On the patio at Crimson Lights, Billy questioned Jesse, the photographer Cane had hired to shoot behind-the-scenes advertising footage for the hockey league tie-in with Brash & Sassy. Billy asked Jesse who'd been responsible for either failing to record or later erasing video that could've exonerated him. Billy grew angry when Jesse failed to respond. When pressed, Jesse said, "Well, I guess I'm still trying to figure out how much you care." Billy noted that the other person involved wouldn't talk. Billy threatened Jesse to tell him the name of the person responsible for "lopping off" the video footage.
Hilary interrupted Billy. She asked Billy if Jesse was harassing him about a job. Hilary explained that Jesse had traveled to Genoa City, hoping to work on The Hilary Hour. Hilary told Jesse that after having spoken to Howard, she'd been convinced not to give Jesse a job after what had happened in Los Angeles. Billy became distracted, and Jesse covertly snapped a photo of him. Jesse sent the photo of Billy to Cane and warned that if Cane couldn't pay, he knew someone else who could. Billy told Hilary that he and Jesse had been discussing the damning hockey footage that had landed Billy in trouble.
At Cane and Lily's house, Cane embraced Lily and said he was thankful she supported him and had encouraged their twins to consider reconciling, too. Lily said she didn't want to walk away from her family and hoped the twins could learn that forgiveness was possible, even if the transgression seemed unforgiveable. Lily added, "As long as I know the worst is behind us, then I can believe that, too." Cane assured her it was. Cane expressed his frustration about losing a job prospect because of Victoria. Lily suggested that Cane focus on their marriage and their family.
Mattie returned home and proudly announced that her first day as an intern at the Hamilton-Winters Group had gone well. Lily walked toward a laptop and said she'd send an email to her father to thank him for allowing Mattie to be an intern. Cane immediately reacted and yelled, "Don't touch that!" Mattie asked why her mother couldn't use the computer. Cane apologized for his outburst and claimed he'd been running a virus scan that wasn't finished. Mattie offered to let her mother use her laptop and said she also wanted Lily to offer fashion advice on work attire.
After Lily and Mattie left the room, Cane appeared distraught after he read the text message and saw the picture of Billy that Jesse had sent. Cane opened the laptop in the privacy of the kitchen. The computer screen displayed a record of a financial transaction Cane had initiated but not completed that would transfer $25,000 from the twins' education fund to another account. Cane hesitated before finalizing the transaction. Afterward, Cane sighed heavily and wiped the sweat from his face with his hands.
After Lily returned to the living room, she received a call from Barry. Lily was disappointed to learn that the spot for the ad she'd auditioned for had been given to another actress. Lily told Mattie. Mattie noted that had Lily's ad for "Dare" been allowed to run, she'd be better known. Lily asked where Cane was. Mattie spotted a note from her dad stating that he'd had to run out. Lily was surprised that Cane had spared details in his note.
Mattie picked up a letter from Walnut Grove. Lily opened the letter and noted that it was a bill for school tuition. Mattie suggested she and Charlie transfer to a public school because their father was unemployed. Lily said she and Cane had set aside funds to pay tuition because nothing was more important than Mattie and Charlie's education. Mattie admitted that she loved attending Walnut Grove. Later, Lily logged into the twins' education account and discovered that $25,000 was missing.
Billy and Jesse continued their conversation after Hilary left. Jesse claimed he'd just been searching for a job to pay his bills. Billy offered to pay Jesse for the information he wanted. Jesse's phone indicated he had a message. Jesse glanced at the screen and realized that Cane had sent payment. Jesse laughed at Billy and said, "You think money just buys you whatever you want, don't you?"
Billy asked why Jesse had suddenly changed his mind about making a deal. Jesse claimed he'd just been messing with Billy. Jesse insisted he'd just stopped the camera on his own, so there was never any additional footage. Jesse added, "I'm sorry you looked like a jerk on TV, but you know what they say -- the camera never lies."
After Billy abruptly left his meeting with Jesse, he showed up at Hilary's studio. Billy asked if he could view the footage shot in Los Angeles. Hilary said she thought the hockey league and Brash & Sassy had settled the matter. Hilary asked Billy why he wanted to dredge it up again. Billy admitted that though the video had ended just after he'd mentioned betting, it seemed to have been deliberately manipulated to make him look bad.
Hilary reminded Billy that she'd agreed to delete all the video footage related to the hockey league. Billy said he'd utilized software in the past that could recover deleted files. Hilary agreed to enlist her most technically savvy employee to recover the files if Billy agreed to help her in the future. Billy struck a deal with Hilary.
Billy was disappointed when the recovered footage didn't include video beyond what appeared to be his incriminating comment. Billy asked Hilary if she routinely allowed her camera operator to decide when to stop the camera or if someone with more input gave the order for the camera operator to stop recording. Hilary said that someone in charge gave orders to her camera operators. Billy noted that he'd been the prominent subject of the footage in question that should've focused on Lily. Billy recalled that he and Victoria had wanted to question Jesse about why he'd stopped shooting when he had, but Cane had talked them out of doing so, claiming that Jesse wouldn't be helpful. Cane left abruptly when Jordan arrived.
Jordan told Hilary about the plan for Chelsea to provide Hilary's wardrobe in exchange for promotional recognition. Hilary asked Jordan why he was pitching an idea on Chelsea's behalf. Jordan recalled that he and Chelsea had been friends a long time. Hilary asked about Jordan's past with Chelsea. Jordan admitted that their past included things best not mentioned on a résumé. Jordan noted that he knew little about Hilary's past.
Hilary received a phone call. After the call ended, Hilary excitedly announced that she'd been chosen to appear in an ad for a dessert. Jordan asked if it was the same ad Lily had auditioned for. Hilary said it was. Jordan looked frustrated. Hilary insisted that she'd auditioned on a whim and hadn't meant to end up as Lily's competitor. Jordan asked Hilary if she planned to accept the offer. Hilary replied, "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't."
Billy was gone by the time Cane showed up at the coffeehouse to confront Jesse. Jesse said he thought his business with Cane had ended after he'd received payment. Cane replied, "No, mate, see, you got your blood money, but you're not going anywhere until we get a couple of things straight." Cane pushed Jesse against the wall and threated to alert police if Jesse demanded more money. Billy returned and saw Cane threatening Jesse. Cane left before Billy approached Jesse. Billy angrily pushed Jesse and said, "Jesse, you're a piece of garbage. You lied, and I've got the proof."
At the pool, Zack approached Abby, who was clad in a bikini with the top unclasped, and noted that the sunscreen applied on her back appeared to be streaky. Abby smiled as Zack massaged additional sunscreen on her back. Zack impressed Abby by demonstrating tweaks he'd made to an app. Abby was surprised that Zack had found her at the pool. Zack admitted that he'd tracked her down because she'd checked in on FacePlace. After Zack mentioned that he wanted to discuss business, Abby noted that business meetings didn't usually begin by an associate offering to rub sunscreen on her back.
Zack showed Abby the impressive résumé of a prospective partner seeking assistance for his start-up. Abby was taken aback when Zack pointed toward the bar and said the applicant, a young man, was ready to meet with her. Abby noted that she wasn't dressed properly to conduct an interview, but Zack praised Abby for her laid-back style and warned that if she didn't act, another firm might snatch up the gifted young man. Abby asked Zack if he expected a finder's fee. Zack claimed he'd only wanted to do a favor for Abby.
After Abby interviewed Willie, she promised to send over paperwork before the end of the day. After Willie left, Abby thanked Zack and said Willie would be a perfect fit. Abby said that the start-up project, even with the associated risks, was her favorite division at Newman Enterprises. Abby admitted that she seemed to be married to her work since the painful failure of her marriage. Abby asked Zack about his marital status. Zack said he was only married to his work, too. Abby said perhaps Zack hadn't met the right person. Zack added, "Yet," and he kissed Abby on the lips.
At the Underground, Chelsea joined Nick and questioned him about how his new endeavor to help Noah expand the bar, which was related to Nick's relationship with his own father. Nick insisted that it had nothing to do with his dad and added that he yearned to be free of restraints and wanted the same for Noah. Chelsea apologized for mentioning Victor and noted that Nick seemed excited about his new project. Nick said the successful changes Noah had introduced at the Underground had encouraged him and his son to branch out. Chelsea threw her support behind Nick and said she, too, hoped to reinvent her brand after a partnership with Fenmore's hadn't panned out like she'd hoped.
Jordan had entered the bar and overheard Chelsea. Jordan announced that he had a plan for Chelsea. Nick left so old friends Jordan and Chelsea could talk. Jordan suggested that Chelsea enter into an agreement to provide Hilary's on-air wardrobe. Jordan added that Chelsea might also appear with Hilary to talk about fashion tips and trends. Chelsea liked the idea. Jordan recalled the success of designer Bob Mackie in the 1970s, when he'd designed gowns for Cher. Nick returned and overheard Jordan offer to speak to Hilary on Chelsea's behalf.
After Jordan left, Chelsea filled Nick in on the details of Jordan's idea. Nick reminded Chelsea that he wasn't one of Hilary's fans. Chelsea recalled that Hilary had aired video of Victor and Nick's fight. Though Chelsea commiserated with Nick, she noted that Hilary was more concerned about providing entertainment than she was about people's feelings. Chelsea distracted Nick with kisses and used charm to cajole him into supporting her endeavor with Hilary.
At the police station, Paul assured Sharon that a woman who'd phoned the crisis hotline might not be caught up in an organized sex ring. Sharon assured Paul she'd glean additional information if the woman named Crystal phoned again. Paul warned Sharon not to get too involved with the callers. Paul reminded Sharon that her job entailed directing callers to a source that could best offer assistance. Sharon explained that she'd already become involved and couldn't let the matter go.
Crystal phoned just after Sharon's shift began. Paul jotted a note directing Sharon to ask Crystal where she was. Sharon pleaded with Crystal to tell her where she was. Crystal replied, "I did it. I ran away, but now I don't know where to go. I'm so worried that they're going to find me." Sharon again asked Crystal to reveal where she was. Crystal, terrified, said she didn't know where she was. When Crystal heard voices, she cried out that those searching for her had found her. Crystal hung up the phone. Sharon was disappointed, but Paul assured her she'd done everything she could to help Crystal.
In an alley behind the Underground, Nick opened the lid to his Dumpster to toss in a bag of trash. He heard a noise and turned to investigate. The young woman who'd phoned Sharon at the crisis hotline was crouched behind a barrel. Nick assured the frightened woman that it was okay. The woman seemed wary of Nick, but she didn't say a word. Nick said, "Why are you hiding back there?" The young woman didn't immediately respond.
At the Athletic Club pool, Abby and Zack dried off after a swim. He admitted that he'd wanted to kiss her since they'd first gone out to test the dating app, and he envisioned it becoming a habit. She told him not to get used to it, but he hoped she was kidding. He sat down next to her, but she jumped up when she spotted Ashley.
Zack fetched drinks and toasted to health and success. Ashley noted that she and Zack hadn't gotten to know one another at the benefit, and Zack mentioned that it had technically been his and Abby's third date. He remarked that it had been a pretty good night, and he couldn't wait for the next one. Abby abruptly excused herself to take a call, and Ashley pressed Zack to tell her about himself.
Zack described the unique features of his dating app to Ashley, who thought it sounded amazing. He hoped to keep the experience safe, honest, and enjoyable -- like a new relationship should be. Ashley requested that he let her know when it launched, but she warned that she wasn't afraid to speak her mind. He compared her to Abby, but he doubted that Abby would have any use for the app, since she'd impressed him since they'd first met. Abby returned and apologized for abandoning them.
Zack prepared to leave, and he remarked that it had been a fun break. Zack started to lean in to kiss Abby, but she backed away. After Zack left, Ashley said she liked him, and she observed that he was clearly interested in Abby, but she sensed that Abby was holding back. Abby admitted that she liked Zack, but she considered it too dangerous to open up to someone again after everything she'd lost with Stitch.
Abby explained that she'd been busy with work when she'd stumbled across a sweet, smart guy who was also a good kisser. Ashley suggested that Abby and Zack put the app to good use by becoming serial daters, but she recognized that only Abby could decide when she was ready to put her heart out there again. Ashley pointed out that Abby's fourth date with Zack didn't have to be anything more than having some fun with a stable, intelligent guy who'd put a smile back on Abby's face. Abby grabbed her phone and sent a text message to ask Zack if he was ready for what would technically be their fourth date.
Across the rooftop, Mattie told Charlie to stop acting like a jerk by taking his anger out on Reed. She revealed that she wanted to hear Reed play that night, but she didn't want it to add to their parents' stress, so she wanted Charlie to cover for her. Charlie pointed out that she had a lot going for her, and he insisted that Reed wasn't worth it, especially since Charlie knew what guys were like. Mattie protested that Charlie didn't know Reed, and she pleaded that she never asked Charlie for anything. Charlie relented, and Mattie thanked him.
At GC Buzz, Hilary wondered why Jordan was upset, and he argued that Lily was trying to hold things together while she was going "through hell" after her kids' lives had been turned upside down. Hilary chided Jordan for acting like Cane had been out of work for a year when the Ashbys were hardly hurting for money. Jordan contended that the television spot had been a big deal for Lily, and he accused Hilary of going behind Lily's back to snake the commercial from her. Hilary scoffed at the idea that the commercial had ever been Lily's to begin with.
Hilary huffed that it would have been Lily's commercial if Lily had possessed the talent to book it, but Hilary had been the one to do so. Jordan pointed out that Lily had an agent, and Hilary didn't. Hilary revealed that she'd submitted herself. Hilary asserted that she hadn't sniveled when Barry had chosen not to represent her and that she'd made things happen for herself. She thought Jordan should be happy for her instead of accusing her of stealing "Lily's" commercial. Hilary guessed that Jordan cared more about Lily than he was saying, and he replied, "Maybe I do."
Hilary sourly wondered if Jordan intended to hang on the fringes, playing the concerned friend while hoping Lily and Cane's marriage failed. Jordan asserted that he was a concerned friend and that he'd done nothing to undermine the couple. Hilary reiterated that she'd booked the commercial with her hard work and initiative and that she hadn't taken anything away from Lily. Hilary argued that Jordan had known going in that she was no damsel in distress, and she thought she wasn't the right woman for him if he wanted a girl who would faint in his arms. She purred that there were a lot of other things she'd love to do in his arms, and they kissed passionately.
On the Crimson Lights patio, Billy taunted that Jesse shouldn't have talked about personal business in public, since Billy had gone to GC Buzz and retrieved the raw footage that Jesse had cut to make Billy look bad. Billy ominously stated that Jesse was on Billy's territory and that the D.A. and police chief were Billy's friends. Jesse swore that he was only in town to score a job on Hilary's show, but Billy threatened to start making calls if Jesse didn't start talking.
Billy escorted Jesse to Brash & Sassy. Billy revealed to Victoria that Jesse had met with their favorite ex-employee about the behind-the-scenes footage of the hockey players, and Billy had decided to give Jesse the option to tell them about his deal with Cane or to talk to the police. Jesse groused that Billy had been the one talking trash, but Billy announced that the end of the story hadn't made the final cut. Jesse defended that he hadn't broken any laws, but Billy suspected that the sudden wad of money in Jesse's bank account would raise uncomfortable questions if they went to the police. Billy implied that Victoria was willing to pay for the information instead.
Victoria offered to double what Cane had paid Jesse. Billy expected Jesse not to put his "ass on the line" out of misguided loyalty to Cane, but Victoria pointed out that the commercial spot that they'd never used had cost the company a small fortune. Billy informed Jesse of how powerful Victoria's family was, and he warned that she had connections who could make sure Jesse never worked again. Jesse swore that neither he nor Cane had known that the footage would air on television, and Billy asked what their plan had been. Jesse confessed that Cane had paid him to edit the footage to make Billy look bad.
Billy assumed that Jesse had proof, and Jesse pulled out a memory card with the unedited footage. Victoria retrieved a checkbook and declared that a deal was a deal, and she asked how much it would cost. Jesse replied that it would be $50,000 and handed over the memory card. Victoria slammed the checkbook shut, and Billy told the "blackmailing scumbag" to get out. Jesse asked about the money, but Billy flatly replied that he and Victoria had lied. Victoria suggested that Jesse go home with the $25,000 that he'd extorted from Cane, or she might change her mind about contacting the police. Jesse hurried out. "Damn, we're good," Billy mused.
Billy was aghast that everything had exploded because Cane had wanted to take Billy down. Victoria realized that Cane had ruined Lily's big break and had set things in motion for Juliet to get fired, leading to the sexual harassment mess. Billy was impressed with the way Victoria had gotten Jesse to admit how much money he'd gotten out of Cane, and Victoria wished they could sue Cane for what he'd cost the company. Billy pointed out that Lily and the twins would pay the most if Victoria sued Cane, and Victoria questioned whether he was suggesting she let Cane get away with it. "Hell, no!" Billy exclaimed.
At the Ashby home, a panicked Lily called the bank when she discovered that $25,000 was missing from the bank account established for the twins' tuition. She figured that there had been a mistake or identity theft, but the bank informed her about a recent transfer. A stunned Lily hung up as Cane returned home, and she demanded to know what he'd done. She explained that the she'd called the bank when she'd discovered that the tuition money that they'd put aside wasn't there, and she'd learned that Cane had made a large transfer. Cane claimed that a short-term investment opportunity had arisen, and he'd jumped on it to help take some of the financial pressure off of her.
Cane claimed that he wanted to prove that he could provide for his family financially. Lily questioned the timing of making a huge financial decision without her, since the tuition was due in full that night. Cane swore that it was just a matter of transferring funds from one account to another but that they had the money for it. Lily was glad that he'd found a way to generate more income, since she'd just found out that she hadn't gotten the commercial. Cane pulled her into his arms and assured her that she'd eventually take her career to the next level. Mattie arrived home and asked if it was okay if she went out that night to go to the movies with friends. Cane granted his permission, and Mattie promised to be home by curfew.
After Mattie left, Cane recognized how the situation was affecting the twins, but he thought it had been good that Mattie had walked in and seen him and Lily working through a difficult time. Lily wailed that she'd wanted to cry when she hadn't gotten the commercial, since she'd been feeling like everything was on her, but it was nice not to feel that way anymore. Cane insisted that she wasn't alone because they had one another. The doorbell rang, and Cane was surprised to see Billy and Victoria. Victoria was glad to see that Lily was home to hear what they had to say.
Cane contended that he and Lily were dealing with enough. Victoria stated that she didn't mean to add to their troubles, but she thought she and Billy wouldn't be doing Lily any favors by keeping the truth from her. Billy divulged that he'd had an interesting talk with Jesse after seeing Cane and Jesse at Crimson Lights together. Billy added that Cane had screwed over all of them, including Lily. Lily stared at a guilty Cane.
At the Underground, Sharon informed Scott that Crystal still hadn't given up her location during her last call. Scott thought it counted for something that Crystal had called a second time, and Sharon thought Crystal was desperate to get away from the monsters who were exploiting her. Scott stressed that maintaining objectivity was difficult but vital. Sharon acknowledged that the police needed to handle it, but she couldn't get Crystal's voice out of her mind.
In the alley behind the Underground, Nick swore that he wouldn't hurt Crystal, and he offered to take her back to his club and help her. He extended his hand and repeated that it was okay, and she slowly reached out and allowed him to lead her inside.
Moments later, Chelsea informed Nick that everything was restocked at the bar. Nick reported that he'd found a girl, hiding behind a Dumpster, who'd clearly been scared out of her mind, so he'd taken her into the office. He thought the girl might feel more comfortable talking to a woman, and he asked if Chelsea would mind. Chelsea readily headed to the office.
In the office, Crystal nervously paced. Chelsea entered and explained that she was a friend of the man who'd taken Crystal there. Chelsea introduced herself and asked for Crystal's name, but Crystal replied that her name was Connie. Chelsea had a feeling that it wasn't really Connie, and she gently pushed to know who she was helping. Crystal reluctantly provided her real name, and Chelsea asked if she needed medical attention. Crystal shook her head, and Chelsea inquired whether Crystal had family or someone to call. Crystal turned away, and Chelsea insisted that no one would make Crystal do anything she didn't want to do.
Reed arrived at the Underground to lock in an open mic spot, and Nick inquired about how Victoria was recovering after her fall at the benefit concert. Reed relayed that his mom had gone to the doctor and that everything was good, and he joked that she wouldn't have to sue Abby anytime soon. Nick cautioned Reed against joking about lawsuits with Victoria.
Chelsea told Nick that all she'd found out was that the girl's name was Crystal but that Crystal had become more upset when Chelsea had asked about someone to call. Chelsea thought Crystal would open up once she realized that she could trust them, and she left to take a tray of food up to Crystal. Reed asked if he could reserve a table in case a friend showed up. Sharon and Scott approached and made small talk with Reed about his upcoming performance.
Reed stepped away, and Scott dryly asked if Nick had any upcoming battles. Sharon reprimanded Scott, who pointed out that it had been hard to avoid the footage of Victor slugging Nick because it had been posted all over the Web. Nick figured that it had been part of his dad's plan to make Nick look bad, but he assumed that Scott already knew all about it as Victor's new protégé. Scott retorted that he'd worked his butt off to make the fundraiser a success for Nick's mom and family, so looking bad was all on Nick.
Sharon told the men to relax, and Scott stepped aside to grab some drinks. Sharon realized that Nick was upset, but she wondered why he was taking it out on Scott. Nick suspected that there was more to Scott than the crusading journalist thing, and he thought it hadn't been an accident that Scott had positioned himself with Victor. Sharon countered that Victor had saved Scott's life, but Nick worried that Scott was an opportunist. Sharon thought it had more to do with Victor cutting Nick out of his life, and she asked Nick to lay off Scott for her sake.
Chelsea joined them and reported that the girl in the office had been starving. Nick explained that he'd found a homeless girl behind a Dumpster, and Chelsea relayed that the only information she'd gotten was that the girl's name was Crystal. Sharon made a beeline for the office, and Scott told Nick and Chelsea that Sharon had talked to a girl with that name on the crisis line.
Sharon opened the door to the office, and Crystal cowered. Crystal became alarmed when Sharon called her by name, but Sharon explained that Crystal had provided her name when they'd spoken on the phone at the crisis center. Crystal recognized Sharon's voice, and she wailed that "they" wouldn't stop looking for her. Sharon insisted that Crystal was safe, but she implored Crystal to talk about who she was afraid of.
Crystal recounted that she had left home and had been living on the streets when she'd met a woman who'd volunteered to get her a place to live, but then lots of men had started showing up. Crystal cried that she'd fought them, but the woman had told her that Crystal hadn't had any choice, and Crystal had realized that she hadn't. Crystal sobbed that she'd finally run, but she didn't know where to go. Sharon vowed to protect her.
Reed began to tune up, and Mattie arrived and smiled up at him. She informed him that she'd told her parents that she was going to the mall, but Charlie had promised to cover. Two girls approached and giddily asked if Reed would be playing. Nick stepped onstage and introduced Reed, who led Mattie to a reserved table near the stage. The girls squealed that they loved Reed as he began to play. The crowd applauded as Reed finished his song, and Mattie praised him for doing a good job. His female groupies gathered around again, and Reed obliged when they asked to take selfies with him.
Sharon returned to the bar and told Scott that Crystal had been the girl on the call, and she left a message for Paul to summon him to the Underground right away. Chelsea inquired whether Sharon had gotten through to Crystal, and Sharon reported that Crystal had relaxed once she'd felt safe. Scott thought they should let Crystal know that she had options, but Sharon urged everyone to follow her lead. Sharon, Scott, Nick, and Chelsea headed back to the office, but they found it empty. Sharon was horrified by what "they" might do if they caught Crystal, and Nick wondered what Crystal was mixed up in.
Lily tells Cane that he has to leave the house
Billy and Victoria told Lily that Cane had screwed them all over, including Lily. Victoria asked if Lily recalled the behind-the-scenes footage that they were all scrambling to find after the photo shoot. Lily asked if it was the incident where Billy said that betting on the games had been a joke. Billy told Lily that Cane had paid Jesse to delete the footage. Lily asked why.
Victoria said that Cane had been trying to make Billy look bad. Billy provided Lily with the memory card from Jesse's camera. Lily watched the video. Victoria said that they hadn't wanted to hurt Lily, but keeping what Cane had done from her seemed much worse. Cane accused Victoria of ruining him in front of Lily, but Billy said that Lily deserved to know -- and he was certain that Cane wouldn't tell her.
Billy said Cane had paid Jesse to delete the footage and go away. However, Jesse had returned for a second shakedown, and Cane had paid Jesse $25,000 earlier that day. Cane claimed he'd had no choice because Jesse would have told everyone. Victoria said that Jesse had told them anyway.
Cane ordered Billy and Victoria to leave, but Billy said only if Lily wanted them to. Lily said she needed to speak privately with Cane. Cane opened the door and ordered them out. Victoria apologized to Lily for everything. Billy added that if Lily needed anything, she should let them know, and they left.
Lily didn't know who Cane was anymore. She said that they had discussed what Billy, Victoria, and Juliet had done, but she wanted to know why Cane had fed her with massive lies. She accused him of taking their kid's tuition as blackmail payment to Jesse. Cane apologized for taking the tuition. Lily said if Cane thought it was about the tuition -- then Cane knew nothing.
Lily accused Cane of lying to her about a super urgent investment he'd needed to make. He'd lied about having sex in Tokyo. Cane said he hated himself for every lie he'd told her, but he'd been scared that he'd lose her. Lily yelled at him to stop using that as an excuse. Cane said his family meant everything to him, and he'd wanted to fix everything. Lily told him to look around because nothing had been fixed. He'd made everything worse, and she couldn't take it anymore.
Cane promised he'd never lie to her again and asked for a chance to prove it. Lily said family meant everything to her, and she'd tried to be strong. Cane said he felt the same, but Lily reeled on him and said that Cane had never put them first. He'd always put his needs, fears, and himself first. Cane admitted that was true, and that was a lesson he'd never forget. Lily asked where he'd begin to atone for what he'd done to his family. Lily didn't want to be near him. She told him to pack his bags and leave immediately.
At Crimson Lights, Mattie asked Reed why he was with her because she felt she wasn't his type. She thought his type would be someone like Zoey. Reed admitted he'd been into Zoey, but she was too busy with social media and popularity, and he'd lost interest. Mattie asked him to describe his type.
Reed said she needed to be super smart, someone who preferred to be on the sideline rather than the center of attention, someone who understood why he was serious about his music, and someone who didn't know how beautiful she was. Charlie arrived and said he wouldn't bother Reed and Mattie anymore, but if Reed mistreated Mattie, he'd rearrange Reed's pretty face. Charlie left to get coffee.
At the counter, Charlie saw Juliet and said it was nice to see her. Reed and Mattie approached. Juliet greeted Reed by name. Charlie asked if Reed knew her. Reed said it was Juliet, the woman who'd sued his mother. Mattie added that she was the woman that their dad had gotten pregnant. Charlie asked if she'd known who he was at the pool. Juliet said no and that she'd found out much later. She said she didn't play games. Reed said games -- like the one she'd played with his mother, where she'd taken home a big cash prize.
Juliet said she knew it was a difficult time for them. She'd heard a lot about the wonder twins and had wanted to meet them -- but not like that. Charlie asked how she could act like she didn't have a clue and like it was no big deal. He asked if she had any idea what she'd done to his family. Juliet said she thought about it constantly and felt terrible. She was sorry they'd all gotten hurt, and she was trying to move on with her life. Juliet left.
On the patio, Sharon and Scott met with Paul. Sharon claimed she was sick about what had happened with Crystal. Paul felt they'd had a lucky break because Sharon had met with the girl they had been trying to find. Scott commented that Sharon had handled things perfectly -- the approach, what she'd said, had helped Crystal feel as safe as possible. Sharon was disappointed that Crystal had run off because she'd been scared. Sharon said she'd feel responsible if anything happened to Crystal because she'd promised to protect her. Sharon asked Paul to help her find Crystal.
Paul put out a dispatch for Crystal and told Sharon his people would search in the vicinity of the Underground. Paul had someone looking at the security camera footage and hoped they'd see which direction Crystal had gone. Paul was happy that Sharon had given Crystal her cell phone number. It could work to their advantage because Crystal could reach out to Sharon at any time.
Sharon stated that Crystal had had no idea she'd been recruited into a sex ring. Crystal had trusted the wrong person, a woman. Before Crystal knew it, she'd been forced into prostitution. Paul said they needed to find Crystal and get her out of that life forever. He needed Crystal's help to identify and take down the scum that was running that ring.
Sharon had read the statistics and had seen how pervasive and huge the sex trade was, and it felt hopeless. Sharon wanted to make a difference. Scott wanted to chronicle the search for Crystal and the investigation into the sex trafficking. He wanted to serialize it into weekly installments and give it high-visibility coverage at the digital media company he was running for Newman. Scott assured Sharon the names and places would be changed, along with any specifics that could compromise Paul's investigation.
Paul felt the Internet had made it easy for the rings to operate under the radar, and they targeted people in suburban areas all over the county. Scott added that ordinary people were living next door to these operations and never knew it was happening. Scott felt it was a powerful angle for him to write from.
At the Athletic Club, Phyllis suggested to Lauren that Chelsea should design an exclusive collection for Fenmore's. They could maximize the content on the website and video tease the collection. They could get the behind-the-scenes footage of Chelsea working on the designs. Phyllis stated that Chelsea was highly motivated to make it happen. Phyllis hoped Lauren was as excited as she was. One call to Chelsea would make it official.
Lauren told Phyllis to slow down and said that before online sales had crushed retail's butt, she'd have jumped at the chance to work with a designer like Chelsea, but she had to be cautious and hoped Phyllis wasn't upset. Phyllis assured Lauren that she didn't want Lauren to do anything that put Fenmore's at risk. Lauren stated that as delicate as their recovery had been, it was miraculous, and a big chunk of the credit went to Phyllis for revitalizing Fenmore's website.
Lauren told Phyllis they'd dodged a bullet with Benjamin Hochman. After Hochman had blown them off, he'd acquired a major stake in a nationwide department store. His only interest was in the real estate. He'd begun to demolish each store to build his hideous, overpriced condominiums. When Lauren mentioned all the CEOs scrambling to keep their companies afloat, Phyllis mentioned Victoria.
Phyllis told Lauren that Brash & Sassy had been hit with hefty losses recently. Phyllis claimed that settling the lawsuit had been one of many issues. Billy and Victoria worked fifteen-hour days to keep the company afloat. Phyllis' jealousy was apparent.
At another table, Victoria and Billy had Champagne delivered. Billy found it difficult to call it a victory when they were so worried about Lily. Victoria said that Lily had needed to be told. Victoria said it had broken Victoria's heart to leave Lily with Cane. Billy was happy that Cane had been there when they called him out because he'd have kept on lying about everything. Billy assured Victoria that Lily hated being played, and they needed to take turns checking on Lily to make sure she was okay.
Victoria thought it was good that Lily had found out what Cane had been pulling behind her back, but it was awful that Lily's family was falling apart. When Billy asked if Victoria was okay because she seemed distracted, Victoria assured him she was great because the truth was out. It had been the best day she'd had since Juliet had slapped them with "that bogus lawsuit."
Phyllis and Lauren said their goodnights. Phyllis spotted Billy and Victoria drinking Champagne. She watched their interaction jealously and decided to join them. Phyllis told Billy that she was heading home and offered him a ride. Billy offered to drop Victoria off if she didn't feel like driving. Phyllis asked if Victoria wasn't well, but Victoria assured Phyllis that she'd seen a doctor, and everything was fine. She added that Billy wouldn't stop fussing over her. Victoria told them to enjoy their evening. As Billy and Phyllis left, Victoria looked annoyed.
Lauren arrived at Crimson Lights and teased Scott about his living arrangements. Scott said he had a place to be. Lauren said things had looked serious when she'd arrived. Paul said it had been police business. Scott shared that Sharon had been helping the police as an extension of her work at the crisis center. Sharon said that contributing to the community was very important to her. Scott said he was proud of Sharon and gave her a peck, much to Lauren's chagrin.
Paul wanted to catch up with Lauren and found a booth. Paul found it funny how Lauren disapproved of Scott and Sharon -- just like his mother had disapproved of him and Lauren. Lauren claimed that Scott was a grown man, and she was staying out of his love life. Paul noted that Lauren wasn't approving of it. Lauren wished Scott would find someone more like him -- adventurous, ambitious, and without so much baggage and troubled history.
Paul said that Sharon had been transforming her life. She ran a coffeehouse and took college classes, and he'd seen her in action at the crisis hotline. He was proud of her. Paul said if Lauren got to know Sharon, she might even like the person Sharon had turned into.
At the coffee counter, Scott told Sharon how excited he was about the story and that it could become huge. He felt that exclusive interviews would be compelling. Scott noticed that Sharon wasn't compelled. Sharon wanted to know if Scott's goal was about awards and tributes. Scott thought Sharon was trying to raise awareness. Sharon said she wanted to give Crystal and other victims a voice. She wanted it to be more than a news story -- they were human beings and worth caring about.
Sharon asked Scott to remember that it was about the victims and not his digital media business. If he didn't know that, then they had a big problem. Scott apologized if he seemed insensitive. He said that if his writing could change women's lives and got justice for their suffering, that would be the highest accolade he could get.
Lauren and Paul joined Sharon and Scott. Paul gave Lauren a peck and left. Lauren invited Scott and Sharon for dinner. She asked them to check their schedules and pick a date, and she left. Sharon applauded Lauren's baby steps. Scott said that Paul had probably told Lauren that she'd better accept that Sharon was part of his life. They kissed.
On the rooftop of the Athletic Club, Zack made Abby laugh with a story about a date he'd had that had turned out to be quite the nightmare. Zack said it had been worth it because he'd appreciated meeting someone like Abby. Abby told him to be grateful for every horrible and nightmarish date he'd had because it had led him to create the dating app.
Zack asked Abby about her family and asked if she was involved in any family drama. Abby stated she wasn't involved with whatever had been going on with her dad, Nikki, and their kids. Abby admitted that she and Victor had had their problems, but they'd always worked through them. Despite what Zack and the rest of the world had seen in the parking garage, Victor loved his family deeply.
Abby asked Zack about his family. Zack said he'd grown up near Chicago in a middle-class family -- no relatives had been on camera, and most ranged between boring and predictable. Abby was envious because it sounded homey and peaceful. Zack took a call and told Abby his software developer was freaking out. He had to leave. Zack gave her a quick kiss and left.
Abby saw Victoria in a lounge chair, visibly upset. Victoria told Abby that everything had started when Billy had wanted to shoot a commercial in Hollywood. They hadn't been able to use the commercial because Billy had been caught on tape, talking to the hockey players about gambling, so they'd lost all that money. She'd had to fire Juliet, who'd started a sexual harassment suit against Cane and her company. Cane had told her that Juliet had lied. Victoria had decided not to settle, but it had turned out that Cane had lied -- he'd slept with Juliet, who was pregnant.
Victoria said she'd paid Juliet a ton of cash, and earlier that day, she found out that Cane had sabotaged Billy because Cane had been petty and vindictive. Cane had sabotaged her company, and she really hated him for that. She didn't know if she could keep Brash & Sassy afloat. She sobbed that their last quarter had been terrible. She'd had to let two key executives go, and she couldn't afford to hire others because she'd tapped all her reserves because of the damages.
Victoria claimed she was the one who had to fix everything, and she felt "so alone." Victoria wept on Abby's shoulder. Abby was sorry for what Victoria had been dealing with and wished she'd known. Victoria hugged Abby, thanked her, and left.
At Phyllis' apartment, Billy told Phyllis that Cane had found the sleaziest and most unethical cameraman in Hollywood. Their commercial hadn't aired, Billy's reputation with the hockey league was shot, and Cane had gotten what he'd wanted. Phyllis said that Cane had wanted Billy fired. Billy was grateful to Victoria that he still had a job.
Phyllis suggested that they relax, but Billy couldn't help but think about what might have been if Cane hadn't been able to pull off that stunt. Juliet would have her job, and there wouldn't have been a lawsuit. The commercial would have aired, and they wouldn't have had a bad quarter. One minute of footage had caused a chain reaction that had taken down Brash & Sassy.
Phyllis declared the apartment a Brash & Sassy-free zone. Billy apologized and told Phyllis he'd love to get away for romantic weekends, but he couldn't until Brash & Sassy was back on track -- and his job was his life until that happened. Phyllis walked away angry.
The twins arrived at home and found Lily crying on the couch. They wanted to know what was wrong. Cane entered the room with packed bags. Lily said she'd asked Cane to move out to give her time to work things out. The twins understood. Cane told Mattie he'd be at the Chancellor house, but he'd be home to see them daily because he wanted them to know how much he loved them. Cane hoped they would find it in their hearts to forgive him because he'd always love them. Cane left.
Lily broke down crying while the twins comforted her. Outside, Cane wept alone.
Mariah makes a bold move
At Newman Enterprises, Abby welcomed Victor back with a hug. She asked about his mysterious business trip, but he vaguely replied that he'd taken care of something. She reported that she'd signed another tenant for the startup incubator, but he sensed that something more had been going on. Abby mentioned the footage that Hilary had broadcasted of Nick and Victor fighting in the parking garage, and she was stunned when Victor indicated that he'd given Hilary his blessing to air it.
Abby complained that no one had told her what had been going on at the charity event, but Victor contended that he hadn't wanted to ruin her evening after she'd worked hard to make it a success. Abby assumed that he had shut her out because he didn't consider her to be as much of a Newman as the kids he'd had with Nikki, but Victor assured her that he thought of her as more of a Newman than Victoria and Nick. Victor pointed out that he'd always been very good to people who were loyal to him, and he promised that Abby would be rewarded. Abby mentioned her poolside talk with an emotional Victoria, who had been freaking out about Brash & Sassy being in real trouble. Abby thought Victor should talk to Victoria, and he thanked Abby for telling him.
Chelsea tracked down Victoria at the Athletic Club and expressed concern about Nick. Victoria was sure that Nick was furious with their father, but Chelsea reported that Nick thought being free of Victor's influence was the best thing that had ever happened. Chelsea didn't want Nick to be filled with regrets, and Victoria recounted that Victor and Nick had been to that place many times but that they'd always found their way back. Victoria admitted that it was sometimes hard to remember Victor's good qualities, but she'd missed her father whenever they'd been estranged, and she believed Nick felt the same way. Victoria urged Chelsea to give Nick time.
On the club rooftop, Nikki told Nick that she was happy to hear that he and Noah were going into business together. Nick declared that he'd felt free ever since Victor had kicked him to the curb, and Nikki mused that her life had been absolutely serene since she'd moved on. She admitted that she would always love Victor, but she refused to let it stop her from living her life the way she wanted. Nikki announced her intent to spend the day with Jack at the Abbott cabin, but she anticipated that Nick didn't approve of her friendship with Jack. Nick told her to go for it if it made her happy.
At Brash & Sassy, Victoria answered a call from Victor and was surprised to learn that he'd heard something from Abby. Victoria insisted that she could handle it, and she hung up and summoned someone to her office immediately. Abby arrived a short while later, and Victoria confronted her about repeating their conversation to their father after Victoria had made it clear that the matters were confidential. Abby swore that she was just concerned because Victoria had been going through a lot. Abby said she'd had no idea how to help, and she'd thought Victor might know how.
Victoria inquired whether she'd acted out of control in public, and Abby replied that Victoria had been upset and crying, which had been unusual for her. Abby thought they'd finally connected as sisters after all the times Victoria had talked down to her, and it had meant a lot to her. Victoria appreciated that Abby had let her vent, but she wished Abby hadn't shared the conversation with their dad. Abby insisted that both she and Victor loved Victoria, and she was glad Victoria had been able to lean on her. Abby hugged Victoria.
At the Underground, Nick introduced Chelsea to Dean, the financial guy who was going to bid on two buildings on Nick's behalf. Nick stressed that he was more than willing to pay above market rates, and Dean departed. Nick was excited to tell Noah that he'd lined up properties, and he thought the expansion would also work out great for Chelsea, who could design new T-shirts for the chain. Between kisses, he envisioned her decorating the new locations and brainstorming new cocktail recipes. They continued to make out.
Nick and Chelsea cuddled under a blanket after having sex in his office. His phone rang, and she urged him to answer it. Dean expressed regret that Nick had been outbid on both buildings, and Nick guessed that someone else had also realized that they were in perfect locations. Nick hung up and figured that he had to bid a lot more the next time. Meanwhile, Victor commended Dean for sounding convincing, and Dean inquired about Victor's strategy. Victor instructed Dean to keep him informed about Nick's financial activities, and he promised that Dean would be rewarded.
In the Jabot corridor, Phyllis asked Ravi if he had any genius friends in finance or marketing who were looking for a new job. She explained that she was asking for Brash & Sassy, since she thought it was the only thing that could save her relationship. Phyllis bemoaned that work was monopolizing all of Billy's time and that all he talked about was Victoria's suffering. Phyllis griped that Billy was obsessed, and she was sure that the solution was warm bodies to defuse the stress. Phyllis begged Ravi to tell her that he knew of a genius MBA who could swoop in to save the day, but Ravi didn't know anyone with that background.
In Jack's office, Gloria offered Benjamin Hochman and Jack some coffee, and Hochman said it was a pleasure seeing Gloria again. She noted that they were fully clothed that time, and she stepped out. Hochman informed Jack that he and Gloria had met in the Athletic Club sauna, where she'd convinced him not to make an investment in Fenmore's. Hochman guessed that Gloria had done it at Jack's behest, and Jack stated that Gloria was very loyal. Hochman revealed that he'd had his eye on Jabot since the company's presentation at the trade show in New York, and he thought they could do business together. Ashley entered and huffed that they weren't buying whatever Hochman was selling.
Hochman apologized for the way he'd behaved in New York, and Jack said he wanted to hear Hochman's proposal. Hochman noted that Jabot's market had been growing and that their retail apps had been a big success, but he thought their sales appeared to be slowing. He suggested that they needed an infusion of capital to expand and create new products. Ashley guessed that he'd provide the funding with strings attached, and Hochman asked for a small stake in the company. Jack firmly stated that he was flattered by Hochman's interest, but Jabot was entirely a family-owned company -- and he refused to give away pieces of his father's legacy.
After Hochman departed, Gloria reentered and handed Jack a fishing rod that had just been delivered with a note. Jack explained that he was going up to the cabin that day and that Nikki had challenged him to catch dinner. Gloria coldly told him to enjoy his day, and she stalked out. Ashley figured that Gloria was jealous, but Jack revealed that Gloria had wasted no time moving on -- with Graham. Ashley questioned whether Gloria was after their mother's money or if Jack had asked Gloria to spy on Graham and Dina. Jack revealed that Gloria had refused to spy for him.
Ashley wanted to talk about Dina, since she believed their mother missed Mergeron and might be depressed with nothing to fill her day. Jack protested that Dina was a bright, vital woman who could do anything, but Ashley argued that all Dina was doing was sitting around her hotel room. Ashley contemplated the trouble Jack would get into without Jabot, and she teased that he'd gotten in enough trouble already. Jack declared his plans to spend a relaxing day by the lake with Nikki, but Ashley scoffed at the idea that Jack wasn't trying to push Victor's buttons. Ashley expected Victor to punish Jack and Nikki for getting close, and she warned Jack to tread lightly.
Phyllis approached Hochman in the hallway, and he informed her that Jack had turned down his offer to partner with Jabot. Hochman hoped to rectify the mistake of not investing in Fenmore's, and he believed that the cosmetics industry was one of the few growth areas left in retail. Phyllis invited him to grab a drink later that evening on the Athletic Club rooftop. After Hochman headed out, Ravi asked what "that jerk" had been doing there after he'd been rude to Ashley. Phyllis credited Ravi with protecting Ashley, and she compared herself to Ravi in that they'd do whatever it took to protect the people they cared about.
In the Athletic Club dining room, Dina informed Graham that Neil had just left after making it painfully clear that he and Devon didn't need her input. She recognized that Mergeron was theirs to do whatever they wanted with, but Graham recalled that she'd had second thoughts about selling it. Dina fretted about the dangerous game Jack was playing with Nikki, and Graham surmised that she was worried about Victor. Graham stepped aside to take a call from Gloria, who mentioned that Jack was heading up to his cabin with his new lover. Gloria purred that she could get away early with her boss away, and she and Graham made dinner plans for that night.
Ashley was surprised when Dina stopped by Jabot, and she asked if her mother was doing well. Dina admitted that she wasn't, since she was feeling very tossed aside. Dina explained that she'd sold Mergeron because she and Graham had thought they'd get a better price than if they'd waited, and Ashley wondered if Graham had told Dina to sell the company. Dina defended that Graham had done thorough research, but stepping aside from her life's work had been more difficult than she'd anticipated. Ashley questioned whether Dina had gone through too many changes in a short period of time, and she asked if Dina was feeling depressed.
Ashley finished a work-related call, and Dina said seeing Ashley in work mode made her realize how much she missed the excitement of owning her own company. Dina conceded that it was possible that she might be a little depressed, and Ashley sympathized that it was easy for Dina to feel like she was being pushed aside when she still had something she wanted to give. Ravi interrupted to share some ideas with Jack, and Dina departed. Ashley informed Ravi that Dina had admitted that she might be depressed, and Ashley wanted to help her by finding something to make Dina feel useful. Ashley thought she knew someone who could help.
Hochman met Phyllis at the Dive Bar. She clarified that she was in a relationship, so she wasn't there to flirt with him. She revealed that she had a potential investment for him in a company that had suffered some serious financial reversals and needed cash fast. She disclosed that it was Brash & Sassy, but Hochman doubted that Victoria was in financial trouble. Phyllis explained that there had been unexpected challenges beyond Victoria's control but that Victoria was determined not to rely on Victor.
Hochman wondered what Phyllis' agenda was, and she claimed that it was helping him make money. He didn't believe her, and he pointed out that Victoria had a reputation of liking to do things on her own. Phyllis suggested that Victoria preferred to do business with people she knew, and she encouraged Hochman to take advantage of being in close proximity. Phyllis insinuated that Hochman and Victoria might hit it off, since Victoria was single.
Hochman called Victoria and claimed that he was in Genoa City to meet with the most promising young CEOs in town. He added that she was at the top of the list, and he wanted to network and build a stronger connection by talking business. She offered to arrange something the following week, but he pressed her to meet for dinner that night. She begged off because of her workload, but he pointed out that they both had to eat. She asked when and where.
At the Abbott cabin, Nikki imagined that Jack had great childhood memories from the place. He recalled swimming in the lake and his dad trying to convince the Abbott siblings that they could make fire by rubbing sticks together. Nikki wondered if Dina had been in on it, and Jack recognized that Dina had talked fondly about the cabin but that she hadn't been a fan of the great outdoors. Jack recounted that Dina had taken off to New York whenever his dad had taken them there, but he called it ancient history, and he proclaimed that it was time to make new memories.
Later, Jack returned to the cabin after fetching some night crawlers, and he couldn't wait to see Nikki put them on the hook. He found her struggling to figure out how the fishing rod worked, and she thought she'd jammed the reel. She confessed that she'd never been fishing before and that she'd only suggested it because she thought it might be fun. Jack agreed, and he remembered when he'd fished with a safety pin fastened to a string tied to a branch. He thought he was dating himself, and she joked that she hadn't known he was that old. Jack announced that he had something to confess, too.
Jack divulged that his family had never been into fishing and that he'd been happiest with a weenie roast. Nikki wondered why he'd agreed to go fishing, and he figured that it had been a chance to get out of town and forget his problems. He suggested that they fire up the grill and roast some dogs, but she declared that she was ready to go fishing. He said he liked her attitude, and they kissed. Someone snapped photos of them from outside.
In a San Francisco hotel room, Mariah heard Tessa laughing in the adjoining room, and she closed the door. A shirtless Devon entered and wondered why Mariah hadn't joined him in the shower, and she claimed that she'd been distracted by looking at their schedule for the day. He crowed that the trip had exceeded his expectations, and she gushed that things were always amazing with him. They kissed.
Tessa and Noah entered the room and asked how Devon and Mariah's morning had been. Devon cheerfully replied that it had been all kinds of good, and Noah thanked Devon for introducing him to a booking agent. Mariah wondered when Noah would start opening more Undergrounds, but Noah anticipated that going through all the steps would take a while. Tessa enthused that Noah was a serious guy with serious dreams who would do whatever it took to make it happen. Tessa and Noah affectionately agreed that they were one another's biggest fans, and they kissed.
Devon indicated that some industry executives were excited about Tessa, and he wanted to get her into the studio when they got home. Mariah suggested that they see a Norwegian punk band that day, but she assumed from everyone's nonplussed expressions that they weren't interested. Tessa offered to go with Mariah, and Devon ushered Noah out to go to a meeting. Mariah thanked Tessa for saying she would stay with Mariah, but Tessa observed that Mariah seemed off.
Mariah and Tessa changed into sexy outfits for the festival, and Mariah struggled with her zipper. Tessa moved close to help her, and Mariah assumed that things were going well with Tessa and Noah. Tessa chirped that things had been going extremely well, and she thought it had been important for them to have time alone to move things along. Mariah wished her life was that easy, and Tessa asked if everything was okay with Mariah and Devon. Mariah called Devon the greatest guy ever, but she thought she was the problem.
Tessa said she didn't understand, and Mariah replied that she didn't, either. Mariah swore that she liked Devon a lot and that she wanted to get serious with him, and Tessa wondered what was stopping her. Mariah said she was trying to be honest with herself about who she was and what she wanted, but she was really confused. Tessa said she understood because there had been times in her life when she hadn't known what she'd wanted and other times when she had known but hadn't been able to figure out how to make it happen.
Tessa assured a forlorn Mariah that she wasn't alone, and she placed a comforting hand on Mariah's shoulder. Tessa told Mariah to say the word if there was anything Tessa could do, since she'd be glad to do it. Mariah stared at Tessa for a moment and reached up to caress Tessa's cheek. Mariah slowly leaned in and kissed Tessa on the lips.
Victoria acts shockingly out of character
At the music festival in San Francisco, Devon and Noah excitedly discussed the introductions they'd made and the potential for their businesses to work together. Noah thanked Devon for letting him tag along, and Devon suggested that they check out a particular band. Noah prepared to call Tessa to let her know, but he realized that he'd left his phone in the hotel room. Devon figured that they could go back to the hotel to pick up their girlfriends and be back in time for the show.
At the hotel, Mariah and Tessa's kiss lingered until Mariah pulled back and awkwardly stared at Tessa. Mariah apologized profusely and begged Tessa not to be upset. Tessa swore that she wasn't, and Mariah rambled on about how she'd never done anything like that before and that it had just been an impulse. Tessa grabbed Mariah's hands and told her to stop apologizing.
Mariah stared down at her hands in Tessa's, and she incredulously asked if Tessa was okay with what had just happened. Tessa chalked it up to being at an incredible music festival, and she figured that they'd both gotten a little carried away. Tessa reasoned that they were both dating great people, and she suggested that they put the kiss in the vault and keep it there. Devon and Noah returned, and Tessa surmised from Noah's excitement that their meeting had gone well. Devon hugged Mariah as Noah embraced Tessa, and the women exchanged a guilty glance over their boyfriends' shoulders.
Devon said he was glad Mariah had asked Noah and Tessa to join them, since he was having a great time. Noah expected the women to go see the punk band while the men went to the main stage, but Mariah changed her mind about seeing the punk rockers. Mariah suggested that Noah and Tessa do their own thing while Mariah and Devon did theirs, since they all deserved some couple time. Noah said it sounded good to him, and Mariah asked if Tessa was okay with it. Tessa replied that she was, and the foursome departed.
Devon and Mariah returned to their hotel room, and he guessed that she hadn't liked the music. She said being with him had broadened her horizons, but she wanted to spend some time alone before they met Tessa and Noah later that night. Mariah marveled that nothing was better than being in one of the most exciting cities in the world with Devon, and they kissed.
Mariah gushed that it had been an amazing trip to the coast with great music, wonderful food, and every luxury she'd ever imagined. She guessed that she'd done something right in her past life to deserve a guy like Devon, and he replied that he was glad she was having a good time. She insisted that it was more than that. She recognized that she wasn't the type to get mushy and sentimental, but she wanted to say something out loud. Mariah declared that she loved Devon, and they fell onto the couch in a passionate embrace.
A bouncer stopped Noah and Tessa from entering part of the festival and demanded to see their all-access passes. Noah realized that the passes had fallen out of his pocket when they'd been in a mosh pit, and Tessa urged the bouncer to check the list to see that they were Devon's guests. The bouncer refused, and Noah said it was fine, but Tessa haughtily stated that Noah was Victor Newman's grandson. She threatened that one phone call could turn the bouncer's life into a "new version of hell," and the bouncer agreed to make an exception. Noah protested that he'd never used his name to get things, but Tessa questioned the use of being a Newman if he didn't use it to his advantage.
At Newman Enterprises, Scott caught Abby hovering outside Victor's office door, and he asked if she could hear anything. She snapped that she hadn't been eavesdropping, and she scolded Scott for roaming the hallways to scare executives. Scott indicated that Victor had summoned him to go over the numbers for Newman's digital media division, and Abby reported that she was there to update her father on her startup incubator. Scott wondered why Victor had scheduled their meetings at the same time when they had nothing to do with one another, and Abby theorized that Victor wanted to light a fire under Scott and his money-loser.
Over the phone, Victor asked someone if "she" was there, and he told the person that they knew what to do. Abby and Scott entered Victor's office, and she mentioned the remodel of the executive suites. She declared that she was ready to move into her temporary office, but she estimated that it would take Scott a week to clean up the junk in his workspace. Scott asserted that an immaculate desk meant that someone wasn't pulling their weight, but Abby countered that it meant the employee was organized and efficient.
Scott promised to be ready for the move, and Victor prompted Abby to provide her report. She exclaimed that her project was blowing up, since people had been approaching her to become part of it, and she'd signed a second tenant who Zack had referred. Victor noted that Abby had taken Zack to the charity party, and he surmised that Abby believed in Zack. Abby crowed that she believed in all her partners, and Scott asked if she dated all of them. Abby retorted that it beat dating the boss's ex-wife.
Scott said he'd dispatched a reporter to interview witnesses and survivors, and he'd decided to write the exposé on sex trafficking in the Midwest himself. Abby applauded him for making the public aware of the problem, but she advised him not to split his focus. He bristled at her telling him how to do his job, and he asserted that plenty of editors also wrote stories. He implored Victor to trust him to do it his way, just like Victor was trusting Abby with the startups. Victor expected both of their divisions to show improved numbers by the end of the quarter, and he dismissed them so he could make a call.
At the Abbott cabin, Nikki remarked that it was a good thing she wasn't hungry, since Jack had managed to catch the world's smallest trout. Jack blamed the fishing equipment, and he was sure the outcome would have been different if he'd used the fishing rod she'd given him. He thought they could both feast on his bounty, and they stared at the fish he'd caught. Nikki quipped that she'd seen guppies that were bigger, and Jack told her to watch and learn.
Over dinner, Jack conceded that it wasn't the biggest fish, but he hoped it was the tastiest. Nikki recalled that he hadn't set foot in the kitchen when they'd been married, and he admitted that his culinary skills were a work in progress. She tasted the fish and declared that it wasn't bad, and she envisioned cooking together the next time -- if there would be a next time. Jack told her to count on it, but Nikki thought it was time to finally talk about the elephant in the room. He asked if the elephant had a moustache.
Jack acknowledged that some people wondered if he was with Nikki in order to get under Victor's skin. Nikki argued that Jack wasn't the only one making the decisions, and she proposed that they let time determine what would happen between them. She asserted that all she knew was that she was doing exactly what she wanted, and she wanted to be there with him. Jack recognized that he was poking the tiger, and he took full responsibility if Victor had issues with their relationship. He swore that he'd back off if Nikki found it to be too messy or stressful, but she reiterated that he wasn't the only one in the driver's seat.
Nikki told Jack that it had had been a necessary evil to talk about Victor, but she thought they could banish Victor from their thoughts. Jack promised to give her an honest answer whenever she asked him a question. She pointed out that things were easy when they were up there in a quiet, idyllic place, but she wondered how things would go when they were back in the city. She questioned whether what they had could survive in the real world, and Jack responded that there was only one way to find out. They kissed.
Poolside at the Athletic Club, Sharon jokingly busted Nick for not being at work, and he defended that he'd fielded a terrific team, so he could take off whenever he wanted. He invited her to pull up a chair, and she grabbed two, since she was meeting Scott there. Nick thought that she might be more comfortable at another table across the rooftop. Sharon scolded Nick for taking another shot at the man she was dating, and she thought Nick didn't like Scott because Scott was close to Victor. Nick griped that Scott had a chip on his shoulder against Nick.
Nick figured that he and Scott didn't have to be friends, but Sharon pleaded with Nick not to badmouth Scott to Faith after the girl returned home from camp. Nick swore that he'd never do that, but Sharon countered that she'd never thought he'd end up in a fistfight with his father. Nick contended that he'd never said a bad word to Faith about his dad, and he promised that he wouldn't about Scott, either.
Scott arrived and mentioned that Victor had wanted an update on Hashtag, and Nick sourly assumed that Scott had told Victor exactly what he'd wanted to hear. Nick voiced surprise that a supposedly razor-sharp reporter couldn't figure out who Victor was, but Scott thought Nick was the one who needed a new perspective. Scott relayed that his father had died when Scott had been young, and Scott didn't remember anything about him. Scott proclaimed that he would do anything to go back to have time together, and he chided Nick for being willing to throw away his whole relationship with Victor. Nick growled that the last thing he needed was a lecture from Scott about Victor, and he abruptly walked away.
At Brash & Sassy, Billy informed Victoria that he'd met with their suppliers to reassure them that everything was fine. He assumed that they'd spend the night working, but he was surprised when she informed him that she had plans. Victoria figured that they'd be too exhausted to do their jobs if they burned the candle at both ends, and she added that her doctor had told her to rest. She expected to feel even better after she recharged, and she thought Billy would, too. Billy wondered if she planned to hang out with the kids, but Victoria indicated that she was taking time for herself.
Hochman entered and acknowledged that he and Victoria had arranged to meet at the club, but he insisted on being a gentleman by picking her up. Victoria assumed that Hochman had wanted to check out her lab, and Billy introduced himself. Hochman announced that Victoria was his date, but Victoria insisted that it was just business. Hochman joked that he'd cancel the violinists and roses and pick up a copy of the Wall Street Journal. He swore that he was in town to network with promising young CEOs, and he felt lucky that Victoria was available.
Hochman stepped aside to take a call, and Billy warned Victoria that the guy was all about fire sales and shuttering doors to repurpose the real estate. Victoria countered that Hochman was incredibly well connected, and she hoped that he'd spread the word to his inner circle that Brash & Sassy was on the cusp of a new era. She recognized that she was taking a calculated risk, but she swore that she knew what she was doing. Hochman escorted Victoria out.
Lauren stopped by Phyllis' apartment after learning that Phyllis had left the office early. Phyllis revealed that she'd been with their "old friend" Hochman, and Lauren wondered what the department store demolisher had wanted from Phyllis. Phyllis clarified that it had been about what she'd wanted from him, and she'd gotten it. Phyllis thought it was the perfect plan for Victoria to spend time with someone else so that she'd be too busy to occupy all of Billy's time, and she hoped Hochman and Victoria hit it off.
Phyllis added that Brash & Sassy was in trouble, and Hochman had snatched some operations from the jaws of death and made them profitable. Phyllis envisioned Hochman swooping in to resurrect the company, allowing Billy to work normal hours again, but Lauren argued that Hochman might make a mess for Billy and Victoria to clean up. Phyllis was confident that Victoria wouldn't let Hochman take advantage of her, but Lauren wondered what would happen if a giant flirt like Hochman made it a personal venture instead of a professional one. Phyllis crowed that it would be a "win-win-win."
Lauren suggested that she and Phyllis order in food and go over the sales numbers, but Phyllis said she wasn't hungry. Phyllis requested that they put off work until the following day, and Lauren asked if Phyllis was trying to get rid of her. Billy arrived home with a grocery bag, and Phyllis was surprised because she'd thought he'd be working all night. After Lauren departed, Billy explained that he'd wanted to take advantage of some free time after their talk, and he pulled out a bottle of tequila.
Billy apologized for his recent behavior, since he'd been obsessing about work, and Phyllis had been right to call him out on it. He called himself a "jackass" for implying that Brash & Sassy and Victoria were more important than Phyllis was, and he poured them some margaritas and toasted to the most important woman in his life. Billy said Phyllis would never guess why he wasn't at work, and he reported that Victoria was having dinner with one of the biggest corporate sharks in the world. Phyllis tried to change the topic, but Billy continued to rant about Hochman.
Billy offered Phyllis another drink, but he was distracted by a text alert on his phone. He learned that one of Brash & Sassy's competitors was trying to acquire a company they'd had their eye on, and he insisted that he had to tell Victoria. Exasperated, Phyllis started to leave the room, but Billy threw his phone aside and proclaimed that the night was all about them. They kissed passionately.
Victoria and Hochman arrived on the Athletic Club rooftop, and she spotted Nick across the bar. Hochman said she'd have to introduce them another time, since he was more interested in getting better acquainted with her. She replied that knowing her company was to know her, and she bragged about how the new men's body spray was flying off the shelves. Hochman questioned whether the company was doing exceptionally well financially, and Victoria declared that she called all the shots as the sole owner, so she had no investors clamoring for short-term profits rather than long-term success.
Hochman contended that he was aware of his reputation of being results-oriented, but he insisted that it was all about the people he worked with. He placed his hand over Victoria's and claimed that it began and ended with personal relationships. Victoria pulled her hand away and stated that some of her best deals had been made with people she admired. Hochman inquired whether she admired him, and she pointed out that she barely knew him. He rattled off some of his hobbies and encouraged her to share something about herself, and she replied that she was married to her work.
Victoria flatly stated that she didn't play games, so what Hochman saw was what he got. Hochman flirtatiously said he liked what he saw, and she found it amusing to see him be that transparent. Victoria suspected that he was trying to get her to drop her guard so she'd do something stupid, like selling pieces of her company. Hochman's voice suddenly became muffled inside Victoria's head, and she couldn't make out what he was saying. He pitched the idea of a joint venture, but she suddenly asked if they were going to get out of there. She seductively inquired whether he was hungry for food because she wasn't.
Nick called to a departing Victoria, but a waiter stopped him and indicated that there had been a problem with his bill, since his name wasn't listed on the membership account. Nick protested that he'd been on the Newman family account for years, but he quickly realized that his dad had called the club. Nick asked Sharon to borrow some money, and Sharon headed to the locker room to get some cash.
Scott answered a call from Victor, who said Hashtag's updated budget hadn't been in the report Scott had left. Scott promised to get it to Victor the next day, and he mentioned that there had been an issue with Nick's membership at the club. Scott guessed that Victor had taken Nick's name off the account, and he thought Victor would be pleased to know that Nick had needed to borrow money from Sharon to cover his check.
Victoria and Hochman retreated to his hotel room, where he poured them some wine. Victoria chugged back hers and hoped there was more, and he promised that the wine would flow all night if she wanted. He recognized that he could "come off strong," and he was glad that she hadn't been turned off by it. Victoria taunted that talk was cheap, and she asked when he was going to kiss her. Hochman obliged, and she threw off her jacket and pounced on him.