreed to work with Scott, and Victor arranged to have Scott sent back in. After Victor exited, Scott told Abby that he'd been just as surprised as she was about the job offer. She ordered him to sit down, since there were some things she needed to say to him. Abby told Scott that she didn't like him and that she didn't like that he had a made-up title and no experience, especially since she'd worked her butt off to get there.
Abby warned Scott not to screw things up, and she permitted him to take notes and observe but not to talk or make decisions. He imagined that he could learn how to keep quiet and look pretty from her. He contended that while she'd been allegedly working her butt off while blowing through her trust fund, he'd seen working conditions that would make the blonde jump off her head. Scott insisted that Victor had seen him as the valuable asset he was, and Victor was the only one he reported to. He added that Victor had hired him to work with Abby and not for her, and he said he'd see her the next day. Scott strode out as Abby seethed.
At GC Buzz, Mariah and Hilary tore at one another's clothes and hair as they tumbled to the floor. Hilary hissed that it was shocking that Mariah believed Devon cared about her, and Mariah retorted that he'd cared all night long. The women continued to fight, and Mariah asked if Hilary had slept with Jordan's dad yet or if she was waiting until she and Jordan were married.
Exhausted, Mariah and Hilary panted as they sat on the floor. Mariah admitted that it had felt good, and Hilary spat that Mariah could wear Hilary's clothes and have sex with Devon all she wanted, but it would never replace Hilary in Devon's heart. Hilary staggered to her feet, grabbed the dress Mariah had been wearing, and stalked out.
Nikki returned home to the Newman ranch, and Nick jokingly asked if she'd been out rehearsing for her worldwide tour. She indicated that she'd been at the Better Days shelter, finalizing the details for the benefit. He declared that he was proud of her for getting up on stage at open mic night. He thought she should do it more often, since it had been awesome seeing her having fun and forgetting about everything, including Victor. Nikki recounted that it had been exhilarating to be in front of the crowd and that she'd felt that way until she'd found out that Victor had been at the performance.
Nikki acknowledged that Noah had thought he'd been doing her a favor by calling Victor, but she didn't want to get another member of their family mixed up in the situation. Nick worried that it was too much for her, and she realized that he'd really stopped by to check up on her. Nikki swore that Victor wouldn't break her that time, and Nick changed the subject to whether she or Tessa would get top billing in the future. Nikki confided that she suspected that Tessa had been living out of her car, but she hesitated to broach the subject because Tessa might be offended and take off before Nikki could offer to help. Nick noted that Nikki was getting pretty involved in Tessa's life.
Nick was concerned that Nikki was taking on too much, but Nikki argued that real stress was not having a place to live or knowing when one's next meal would be. She recalled that she'd been in that position before, and she considered it unconscionable not to help Tessa. Nikki remarked that she wasn't the only Newman in Tessa's fan club, and Nick acknowledged that Noah was smitten. Nikki thought Noah deserved happiness after his broken engagement, and she asked how things were going between Nick and Chelsea. Nikki hoped keeping Victor's secret wouldn't do damage to Nick's relationship the way it had to Victoria's. Nick swore that there was no way Victor would mess it up for them.
Tessa played her guitar near the café in the park, and she looked dismayed when people passed by without putting any money in her guitar case. At the café, Kevin informed Chelsea about the letters that Chloe had sent to him and Billy, and he revealed that Bella had turned out to be his daughter. Chelsea called Chloe a manipulative whack job for faking the first DNA test, but Kevin defended that Chloe was sick. Kevin conceded that Chloe had done unforgivable things. However, he maintained that Chloe had needed help, but the system had failed her. He questioned how Chloe had been released from a mental hospital.
Chelsea grumbled that infinite hours of therapy couldn't help Chloe. Kevin said he couldn't waste his energy thinking about what Chloe had done when Bella needed his attention, and he groaned that it wasn't easy being a single parent. Chelsea pledged to always be there for him, and they agreed to set up a play date for Bella and Connor. Chelsea asked if Chloe knew that Kevin was Bella's father, but Kevin reported that Chloe had sent the letters from different countries to avoid being found. Chelsea thought she should follow his example and not waste energy on Chloe.
Tessa thanked some people when they dropped money inside her case, but she looked exasperated when she realized how little she'd received. Meanwhile, Mariah met Kevin at the café and wondered why he hadn't told her earlier that he had a daughter. Kevin explained that it had taken a few days to process, and Mariah gushed that she was happy for him and Bella. Kevin wondered why Mariah was in such a good mood, and she replied that she'd decided to grab life by the hair.
Kevin pushed Mariah to spill, and she revealed that she and Devon were a "thing." Mariah commented that the town misfits were finally growing up, and Kevin left to pick up Bella from preschool. Mariah noticed Tessa singing, and she pulled some money from her pocket. Mariah asked if Tessa had played at the Underground, and Tessa mentioned that she'd jammed with Nikki there the night before. Mariah was shocked when she realized that Tessa wasn't joking.
Mariah couldn't imagine Nikki onstage, and Tessa revealed that the Nikki she knew wanted to have fun but felt that she had expectations to live up to. Mariah remarked that the ranch was pretty sweet, and Tessa recalled that Mariah lived there with her mom. Mariah suggested that she and Tessa hang out at the pond and have a couple of drinks sometime. Tessa answered a call from Nikki and said she had to go. Tessa fretted that perhaps dragging Nikki onstage hadn't been a good idea after all.
Tessa arrived at the ranch, and she apologized for putting Nikki on the spot the night before. Nikki insisted that she'd loved performing, and a relieved Tessa admitted that she'd thought her days were numbered. Nikki asked why Tessa thought she'd be fired for asking Nikki to perform, and Tessa figured that she might have trashed Nikki's classy reputation. Nikki said she liked Tessa and had a proposition for her.
Tessa was shocked when Nikki invited her to move into the ranch. Nikki anticipated putting in a lot of hours on the benefit, and she thought it would save Tessa the time and expense of driving back and forth. Tessa guessed that Nikki had seen her car, and Nikki said it had reminded her of her first car. Nikki offered Tessa a spot in the garage and her own suite of rooms, and she promised that Tessa wouldn't know Nikki was there when they weren't working. Tessa worried about Victor, but Nikki expected him to rarely be there. Tessa asked why Nikki was really doing it.
Nikki reasoned that moving in would allow Tessa to put money away so that she would have more options when she chose what she wanted to do next. Tessa marveled that no one had ever done anything like that for her before, and she didn't know what to say. Nikki implored her to say yes, since she'd love for Tessa to live there. Victor hovered nearby as Tessa agreed to move in, and the women hugged. Tessa stepped out to pack her things.
Victor admonished Nikki for inviting someone to live in his house without telling him. Nikki refused to let him object, since Tessa needed help, and it wasn't his decision. Nikki contended that she was living a lie and perpetuating the face of a happy marriage to protect their family and keep him out of prison, and she ordered him to go along with however she decided to conduct her life. Victor haughtily stated that he'd allow her to continue the charade as long as he permitted it and no longer.
Jordan arrived at Chelsea's penthouse, and he looked around and exclaimed that it was a big step up. He recounted that it had been crazy running into her, but they hadn't had time to say goodbye after their last conversation. He guessed that she'd called him over to confirm that they didn't want to revisit the old days with their current squeezes, but she revealed that she hadn't summoned him there just to get their stories straight. Chelsea thought that Jordan was the only one who could help her.
Jordan expressed sympathy when Chelsea told him about her history with Chloe. Chelsea declared that she was done crying as of that day, since the only way to give Adam justice was to find Chloe. Chelsea explained that Chloe wasn't on the FBI's radar because she'd never been formally charged, but she was sure that Chloe had a fake passport -- one just like the ones Jordan had made in the past. Jordan protested that he'd gotten out of that line of work long before, but Chelsea suspected that he still had his old contacts. Jordan reiterated that he didn't want to look back, but he caved when Chelsea became upset. They hugged.
At Devon's penthouse, Devon thought he and Neil should hold off on the sparkling cider until the contracts to acquire Mergeron Enterprises were officially signed, but Neil thought the fact that Devon was Katherine's grandson had clinched the deal. Devon remarked that he felt like his life was going in the right direction. Devon expected that the acquisition would take them from being unknowns to being power players, and he noted that Dina had seemed like a tough bird. Neil was prepared for her to drive a tough bargain, and Devon declared that he had an army of lawyers ready.
Neil mused that the deal would be complicated, and not just for them. Hilary suddenly burst in and confronted Devon. "What the hell were you thinking, giving my clothes to that thirsty bitch?" she bellowed. Neil and Devon observed Hilary's bedraggled appearance, and she claimed there had been a messy situation at work. Devon said he needed to have the locks changed, and Hilary ranted that his girlfriend had been wearing one of Hilary's designer dresses. Devon argued that Hilary had never even worn it, and Neil hastily left.
Hilary reminded Devon that she was staying at the Athletic Club until she found her own place, and she had no room to store all her things. She added that she hadn't asked for a penny, so the least he could do was let her leave her belongings there. She stormed over to the stairs, but she stopped for a moment when she flashed back to seeing Devon and Mariah having sex on the stairway. A short time later, Hilary returned downstairs and said she'd be back for the rest of her things.
Hilary snarled that she didn't want the woman Devon was sleeping with touching her wardrobe, and he questioned why she thought he was sleeping with Mariah. Hilary asserted that Mariah had flaunted that she'd spent the night by wearing Hilary's dress, but Devon countered that it shouldn't matter because he and Hilary weren't married anymore. Hilary agreed that it didn't matter, but she didn't want any of his women wearing her clothes. Hilary stepped into the hallway and bragged that she'd been having incredible sex with Jordan for weeks. Devon slammed the door in her face, and she turned and faced Jordan.
Jordan surmised that he'd only been Hilary's boy toy, but Hilary defended that Devon had been throwing his relationship with Mariah in her face. Jordan flatly stated that he wasn't interested in Hilary using him to prove a point to her ex. Chelsea exited her penthouse and asked Jordan if everything was okay, and Hilary inquired how Chelsea knew Jordan. Jordan fibbed that they'd met at fashion week, and Chelsea asked how Hilary knew him. Hilary replied that she and Jordan were dating, but he recalled that she'd referred to him as just a friend before. Chelsea stepped away, and Jordan insisted that he and Hilary talk things through or go their separate ways.
Hilary and Jordan retreated to GC Buzz, where she seductively offered to model a sexy gown for him. He hung the garment back on the rack, and she apologized for talking about him like he was piece of meat. Hilary added that she'd thought everything was out in the open, and she hadn't realized that Jordan didn't want people to know that they were sleeping together. Jordan questioned whether she'd be fine if he told Billy and Cane that she was good in bed. He revealed that he'd thought he and Hilary had something real, but she'd been putting him off.
Hilary conceded that finalizing her divorce had been harder than she'd expected, and she'd needed a little time to herself. She said Devon shutting the door on her had been like shutting the door on the past, and it had felt liberating. Hilary suggested that she slip out of her outfit and into Jordan's arms, but Jordan pushed her away and grumbled that he wasn't as dumb as she thought he was. He said he'd heard the fire in her voice when she'd talked to Devon, but it wasn't there when she talked about Jordan, and he suspected that he was nothing more than a prop. He told her to find out what she really wanted, and he walked out.
Mariah stopped by Devon's penthouse, and Devon examined the scratches on her arm. Devon figured it had been why Hilary had seemed beaten up earlier when she'd dropped by to pick up her clothes, but she had left out the part about a fight. Mariah crowed that she'd gotten the better of Hilary, and she thought Hilary had gotten the message that Devon and Mariah were "for reals." Devon liked the sound of that, and they kissed.
Nick arrived to see Chelsea, who told him that she'd learned that Kevin was Bella's biological father. Nick asked if the cops had found Chloe, and Chelsea explained that Chloe had sent the letters while on the run. Chelsea announced that she'd decided to fight fire with fire, but Nick begged her not to find Chloe on her own. Chelsea bemoaned that it had been frustrating because the police had no leads after weeks of looking for Chloe, but Nick warned that it was too dangerous for Chelsea to go after Chloe alone. Chelsea supposed that she had to accept that there was nothing more she could do.
Billy arrived at Victoria's. He wanted to make sure that Victoria was comfortable about his relationship with Phyllis. He agreed that his visits with the kids would be without Phyllis. Victoria said she was fine if Billy wanted to stop over every night to say goodnight to the kids. Victoria was amazed that Phyllis would be willing to give up part of their evenings together for Billy to see the kids every night. Billy assured her that Phyllis would be fine with it. Billy acknowledged that he and Victoria were in a good place, and he wanted it to stay that way.
Nick and Phyllis met at Crimson Lights. Nick told Phyllis that Victoria had said that Phyllis and Billy had reunited. He admitted it had been a shock the way Victoria had found out. Phyllis noted that Nick wasn't too thrilled about it either. He asked if Phyllis was sure that was what she and Billy wanted. Phyllis assured him it was not a rebound. They were the real deal, and she was happy their relationship was out in the open.
Phyllis assured Nick that they hadn't wanted to hurt anyone. Nick said Victoria had been hurt because she had believed that she and Billy had been building something together. Nick added that Victoria had never meant to push Billy away. Phyllis stated that Victoria had, over and over. Nick said Victoria had had good reasons for doing it. Phyllis felt that one could only ride that roller coaster for so long before they needed to walk away.
At Jabot, Jack shocked Ashley when he told her that Phyllis and Billy were together. Jack assured Ashley that he and Phyllis were done, and Phyllis could see whomever she chose. He wasn't thrilled about it but added that he didn't care what Billy did. Jack said he was fine with Phyllis and Billy being together. He hoped they lived happily ever after. Ashley couldn't understand why Jack was so nonchalant about it.
Jack said he and Phyllis had never stood a chance. They had had one perfect moment in their marriage -- the wedding. After that, they had been doomed by what Victor had done to them. There had been a chasm they could never bridge, and Billy had taken full advantage of it. Ashley knew that Jack would have preferred if Billy had stayed away from Phyllis. She asked what the chances were that Jack and Billy could find their way back to each other as brothers. Jack said between slim and none.
At Chelsea's, Jordan advised Chelsea that he'd been in touch with a couple of his old contacts. They were out of the passport game because of the new material the Feds were using. They couldn't keep up. Creating a forgery was almost impossible, and whoever had helped Chloe had major underground connections and serious cash. Chelsea said Chloe didn't know anyone who would be willing to put themselves on the line like that -- at least not that Chelsea knew of. She said that Chloe was a master at keeping secrets.
Jordan apologized for not being able to help. Chelsea felt she'd reached a dead end. Jordan stated that the old Chelsea would never have allowed anything or anyone to stop her. Chelsea agreed and said there had to be another way to find Chloe and her accomplice.
A short time later, Chelsea told Nick that Chloe had sent letters from two different countries. She wondered if Chelsea had sent them herself or if she'd had an accomplice. Chelsea believed Chloe had had help. Nick felt they might never get answers. Chelsea said she couldn't just sit back and do nothing. She wanted Nick to help her track down Chloe and her accomplice. She was adamant that Chloe couldn't get out of the country on her own. Nick said a new passport meant a new identification, and that made Chloe more difficult to find.
Chelsea became agitated and asked why Nick had such a defeatist attitude. She pointed out that when Nick had been investigating Chloe, he'd been relentless. Nick wanted the professionals to find Chloe and take her in. Chelsea accused Nick of hiding something. Nick said his hands were tied, and he didn't like the fact that Chloe had gotten between them. Chelsea was angry because Nick wasn't willing to do anything. She said she needed answers and asked Nick to leave.
Later, Chelsea looked at the passport that Victor had had made for her when she'd been ready to go on the run. The name on that passport was Alexana Rasmus. Chelsea believed Chloe's new name was Rasmus, short for Erasmus, meaning beloved. Chelsea recalled that when she'd tended bar overseas, there had been an ex-pat who had told her his name was Erasmus. He'd made a point of telling her that it meant beloved, thinking she'd be impressed. Chelsea pondered the passport.
At Newman Enterprises, Victor told Abby and Scott that he wanted to make an acquisition in digital media. He asked Scott to scout out the companies and Abby to use her financial expertise. Abby told Scott he was to provide her with a list of ten companies that Newman would be interested in with supporting research data, and she'd take it from there. She was interested to see what Scott would bring to the table.
After Abby left, Victor said he wanted Scott to monitor Abby -- specifically, who she associated with, the tasks she took on, the tasks she delegated to others, and if there were areas where Abby was less than transparent, Victor wanted to know about them. He also told Scott to wear a suit.
At Brash & Sassy, Cane was working with Juliet. Juliet mentioned knowing that Victoria had wanted a future with Billy, but Billy was with that Phyllis woman. Cane said Victoria kept giving Billy chances, but Billy kept letting her down. Cane admitted he'd told Victoria he'd always be available to her. Juliet smiled and said that Cane might wind up second in command.
A short time later, everyone at Brash & Sassy had gathered in the conference room for a meeting. Billy announced that he had an idea to pitch. He said that Lily's professional tour promoting their pro hockey tie-in was going extremely well. Sales were up, and he thought they should capitalize on it with national television ads. They would promote Dare's official men's grooming line and pro hockey. They could get a couple of players to appear with Lily. Billy said he'd been in contact with Kiley Weston, the movie producer, and they would shoot in Los Angeles.
Cane admitted it was a good idea, but it sounded expensive. He asked Billy about the return investment and questioned if it was just money going out the door. Billy assured him there was potential to expand their brand not only through their demographic, but also to men thirty-five and over. He said that Kiley was very excited about it, and she'd agreed to work to scale. Victoria loved the idea and wanted to run with it immediately. Cane sent Billy a scathing glare.
Jordan and Lily thought Billy's idea was brilliant. Juliet suggested they make videos behind the scenes to be shown exclusively on their website. They all agreed it would be a great way to draw in traffic. Cane, once again, expressed his concern about the cost. Victoria said she'd make sure the agency stayed within their annual budget. She added that they had to take some risks in order to get the payoff. She wanted them to work as a team at home and in Los Angeles. Cane stated he was behind them one hundred percent. Cane's sarcasm didn't go unnoticed by Billy and Lily.
Victoria wanted Juliet to assist Billy full-time. Juliet was concerned that it would leave Cane short-handed in the marketing area. Victoria assured Juliet that she'd take care of Cane. Billy thanked Victoria for getting behind his idea. She assured him that she didn't want anything to change between them.
Victoria waited for the elevator, and when the doors opened, Phyllis got out and asked for a moment of Victoria's time. Phyllis admitted that she should have let Victoria and Billy hash things out instead of preaching at Victoria. Phyllis said it hadn't been productive, kind, or classy and she should have kept her mouth shut.
Victoria admitted it hadn't been her finest hour, but emotions had gotten the best of them. Victoria advised that she and Billy had worked through everything that morning when Billy had stopped by to see the kids. She and Billy were determined to keep things normal for the kids' sake. She hoped that wouldn't be a problem for Phyllis. Phyllis assured Victoria it wouldn't because Billy's whole world revolved around the kids.
Victoria was surprised and said many women wouldn't be happy having their boyfriend hanging out with their ex-wife every night. Phyllis said she was amazed that in spite of the amount of time Victoria and Billy had spent together, Billy had wound up with Phyllis. Victoria said she had to accept that.
Phyllis said that she'd received a text from Billy saying he had great news. Victoria said that she'd approved Billy's idea for a new commercial. She and Billy would be traveling to Los Angeles together for the shoot. As the elevator doors were closing, Victoria added that it should be a trip to remember.
Lily told Cane she was excited about going to Los Angeles. She wanted Cane to take a few vacation days around the shoot so they could go up the coast to Santa Barbara and visit some wineries. Cane admitted it sounded like a great getaway, but he didn't look enthusiastic. Lily guessed it was about Billy and that Cane was upset that the project had been green-lighted after Cane's objection.
Cane griped that Billy had humiliated Victoria, and she still wouldn't say no to him. Lily stated that Billy and Victoria's relationship wasn't Cane's business. Cane was creating a competition where none existed. She reminded him that Victoria had approved many of Cane's ideas and judged them based on merit. Cane disagreed. He knew Victoria wanted Billy back, and she was prepared to put the company out on a limb financially to do it when they could barely afford to hire Juliet. Lily asked if Cane had stopped to think what a great opportunity the commercial was for her. She asked why Cane couldn't be happy for her the way she'd been for him when he'd closed the Asian deal.
Later, Cane asked Billy where Victoria was. Billy said she was out, and Cane was on his own. Cane wondered if Billy had made the crack to make Cane feel bad because Billy had poached Juliet from him. Billy advised him that it had been Victoria's idea. He asked why Cane wasn't happy they were raising the company's profile. Billy asked if Cane's vow to back Victoria a hundred percent had been a load of crap. Cane said he was biding his time and waiting for Billy to screw up. Then he'd step in to save the day. Billy would see what it felt like to be on the outside.
Abby paid Jack a visit at Jabot and told him that Victor had hired Scott for a bogus position. Abby felt that with Victor's attitude toward women, she'd be shut out, since Victor had found a surrogate son. Jack said that Scott might be brilliant, but he'd never get the top spot because his last name wasn't Newman. Jack advised her to be careful and to keep her eye on both of them. Victor and Scott were bloodhounds -- one by trade and one by disposition. Jack warned Abby to play it carefully.
Ashley arrived and asked what Abby should play carefully. Ashley warned Abby not to listen to any shady advice Jack offered. Ashley wanted to take Abby aside if Abby needed to talk about what was going on with Victor. Abby said she and Victor had been fine until then, and she left.
At Crimson Lights, Scott told Phyllis that Victor had reassigned him because the book deal was dead. Scott had an office and fancy new title at Newman Enterprises. Scott mentioned he'd heard that Phyllis and Billy were together. Phyllis admitted it was their second go-around. Scott was happy for Phyllis and hoped it worked out for her this time.
Phyllis knew that Scott felt he owed Victor a debt, but she warned him that he was Victor's hostage. She told him that Victor manipulated people, and she advised Scott not to forget who Scott was and not to let Victor make Scott's life something he didn't want it to be.
Ashley went to see Victor. She told Victor that pairing Scott with Abby was demeaning to Abby. Victor advised Ashley that Scott had a certain skill set. Ashley hoped Victor hadn't done something to undermine Abby. Victor assured Ashley that Abby didn't need her mother to protect her. Ashley reminded him that Abby was their daughter. Victor made a call and requested that Scott be found and asked to return to Victor's office.
When Scott arrived, he readily admitted to Ashley that he had a lot to learn about business. Ashley said Abby would show him the ropes and that Scott was in good hands. Ashley admitted that Scott was a great addition to Victor's team. Victor said he had an appointment. Before leaving, he said he was happy that Ashley was satisfied that Abby was not being slighted.
After Victor left, Scott told Ashley that he had been thrown by Victor's offer as much as Ashley and Abby had been. Ashley said she had nothing but respect for Scott as a journalist. She was sure he wanted to hold on to his hard-earned integrity. Scott agreed that that was his intent. Ashley warned Scott not to do anything to make Abby look bad, or he'd have to answer to her.
Abby saw Victor at the elevator at Newman Enterprises. Victor advised Abby that he'd left Ashley and Scott in his office. Abby wanted to know why Ashley was there. Victor said Ashley was there to protect Abby, and she'd thought he'd had an ulterior motive for hiring Scott. Abby questioned if Victor had had an ulterior motive. Victor asked if Abby had given him any reason to doubt her loyalty to him or to the company. Abby said she hadn't. As he got on the elevator, Victor stated that Abby had nothing to worry about.
At Jabot, Jack ran into Phyllis and gave her a report on the economic impact of e-commerce on brick and mortar retail chains from 1990 to the present. He found the information provocative. He wanted Phyllis to apply the findings to Fenmore's and make up her own media analysis. Phyllis claimed she wasn't an economist. Jack claimed that if he'd wanted an economist's opinion, he would've hired one, but he had asked her. Jack knew that Phyllis was in the Internet trenches, and she knew what was passé and what was cutting edge. He wanted to know if technology got in the way of retail.
Jack admitted that there would be extensive research and writing. It would require a lot of overtime. He told Phyllis he needed a report by June 1. Phyllis asked if the project was about Billy. Jack said that Phyllis' personal life had no effect on him, and he was insulted that Phyllis would think otherwise.
Jack gloated that Victoria was probably giving Billy the screws, just like he'd predicted. Phyllis advised that there was no change in Victoria and Billy's work dynamic or the relationship with their kids. Jack found that admirable -- on the surface. He stated that Victoria was a Newman, and Newmans hated to lose. However, if Phyllis' relationship was as solid as she believed, it shouldn't be an issue.
At Crimson Lights, Lily told Jordan she was excited about the new commercial. Jordan stated that it hadn't sounded like Cane was on board with Billy's idea, from what little he'd overhead of her conversation with Cane. Lily said that Cane would be supportive when the time came, but Cane always developed an attitude when Billy was involved. Lily hoped she wouldn't get nervous during the shoot because she'd never acted before. Jordan assured her he had her back.
At Newman, Abby was miffed that Ashley had gone behind her back to talk to Victor when Abby had told her about Scott in confidence. Ashley explained that she'd lived and worked with Victor, so she knew when he was up to something, and her maternal instincts had kicked in. Ashley revealed that Scott had said nothing about keeping tabs on Abby, and she was sure that he wasn't part of a devious plan. Abby pointed out that Scott owed Victor his life and that Scott despised her, and she imagined Scott was drooling at the prospect of proving that she wasn't a loyal daughter. Ashley wondered if there was proof to be found.
Ashley clucked that she could always tell when Abby was keeping something from her, and she referred to the tech incubator project that Victor had rejected. Ashley recalled that Abby had been nervous when she'd talked about problems that couldn't be fixed, but Abby snapped that she was an adult who didn't need her mother to protect her. Ashley conceded that she was a little overprotective, but Victor had insisted that Scott would make Abby a more well-rounded executive. Abby complained that Scott was a condescending jerk, and she thought the fact that he knew her mommy had run to her daddy would make things even worse.
Ashley assured Abby that her reputation was intact, but Abby considered it humiliating that her mother had intervened. Abby quickly apologized for complaining about her mom caring too much when Ashley had grown up without a mother, but Ashley swore that having a loving, caring father had made up for Dina's absence. Ashley recalled that she'd once begged John to stop Traci from tagging along everywhere Ashley had gone, but John had recommended that Ashley include Traci because once Traci experienced what Ashley was doing, Traci wouldn't want to do it anymore. Ashley remembered that it had worked, and she suggested that Abby apply the same principle to the situation with Scott.
Abby gleefully realized that Scott hated the corporate world, so he'd get bored and quit if she immersed him in her duties. Abby said she was lucky to have Ashley as a mom, and they hugged. As Abby looked over Ashley's shoulder, she spied an online article about Mergeron Enterprises being for sale.
At Devon's penthouse, Michael presented Neil with Dina's counteroffer. Neil reviewed it and realized that Dina wanted substantially more, and Michael noted that there were additional provisions that he doubted she'd mentioned during her initial meeting with Neil and Devon. Neil looked them over and exclaimed that she couldn't be serious.
Mariah entered the cottage and observed that a studious Sharon was in the same position as when Mariah had left that morning. Sharon was determined to get the information into her head, and she worried because she hadn't taken a final exam in a long time. Mariah encouraged Sharon to take a break to let the information sink in, and she ran upstairs to get changed for a date. Sharon stretched and opened a window, and the doorbell rang. Sharon invited Devon in and remarked that he and Mariah were getting pretty serious.
Sharon said she'd seen Hilary's show about divorce, and she thought Hilary had seemed genuine when she'd taken off her ring and wished Devon well. Devon commented that Hilary knew how to make good television, but he contended that their marriage had been over long before because of Hilary's lies and schemes. Sharon insisted that Mariah was trustworthy and deserved to be happy. Mariah entered and wondered what Devon and Sharon had been talking about, and Sharon inquired whether Devon had planned another tour in a private jet. Devon suggested something more low-key like a hayride, and he and Mariah headed for the door. Devon received a text message and scowled.
Devon and Mariah joined Neil and Michael. Devon was stunned that Dina had ambushed them with demands, but Michael warned that it was just the beginning of a long, complicated dance. Neil vowed not to give up, and he steeled himself to go over the contract line by line, starting that night. Devon apologized to Mariah and offered to have a car take her home, but she looked forward to watching Genoa City's greatest business minds, and she volunteered to order pizza. Michael departed, and Neil advised Devon to speak up about things he didn't like in the contract. Devon asked what would happen if Dina didn't like their changes, and Neil replied that they'd walk away.
Abby dialed an international phone number and asked to speak to Madame Mergeron. Meanwhile, Neil prepared to identify what he and Devon could and couldn't accept in the contract, but Mariah wondered why they didn't save themselves a lot of time by simply asking Dina what she really wanted. Neil figured it wouldn't hurt to try, and he made a call to Dina. Dina picked up the phone.
Abby was rendered momentarily speechless by the sound Dina's voice, and she stammered that she was calling regarding the sale of Dina's company. Dina flatly stated that she was in negotiations and not entertaining other offers, but Abby asked if that applied to an inquiry from Newman Enterprises. Dina snickered and said she'd wondered how long it would take for Victor to sniff around. Dina recalled that she and Victor went way back, and she assumed that Abby had to be new if she didn't already know that. Dina instructed Abby to tell Victor that he had all the feathers he needed in his cap, so he wouldn't be getting his hands on Dina's. Dina added to give Victor her regards, and she hung up.
After Neil left a message for Dina, he acknowledged that acquiring Mergeron would be huge. Devon pledged to play hardball if that was how Dina wanted to do it, but Neil pushed Devon to enjoy his evening with Mariah. Neil told Mariah to make sure Devon kept his eyes on her and not the paperwork, and Neil headed out. Mariah snatched the contract out of Devon's hand.
Victoria sipped a glass of wine at the Athletic Club, and Jack approached and guessed that Billy's immaturity had struck again. Jack mentioned the elevator incident, and he condemned Billy for not being able to keep his hands to himself in the workplace. Jack indicated that no one would blame her for giving Billy a pink slip, but Victoria insisted that she wasn't about to fire the man who would make her company a fortune. Victoria told Jack that they would be shooting a commercial in L.A., and she thanked him because they wouldn't be doing so if he hadn't graciously conceded the hockey contract.
Victoria refused to waste time with worrying about Billy and Phyllis' relationship, and she pledged to bury her hostility for the sake of her children and her work. Victoria questioned how long it would really last between Billy and Phyllis, but Jack suspected that Phyllis was in it for the long haul. Victoria anticipated that Phyllis wouldn't be able to keep up the positive attitude for long, and she hoped things would get back to normal with Billy as soon as possible. Jack inquired whether Victoria was keeping Billy at Brash & Sassy for business or personal reasons.
Jack thought Victoria and Billy had been getting closer, and she confirmed that they had been. She flashed back to kissing Billy, and she mused that she'd had to push Billy away. Jack noticed her choice of words, and Victoria abruptly got up to leave. He noted that she seemed upset, but she dismissed it as a family thing. Jack revealed that Nikki had recently asked him for advice about getting her mojo back when Victor had been out of town, and he hoped that Nikki would wise up and leave Victor. Victoria insisted that her parents' marriage was rock solid, and she claimed that she'd simply misspoken because of the wine. Victoria departed, but Jack looked skeptical.
At Jabot, Ashley told Jack about her conversation with Abby, and he thought Abby was lucky to have a mom who always had her back. Ashley observed that Jack had been spending a lot of time with Abby, and Jack said he'd enjoyed it, even if Ashley thought he had a nefarious purpose. Ashley refused to apologize for not wanting Abby to be caught in the crossfire between the two families. Jack recognized that Abby was part Newman, but he believed that she was mostly Abbott, and he expected that she would surprise them all.
Ashley said she'd missed being able to talk with Jack, since they'd been arguing all the time. She worried that he'd gone to a dark place, but she thought she was seeing the light in his eye. She asked if he really thought everything would be okay at Newman, and Jack declared that Abby would be a great commodity for any company. Ashley hoped Victor knew how hard Abby was working to prove herself to both him and to Ashley. Jack murmured that no matter how old people got, they always wanted their parents' approval.
At Brash & Sassy, Juliet informed Billy that the ad agency in L.A. would have the storyboards by the following week. Billy expected the gamble to pay off, and Juliet mumbled that it better with the money they were spending. He commented that she'd been hanging out with Cane too much, but he granted his permission for her to poke or pinch him whenever he said anything unprofessional about Cane, since the company's success was the most important thing. Billy prepared to leave to hang out with his kids at Victoria's house, and Juliet admired his and Victoria's ability to work and co-parent together. Billy was grateful that he and his ex could peacefully coexist.
Later, Phyllis arrived, looking for Billy, and she and Juliet recognized one another from their brief encounter at Top of the Tower. Phyllis mentioned that Billy was excited about the commercial, and she expressed surprise that he wasn't there. Juliet reported that Billy had gone to Victoria's house to see his kids, and Phyllis imagined that it was weird for Juliet to see exes working together. Juliet replied that she went with the flow, and Phyllis declared that she supported Billy spending time with his kids.
Victoria returned home and found Billy playing with Johnny and Katie. Victoria picked clips out of Billy's hair from playing dress-up, and she told the kids to wash up for dinner. Billy informed Victoria that everything was on track for the commercial, and she chirped that of course it was with him in charge. He said it meant a lot that she believed in him, and she proposed that they spend an extra few days in California to take the kids to the San Diego Zoo and some theme parks. Billy preferred to wait and see how the shoot went, since they might not have time, and she agreed not to tell the kids until they knew for sure.
Lauren greeted Scott when he returned home, but she sensed that something was wrong. He groaned that it was his new job, since Victor had offered him another assignment -- working at Newman. Scott announced that she was looking at the senior vice president of special projects, and Lauren gushed that it was amazing. He groused that it wasn't when the special project was Abby, and he explained that Victor wanted to know Abby's every move.
Scott scoffed at the idea that he and Abby were supposed to be a team, and he remarked that even someone as vapid and shallow as Abby resented having a glorified babysitter. Lauren pointed out that Abby could learn a lot from Scott and that Scott could learn from Victor, since Victor had built his empire from nothing. Scott countered that he could learn about the corporate world from Lauren, but he knew why he had to work at Newman and not Fenmore's. Scott recognized that he owed Victor a debt that he'd never be able to repay.
Scott admitted that he liked Victor, but wearing a suit and going to an office every day to keep track of a trust fund baby wasn't what he wanted to do. Lauren reminded Scott of everything Victor had done for them, but Scott said he wasn't accustomed to being stationary, and he liked going, on a moment's notice, to places where most people wouldn't go. Lauren praised that his stories had helped people, but she cautioned that they lived in perilous times. Scott wanted to get back out there and write about injustices, but she worried that it would be dangerous.
Lauren confided that she felt guilty for sending Scott away when he'd been young so that Sheila hadn't been able find him, and she wondered if that had created the wanderlust inside him. Scott recognized that Lauren had just been protecting him, but he connected his vagabond lifestyle to his calling to become a journalist. She said he reminded her of his father, who had become a doctor to help other people, and she wailed that she didn't want to lose Scott, too. He apologized for causing her sleepless nights, and they hugged. She asked if he'd stay in Genoa City if the job at Newman didn't pan out.
Phyllis arrived for a meeting with Lauren, and Scott headed out. Lauren asked Phyllis for a report, but Phyllis distractedly handed over the wrong one, and Lauren pressed her to talk about what was bothering her. Phyllis explained that Victoria had been acting nonchalant about Phyllis and Billy being back together, but Phyllis didn't buy it. Phyllis repeated Victoria's words about making an upcoming trip to L.A. with Billy a memorable one, and she suspected that Victoria either wanted Billy back or was punishing him for choosing Phyllis.
Phyllis fretted that Victoria had been playing games a lot, including telling Billy that Nikki had suffered a multiple sclerosis flare-up when Jack had confirmed that Nikki was the picture of health. Lauren urged Phyllis to believe in the love that she and Billy had for one another and not let outside influences get her down. The women hugged as Michael walked in, and Phyllis left. Lauren clung to Michael, and he asked if it had been a rough day. Lauren informed him that she'd had a long talk with Scott about the man he'd become and what he wanted from his life, and she didn't think he'd found a reason to stay in Genoa City.
Billy found Phyllis in the hallway at Jabot and tried to kiss her, but she protested that it was a neutral zone. She asked about his time with Victoria and the kids, but he reported that it had only been him and the children. Billy was glad that Victoria had been good about giving him alone time with Johnny and Katie, and Phyllis mentioned that Victoria had sounded enthusiastic about the commercial. Phyllis envisioned her and Billy going to a desert spa after the shoot to spend some time alone together.
Phyllis playfully rebuffed Billy's advances, and he gushed that it would be a dream to spend time with her in L.A., but he wouldn't be able to concentrate. He promised to make it up to her when he got back with a trip to a spa steam room, and she imagined that there would be a lot of heat. He seductively replied there always was when they were together, and they kissed passionately. Meanwhile, Victoria booked a trip for two adults and two children to San Diego, and she marveled that it would be a dream vacation for their family.
Scott stopped by to see Sharon, who finished a call with a study partner. He offered to go if she needed to study, but she informed him that she'd been at it nonstop. He suggested that she take a breather, and she recalled that Mariah had said the same thing. Scott thought he and Mariah could gang up on Sharon to get her to go out for a walk, but Sharon reported that Mariah was on a date with Devon. Sharon called Devon a great guy, but she was concerned because he had a lot of baggage. Scott remarked that a lot of good guys did.
Sharon lamented that she was stuck between giving Mariah space and smothering her to make up for lost time. Scott thought Lauren could write a book on the subject, and Sharon asked how Victor's biography was going. Scott divulged that Victor had canceled the project because Nikki thought it would cause issues with their family. Scott added that he had another gig lined up at Newman, since Victor wanted him to pay back his debt by putting on a suit and working with Abby. Sharon quipped that being stuck in a foreign country didn't sound so bad.
Scott tested Sharon with flashcards, and he stared at a one about the fear of being trapped. He recalled that it had been how he'd felt in Victor's office, and Sharon encouraged Scott to change things if he wasn't happy with the way they were going. She asserted that just because Victor had helped him didn't mean that Scott had to put his life on hold, and she thought Scott could find another way to repay Victor.
Sharon called Scott a free spirit and applauded him for going places and doing things that she'd only dreamed about doing, and she urged him not to stop living his life when he had a lot more to accomplish. Scott leaned in and kissed her, and she admitted that she hadn't thought about kissing another man since her husband had left. Scott murmured that it just felt right when they were together, and they kissed again.
Scott and Sharon kissed at the cottage, and she remarked that it had happened out of nowhere. Scott confessed that he'd been thinking about it almost from the moment they'd met, and she became flustered. She poked fun at herself for not being able to speak, and he recognized that the ink was still fresh on her divorce papers. She informed him that she wasn't officially divorced yet, and he seemed taken aback.
Scott was curious why Sharon had chosen that moment to clear up where things stood, and he asked if it was a hint for him to put the brakes on. She explained that she'd wanted to be honest about her divorce decree not yet being final, but she was glad he was there. Scott stressed that they were taking things slowly, but he was anxious to find out more about her, since he thought there was much more to uncover. Sharon figured that he considered her a story, but she didn't want him to think she was someone who needed to be saved. Scott replied that he thought she just needed to be heard.
Sharon agreed that she needed to be heard, since a long, unhinged rant had been building up the entire semester. She rambled about studying, coursework, and intense crisis-hotline training, and she continued that juggling her coursework with the coffeehouse and sharing custody of a tween daughter was a separate rant in itself. She presented Scott with a one-time opportunity to trade her mega-rant for a special mystery prize -- two tickets to open mic night at her son's club. Scott accepted if he could take her, and she proclaimed that she'd averted her first crisis. They headed out.
At the Underground, Victoria answered a call from Billy, who reported that they had a major crisis with the commercial shoot. She was surprised, since everything had been scheduled, and they'd leave in a few days. Billy told her that they needed to trash those plans, but he thought he had a fix.
Reed was stunned when Victoria informed him that she had to leave for California that night, and she prepared to go home to ask Hannah to move in during Victoria's absence. Reed contended that another option would be to leave him in charge. Victoria rattled off the numerous responsibilities he'd have in tending to Johnny and Katie, and Reed quickly backed off. Reed asked if Billy would stop by to see the kids while Victoria was gone, but she reported that Billy would be with her in L.A. to run the show. She pointedly added that she'd be there to make sure it worked out for all of them.
Nikki found Tessa getting settled in at the Newman ranch. Tessa said she wasn't the best at expressing herself outside of song, but she thought it was really something that Nikki was letting her stay. Nikki asked if Tessa liked her room, and Tessa gushed that it felt like she was living in a dream. Tessa added that the acoustics in her room were great for practicing, but she didn't want to bother Victor. Nikki assured her that he kept to himself those days.
Tessa offered to clean the stables or do the laundry, but Nikki insisted that she had staff to take care of it. Nikki pushed Tessa to use her free time for her music, and Tessa thanked her again. Tessa invited Nikki to join her at the Underground, but Nikki said she had calls to make for the benefit, since it was the best time of day to hit up donors. Tessa envisioned that potential donors were retiring to their libraries for a few cocktails, and Nikki replied that Tessa was catching on. Tessa hesitated to leave, and she remarked that it was a weird trip to live in a place like that. Nikki said Tessa had better get used to it, and Tessa departed.
Later, Victoria dropped by to request that Nikki check on the kids while Victoria was out of town for work. Nikki said she was happy to help, but she pointed out that the joy of running a company was to delegate things like that. Victoria replied that she wouldn't if she could, since it was Billy's project, and she wanted to be there for him. Victoria confirmed that she and Billy were still no more than coworkers because he'd known that she'd been shutting him out. Victoria acknowledged that Phyllis might be winning, but Victoria was still in the game.
Victoria relayed Nick's advice to just be herself in order to get Billy back, and she realized that she hadn't been herself since she'd found out what Victor had done with Chloe. Nikki argued that Victoria and Billy shared a very deep connection between work and the kids, and Victoria questioned what Phyllis had to offer him, since Phyllis was a constant reminder of his wrecked relationship with Jack. Victoria pledged not to give up, since she had a small window of time to make things right, and she believed the trip was it. Victoria recognized that Victor had cost her a chance with Billy but that California might be the place to get it back.
Victoria revealed that before the shoot had been moved up, she'd made plans for her and Billy to take the kids to San Diego afterward. She vowed to still make it a reality for two reasons, and Nikki guessed that one was having family time with the kids to show Billy what he'd been missing. Victoria stated that the other reason was to show Billy the things she could give him that Phyllis never could.
Sharon and Scott arrived at the Underground, and Noah offered to find them a dark, cozy booth. An embarrassed Sharon scolded her son, and Scott mentioned that it was a school night. Noah crossed over to hug Tessa hello, and she revealed that Nikki had asked her to move into the ranch. Noah inquired whether Tessa had had a hard time getting out of her lease, but she replied that she'd only been in a temporary situation that she was glad to be out of. She needed to tune up, and he suggested that she use the office. As she made her way through the bar, a male patron snidely told her that she'd better be good.
In a booth, Sharon asked Scott what they should drink to, and he proposed a toast to the many things he had to learn about her. She figured they had time for one question before the show started, and he referred to the crisis hotline that she'd mentioned when she'd been outlining topics for her rant. She explained that she had finished training to volunteer for a city mental health program in exchange for college credit. Scott hoped that hadn't been the only reason she'd signed up, and she deadpanned that she intended to add a signature tag line for Crimson Lights at the end of each call.
Sharon admitted that she could have benefited from having a number to call in her dark moments, so she was looking forward to the opportunity. Scott shared that he'd been alone and on the edge more than a few times, and hearing her voice on the end of the line would have been helpful. Sharon recalled that someone had once advised her that after climbing up a ladder, one shouldn't just pull it up but should look down to see if anyone else needed a hand up.
Tessa tuned up in the office, and she jumped when Reed entered. She joked that she needed to stick to decaf, and he was surprised to see her there. She realized that she should have called to confirm that she'd be performing, but she'd been busy moving that day. Reed assumed the ranch would be an upgrade from where she'd lived before, and she changed the topic by asking if he still wanted to do a duet, since she'd heard him working on the song as a solo. He insisted that they debut it together, and Noah entered to summon them to the stage.
Reed and Tessa sang their duet, and the man who'd spoken rudely to Tessa earlier yelled out to ask if it was a funeral, since he was there for rock and roll. The song ended, and Tessa headed to the office to get her things. The heckler confronted her and claimed that booze made him run his mouth. She told him to forget about it, but he grabbed her and insisted on taking her out for a drink. She kneed him, and he fell over. Noah rushed in, and the drunken patron blathered that the "crazy bitch" had attacked him. Noah ordered the guy out of the bar, and he hugged Tessa.
Scott walked Sharon to her door, and he thanked her for her inspired suggestion. She pointed out that she'd been inspired by trying to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. Scott figured that she still had studying to do, but he told her that when she had time and wanted to talk about anything, there was no need to call a hotline, since she had him. She noted that he seemed to think she had deep, dark secrets, but she bet his were just as dark. He thought that was why they'd found one another, and he added that being "under-sharers" kept things interesting. He kissed her goodbye and left.
At GC Buzz, Hilary huffed that she was surprised to see Mariah there without a bodyguard. Mariah recalled winning their little catfight, and Hilary chuckled. Jordan appeared in the doorway, and Mariah stepped away. Jordan guessed from Hilary's expression that she'd thought he wouldn't show, and she said it was why she'd asked him over through voicemail. She acknowledged that she'd messed up by bragging about their sex life to Devon, but Jordan noted that it hadn't been why he'd walked away. Hilary asserted that they deserved to know where they stood with one another. Jordan wondered if he could buy anything she said to him.
Hilary told Jordan about how she'd hidden when Devon and Mariah had returned home and that she'd overheard them getting busy from a few feet away. Hilary explained that she'd tried to save face when she'd gone back to move her stuff, but she recognized that it didn't excuse the way she'd treated Jordan. Hilary reiterated that the divorce had been tougher than she'd thought it would be, and it had been doing a number on her head. Jordan acknowledged that it had been a major life change, and he understood that she hadn't just gotten over it.
Hilary questioned whether she'd made the right decision or if it had been the biggest mistake of her life. She thought she wasn't the woman Jordan had thought she was, since she was wreck. Jordan replied that she was human, and he understood that she couldn't just turn off her feelings, no matter how much she wanted to. Jordan applauded her honesty, and he assured her that it was good enough for him. They kissed, but his phone chimed with a text message from Brash & Sassy, and he had to go. He kissed her goodbye and left.
Phyllis unpacked takeout food in her kitchen. She removed baking supplies from a grocery bag and grabbed her phone. Phyllis watched an online video about how to prepare a chocolate soufflé, and she grumbled that the host spoke French the way Phyllis cooked. Later, Phyllis was surrounded by dirty dishes in her kitchen. She carefully removed the soufflé from the oven and marveled that she'd actually done it.
At Brash & Sassy, Juliet presented Cane with possible locations for studio space to shoot the commercial, but he complained about how expensive they were. Juliet explained that there was no getting around the cost for a last-minute booking, and Cane grumbled that they had Billy to thank. Billy announced that it was about to get more expensive, since they had to hightail it to L.A. as soon as possible because the director could only devote the day after next to the shoot. Cane warned that Victoria wouldn't go for it, but Billy said she already had, and he told them to pack their bags.
Billy asserted that they'd known when they'd hired the hotshot director that she had existing commitments that were a priority. Juliet marveled that people had gotten into bidding wars over the director, and Billy insisted on using the director's name to expose their brand. Cane groused that it was ridiculous to spend twice what they'd budgeted, but Billy reiterated that Victoria had said it was a done deal. Juliet suggested that they let Victoria worry about the costs, and Billy declared that it was their job to make the best commercial they could.
Billy informed Juliet that they'd be connected at the hip, since he'd need more of her time in L.A. Juliet bragged that she thrived in crisis mode, and Billy stepped out. Juliet sensed that Cane wasn't pleased that she'd been working closely with Billy. Cane said he had a bad feeling, since he'd known Billy for too long, and he didn't like what was going on. Juliet assured him that it was only a temporary arrangement, but Cane ordered her to drop it. She asked why, and she turned around and saw Lily in the hall.
Lily worried that she had a lot to do before getting on the plane, but she considered it exciting. Billy recognized that it was a lot to take on, but he crowed that their team could conquer anything. Meanwhile, Juliet asked why Cane was shutting down, and she hoped it wasn't because of what had happened between them. Cane insisted that it was about the commercial, and he confided that it was getting to him that Victoria kept indulging Billy to make a point. Lily entered and wondered what was wrong.
Cane claimed that his nerves were frayed because he hated rushing, and mistakes were bound to be made. Jordan arrived and suggested that Cane sign off on Lily's wardrobe before they left town, and Cane trusted Jordan to handle it. Cane privately apologized to Lily and insisted that he wanted the commercial to go off without a hitch because it was a big deal for her. Cane admitted that he'd been shocked by Billy's plan, and he worried that Victoria had gone along with it just to look like she was cool with Billy sleeping with Phyllis again. Lily imagined that Victoria loved the idea of Billy being thousands of miles away from Phyllis.
Jordan presented Cane with a list of iconic spots in L.A. that Billy wanted to use as backdrops for still shots of Lily. As Cane reviewed it, Jordan mentioned that Billy wanted them to hit as many of the locations as possible, but he warned that it was a very ambitious wish list for a last-minute shoot. Jordan added that even the most capable team could only do so much in a rush, so things were bound to go both right and wrong. Cane told Jordan to do his best.
Lily picked out an outfit that she thought was perfect for L.A., and Billy said he'd like Lily in any of them. Billy saw a text message from Phyllis, inviting him over for a tasty surprise. He prepared to duck out, but Cane stopped him and lectured that they had to do the commercial the right way with a schedule. Billy dismissed Cane's concerns and declared that they had to go big to make a splash, and he ordered Cane to stop trying to talk him out of it. After Billy departed, Cane mumbled to himself that it was exactly what he'd do.
Hilary excitedly told someone on the phone to count her in. After she hung up, Mariah approached her about going over the taping schedule, but Hilary announced that she was joining Jordan on a business trip to L.A. Hilary considered it to be the perfect opportunity for her show to go Hollywood, and Mariah loved the idea, especially since she hadn't been to California in years. Hilary clarified that she needed Mariah to stay there to run things, and she thought Mariah should revel in having Devon to herself for a few days. Mariah mused that Devon had mentioned something about taking his private jet to have dinner in New York, and she advised that the show's budget wouldn't allow Hilary to fly anything above coach.
Billy arrived at Phyllis' apartment and explained that he'd just seen her message, since it had been a crazy day. Phyllis purred that he was right on time for his surprise, and he spotted a beautifully set, candlelit table. He incredulously asked if she'd cooked, and she confirmed that she'd cooked the dessert as a way to keep life real and unexpected. Billy apologized, since he had to go to the airport as soon as possible because the shoot had been moved up.
Phyllis figured that it was the high-stakes world they lived in, and she escorted Billy to the door. He asked if she was sure it was fine, and she promised that she'd be cheering him on while he pulled off making a "must-see" commercial in 48 hours. After he boarded the elevator, her expression soured. She slammed the door, and the soufflé fell. She blew out the candles and plopped on the couch.