At Jabot, Victoria stopped the elevator while she and Phyllis were alone together. Victoria said she knew what Phyllis had been up to. Phyllis gloated that she sometimes had sex with Billy in the elevator. Victoria insisted that Phyllis' dig proved she was out to get Victoria and possibly Brash & Sassy, too.
Victoria said she knew that Phyllis had set her up with Benjamin Hochman. Victoria added that she was aware that Phyllis was furious about Billy working late so often because he'd told her so. Phyllis accused Victoria of being paranoid about a set-up with Benjamin. As Phyllis continued her tirade, Victoria experienced another episode that distorted her hearing and made Phyllis' voice barely audible. Victoria appeared worried as she rubbed the side of her face.
In the lab, Victoria told Billy about her conversation with Phyllis in the stopped elevator. Billy said, "I hope that wasn't too awkward." Victoria replied, "It wasn't for me, but it definitely was for her." Billy said that Phyllis understood his obligations to the company. Victoria thanked Billy for stepping up and being a mature man she could rely on.
Victoria recalled a time in the past when she'd enjoyed Billy's carefree, fun-loving nature. She also recalled the bad times when Billy had been impetuous and reckless. Victoria admitted that she regretted having given up on Billy before he'd reached his full potential. Victoria told Billy he was amazing before she pulled him close and began kissing him passionately. Victoria suddenly put distance between herself and Billy, explaining that she'd gotten carried away and shouldn't have kissed him because he was with Phyllis.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon shared her suspicions about Alice with Scott. Sharon noted that she'd caught Alice and Alice's neighbor telling lies. Sharon explained that Alice had said she was just passing through town, though she actually lived nearby. Sharon recalled that Alice had no family besides her mother, yet the neighbor had claimed that Alice's niece had visited. Sharon feared the young woman identified as a niece might be one of the young prostitutes. All clues taken together, Sharon cried, meant that Alice was part of a sex ring. Scott advised Sharon not to jump to conclusions based on her assumptions and added that there might not be a local sex-trafficking ring.
Sharon asked Scott why Alice had lied about where she lived. Scott said perhaps Alice didn't want anyone to know she'd relocated from Madison. Alice, Scott, explained, could've feared that Sharon and Nick still blamed her for what had happened to Cassie. Scott said that the niece in question could be a relative of Alice's husband. Sharon refused to believe Scott's suggestion that the young woman could be referring to Alice as her "aunt" as an honorary title or term of endearment. Sharon noted that no one would honor Alice Johnson for any reason.
Sharon approached Tessa, who was sitting out on the patio alone. Sharon noted that a photo of Crystal that Tessa was viewing on her phone looked as if Crystal had once been a happy girl. Sharon requested a copy of the photo, and Tessa agreed to send it via text message. Tessa said she hoped her sister was okay. Sharon vowed not to stop searching.
After Sharon walked away, Abby joined Tessa. Abby praised Tessa's newly released song and said she was looking forward to attending Tessa's next concert. Abby hinted that she'd be with a date. Abby asked if Tessa knew Zack. Tessa said she'd met Zack at the benefit concert. Abby laughed when she recalled that Zack had had an early introduction to the Newman family and the family drama. Tessa's eyes widened when Abby added that Zack had passed Victor's interrogation.
At Alice's house, Alice situated a young girl in a room and told the girl to make herself at home. Zack phoned, and Alice complained about him having sent the girl to her house. Alice told Zack that she'd been detained from a meeting with him because she'd encountered a couple of people she'd known in the past. Zack sternly warned Alice not to let it happen again because he didn't like waiting.
Alice asked Zack about what she termed were "premium service" girls, and she emailed him photos of several young women. Zack flipped through photos of young women and asked about one identified as "Rainbow Girl." Alice noted that Rainbow Girl, though most requested, had been troublesome. Zack, staring at the photo of Crystal, captioned "Rainbow Girl," said the young woman would likely make them a ton of money.
Scott and Sharon later resumed their conversation about Alice. Scott admitted that research had proven Sharon correct about Alice not having a niece. Scott said he trusted Sharon's instincts, but he asked why Sharon refused to give Alice the benefit of the doubt and drop the matter. Sharon said Alice wasn't above mistreating a child. Sharon explained that Alice had abandoned Cassie with Alice's elderly mother. Cassie, Sharon cried, had been terrified when Alice had later resurfaced, seeking custody. Scott warned Sharon not to make her suspicions fit a particular narrative because she believed it might draw them closer to rescuing Crystal. Scott added that Sharon might also be seeking justice against Alice.
Sharon seemed somewhat frustrated, but she thanked Scott for his support. Scott vowed not to give up, though he warned that some evidence Sharon had gathered was hearsay and speculation. After Sharon walked away, Abby approached Scott. Scott teased Abby about working with Zack away from the office. Scott, clicking away on his laptop, boasted that he was conducting investigative work.
Abby and Scott's conversation was tense. Sharon approached at the same time that Zack arrived. Zack said, "Is there a problem?" Abby said she and Zack would retreat to the patio to conduct business, and they walked away. Sharon showed Alice's credit card to Scott. Sharon said she hoped Alice would return for the card.
On the patio, Abby and Zack talked about the great success of the dating app. Zack interrupted and noted that Abby had referred to him as her business partner in front of Scott and Sharon. Zack said he thought he and Abby meant more to each other. Abby said she enjoyed spending time with Zack and wasn't seeing anyone else. Zack said he wasn't seeing anyone. Abby happily proclaimed that they were an exclusive couple. Abby said she and Zack were proof that DesignDate worked. Abby added, "I never would've thought that us testing out our app together would lead to this."
In Dina's suite at the Athletic Club, Graham offered to help Dina finish her market analysis, noting that Jack and Ashley would worry if Dina was late to work. Dina turned her laptop over to Graham, picked her up handbag, and approached the door. Graham promised to email the report as soon as it was finished. Dina nodded, but she seemed apprehensive. Before Dina walked out, Graham said, "No one will be the wiser." After Dina left, Graham began typing on Dina's laptop.
In a hallway at Jabot, Ashley confided to Ravi that Jack had been undermining Brash & Sassy. Ravi asked if Jack's tactics might be illegal. Ashley said she wouldn't be surprised if they were and noted that Jack was known to play dirty when nursing a grudge. Ashley said she intended to gather as much information as she could, fearing Jack's attacks on Brash & Sassy might backfire, sparking repercussions that could hurt Jabot. Ravi said he wouldn't feel comfortable spying on Jack if Ashley was hinting for him to do so. Ashley said she'd never ask Ravi do anything illegal or unethical. Dina arrived, and Ashley invited her mother into the office for a private talk.
In the office, Ashley mentioned Dina's discussion with Abby about Brent Davis. Ashley told Dina not to talk to Abby or anyone else about Brent Davis again. Dina promised she wouldn't. Ashley asked if Dina had completed the market analysis on Parker Beauty Products. Dina promised to have the report completed by the end of the day.
Dina and Ashley stepped out into the hallway together. Ashley noted her misgivings about Jack's rushed plans to rebrand Parker Beauty Products. Dina said she had faith in her children. Ravi approached and offered to take Dina's laptop so he could install new software. Dina promised not to let Ashley down when Ashley expressed concern about Dina finishing the market report on time.
While Ravi was working on Dina's laptop, he discovered emails he showed to Ashley. Ashley asked why Graham would be sending Jabot correspondence to Dina. Ravi said he didn't know because it was private correspondence, so she hadn't opened the email. Ashley noted that it was business correspondence on a Jabot-issued computer, so she took the laptop from Ravi. Ashley opened the email from Graham. After reading the message, Ashley asked why Dina would allow Graham access to Jabot's business strategy.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Hilary met with Jack. Hilary boasted that she'd just returned from New York, where she'd taped a national commercial. Jack acknowledged that Hilary never let anything get in the way of her making inroads. Hilary replied, "Well, isn't that what a rising star is supposed to do?" Jack said it wasn't when it happened at the expense of people he cared about.
Jack explained that Nikki wasn't pleased with Hilary's attacks on members of the Newman family. Hilary recalled that she'd aired video showing events that had taken place in public. Jack insisted that Hilary's videos were exploitive. Hilary argued that her fans found her show content helpful for inspiring dialogue, after realizing that other families dealt with dysfunction.
Hilary asked Jack if he was dating Nikki to make Victor miserable. Jack noted that he and Nikki had a long history of looking out for each other. Hilary warned that Jack was playing a dangerous game. Jack asked Hilary to promote the revamp of Parker Beauty Products on her show. Hilary said her makeup artist was eagerly anticipating the rollout.
Jack boasted that he had a list of people who would attest to the excellent results after using the skincare line. Jack agreed to send Hilary samples to try. Hilary said she feared backlash from Victoria. Jack said Hilary was beholden to no one. Jack agreed to do Hilary a favor in the future if she agreed to help him. Hilary and Jack shook hands to seal the deal.
Phyllis entered Jack's office and angrily told him about Victoria's rant. Phyllis added that Victoria knew she'd pushed Hochman to pursue Victoria. Jack said he had no idea how Victoria had figured it out. Jack asked Phyllis if Victoria knew he'd been involved. Phyllis replied, "Well, I'm not sure. She didn't say anything." Jack cried that it wasn't good. Phyllis replied, "You think? First, Billy in here suspecting that we're acing them out of Fenmore's. Now, she's putting the Hochman pieces together? How much more does she know?"
Jack told Phyllis he wanted to know where Victoria had gotten her information. Phyllis cried that Victoria was trying to steal Billy. Phyllis told Jack that he'd won no victories because Victoria had sent Hochman packing, obtained a loan from Neil, and struck a deal with Lauren to sell Brash & Sassy's products. Jack insisted that Brash & Sassy couldn't compete with Parker Beauty Products. Phyllis noted Jack's plan was too passive, and she insisted that Nikki had gotten to him. Jack assured Phyllis that he hadn't surrendered.
At Hilary's studio, Tessa and Hilary exchanged barbs. Tessa explained that she was waiting for Mariah. Hilary said Mariah was likely sulking, knowing that Devon would never get over losing his ex-wife. Mariah overheard Tessa defending her to Hilary. Tessa said that no one would choose Hilary over Mariah. Hilary asked Tessa why she'd appointed herself to be Mariah's guardian and protector. Tessa explained that she was Mariah's friend. Hilary insisted that Mariah could handle things on her own.
After Hilary walked away, Mariah admitted that Hilary was right about Devon because she'd seen the signs herself. Mariah said that though Devon had said he loved her, she knew he wasn't being sincere. Tessa comforted Mariah with an embrace. Hilary stepped in the room and saw Tessa embracing Mariah.
Dina panics when Graham decides to go to Paris
At GC Buzz, Hilary snidely suggested that Mariah meet with her "indie pal" elsewhere and reserve the studio for work. The women exchanged barbs, and Hilary declared that she knew what had been going on between Mariah and Tessa. Hilary speculated that Tessa had been trying to make a heartbroken Mariah feel better because things weren't working out between Mariah and Devon. Hilary announced that she and Jordan had broken up, but she imagined that she wouldn't be a free agent for long.
Mariah guessed that Hilary had chosen the right moment to spring the news of the breakup on her, hoping for maximum impact, but she asserted that she didn't care. Hilary doubted that Mariah wasn't the least bit concerned about where things stood with Hilary and Devon, but Mariah insisted that it made no difference that Hilary was suddenly available, since Hilary was history after Devon had divorced her. Hilary smiled and said "history" was an interesting word, since she and Devon had shared a long, intense, committed relationship, whereas Mariah and Devon were just great pals.
Mariah pulled out her phone and displayed various photos of her and Devon kissing in San Francisco, and she pointed out that they were obviously much more than pals. Hilary taunted that she and Devon hadn't needed an artificial event because even the air between them was electric, but Mariah huffed that Hilary was nothing but hot air to Mariah and Devon. Hilary recounted that Devon hadn't even bothered to call Mariah when he'd blown her off to have drinks with Hilary -- he'd just let his thumbs do the talking. Hilary dared Mariah to keep believing that Mariah and Devon had something special.
Hilary suspected that Mariah was closer to her "alternative friend" than she was to Devon, but Mariah told Hilary to save her fantasies for someone who didn't know her as well as Mariah did. Mariah declared that she was going home, and Hilary chuckled at the thought that Mariah still lived with her mom instead of her supposedly serious boyfriend. Hilary encouraged Mariah to face that what Mariah had with Devon had already peaked. Mariah walked off.
At the Athletic Club, Devon was surprised when Lily informed him that Hilary and Jordan were done. Lily crowed that Hilary had ruined things in record time, but Devon wondered why Hilary hadn't told him about the breakup when they'd had drinks together. Lily imagined that Hilary hadn't wanted to seem "guyless" so that she could hit on Devon, and Devon mentioned that he and Hilary had talked about being happy to have the chance to reconnect. "Here we go again," Lily groaned.
Lily suspected that Hilary had planned the encounter with Devon and that she'd been deliberately evasive about Jordan, but Devon figured that perhaps Hilary had been sad about the breakup. Lily thought that might be possible if the couple hadn't broken up because of Hilary's lies and manipulations, and she warned Devon not to be sucked back into Hilary's vortex. Devon swore that they'd only had drinks, but Lily wished that he'd had plans with Mariah so he would have had an excuse to leave. Devon confessed that he had, and Lily was stunned that he'd canceled on his girlfriend. Lily urged Devon not to let Hilary ruin what he had with Mariah, but Devon mumbled that he was doing that on his own.
Devon confided that he and Mariah had fought after she'd found out why he hadn't shown up, and things had gotten worse when she had mentioned the fact that he still hadn't told her that he loved her. Lily hoped he hadn't declared his love in the middle of a fight, and Devon reported that Mariah had stopped him. He swore that he would tell the world when he felt that way about Mariah, and Lily wondered if it would ever happen. Devon conceded that maybe there was a reason he hadn't felt it yet.
Lily figured that there wasn't any rush, but Devon worried that Mariah might get tired of waiting. Lily thought Mariah was smart enough to realize that she was lucky to have someone who wouldn't lie to her. Devon referred to the way Cane had lied to Lily, and he recalled that he hadn't had honesty with Hilary, either.
Victor pummeled a punching bag at the Athletic Club gym. Nick worked out across the room, and he removed his headphones when he spotted his father. Victor noted that Nick was paying for his own gym membership, dryly adding that it was a growth spurt in maturity and responsibility. Nick remarked that life was full of surprises, since Victor had done the right thing the other day. Victor clarified that he'd sent the bedroom furniture for Faith's sake and not to please Nick, and he blasted Nick for failing to tell Faith that he'd moved into his girlfriend's house until after the girl had returned home from camp. Nick incredulously asked if Victor was going to talk to him about being a good father.
Victor huffed that Nick's negligence would hurt Faith, Christian, and Noah, and he chided Nick for moving his financial accounts away from the family's advisor. Victor surmised that Nick was attempting to be independent rather than tapping into a tried-and-true resource, but Nick countered that Dean couldn't spy on him for Victor anymore. Victor voiced concern for his grandchildren, but Nick asserted that he'd run successful businesses before, including Victor's. Victor offered to count Nick's failures, and Nick figured that Victor thought Nick couldn't succeed without him. Victor warned Nick not to go running to him when Nick went broke.
Nikki returned to Brash & Sassy to see how Victoria was doing after their earlier talk. Victoria exclaimed that she was fantastic, since she'd gotten Phyllis alone to set her straight, and it had been fun. Nikki reported that she'd done just as well, since she'd had a talk with Jack about the way he'd been treating Victoria and her company. Nikki pointed out that Phyllis was still in the picture where Billy was concerned, but Victoria confided that going after Phyllis hadn't been the best part of her day -- the best part had been a moment alone with Billy.
Victoria was confident that she'd get Billy back if she was careful and patient, and she was finally starting to feel good about things after all the stress with work and not feeling like herself. Nikki warned Victoria not to get ahead of herself, since Phyllis was still Phyllis. Victoria proclaimed that the day felt like a turning point, and Nikki offered to take her out to dinner to celebrate.
Nikki and Victoria arrived at the Athletic Club, where Nick greeted them. Victoria invited him to join them for dinner, but he warned that he'd just run into Victor in the gym. Nikki winced at the thought of having to see Victor, and she inquired whether Nick had received an unexpected delivery at Chelsea's. Nick realized that Nikki had talked to Victor about having the bedroom set sent over, and he reported that the effort had been successful.
Victoria hoped for a lessening in hostilities over time, but Nick griped that Victor wanted Nick's business dealings to fail to prove that Victor had been right about everything. Victor overheard and declared that he was right but that Nick refused to listen. Victoria suggested that they all sit together for dinner, since their family could at least be civil for the length of a meal. Nick declined, but Victor wasn't opposed to breaking bread. Nikki followed Nick out, and Victor led Victoria to a table.
Victor wished his last meeting with Victoria had been friendlier, and she admitted that she'd overreacted when he'd offered her a loan for Brash & Sassy. He said he was happy that Neil had loaned her the money, and she requested some business advice. Victoria explained that she had to get Brash & Sassy out of its slump, but she had a mountain to climb. Victor advised her to change how people perceived her message, but she lamented about all the bad press that was already out there. He urged her to be proactive by not following her mother and brother's leads and instead putting all the tension behind them.
At Crimson Lights, Nick expressed surprise that Nikki hadn't stayed at the club, but she reasoned that being civil didn't mean she had to socialize with Victor. She recognized that Victor would always be in their lives, but she considered keeping their interaction to a minimum to be the recipe for inner peace. "Namaste the Newman way," she joked.
Nikki told Nick that she'd been in his position, and she guessed that his attempts to make Victor less of a presence in his life hadn't been working. Nikki thought fighting on Victor's terms only made things worse, and Nick realized that doing so meant Victor was still in control. Nikki suggested that Nick be proactive about living his own life.
Phyllis paced in her apartment, and she looked up anxiously when a key turned in the lock. Billy entered, and she assumed that Victoria had told him everything. Phyllis rambled that she'd told Hochman to look up Victoria because she'd thought they'd enjoy one another, but she imagined that Victoria had made an innocent setup date sound like an evil plan. Billy informed her that Victoria hadn't said a word about it.
Billy questioned why Phyllis had connected Victoria with a user like Hochman, and Phyllis swore that she'd just played matchmaker on a whim. Phyllis pointed out that she'd been out of town when things had heated up between Victoria and Hochman, but Billy ranted that Hochman had taken personal advantage of Victoria and that it had blown up on television. Billy contemplated the damage that could have happened if Victoria had accepted Hochman's loan, and he relayed that Victoria thought Phyllis wanted to hurt the company. Phyllis snapped that she didn't "give a damn" what Victoria thought, and Billy remarked that he had considered Victoria to be off base, but he was no longer sure.
Phyllis admitted that she'd screwed up, but she'd hoped that Victoria would find some semblance of a social life. Phyllis explained that once she and Billy had gotten back together, Victoria had been left alone, and Phyllis felt that Billy had overcompensated at work because he hadn't wanted to hurt Victoria. Phyllis pointed out that he'd never told her that Victoria had needed money to keep the company afloat, so she'd had no reason to think Victoria would hit Hochman up for a loan. Phyllis contended that she'd only known that she'd been losing her lover to a needy boss, and she'd wanted Billy back.
Phyllis argued that Victoria was a great businesswoman who shouldn't have let a creep like Hochman get to her. Phyllis conceded that she was guilty of putting Hochman into Victoria's orbit, but she thought Victoria needed to take responsibility for how things had gone public. Billy defended that Victoria was the mother of his children, but Phyllis countered that she was the woman in his life who shared his home, and she thought he should hold his ex accountable for what was going on in hers. Billy acknowledged that Phyllis hadn't meant to mess up and that it hadn't entirely been her fault.
Billy bemoaned that the ongoing war with Jack was beating him up, and he didn't expect it to end anytime soon. He apologized for saying things he shouldn't have, and Phyllis said she was sorry, too. He wished he could promise her that he wouldn't have to spend as much time at work, but he didn't have time to slow down with everything Jack was trying to pull off. Phyllis thought Billy was making it more complicated than it needed to be, since Brash & Sassy had gotten a loan to rebuild the company.
Billy worried that Jack wanted to destroy them, and Phyllis asked if it was about the thing with Fenmore's. She claimed that she'd heard rumblings about Billy and Victoria throwing around accusations about Jabot taking Brash & Sassy off Lauren's shelves, and she wondered why they'd suspected that. Billy fibbed that they'd smelled a rat when reorders had been down, but Phyllis assured him that Lauren had his back. Billy recognized that Lauren wasn't the only one, and he and Phyllis embraced.
Billy asked how they could fix things, and Phyllis wished she could spend as much time with him as Victoria did. She reasoned that Billy was no longer attracted to Victoria and that things were over between them, and that was all that mattered. Billy pulled Phyllis close and swore that he loved only her, and she was surprised by how intense he looked. He flashed back to kissing Victoria at the office, but he insisted that he wanted Phyllis to know how much he loved her. They began to disrobe and make love.
At Jabot, Ashley perused Dina's analysis of Parker Beauty as Dina entered the office. Ashley noted that it contained good information about untapped avenues that they could make part of their marketing strategy, but she cautioned that they had to make sure to guard the information from their competition. Ashley accused Dina of giving the report to someone who didn't work at the company, and she demanded to know why Dina had shared the information with Graham before presenting it to Jack and Ashley.
Ashley mentioned Graham's email, and Dina defended that she'd wanted a trusted confidant's take on things. Ashley lectured that Graham didn't work there, but Dina argued that he'd been a valuable asset to her, both personally and professionally. Ashley thought Dina wouldn't have stood for it if Ashley had shared sensitive Mergeron documents with those outside the company, but Dina thought Ashley should be thanking her for reaping the benefits of Graham's ingenuity for free. Ashley spat that Graham could do irreparable damage to Jabot by sharing the information with the highest bidder, and it was all thanks to Dina.
Dina insisted that Graham would never hurt the company because it would hurt her, and she resented what Ashley was implying about her judgment. Ashley barked that Dina hadn't shown any, and Dina questioned why she was working there if Ashley mistrusted her. Ashley contended that a company excelled or imploded based on keeping secrets, and she demanded to know what other information Dina had let Graham review. Dina scoffed at the idea of Graham planning a clandestine takeover of Jabot, and she admonished Ashley for undermining her. Dina continued that Ashley had her blood, and she'd thought her daughter was smarter than that.
Ashley admitted that she didn't understand Dina's relationship with Graham, but Dina contended that Graham would be trying to get to her inheritance quicker if he was untrustworthy. Dina reiterated that his input made her even more invaluable to Ashley and Jack, and she was sorry that Ashley didn't have a man in her life so that she'd understand how comforting it was not to be alone. Dina called it a night unless Ashley needed to reprimand her for something else. Ravi stepped in and apologized for interrupting, but Ashley stated that she and Dina were done.
After Dina left, Ashley griped to Ravi that her mother hadn't seen anything wrong with sharing company secrets with Graham. Ashley referred to Dina's comment that Graham would speed up the process of getting Dina's fortune if he was untrustworthy, and Ravi incredulously asked if Graham wanted Dina to die. Ashley figured that it would serve Graham's purpose to get Dina's money faster and not to have to worry about her children ever again, but Ravi recalled that nothing criminal had shown up in Graham's background check. Ashley stressed that she'd never trusted Graham, and she vowed to find out where he'd been and who he was after.
In Dina's hotel room, Graham thought he should have been more discreet about sending the email, but Dina assured him that Ashley only thought he'd provided a take on Dina's work. Graham worried that the position at Jabot was a burden to Dina, and he suggested that she tell Jack that it wasn't working out so that Graham and Dina could return to Paris. Dina firmly intended to keep her commitment, and she insisted that the work was no burden at all.
Graham informed Dina that he had to return to Paris to deal with an issue with his apartment in person, and she asked if it could wait. He told her that he had to start packing, and she wished him luck. He promised to make it a quick trip, and he exited. Dina became agitated and poured herself a drink. Her hand shook as she raised the glass to her lips, and she asked herself, "What am I going to do?"
Hilary delivers her special brand of advice>
Victoria and Reed arrived at Brash & Sassy. Victoria teased Reed and asked if he was sure he didn't want her to drop him off at school, cry, and kiss him goodbye. Reed said she could do that if she wanted him to move to Poland. She teased that he hadn't had enough money to get across town when he'd arrived, but she was happy Reed lived with her.
Reed said that he'd signed up for the creative writing class that Victoria had suggested because it would help him with his lyrics. He admitted part of that decision had been because of Mattie. She was a good influence -- yet Victoria wouldn't allow him to see her. Victoria explained that it wasn't about Mattie but was about everything else. She didn't want Reed caught up in an uncomfortable situation.
Reed pointed out that uncomfortable was the norm around there. He pointed out that Victoria worked with her ex whose girlfriend worked upstairs. Reed wanted to see Mattie, but Victoria was stopping him from seeing her because of Cane. Victoria teased that Reed's powerful lyrics would be even more powerful with all the teenage suffering. Her comment upset Reed -- he felt that Victoria saw it as a joke, but it was his life.
At Phyllis' condo, over coffee with Billy, Phyllis commented that the Jabot server had required her to sign in. She found that strange because she hadn't signed out. Billy said that it might be because Jack had been cracking down on Jabot's security.
Billy arrived at Brash & Sassy and greeted Reed. Victoria gave Reed a hug and said she loved him. She gave him the car keys, and Reed left. Billy told Victoria that they needed to talk. Victoria knew he wanted to talk about the kiss. She assured Billy that it wouldn't happen again. Billy said that Phyllis had admitted that she'd pointed Benjamin Hochman in Victoria's direction. Billy asked why Victoria hadn't told him that she'd gone off on Phyllis in the elevator.
Victoria admitted that she wasn't proud that she'd done it, but everything was fine, and Victoria wanted to move forward. She admitted that she should have handled it differently, but Billy said it wasn't Victoria's fault. Victoria changed the subject and told Billy that she'd had dinner with Victor. Victor had advised her that Brash & Sassy needed to change their narrative. People saw Brash & Sassy as embattled and scarred. They needed to show they were resilient and triumphant. They needed to outperform Ashley's Parker Beauty line.
Billy advised Victoria that he wasn't worried because they had "this one." Victoria said she wanted to stop by Fenmore's to make sure that Dare was front and center. Billy said that Phyllis had assured him that Lauren had their back. Victoria wanted to go and see for herself. Billy assured her that their numbers at Fenmore's would go up. Victoria suggested that Jabot's numbers needed to take a dive. Billy said that they had to compare their sales figures and adjust them accordingly, but the problem was that Jabot wouldn't hand over those numbers.
Victoria said they needed to stay ahead of Jabot, but she wouldn't ask Billy to compromise himself. Billy assured her that she'd never asked him to do anything. He said that once Jabot launched their new line, there might be a computer lying around that would allow him to get into Jabot's server and let his fingers do the walking. Then he'd back out slowly. Billy said he wouldn't make a habit of it, but at that point in time, it was necessary.
Alice arrived at the Underground and asked Nick if she'd left her credit card there. Nick told her that Sharon had it. Nick called Sharon. She told him not to let Alice out of his sight -- she was on her way. While they waited for Sharon, Nick said Sharon had mentioned that Alice was in sales. He asked what kind. Alice said that she was in medical sales.
When Sharon arrived, she said that she was very happy to see Alice. While Sharon pretended to look for Alice's credit card in her purse, Sharon asked if Alice was passing through town or if she'd returned just for the card. Alice avoided answering and asked if Sharon could have left the card at home, and she offered to have the card canceled. Sharon said that wasn't necessary and produced Alice's card. Alice thanked Sharon. As Alice walked out, she heard Sharon ask if Nick had looked over the résumés from Josie and Crystal. Alice stopped dead in her tracks.
Sharon asked if Alice was all right. Alice returned and said she'd lost her manners. She thanked Sharon and said she had to leave because she had a long drive back to Madison. Alice told them to take care and left. Sharon asked if Nick had noticed how Alice had frozen at the mention of Crystal's name. Nick said that Alice had had a reasonable explanation. Nick felt that Sharon saw what she wanted to see. Sharon admitted that Scott had said the same thing, but Scott didn't feel she should ignore her instincts.
Sharon said that Crystal was Tessa's sister and that Tessa hadn't said anything because she'd felt people would judge her, which she feared would put Crystal in further danger. Sharon couldn't believe that they'd had Crystal, who'd been safe momentarily, but she'd gotten away. Sharon said they should've done more. Sharon felt they'd failed Crystal, and Sharon refused to fail her again. Sharon admitted that it was only a hunch that Alice had driven the prostitutes away from the police station.
Sharon told Nick that she'd caught Alice in a lie. Alice had said that she lived in Madison, but Alice lived on the edge of town. Scott had been able to get Alice's address from her credit card. Sharon admitted that she and Scott had gone to Alice's neighborhood, and a neighbor had confirmed that Alice lived there and that occasionally, her niece would visit her. Sharon said they both knew that Alice had no family, and the house was too nice for someone who worked for a small company in medical sales. Nick suggested that Alice had made a better life and had been guarded while talking with previous adversaries. Nick didn't think that Alice was making money off prostitutes.
Sharon asked if Nick had noticed that Alice had avoided questions about her current life. Alice always changed the subject, or she'd talk about the past. Nick agreed. Sharon said something was off with Alice. She was certain that Alice was hiding something. Nick said he trusted Sharon's instincts, but he'd need actual proof before he bought into Sharon's theory. He admitted it was worth checking into. Sharon told Nick that Alice would be back soon because Alice's car wouldn't make it very far. Sharon pulled out an awl from her purse.
At the Athletic Club, Hilary saw Juliet at the bar. Hilary commented that Juliet didn't look well. Juliet admitted it was probably from nerves. She was waiting for the genetic results, and she was worried about the future. She told Hilary that the results would be in later that day. Juliet said that Cane was as concerned as she was. Hilary told Juliet to keep things in context -- Cane was concerned about the baby, not Juliet. Juliet spat, "Screw you, Hilary." Hilary said that all she'd meant was that Juliet needed to protect her heart because Hilary had spoken to Cane, and he was all about getting his family back.
Juliet said she saw who Hilary was, and she knew that Hilary had been delighted when Juliet had filed the harassment suit against Cane. Juliet knew that Hilary was worried that Jordan would want to be with Lily, since Lily and Cane had separated. Hilary said she understood why Juliet had lashed out -- she was worried about serious medical issues. Juliet fired back that she might be scared, but she wasn't stupid. Juliet left.
Cane arrived at Lily's with all the ingredients to make waffles for the twins' first day back at school. Cane and Lily reminisced about the twins when they'd first started school and how waffles had become a tradition on their first day of school.
Mattie and Charlie walked into the kitchen and were surprised to see Cane. Cane said he didn't want to break tradition. Lily added that they were still a family. Lily broke the awkward silence by telling Cane that she'd forgotten to send him the twins' schedules. Cane asked the twins about their classes and said that they would both be in college soon. Mattie muttered that they would be if they could afford it. Charlie said he couldn't find his charger, and Lily offered to help him locate it.
Alone with Mattie, Cane said he knew Mattie was still angry that she'd been forbidden to see Reed. Mattie told him to stop and that it didn't change things -- he'd cheated on Lily, and Juliet was still pregnant. Cane said that he was still responsible for the family. He began to put Reed down, which upset Mattie. She got up when Charlie and Lily returned. She and Charlie hugged Lily and left for school. Cane was upset. Lily said that she'd hoped things would've gone better.
Cane had told himself not to have expectations. Lily advised him to keep trying. Cane appreciated Lily's support. Lily told him to let the twins do it on their own terms. Lily asked how his job hunting was going. Cane said nothing had turned up yet. He hated that Lily was the sole provider for the twins. Lily told Cane that things were easier since she was back at Brash & Sassy. She mentioned that she had to leave for a photo shoot shortly. Cane asked if Jordan was there as well. Lily confirmed that he was, and they'd been lucky that another company hadn't snatched Jordan up.
Cane told Lily that he had to meet Juliet at the hospital for the test results. Lily wished him luck and asked him to let her know the results. Cane left.
At the gym, Noah asked if Tessa had been thinking about Crystal. He asked her to tell him what Tessa loved about Crystal and what made her unique. Zack arrived. He stood within hearing distance and heard Tessa tell Noah all about Crystal. Noah saw Zack and asked him how his dating app was doing. Zack said that it had been doing really well, and that was the reason he had time to work out. Zack decided to put some distance between them.
Tessa asked Noah haw Crystal would be able to recover once she was away from the ring. Noah said that Crystal would need time to heal, and then Tessa could give Crystal the life Tessa had always wanted for her sister. He told Tessa not to give up hope. Tessa showed Crystal's picture to Noah. Noah commented that Crystal looked happy, and he assured Tessa that Crystal would be happy again.
Zack received a text from Alice that read "Good news. Rainbow Girl is back and ready to work." Zack responded, "Can't wait to meet. Big plans for her."
Hilary walked into Jack's office and saw Phyllis. Hilary said she was there to see Jack about promoting Parker Beauty on her show. Phyllis said that Jack was out, but Hilary was welcome to wait for him. Phyllis commented that she didn't think Hilary would be promoting Dare on Hilary's show after Victoria had made quite a splash with the Hochman screamfest. Phyllis said that Hilary had done a great job. Hilary said that Victoria was really angry with her. Phyllis advised that she was number one on Victoria's hit list.
Hilary said that that was what happened when one stole someone's man. Phyllis said that Billy had wanted to be with someone who appreciated him and who allowed him to be exactly who he was. Victoria couldn't handle that. Hilary wondered if Phyllis was winning or losing. Phyllis said it was complicated, but she and Billy were fine. She knew that Billy and Victoria had chemistry, but that was to be expected of any couple who had been in love.
Phyllis told Hilary that Billy wanted to be a good soldier. Victoria martyred herself on a daily basis, and Billy didn't see that Victoria had been playing him. Phyllis apologized for talking about her life. Hilary said she liked a person who told it like it was. After Hilary confirmed that their conversation was off the record, she advised Phyllis not to give Victoria an inch. Phyllis confirmed she wouldn't, and she left.
Juliet and Cane were at the hospital, awaiting the test results. Juliet had been pacing. Cane wanted her to relax. He assured Juliet that they would go through everything together, no matter what. Juliet said that all parents prayed that their child would be healthy. Cane agreed.
The doctor arrived and told Cane and Juliet that the test was negative, which meant that the genetic marker hadn't shown up in Cane's test, so the baby would carry the gene but would not develop the disease. The doctor asked if Cane and Juliet wanted to know the sex of the baby. Juliet hesitated, but Cane wanted to know. Juliet agreed. They were told the baby was a boy. Cane looked stunned.
Later Juliet told Cane she was nervous about raising a child. Cane reassured her and told her to be happy that she'd have a healthy baby boy. Juliet began to cry with happiness and relief. She said they would be okay and that she loved their little boy. Cane comforted her while she cried.
Billy and Victoria were in the dining room of the Athletic Club after shopping for Johnny's school supplies. Phyllis arrived, and Victoria apologized for the scene in the elevator. Phyllis accepted her apology. Victoria invited Phyllis to join them. Billy recounted a funny story about Johnny. Phyllis didn't pick up on the humor, and Victoria said that Phyllis had to have been there.
Lily entered the elevator and asked if Hilary was getting off. Lily said she was on her way for a photo shoot with Jordan. She added that Hilary had to be bummed out that Jordan had dumped her -- a great guy like Jordan just wasn't into Hilary. Hilary suggested that Lily should spend less time gloating and more time thinking about what she'd been doing to Cane and the twins. Hilary commented that Lily always claimed she was all about family, but Lily was a hypocrite.
Lily was amazed that Hilary was so transparent because Lily knew that Hilary couldn't stand the thought that Lily and Jordan were friends. Hilary said one had nothing to do with the other. Jordan had been sucked in by Lily's damsel in distress routine, and she was torturing Cane for kicks. Lily said that Hilary was being ridiculous. Hilary admitted that she'd spoken to Cane, and he'd do anything to make things right with Lily, including cutting off his right arm to make Lily happy. However, Lily was running around like she had a brand new boyfriend.
Hilary knew that Jordan had been invited to have dinner with Lily and the twins. Lily claimed that Cane would never say that, especially not to Hilary. Hilary said it was amazing what people would say when they were lonely and neglected. Hilary also said that Lily had done a good job with the twins by inviting a new man into their lives as if their father didn't exist. Lily told Hilary that Jordan was a friend -- a concept that Hilary would never understand.
Hilary stated that transparency went both ways, and she could see through Lily. She said that Lily was keeping Cane on a string while she leaned on her good friend Jordan. Hilary warned that if Lily pushed Cane hard enough, that string would snap, and Juliet would be more than happy to catch Cane. Hilary left.
Alice welcomes Crystal home
At Brash & Sassy, Lily emerged in a sexy evening gown and purred that the campaign was back on and better than ever. She announced that it was the day Dare graduated to extremely daring, and Jordan remarked that he felt the same way, seeing her dressed like that. Jordan declared that he was more than ready for their photo shoot, but Lily became wistful when being back there reminded her of how great it had been to work with Cane. Lily considered how different things would be if Cane had been honest, and Jordan reasoned that even good people told lies to protect the people they cared about.
Lily bemoaned that Cane had kept telling more lies to cover up his untruths, and she wondered when he'd become that kind of person. Lily became tearful and worried that she'd have to redo her makeup. Jordan offered to reschedule, but she pledged to finish the shoot because Billy and Victoria were counting on them. Lily gushed that she was lucky to work with someone who inspired her to do her best, and Jordan echoed the sentiment. She vowed not to let a few tears get in her way.
In the Athletic Club dining room, Hilary approached Cane and asked how things had gone with Juliet and the baby. He reported that the test for cystic fibrosis had been negative, but he suspected that Hilary wasn't there to talk about the baby. Hilary imagined that Juliet had enjoyed bonding with her supportive baby daddy during the crisis, and Cane defended that it had been a serious medical issue. Hilary clucked that going from being a lying cheater to holding Juliet's hand wouldn't get lost on a woman -- especially one with plenty of reasons to leave her marriage.
Hilary mentioned that she'd run into Lily in the Jabot elevator when Lily had been on her way to a photo shoot with Jordan, and she bitterly envisioned what would happen when an unattached artist and his muse took hundreds of sexy photos. Hilary reiterated that both she and Cane would lose if Jordan and Lily ended up together, and she'd done her part by trying to be Jordan's friend, but she stressed that Cane needed to remind Lily how much she stood to lose if they divorced. Cane swore that he would do anything to put his family back together, and he revealed that he'd been at home that morning to make waffles for Lily and the kids.
Hilary thought the family bonding time proved that Lily wanted to forgive Cane, and she guessed that Mattie and Charlie were warming up to him if they'd shared the meal together. Cane thought the twins had just gone through the motions and hadn't been able to wait to bolt, and Hilary advised him not to get distracted because it would just take time. Cane thought he'd made some headway with Charlie, but he regretted the disillusion and hurt that he saw in Mattie's eyes, knowing that he'd caused it. Hilary imagined that it was particularly hard for Mattie to see her hero father having a baby with another woman, but Cane revealed that it was a lot more than that.
Cane recounted that Mattie was furious because he'd told her that she couldn't see Reed after Cane had caught the teens making out. Cane expressed concern that Reed would take advantage of Mattie's emotional state and pressure her into doing something she didn't want to do. Hilary asked what Lily thought about Reed, and Cane indicated that he and Lily were on the same page but that she was the good cop because she hadn't thrown Reed out. Hilary pointedly stated that it would be tough for Lily to tell Mattie that she couldn't have a boyfriend when Lily was spending time with Jordan, and she pressed Cane to focus on winning back Lily and his kids.
At the gym, Jordan offered to spot Cane as he lifted weights, but Cane snapped that neither he nor his family needed help. Cane accused Jordan of taking advantage of a temporary situation, but Jordan defended that he'd just been a friend. Cane grumbled that there was another word for what Jordan was doing, but Jordan argued that he and Lily worked together. Jordan reported that Lily had done even better than usual at the latest photo shoot, and Cane supported her fulfilling her dreams because it was what married people did. Jordan clarified that Cane and Lily were separated, and he contended that it was up to Lily if she wanted to talk to someone with a fresh perspective.
Cane spilled that he knew Jordan had had dinner with Lily and the kids. Jordan wrote it off as a spontaneous invitation from Charlie, and he remarked that Cane had great kids. Cane spat not to tell him how great his wife and kids were and not to get comfortable sitting at his table in his chair, since he and Lily were still married. Cane growled that they were a family and always would be, and he was fiercely protective of them.
At Crimson Lights, Mattie asked if the seat next to Reed was taken, and he pretended to meet her for the first time. She admitted that sneaking around was fun, and she informed him that her cover story was that she'd joined the drama club. He wondered what would happen when she didn't make a grand entrance in the fall play, and she reasoned that she was too shy to act, so she was posing as a dramaturge. Reed's eyes glazed over as she explained what that entailed, and she hoped her parents would zone out the same way when she described it to them. Reed said he was psyched to see her in person, and they admitted that they'd missed one another as they held hands under the table.
Reed declared that he had no problem hiding things from his mom, but he didn't want Mattie to do anything she was uncomfortable with. Mattie groused that both of her parents were being unfair, and she relayed that she'd called Lily a hypocrite for hanging out with a male friend while forbidding Mattie from doing the same thing. Mattie asserted that it was her parents' loss that they hadn't gotten to know Reed, but she refused to let it be hers. Reed mentioned that he'd be playing at the Underground soon, and Mattie suggested that he play just for her sometime. She realized that she should get going to avoid suspicion, and he walked her out. Hilary spotted them as they kissed goodbye.
Reed volunteered to give Mattie a ride, but she didn't think they should risk it, so she planned to take the bus. They hoped see one another soon and kissed again. After Reed departed, Hilary approached Mattie and inquired whether Reed was her boyfriend. Mattie replied that she didn't have one, but Hilary doubted that the teen normally kissed random cute guys. Hilary sympathized that Mattie's parents were trying to control the girl's personal life just because Cane hated Victoria.
Mattie was stunned that Hilary knew about that, and Hilary revealed that Cane had told her everything. Hilary said she could see how much Mattie liked Reed, who seemed like a sweet guy, but she warned Mattie not to cross Victoria. Hilary thought Mattie was smart to keep her romance a secret, but Mattie didn't see how it was any of Hilary's concern. Hilary pointed out that they'd been family once, and she swore that Mattie's secret was safe with her.
At the Ashby home, Lily started to type a text to Jordan to thank him for the photo shoot that day. Charlie greeted her, and she wanted to know everything about his first day of school. He glumly reported that it had felt short without any football practice, and he told her that she didn't have to pretend not to be happy that he hadn't made the team. Lily insisted that she hated seeing him disappointed, and he indicated that he was leaning toward crew. He wondered what his dad would think, and Lily thought Cane would give him good advice. Lily looked down at her text message and contemplated whether to send it.
Lily and Charlie discussed his classes and her first day back at work. She mentioned the hours she and Jordan had spent shooting photos for the new campaign, and Charlie mentioned that he'd gotten his first photo assignment and had some questions for Jordan. Lily suggested that Charlie email him, and she asked if Charlie had seen Mattie that day. Charlie reported that his sister was at a nerdy drama club event, and Lily wondered if Mattie would be in the school play. Charlie indicated that Mattie was doing something research-related, and Lily thought it sounded like Mattie.
Charlie observed that Lily seemed happy and energized after returning to work, and he wondered if his dad would ever find another job. Lily figured that positions were hard to find at Cane's level, and she urged Charlie not to worry about money. Charlie noted that Cane had been acting like being unemployed wasn't a big deal, but it was, and he thought they wouldn't have to force trying to act like a family if Cane had a job and things got back to normal. Lily cautioned Charlie against having unrealistic expectations, since even if his dad found the perfect job, she didn't know if she'd ever be ready for Cane to move back home. Charlie spotted Lily's text message to Jordan.
At the Underground, Nick was aghast that Sharon had taken an ice pick to Alice's tire, and he questioned what she'd gained by stranding Alice and her car. Sharon vowed to figure out if it had been the same car that had been used to bail out prostitutes and if Alice had been the one driving it. Sharon admitted that she had no plan to deal with Alice, but she'd seen a shot with the car, so she'd taken it. Nick commended Sharon for wanting to help Crystal, and he conceded that it was fishy that Alice had lied about still living in Madison.
Sharon informed Nick about Alice's neighbor's statement that Alice had a niece visiting her, but she knew that Alice didn't have any siblings. Nick voiced concern about how Sharon was acting, but she defended that she was following her instincts, just like Scott did when he chased a story. Nick reminded her that she was a mother who had people who counted on her, and he warned her not to get involved in a risky situation. Sharon compared it to what Nick had done to Chloe on the night before her wedding, and she wondered if he still had the tracking device that he'd used to follow Chloe. Alice returned and revealed that she had a flat tire, and Nick feigned surprise.
Alice complained that the auto club would take an hour to get there, and she asked if Nick and Sharon minded if she waited at the bar. Nick told Alice that he'd change the tire for her, and she called him a lifesaver for saving her from being late to a meeting. He headed to his office to supposedly grab his phone, and Sharon offered Alice some coffee. Alice suggested something stronger to calm her nerves, and she ordered vodka on the rocks. Alice sat down in a booth to call the auto club to cancel, and Sharon covertly snapped photos of Alice on her phone.
Alice exclaimed that Sharon and Nick had turned it into her lucky day. Sharon asked whether Alice covered a certain territory for her sales job, since Alice was a long way away from her home in Madison. Alice claimed that her company was trying to expand by having her call on doctors and hospitals, and Sharon marveled that it was a lot of responsibility. Alice said she'd realized that she'd had to clean up her act and be the sort of person who could raise a child, even though she'd never be allowed to adopt again. Alice added that her job was very satisfying, since people had stories and needs, and she did a small part to help them out.
Outside, Nick prepared to change Alice's tire. He activated the tracking device and planted it inside the wheel well of her car. Nick returned to the bar and announced that Alice was good to go, and he insisted that the tire change and the drink were on the house. Alice acknowledged that it had been awkward to run into Nick and Sharon again, but she felt relieved to know that they'd put the past behind them. Alice became emotional as she confided that she thought about Cassie all the time and that she dreamed about Cassie telling her the right things to do. Alice headed out, and Nick informed Sharon that he'd placed the tracker on Alice's car. He pulled out his phone to see if the tracker still worked, and they saw a marker pop up with Alice's location.
At the gym, Mariah spotted Tessa working out and complimented her good yoga form. Tessa replied that Mariah looked hot, and Mariah groaned that she was sweaty and exhausted after 15 minutes of being ordered around by a sadist. Mariah spied Tessa's journal, and Tessa mentioned that she'd written some lyrics about her sister. Tessa granted permission for Mariah to read them, and Mariah considered them to be amazing. Tessa recounted that they'd poured out after she'd had a great talk with Noah, who had been the first person who had asked what Crystal was like as a person instead of thinking of her as a trashy victim.
Tessa observed that Mariah looked queasy, and Mariah confessed that she felt like she'd been incredibly insensitive after realizing how close Tessa was to her sister. Mariah hated for Tessa to think that Mariah didn't care enough to see Crystal as a real person, and she thought she'd been a terrible friend. Mariah explained that it had seemed like Tessa hadn't wanted to talk about her life, so Mariah had never pressed to know more about her, in an effort to respect her privacy. Tessa swore that she hadn't meant to slam Mariah or to make her feel bad, since everything good in her life was because of Mariah.
Tessa admitted that she hadn't wanted to talk to anyone about Crystal because she hadn't thought she could, but she'd felt better after talking to Noah. Tessa considered it to be another gift from Mariah for telling her what a goodhearted guy Noah was and urging her to trust him. Mariah stammered that she was glad Tessa had someone like that in her life, and she excused herself to take a quick shower. Sharon called Tessa and asked to meet at Crimson Lights right away.
At Crimson Lights, Nick and Sharon showed Mariah and Tessa the tracking app on his phone. Mariah couldn't believe that the trashy woman who'd adopted Cassie had ended up back in their lives, and Tessa inquired whether Alice might be the den mother who had Crystal. Sharon replied that she thought so, but Nick pointed out that they knew nothing for certain. Sharon huffed that Alice's fancy clothes weren't fooling anyone, since Alice was the same woman who was capable of exploiting young girls. Nick's phone beeped, and he reported that Alice had stopped driving but that she hadn't gone to a hospital -- she was near an upscale residential area.
Nick figured that Alice hadn't owed them any details about her sales job and that she could have stopped by to see a friend, but Tessa wanted to confront her. Nick argued that they had nothing concrete to go on, but Tessa pointed out that Alice had lied about living in Madison. Mariah suspected that Alice was hiding more than her address, but she imagined that Nick and Sharon were the last people Alice would tip off, given their history.
Nick worried about rushing in with no proof, and he suggested that they watch Alice's every move and notify the police once they knew something. Mariah wondered what would happen if they turned up empty, and Nick figured that they'd have to accept the fact that they'd invaded an innocent woman's privacy. Sharon couldn't shake the feeling that Alice was involved somehow, and she vowed to find out one way or another.
Meanwhile, Alice gently lectured that Crystal had been sent away because she'd made a mistake, but Crystal could have a do-over if she behaved. Alice said she wanted to keep taking care of Crystal and being good to her, but she needed Crystal to promise to be good in return. Crystal promised that she would, and she cried that she was glad to be back there with Alice and that she didn't want to go away again. Alice stressed that she didn't want that, either, since they had all missed Crystal and were glad she was back. Alice welcomed Crystal home.
Crystal apologized for the trouble she'd caused, and she swore that she'd never do it again. She thanked God that she was back with Alice, who was the nicest person she knew. Alice said it had just about killed her when Crystal had been taken away, since she considered Crystal and the other girls to be family. Alice informed Crystal that she had good news, since the boss had seen Crystal's photo and considered her to be something special. Alice added that he couldn't wait to meet Crystal, and it could be the beginning of something big for both of them. Alice and Crystal embraced.
Mariah and Tessa go after Alice
Abby looked dismayed when she spotted Scott working out at the Athletic Club gym. She snapped that she was there to get away from the office and from him, and she asked if he could return later. He briefly pretended to agree before he firmly replied no. Scott inquired whether Abby was that rude to everyone she worked with or if he was a special case, and he taunted that someone who'd invested in a dating app should know that people had to be nice to attract others.
Abby offered to give Scott a discount on a subscription to the app, since she wouldn't wish Sharon on anyone -- even him. Scott protested, but Abby contended that he hadn't been around to witness the pain and heartache that Sharon had caused the Newmans. Scott argued that people were capable of changing, and he questioned whether Abby would always want to be defined as the Naked Heiress. She anxiously checked her phone, and he guessed that Zack had blown her off.
Abby defended that Zack had created a unique concept and had worked hard for his success. Scott imagined that such a paragon of virtue couldn't afford to make her mad, or he would risk not being invited to dine at "the big house" again. Scott revealed that Victor had told him about the dinner, and he figured that she had to get dates somehow. Abby huffed that she'd turned down plenty of dates, and Scott teased that it shouldn't bother her that Zack had turned her down that night. Abby seethed.
Across the gym, Hilary saw Devon furiously lifting weights, and she asked if he wanted to talk about it. He replied that it had been a rough day, and she pressed to know if he'd had business problems. He conceded that there were a lot of headaches, but he enjoyed the music side of it. Hilary applauded him for following his passion, and she inquired whether Mattie was still interning at Hamilton-Winters. Devon reported that the teen was back at school, and Hilary mused that kids were one complication that she and Devon had avoided.
Hilary thought that Devon would have been a great dad, but she had doubts about her own parenting skills. Devon believed that she would have risen to the occasion to be a good mom, and she hoped she had the chance one day. Devon noted that she wasn't in the best of places, and he pointed out that she hadn't mentioned her breakup with Jordan when they'd last spoken. Hilary told Devon not to feel sorry for her, since the person he should be worried about was Lily. Hilary claimed that she'd gotten a glimpse of the opportunist that Jordan really was, and she thought Lily was susceptible.
Hilary indicated that Jordan had had dinner with Lily and the kids at least once and that Jordan hadn't wasted any time after Lily and Cane had separated, and she thought it was the last thing the Ashby family needed. Devon spotted Jordan across the gym and angrily confronted him, but Jordan had no idea why Devon was incensed. Devon growled that Jordan had moved in on his ex before the ink had been dry on their divorce papers, and he ordered Jordan not to act like he hadn't hurt Hilary. Jordan gave Devon credit for making his marriage last as long as it had, but Devon accused him of dropping Hilary once Lily started having problems with her marriage.
Devon thought Lily was too trusting and that she wasn't in a position to make good decisions, and he suspected that Jordan was making advances on her. Jordan stated that he'd be supportive if Lily wanted to be with Cane, since it was what friends did for one another. Jordan asserted that he and Lily had known one another for a long time, and he refused to apologize for being someone she could trust. He added that if it developed into something more, there was nothing Devon or Cane could do about it.
Later, Devon joined Hilary in the club dining room and confirmed that she'd been right about Jordan. Devon said he was sorry about the way Jordan had treated her and that he'd wanted to knock Jordan out. Hilary swore that it wasn't worth it, but Devon was livid that Jordan was hitting on Lily while she was married. Devon added that Jordan had no conscience, Hilary pointed out that it wouldn't matter unless someone made Lily see it.
At the Ashby home, Lily was surprised when she opened the door to Cane, who'd decided to ring the bell instead of using his key. She assumed that he was there to talk about the kids' first day of school, but he informed her that it wasn't the only reason. Cane congratulated Lily on her first day back at Brash & Sassy, and he mentioned that he'd heard she'd looked exceptionally beautiful for the photo shoot. He added that he'd seen Jordan at the gym, and he inquired how it had been to be back in front of the camera.
Lily admitted that it had been strange not having Cane there and that it had made her think about the time they'd spent together and the plans they'd made. Cane said he missed waking up with her and going to work together, and he'd never felt like it had been too much closeness. He hoped Victoria hadn't been taking out her anger on Lily, since he'd been the bad guy, but Lily swore that she didn't see him that way. Lily explained that she hated the lies and what had happened, but she knew that he was a good man deep down. Cane vowed to take responsibility and make things right, and he announced that the results of genetic test had been negative.
Lily was sure that Juliet had been relieved, and Cane commented that "he" wasn't going to have the disease. Lily realized that Cane was going to have a boy, and she awkwardly congratulated him. Cane insisted that Lily and the twins were his family, and he asked where the kids were. She reported that Charlie was in his room and that Mattie was doing drama club, and she hoped their daughter didn't overload herself. Cane thought that Mattie had proven that she could keep up once she'd gotten her priorities straight, and Lily surmised that he was referring to Reed.
Mattie arrived home and was abrasive when Cane tried to hug her. He suggested that they have a private dinner like the one he'd shared with Charlie the other night, but Mattie refused to pretend everything was normal after Cane had forbidden her from seeing her own friends. Cane insisted that it had been for her own good, and Mattie reluctantly agreed to have dinner with him. Mattie went to her room, and Cane hoped that Mattie would get over her infatuation with Reed once she was immersed back in school. Mattie eavesdropped as Cane huffed that Reed wasn't the sort of guy that Cane wanted dating his daughter.
At an upscale home, Zack remarked to Alice that their hot new talent, "Rainbow Girl," had been causing trouble. Alice reported that Crystal's attitude had been much better, but he wanted to be the judge. Alice summoned Crystal, who stepped into the room, and Zack noted that Crystal had a lot of people who were concerned about her. Zack requested to talk to Crystal alone, and Alice exited. Zack implored Crystal to sit close to him, and she reported that Alice had been great and that she was happy there. Zack expressed his disappointment with how she had shown her gratitude.
Crystal apologized for running away and swore that she'd never do it again, but Zack ominously stated that he was good at reading people and knew when they were being honest. He hoped he could trust her, and Crystal insisted that she hadn't meant to worry him or Alice, but she'd needed to see someone. Zack guessed that it had been her sister, and she was shocked that he knew. He reiterated that he knew when people were telling the truth, and he claimed that he wanted to help her.
Crystal was stunned to learn that Zack knew Tessa, and he explained that Tessa had told him that she'd spoken to Crystal. Zack said Tessa was trying to turn things around for herself, and he implied that Crystal would ruin everything. He threatened that he wouldn't know how to help Crystal avoid the consequences if she tried to contact Tessa or anyone else again. Alice returned and asked if everything was all right, and Zack instructed Crystal to go back to her room. Zack ordered Alice to get Crystal out of the house, but Alice protested that Crystal had just gotten back. He told her not to ask questions, and he demanded that Crystal be gone that night.
At the Athletic Club bar, Abby glared at her phone. Zack rushed in and apologized for being late, but she didn't respond. He swore that it had been important but that there was no place he'd rather be than with her. She asked to see his hands, and he held them out. She dryly observed that his thumbs didn't look broken, and she demanded to know why he hadn't been able to take a few seconds to send her a text message. Zack swore that he hadn't meant to hurt Abby, but she barked that she'd tried to reach him repeatedly and had heard nothing.
Abby ranted that she didn't ask for much other than respect and consideration, but Zack had made her wait and wonder. He acknowledged that she was right, and she signed the check and stormed off. He yelled at her not to walk away from him. Zack asked for a chance to explain, since he cared about her. Abby spat that he had a "hell of a way" of showing it, and she walked out. He followed her.
At the Underground, Sharon observed from the tracking app that Alice had been at the same place for a while, and she expressed gratitude for Nick's help. Nick understood that seeing Alice after that many years had stirred up feelings, and he was committed to supporting Sharon any way he could. Nick guessed that Alice was in for the night, and Sharon prepared to go investigate for herself. Nick refused to let her do it.
Sharon swore that she'd be discreet, but Nick warned that the houses in that neighborhood had security systems, so she might get caught. Sharon promised not to do anything stupid, but Nick continued to doubt that Alice was involved in a sex trafficking ring. Sharon maintained that she trusted her instincts, and she referred to something Scott had said. Nick snapped that Scott might be willing to put her life in jeopardy, but Nick wasn't.
Sharon marveled that a year earlier, she hadn't been sure whether Nick would ever speak to her again. He commended her for turning her life around, but she hardly found running a coffee shop and taking college courses inspiring. Nick thought she'd taught their kids by example that they could overcome anything life threw at them. Sharon bemoaned that seeing Alice had dredged up terrible memories of losing Cassie and how it had destroyed their marriage, but Nick noted that they'd worked through the rough patches. He added that he admired Sharon for working at the crisis hotline to give something back, and it made him want to help, too.
Nick was adamant that Sharon not charge over to Alice's location, since he couldn't handle it if anything happened to Sharon. Sharon promised that she wouldn't, and they hugged. Chelsea walked in, and Nick explained that he'd lost track of time while helping Sharon with something. After Sharon departed, Nick apologized for leaving Chelsea at home to deal with things alone, but she was glad to have had extra time with Connor. Nick realized that the day marked one year since Adam's death, and he understood that the painful memories could be blindsiding. Chelsea wondered if it compared to what Sharon was dealing with.
Nick revealed that someone from a difficult, complicated time in Sharon's life had suddenly shown up, but Chelsea sensed that it hadn't only affected Sharon. Nick told Chelsea about how Alice had all but abandoned Cassie, and he explained that seeing Alice had churned up feelings that he'd thought he'd dealt with. He became emotional as he recalled watching Cassie slip away and later having his marriage to Sharon fall apart. He admitted that it had been his fault for shutting Sharon out instead of sharing the grief, and it had affected him to see Alice again, even though she'd looked different.
Chelsea inquired whether Alice was still the same woman, and Nick reported that if Sharon was right, then Alice was much worse. Nick told Chelsea about Sharon's suspicions, and Chelsea thought that Sharon was letting her emotions get the best of her. Nick realized that he couldn't ignore the feeling Sharon had, and Chelsea claimed that she understood.
At Crimson Lights, Tessa angrily questioned what kind of woman would run a sex trafficking ring and hold Crystal against her will. Mariah thought she had no right to criticize Alice when she'd gone along with Victor's plan to pretend to be Cassie's ghost, but Tessa reasoned that Mariah hadn't known at the time that Sharon was her mom or that Cassie had been her sister. Mariah recounted that she and Cassie hadn't known the other existed, and each of them had dealt with their own "hell" alone, but they'd both made their way back to Sharon. Tessa said she was sorry that Mariah had never gotten to know her sister, and Mariah sadly replied, "Yeah, me, too."
Mariah recognized that she had a lot to be grateful for, but she couldn't help but think what it would have been like to have Cassie in her life. Mariah asked what it had been like for Tessa and Crystal, and Tessa replied that they'd been close because they'd had to be. Tessa revealed that both she and Crystal had been born in a bad part of Chicago with gangs and drugs, and their dad had been a low-level dealer. Tessa continued that their mom had gotten hooked and would disappear for days or weeks at a time, so Tessa had looked after Crystal from the second she'd been born, including telling her little sister when to shut her mouth and hide whenever their dad would go after their mom or Tessa.
Tessa recounted that the guys who had gone in and out of their place for drugs had started looking at her differently, and she'd had to leave when it had gotten to the point where she hadn't been able to count on her dad or anyone else to protect her. Tessa tearfully remembered that she'd promised to get Crystal out once she got set up elsewhere. Mariah vowed that they would find Crystal.
Sharon arrived at the coffeehouse and informed Tessa and Mariah that Nick had set up the app so that Sharon could track Alice, too. Sharon reported that Alice was still at the same house, and she planned to track Alice's whereabouts but not do anything risky that might tip Alice off. Mariah asked to examine Sharon's phone to see how the app worked, and Tessa inquired whether Sharon thought Alice might be the nice woman who supposedly looked after the prostitutes. Sharon replied that it had been many years since she'd thought about Alice, and she had no idea how desperate Alice had been for money.
Mariah asked if Sharon had a photo of Alice, and Sharon pulled up the photo that she'd taken at the Underground. Sharon crossed the room when Scott entered the coffeehouse, and Tessa told Mariah that she didn't want to wait. Mariah whispered that she'd memorized the address and that she knew what Alice looked like, and they headed out.
Scott was amazed to hear that Sharon had punched a hole in Alice's tire, but Sharon enthused that it had paid off because Nick had slapped a tracker on Alice's car. Sharon reported that Alice was in an upscale neighborhood near the one where she and Scott had tried to find Alice earlier, and Scott speculated that it could be a safe house. Scott wanted to check it out, but Sharon informed him that she'd promised Nick she wouldn't because it might be dangerous. Scott argued that it was why they were trying to break up the ring.
Sharon told Scott that Nick had made her realize that she'd been so caught up in helping Crystal that she'd forgotten about the people who needed her most, and it would be irresponsible for her to take such a risk. Scott conceded that he usually operated on his own, but he'd never want to put her in danger. Sharon thought that tracking Alice was the right way to handle it.
Meanwhile, Mariah and Tessa tracked down Alice's car, and Tessa was taken aback by the fancy neighborhood. Mariah worried that Sharon would kill them if she knew they were there, but Tessa insisted on getting a look inside. Tessa planned to go up to the door and make up a story, but Mariah didn't want her to go alone. Tessa pointed out that Mariah was the identical twin of the kid Alice had adopted, so Mariah couldn't risk being recognized. Tessa jumped out of the car over Mariah's protests.