While playing cards with Summer in a room at the Martin mansion, Dario reminded her that she had recently told him she was going to move back to Los Angeles. Summer said she had since changed her mind. Dario conceded that there were certain benefits to living in Salem. He disapprovingly added, however, that Summer had given up one of those benefits: the rent-free accommodations of Victor and Maggie's townhouse.
Summer explained that she had moved out of the townhouse because she had gotten sick of living with Victor. "I might have maybe been able to put up with him if he were still a billionaire," Summer mused with a sigh, prompting Dario to agree that she had always been really tolerant of extremely wealthy people. Ignoring the dig, Summer admitted that she felt bad about her decision to move out because it had upset Maggie, who had fretted that she didn't want to lose Summer all over again.
"I'm not buying your bluff," Dario told Summer as he poured her a fresh shot of tequila. Dario guessed that Summer was finding it hard to leave Salem because of Brady, not Maggie, but Summer denied the suspicion and lobbed a similar accusation at Dario, suggesting that he had fallen hard for Nicole. Dario was only willing to admit that he cared about Nicole, but he got a bit testy when Summer implied that Nicole was hung up on Deimos.
Groaning, Summer realized that she and Dario were just like the "losers" they had once sought as marks. Summer mused that it was lonely to wait around for something that was never going to happen, and Dario eventually agreed. As he caressed Summer's cheek and urged her not to be sad, Dario hesitantly pointed out that there was an alternative to pining after Brady and Nicole.
"We would hate ourselves afterwards," Summer predicted. "We hate ourselves now," Dario countered, but he conceded that it would probably be best for him and Summer to keep things strictly platonic, as they had agreed after their last attempt to turn their friendship into something more. Moments later, however, they tossed their cards aside and began kissing.
After having sex, Dario and Summer each expressed regrets about what they had just done, but unlike Dario, Summer's regret wasn't that they hadn't done it sooner. Dario reluctantly agreed to leave, but before stepping into the bathroom to take a shower, he stressed that he cared about Summer and hated seeing her holed up in a hotel room, dreaming of a life she knew she could never have. Dario reminded Summer that the golden rule of a con game was to bow out the moment things started going south. "This con's gone south," Dario declared.
Later, Summer went to the town square to get some air, and while she was there, she ran into Brady, who had decided to take a fussy Tate for a walk so Theresa could get some work done. Summer spontaneously admitted that she had fallen "crazy, madly, insanely" in love with Brady, despite knowing he would never feel the same way about her.
Brady found Summer's honesty touching, and he admitted that he felt a connection to her, too. "I mean, maybe in another life, another time, another set of circumstances..." Brady started to add, but Summer conceded that even if he were single, he would still be out of her league because she was a bipolar con artist who drank too much and had no idea what she wanted out of life. Chuckling, Brady admitted that he had once been attracted to exactly that kind of woman. Brady predicted that Summer would eventually find what she was looking for, just as he had.
At the park, Kate watched as Deimos and Nicole kissed. "Make love to me, Nicole. Make love to me right now," Deimos begged Nicole, who refused, insisting that she wasn't willing to be his mistress. Deimos presented Nicole with the diamond ring he had once planned to give to Helena, declaring it a symbol of his commitment. Deimos stressed that the item was far too important to give to Kate, who would be getting a meaningless ring because their marriage was going to be nothing more than an alliance to him -- one he was only interested in forming for the sake of power and standing in the community.
Deimos tried to slip the ring on Nicole's finger, but she pulled her hand away. "I want you as much as you want me, and I am ready to give myself to you, but not here, in the dark, like some dirty little secret. And I want a real ring, not someone else's," Nicole insisted, taking the ring and stuffing it back in Deimos' jacket pocket.
Warning that he wasn't going to give Nicole another chance to prove that she wasn't playing games with him, Deimos kissed her again, and Kate quickly began recording the scene on her cell phone. Deimos removed his jacket and started to unbutton his shirt, but Nicole soon pulled away again, repeating her earlier concerns. Arguing that Nicole wasn't the kind of person who would let a marriage certificate stand in the way of anything she truly wanted, Deimos guessed that she was still considering helping Victor get revenge for what had happened to Maggie.
"I will not let him take away another woman I love!" Deimos spat, grabbing Nicole's head with both hands. As she struggled to free herself, Deimos tightened his grip, wondering if her endgame had been to marry then kill him -- perhaps with a push down the same flight of stairs Maggie had tumbled down -- and share the inheritance with Victor. "What are you gonna do [now] that your plan has gone south? Tell me, Nicole. You might want to watch your back, 'cause my brother might just push you off a cliff. Or, who knows, maybe throw you in the river. Tell you what -- maybe I should save my brother the trouble," Deimos mused as he led Nicole toward the nearby rapids.
Nicole shoved Deimos to the ground, and when he stood and reached for her hand, she angrily warned him not to touch her. Deimos told Nicole he would have shown her passionate, raw, honest love, as opposed to the simplistic, surface-level "crap" she'd had with Daniel. Nicole stressed that she had truly loved Daniel, but Deimos expressed skepticism, predicting that she would have grown bored within six months of marrying Daniel.
"You settled. You became the woman everyone thought you should be. You've been living a lie, and you're still living it. And for what? What, for Maggie? For Victor? Would hurting me help her walk again? Help him become a better man? Oh, please! Either way, Nicole, you lose," Deimos added before turning away from Nicole, who considered responding but eventually walked away in silence.
Kate, who had stopped recording after Nicole had shoved Deimos to the ground but had stuck around to watch the rest of the show, revealed herself and wondered if Deimos was going to try to pawn Helena's ring off on her next, since Nicole had rejected it. Deimos unapologetically reminded Kate that their relationship had always been about power and control, not love. Kate clarified that, for her, it had actually been about all three things. "I wanted love, the same way you wanted Nicole to love you. But love makes fools of us all. And I'll keep looking for my king, and you'll keep looking for Helena, and we're both doomed to fail," Kate mused.
"Then I guess we really do deserve each other, don't we?" Deimos countered, and he proceeded to suggest that he and Kate could move forward with their plan to elope to Las Vegas -- a flashy, sexy, superficial place that, at its heart, was all about money, meaning she would probably feel right at home there. "Go to hell!" Kate shouted as she shoved Deimos, who fell backward and hit his head on a tree then stumbled into the river.
Kate quickly lost sight of Deimos, who didn't respond when she called out to him. The side of the tree was stained with his blood, and his jacket was still on the ground, along with an earring Nicole had lost in her earlier struggle with him. After retrieving the diamond ring from Deimos' jacket and slipping it on her finger, Kate contacted Roman and told him she had just witnessed a crime.
Nicole met with Dario in the town square and regretfully informed him that she had blown her chance to make Deimos pay for what he had done to Maggie. "And you want to know what's killing me? Before I gave a damn about anyone but myself, I would have made it happen, [but] now, I don't know, it's like I lost my mojo; I'm not the same person," Nicole mused.
Dario wondered if that was a bad thing, and Nicole tearfully admitted that she wasn't sure because although she wasn't interested in sympathy and would prefer to project the appearance of a strong, tough person, the truth was that she spent most of her waking hours longing for someone who would never return to her. "Crying over someone you loved that much -- that's not weakness; that's life," Dario reasoned.
Nodding, Nicole thanked Dario for putting things into perspective for her. Nicole admitted that trying to seduce Deimos had made her feel cheap, and she guessed that Daniel wouldn't have wanted that, since he was the person who had taught her how to truly respect herself for the first time in her whole life. Dario agreed and advised Nicole to forget about her scheme and start living the life she wanted to live.
While waiting for Roman to meet her in the park, Kate silently rehearsed what she planned to say to him. When he arrived, she summoned tears and informed him, "I just saw a murder. Nicole Walker and Deimos Kiriakis -- they were fighting; they were having a lovers' quarrel. She pushed him! She pushed him into the river!"
In the DiMera living room, Ciara looked in on Chad as he slept on the couch. Ciara whispered, "You deserve so much better." After Ciara left to check on Thomas, Chad woke up as he heard Ciara's voice through the baby monitor. Ciara told Thomas that he would be a lucky boy to grow up like his father. Tired, Chad smiled sadly. When Ciara returned to the living room with a tray of food, Chad was awake and staring at the baby monitor.
While Chad ate his sandwich, he asked Ciara why she had left the house earlier. Ciara admitted that she had gone to the hospital to check on Chase. Ciara noted that she had felt safer when she had seen how pathetic Chase had looked in his hospital bed. When Ciara wondered aloud if she was a horrible person for enjoying Chase's misery, Chad told her that she was a wonderful person. Ciara offered to talk to Abigail for Chad, but Chad was unsure. Ciara reminded Chad that she and Abigail had bonded over their mutual PTSD from their kidnappings and that she would be able to assess Abigail's situation for Chad. Chad nodded yes.
At the Hernandez house, Adrianna cooked dinner for Dario and Rafe. Rafe was working on a case, and Adrianna called him "whipped." Changing the subject, Adrianna informed Rafe that someone would be staying with them. When Dario pushed for details, Adrianna said her friend Blanca from the clinic in Mexico would be visiting. Dario promised Rafe that he would move out as soon as he secured employment then he left.
After helping prepare the guest room for Blanca, Rafe apologized to his mother for his attitude earlier. Rafe gently asked Adrianna to stay out of his relationship with Hope. With a nod, Adrianna said she needed to run errands. Rafe assured Adrianna that he would be at the house to greet his mother's friend. While Rafe worked at the table, there was a knock at the door. Rafe opened the door and found a beautiful woman on the doorstep. With a smile, Blanca introduced herself to Rafe.
At the police station, Aiden handed the paperwork for Chase's plea change over to Justin. Aiden stressed that Chase's best option for rehabilitation was a mental facility rather than prison. When Justin raised a suspicious eyebrow, Aiden encouraged Justin to talk to Hope.
Hope went out to the Horton cabin on the island to do some thinking. While she relaxed, her phone rang with a call from Aiden. Hope reluctantly answered the phone. Aiden asked Hope to meet him in person, but she declined, citing that she was out of town. With a sigh, Aiden informed Hope that he had filed the paperwork to change Chase's plea. Hope warned Aiden to make sure that Chase would not be released for a long time. As they wrapped up their conversation, Aiden told Hope that he loved her. Hope hung up the phone mumbling, "Okay."
Hope unpacked a bag of groceries, but she stopped in her tracks as she noticed the photos around the cabin. Smiling, Hope kissed a photo of her and Bo. Hope grabbed a pad of paper and started a pros and cons list. Shoving the paper away, Hope curled up on the couch to sleep. Bo appeared in the room. Bo offered to help Hope "figure things out."
A messenger dropped off an envelope for Justin at the police station. Justin returned to his office to open the envelope in private. When Justin ripped open the envelope, he found a copy of a mug shot and a typed letter from Deimos asking Justin to destroy all evidence against the man in the photo. After retrieving the box of evidence from storage, Justin donned a pair of latex gloves and reviewed the contents of the box.
Roman escorted Kate into the precinct to discuss what she had witnessed in the park with Deimos and Nicole. Kate told Roman that Nicole had attacked Deimos, and he had fallen into the river. Curious, Roman escorted Kate into the interrogation room and informed her that search and rescue had not found Deimos' body in the river. Frustrated, Kate swore she had seen Nicole push Deimos into the river. Roman was suspicious. Frustrated, Kate showed Roman the video she had recorded of Nicole and Deimos fighting.
With a smile on his face, Roman asked Kate if that was the only evidence she had for the murder. Mustering crocodile tears, Kate said that after she had stopped recording the video, she had seen Nicole bang Deimos' head into a tree. With a shrug, Roman said it sounded like an accident. Kate argued that while Deimos had struggled to get up, Nicole had pushed him into the river.
"I'm telling you, she meant to kill him," Kate said as she wiped away tears. Roman asked Kate why she had not broken up the fight. Kate said the fight had happened too quickly. When Roman asked Kate why she had been there in the park, Kate admitted that she had followed Deimos out of jealousy. Kate said she had believed that her husband had been cheating on her. Kate flashed the ring she had fished out of Deimos' pocket. Kate announced that she had married Deimos the day before.
With a smirk, Roman said he had not realized that Kate's relationship with Deimos had turned serious. Kate sniffled and commented that her relationship had not been too serious if Deimos had secured a mistress. Roman argued that Kate had a motive to murder Deimos. Glaring, Kate growled that she had loved Deimos. Kate said Nicole had been desperate. With a grin, Roman promised to get to the bottom of what had happened to Deimos.
At the Kiriakis condo, Nicole reported to Victor that she had failed to seduce Deimos. Nicole was furious that Deimos would not pay for his crimes against Maggie. Victor growled that he wanted revenge. Angry, Victor called Nicole his plan B and argued that he did not need her to take down Deimos. Insulted, Nicole yelled that she had wanted to help Maggie, not Victor. Maggie wheeled into the living room and demanded to know if Nicole and Victor were arguing about Deimos.
Nicole explained that she had attempted to make Deimos answer for what he had done. Shaking her head, Maggie said she did not want anyone else to get hurt. Maggie said that Daniel would not want Nicole to fight Deimos, but Nicole countered that Daniel would want her to watch over his mother. With a nod, Nicole left. Maggie reminded Victor that he had promised not to lie to her anymore. Victor said he intended to destroy Deimos. Upset, Maggie drove her wheelchair out of the living room.
Justin called Victor and told him about Deimos' request to free a felon from custody. Victor told Justin to get the job done. With a sigh, Justin removed evidence from the box and placed it in his briefcase. When Justin arrived at Deimos' house to hand over the evidence, he was surprised to find Roman and the police examining the contents of the house. Assuming that Justin had heard about the situation, Roman told him that they had not found Deimos' body yet. Justin was confused. Roman told Justin that Nicole was the murder suspect.
After Roman told Justin about the details of the case, Justin was suspicious. Roman said he was not sure that Kate's information was trustworthy, even though the video of Nicole and Deimos had been ugly. As Justin turned to leave, Roman asked him who had told him about Deimos' disappearance. Justin said he did not want to name his source then he left.
At the Edge of the Square bar, Nicole drank a martini and talked to Dario. Dario urged Nicole not to beat herself up for screwing up her plan to seduce Deimos. With a sigh, Dario said he was relieved that Nicole had not met the same end that Helena had met thirty years earlier. Nicole said she was pleased that she would no longer have to worry about Deimos. Dario asked Nicole to talk to him if Deimos bothered her anymore. Dario kissed Nicole's cheek and left.
As Nicole brooded over her drink, Roman walked in with a police officer. When Nicole asked what was wrong, Roman asked her to accompany him to the police station. Nicole asked why. Roman explained that there was an eyewitness to Deimos' murder and that the witness had fingered Nicole as the murderer.
In the park, Kate thought about her fight with Deimos, leading up to him falling into the river. Kate called Aiden and asked for help with a legal matter. Aiden was at the hospital to check on his son, but Kate insisted that she would not take no for an answer. Aiden met up with Kate in the park. Kate explained that she needed help with an illegal situation. Shaking his head, Aiden said no. As Aiden turned to leave, Kate offered him $250,000 for his help, stopping him in his tracks.
Kate told Aiden that she had been scheduled to fly to Vegas to marry Deimos Kiriakis but that Nicole had killed him first. Kate asked Aiden to help her forge the marriage certificate proving that she had married Deimos before his death.
Justin made a beeline for Victor's condo to tell him the news about Deimos. When Justin arrived, Maggie chimed in to say that she did not approve of Victor and Justin's efforts to take down Deimos. Justin told Victor that he had followed Deimos' instructions but regretted his decision. When Victor asked why, Justin told him that the police were investigating the alleged murder of Deimos. Justin said that Nicole was the suspect. Shaking his head, Victor told Justin that Nicole had been in his living room earlier in the evening.
"She said that Deimos had her dead to rights, and she was going to walk away. If she had killed my brother, I think I would have sensed something was amiss," Victor said. Justin explained that Kate had allegedly seen Nicole push Deimos into the river. With a shrug, Victor said he hoped that no one would find Deimos. With a raised eyebrow, Maggie asked Victor if he was conflicted about the death of his brother. Victor said no.
At the Horton cabin, Hope looked up from the couch and found a grinning Bo looking down at her. "The great part about being on this side is -- I can come help you out whenever you need it." Kissing Hope on the head, Bo acknowledged that he knew what had happened with her. Clasping his face in both her hands and tenderly stroking his lips, a tearful Hope told Bo that losing him had devastated her. She continued that she'd killed Stefano because she'd wanted justice for Bo -- and she blamed herself for Ciara's rape. Bo reassured Hope that it hadn't been her fault. "It seems that everywhere in my life, there's pain -- and I don't know what to do," Hope cried.
"You were always my compass, you know, even when there was a huge storm and I couldn't see over the swells, let alone the landmarks. But you always knew. You knew where we were," Hope recounted. "Yeah. I had a compass," Bo countered with a playful smile. He softly assured Hope that they would return her home, because home was within her, and his feisty "Little One" could battle her way back there. Hope was unsure she had the strength because she was so tired. "And I'm alone," she added mournfully. Pointing out that Bo would be gone as soon as she opened her eyes, and that hurt too much, Hope refused to look at him as she requested he leave.
As soon as Bo's specter vanished, Hope hugged herself as she pleaded with him not to leave. Bo reappeared behind her and teased her, "Come here, go away -- no wonder you can't move. Is this how you treat all the guys in your life?" Bo looked at Hope's list and said that he'd thought things had been going well with Rafe. Hope agreed that Rafe was solid and always had her back, and the only problem between them was that Aiden had returned. She explained that, despite how it had happened, she had never thought she would love again until Aiden.
Bo pointed out that he was there to help Hope figure things out, asserting firmly that the "strong girl" he'd known forever would get her life back. He took Hope's hand and led her toward the door to leave -- but after momentarily struggling to get the stuck door open, she found Larry Welch on the other side. "Hello, gorgeous! Been a while," Larry greeted his ex-wife. Hope's greeting was much less friendly. While Larry poured himself an unoffered glass of wine, Hope ordered him to get out, hissing that he had been a criminal who'd deserved to be taken down.
While Bo watched everything, Larry purred that Hope had been young and sweet. Hope declared that, while Larry had taken her girlhood from her, in that girl's place, she'd become a strong, fearless woman. Larry taunted Hope, but she stood her ground and again ordered him to leave. Larry guzzled the last of his wine, but on his way out, jaw set, eyes icily evil, he growled, "You know, the only difference now -- is you're more lethal than I ever was. You're worse than me, Hope. You took a gun, and you killed a man in cold blood and then had somebody else do the time for it!" As Larry began to chuckle, Hope shoved him out the door.
After the door was shut, Bo led Hope over to the full-length mirror and declared that he'd just witnessed the girl he'd fallen in love with. Hope flashed back to their early encounters, when she'd tried feistily, playfully, to rebuff Bo's advances: kissing him for the first time at her kissing booth at the fair; her insisting that he wasn't her type; riding on his motorcycle out to the country for a hot-air balloon ride, over her hand-biting; and Bo confronting her in the ladies' room to warn her that she hadn't been cut out to be a cop.
Hope conceded that Larry had been right about her murder of Stefano. Bo maintained that Hope had been out of her mind with grief over his death -- and it hadn't been wrong to let Andre go down for it. Hope insisted that she'd sold her soul and had compromised Rafe and Roman in the process. Bo wanted to help Hope get a handle on that, but suddenly, Stefano appeared behind them. "Turn yourself in!" Stefano commanded. "Did you really think that you could kill me? And then dump me in a pile of rubble? You'll never, never be rid of me... You are no better than me," Stefano growled with a chuckle.
Bo continued observing while Hope spat that Stefano had been a monster -- but she'd still had no right to take his life. Hope was ready to turn herself in, but Bo reminded her that she would also take Rafe and Roman down with her -- and she would put Andre back on the streets and leave Ciara all alone. He continued for a dubious Hope that she had to accept that she'd done the best she could, and she shouldn't beat herself up for it.
Hope turned back to Stefano and promised to look out for Stefano's son, Chad, the same way she looked after her own children and grandchild. She hoped that would give Stefano peace. Stefano vowed to hold Hope to her promise. After Stefano had vanished, Bo checked in to make sure Hope was feeling better then he said, "There's somebody else who's a little anxious to see you." Hope turned toward the door, and a full-grown Zack entered. Recognizing her late son instantly, Hope dissolved into tears and embraced him while Bo beamed at the two of them.
Marveling at the sight, Hope joyfully looked Zack up and down. "Oh, my sweet boy. I've seen you every day of my life. I have imagined you at every age," she said lovingly, looking into Zack's eyes. Hope declared that she'd missed Zack terribly, and he had been in her heart every moment of every day. "The day that you died...I thought I'd never get back up again," Hope lamented. "Seeing you is such a gift," she murmured, touching her son's face. She thanked Zack and Bo, but Zack insisted that Hope was the gift because she'd been such a good mother to him, and Shawn and Ciara were lucky to have her.
Hope wasn't convinced, maintaining that she'd let her children down. Zack assured her that Shawn and Ciara also felt as if she were a gift. More determined, Hope acknowledged that her kids would be fine someday. She ripped off the "pros and cons" list from her notepad and threw it in the wastebasket. Hope declared that she should be with her kids. Zack pointed out that her "kids" were adults, and Hope shouldn't give up the rest of her life for them; all Shawn and Ciara needed was for Hope to find happiness again. Zack hugged his mom and urged her not to cheat her children out of her happiness.
"Thank you for being here, my angel," Hope whispered to her son. Zack suggested that the three of them take a walk by the water, and Hope eagerly accepted -- but as she reached the door and tried to open it, she found it stuck again. With Zack observing, a puzzled, anxious Hope turned back to Bo and said, "Brady, there's nothing left!" Suddenly, the door opened wide behind her -- and Hope saw a radiantly smiling image of herself in the darkness on the other side. Before Hope could get an answer from Bo about what was happening, Zack had to leave. "No, I want more time with you," Hope said a little desperately. "You'll have all the time in the world someday," Zack reassured her.
Zack and Hope shared one last embrace then Zack was gone. Bo followed while Hope went to the door. "So let me guess; my last obstacle is myself," Hope said, and her double responded, "Smart cookie." Bo told Hope's image, "I'll take it from here," and she wished him luck. Bo closed the door and led Hope back inside. Upon gentle questioning from Bo, Hope surmised that the whole thing had been about her hanging on to him. Bo encouraged her to let go.
Through angry tears, Hope berated herself for believing that Bo would ever have abandoned his family and for not fighting for him. Bo tried to reassure her that it hadn't been her fault, but Hope wailed that she had probably cost Bo his life. "'Should haves' don't get us anywhere," Bo noted, pointing out that anything could have happened, including the loss of her own life, if she'd gone looking for him -- then both of them would have ended up dead. "But -- here we are," Bo said, grasping Hope's hand tightly and looking into her eyes.
"No. Here I am!" Hope cried. "Exactly! Finally!" Bo exclaimed proudly. "Yes, here you are! And you're alive! And I don't want you to waste this life of yours. It's very, very precious!" he urged. With a hint of revelation, Hope said she was finished second-guessing herself and that she would make mistakes and choices. "Right! And most important: you'll live! And you'll be amazing!" Bo declared. When Hope at last seemed to agree, Bo kissed her on the forehead. Turning toward the door, Bo suggested that they "rejoin the world."
Hope held Bo back because everything had happened too quickly before he'd gone -- but she acknowledged that at least they'd gotten to say goodbye. "And a kiss. That was the last thing I felt on this earth," Bo said, eyes twinkling. He told Hope that it was time to go, but she requested one last dance. Chuckling, Bo took Hope in his arms as their song, "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love," began to play. Hope beamed at Bo, and he at her, as they swayed around the cabin together. "I want to stay here forever," Hope murmured, her eyes taking in Bo's face. "Fancy Face, you have to leave," Bo reminded her, promising that he would always be there if she needed him.
Bo kissed his Fancy Face sweetly, tenderly, and she whispered, "I love you." Bo echoed her words and kissed her once more, and Hope led him to the door. With a big smile, Hope took one last blissful look at Bo, opened the door, and stepped outside. Taking a deep breath of air, Hope walked happily away from the cabin as Bo grinned after her.
On the couch, Hope awoke slowly and looked around the cabin. After wiping away a tear, she got her purse and cell phone and headed for the door. She paused in the doorway and looked back at the room with wonder before closing the door and walking down the path away from the cabin.
In Los Angeles, Steve and Joey arrived at the motel that Kayla and Fynn were staying at, but they were too late to stop her from heading off with John in search of them. Joey was taken aback when Steve asked Fynn for an update on Kayla's condition. Joey blamed himself for his mother's suffering, but Steve insisted that he was responsible because Ava was a part of his past. Steve assured Joey that Kayla was going to be fine.
At the commune, Kayla confronted Jade, demanding to know where Joey was. "Oh, you must be the mother," Simone guessed. Jade insisted that she hadn't seen Joey since his arrest, prompting Kayla to wonder what Jade had persuaded Joey to do "this time." Simone intervened, calmly encouraging everyone to relax. "Do you not speak to the boy's father? He was here when the police took your son," Simone informed Kayla.
Kayla was stunned to learn that Joey had participated in an armed robbery. As John started to speculate that Simone had probably ordered her "lackeys" to get Joey involved in the crime, Kayla stepped aside to answer a phone call from Steve. Simone scoffed at John's accusation, and when he warned that Joey was probably implicating her at that very moment, she insisted that Joey would never betray his new family.
Meanwhile, Steve assured Kayla that Joey was fine. Relieved, Kayla asked to talk to Joey, and when he greeted her, she proceeded to lecture him about his latest string of poor choices. Joey acknowledged that he had messed up, and he promised Kayla that he would figure out a way to get his life back on track. Joey stressed, however, that he was more concerned about Kayla at that particular moment. Kayla insisted that she was fine, and she added that she loved Joey and had faith that he would keep his promise.
When Kayla rejoined John after ending the call, Jade was in the middle of telling him that the cops wouldn't be able to pin anything on her or any of the other commune members. Kayla predicted that would one day change, and she wondered why Jade was squandering her potential at such a place. "And you -- is this the life you want for your niece? For all these kids? What kind of woman are you?" Kayla asked Simone.
Simone insisted that Kayla had no right to criticize her. Claiming that Joey had acted alone, Simone condemned his actions, declaring that he had violated her family's code of honor. "Oh, God, woman, you are so full of it. You think anybody's really buying this peace-and-love charade?" John asked. Simone countered that she wasn't trying to sell anything, and she ordered John and Kayla to take their baseless accusations elsewhere.
"Baseless? I think that the desert sun has fried your brain, lady! You know what, I am glad -- I'm glad that my son was arrested. Given one more second here under your idiotic spell, God knows what he would have done, and he might have ended up in prison for years! You know what, that is not my son's future, but it will be yours!" Kayla spat.
Simone coolly countered that she could see why Joey had been desperate to escape the tedium and the lack of spirituality that his former life had featured. "The boy is his father, no doubt," Simone added. Kayla insisted that Simone didn't know Joey or his father, but Simone countered that, like "Patch," Joey was a soulful man who craved adventure and connections with like-minded people.
Simone bragged that she'd had an intimate conversation with Steve over cups of her special tea, during which he had told her about his attraction to danger -- and Kayla's desire to cage the tiger because she no longer had the courage to live life on the wild side. "You did Steve a favor by leaving him. Now he's free to run, explore, and embrace the beast within, and he's welcome here anytime he pleases," Simone added.
"Trust me, you don't want any part of the beast that's caged up inside of [Kayla]," John warned Simone as he led Kayla out of the commune. Fuming, Kayla complained that Simone had some nerve, prompting John to question Kayla's extreme reaction to Simone's comments about Kayla's relationship with Steve. "Haven't you moved on with Fynn?" John asked.
Taken aback, Kayla started to stammer out a response, but John stopped her, acknowledging that the matter was none of his business. "It's just breaking my heart [that you and Steve] can't seem to work things out," John explained. Kayla insisted that Simone, despite being obnoxious and ridiculous, had been right about one thing: Steve craved adventure and danger, to the point of being willing to put his family at risk for the sake of it.
"He needs that thrill more than he needs me," Kayla matter-of-factly concluded. "Oh, damn it, Kayla, you don't get it, do you? You are part of that adventure; you are the biggest part! Not to mention that you are and always will be the most important person in his life, so...quit being so damn stubborn and just give the man a chance to make things right!" John countered, unable to hide his frustration any longer.
While Joey was getting snacks at a vending machine outside Kayla's motel room, Steve cleared the air with Fynn, acknowledging that things had been a bit tense between them lately. "But now I know it was because you were looking out for Kayla, and I appreciate that. I owe you," Steve added, shaking Fynn's hand.
Later, John arrived at the motel with Kayla, who wondered if Joey had left home as a way of punishing her and Steve. Joey replied that, while it was hard for him to explain his true motivations, his move to Los Angeles hadn't exactly been about punishing his parents; it had been more about needing to find himself. "I hate that expression," Kayla complained.
"Sorry. I don't know how else to put it. But anyway, I did find part of myself, and it made me realize the man I want to be," Joey continued, stressing that he no longer wanted to seek out trouble or disappoint his parents. Joey promised to try to make better choices in the future, and John assured him that everyone made mistakes, and the important thing was to learn from them.
Later, as everyone was preparing to head back to Salem, Kayla asked for a moment alone with Fynn. John and Steve went outside to talk about a client, but Steve had trouble focusing because he couldn't stop wondering what Kayla and Fynn were discussing. John advised Steve not to worry about it.
Meanwhile, Fynn assured Kayla that he already knew what she was going to say, and he understood. "You and me -- we could be great together. But, um, there's no way I'd be able to compete with what you had -- sorry, have -- with Steve. Seeing you with him and Joey, it couldn't be more clear," Fynn added. Fynn told Kayla he planned to stay in Los Angeles for a few weeks to catch up with some old friends but would see her back in Salem eventually. Nodding, Kayla hugged Fynn and thanked him for everything.
When Kayla joined Steve and Joey outside, John was already gone, having called earlier for a taxi ride to the airport. Kayla started to walk off with Steve and Joey, but a sudden pain in her head caused her to stop abruptly. Steve and Joey expressed concerns as they each reached out to steady Kayla, but she assured them that she'd be fine in a moment.
While Shawn was canvassing the scene of Deimos and Nicole's argument, he found an earring, and he also noticed a bloodstain on a nearby tree. Meanwhile, at the police station, Rafe told Roman there was no way Nicole could have killed Deimos because she wasn't that kind of person anymore. Roman informed Rafe that Kate was the witness who had blamed Nicole for Deimos' alleged murder.
When Roman and Rafe started questioning Nicole, she was shocked to learn that a witness had recorded her argument with Deimos but had failed to capture the end of it -- and Deimos hadn't been seen since then. Rafe advised Nicole to contact an attorney, so she called Belle, whom Brady had once told her to turn to if she ever needed help with D.J. Wear's legal matters.
While Nicole was waiting for Belle to arrive, she realized that Kate was the witness. "That bitch is setting me up!" Nicole told Rafe, adding that the whole situation suddenly made perfect sense. As Nicole started explaining that Kate was jealous because Deimos had shown interest in someone other than her, Belle arrived and stopped the conversation, asking for a moment alone with Nicole.
After Nicole told Belle everything, Roman and Rafe rejoined them in the conference room and resumed the interview. Nicole explained the details of her plan to make Deimos pay for what he had done to Maggie, and she stressed that she had ultimately decided not to go through with it. Belle added that Roman and Rafe had no proof to contradict Nicole's claim that Deimos had been alive when she had left the park, and Roman conceded the point but warned Nicole not to leave town in the near future.
"[Don't] look for Kate; [don't] call her, Skype her, text her, email her, or contact her by carrier pigeon," Belle advised Nicole once they were alone again. After Nicole left, Belle greeted Shawn, who had just finished filling Roman and Rafe in on what he had found at the park. Lani listened nearby as Belle apologized to Shawn for canceling their dinner plans the previous night. Shawn said he understood that Belle hadn't felt like going out because she had caught some sort of bug.
Belle claimed that she had since started feeling better, but when she declined Shawn's offer to reschedule the dinner for later that night, he guessed that she wasn't quite back to normal yet. Shawn suggested that he could instead meet her at her parents' place and serve her some of her favorite comfort food, Chicken-and-Stars soup. Belle was touched to learn that Shawn kept cans of the soup on reserve, just for her. "And maybe, I don't know, if you want, we could watch some Netflix," Shawn added. "If you say 'and chill,' I will hit you," Belle replied with a laugh, but she agreed to the date.
Despite Belle's advice, Nicole headed straight to the Kiriakis mansion after leaving the police station. When Kate opened the front door, Nicole angrily slapped her, insisting that she needed to retract her statement immediately because they both knew it wasn't true. "I saw you kill my husband!" Kate maintained.
Stunned, Nicole refused to believe that Kate and Deimos had gotten married, but Kate bragged that she had a ring and legal documents to back up her claim. "And most damaging of all, I have a video that shows you fighting with my newly wedded -- and now deceased -- husband," Kate added. Kate advised Nicole to face the fact that she was about to go down for Deimos' murder, but Nicole vowed that she wasn't going to let Kate beat her. "I'm gonna find out what you did to Deimos, and [then] it will be you behind bars," Nicole added.
"We'll see. We'll wait 'til his body shows up, because then...you're a dead woman walking," Kate countered.
Aiden met with Kate in a secluded section of the town square and handed her a backdated marriage certificate in exchange for a briefcase filled with untraceable cash. Aiden stressed that he wasn't happy about helping Kate and had only agreed to do so because he needed the money for Chase's treatment. "Too much information. I got what I want; you got what you want. We're done," Kate replied before walking away.
Later, Aiden ran into Rafe and wondered if he had heard from Hope since her departure from Salem. "Excuse me?" Rafe replied. Realizing that Rafe was out of the loop, Aiden bragged that Hope had gone out of town to clear her head and figure out whether she was going to give him a second chance. Aiden hoped that if she chose to do that, Rafe would support her decision. Rafe stressed that Hope was his first and only concern, and if he learned that Aiden had conned or manipulated her in any way, he would deal with Aiden accordingly. "Still don't trust me, do you?" Aiden mused. "Still don't have reason to," Rafe replied before walking away.
Roman was surprised when Hope entered the police station and greeted him. "Does [this] mean you figured things out, or you just quit trying?" Roman asked. Hope said she needed to talk to Rafe and Aiden before sharing her decision with Roman. Changing the subject, Hope asked Roman to get her up to speed on Deimos' disappearance. "Something smells really, really bad about [the] whole damn thing," Roman summarized.
Meanwhile, Rafe arrived and observed that Hope's trip out of town had been a short one. Nodding, Hope asked Rafe to take a walk with her. Rafe followed Hope to a secluded section of the town square, where she told him about the dream she'd had at the Horton cabin. Realizing where the conversation was headed, Rafe assured Hope that he understood. "You've got to follow your heart," Rafe concluded with a shrug.
Hope admitted that she didn't know where things were going with Aiden. "[But] I have to see it through -- I have to -- so I can move on with my life," Hope continued. Rafe agreed that Hope needed to take advantage of the second chance she had been given. Hope wasn't sure she could call it that yet, but she stressed that she was sure that Rafe had always been there for her. Rafe promised Hope that he always would be.
Later, Hope went to the DiMera mansion and offered Ciara the power to stop her from rekindling her relationship with Aiden. "I mean, would I like it more if Rafe was the guy? Yeah. But this is about you being happy," Ciara reasoned, prompting Hope to insist that she could never be happy at Ciara's expense. Maintaining that there was nothing for Hope to worry about, Ciara explained that talking to Marlena and living with Chad and Thomas had given her a new outlook on life, and she added that she knew Aiden wasn't responsible for Chase's actions. "So, yeah, go for it, Mom," Ciara encouraged Hope, who smiled and gave her a hug.
After leaving the DiMera mansion, Hope met with Aiden in a secluded section of the town square and revealed that she was willing to try to get back what they had lost. "Maybe we can't, but unless we try, we'll never know," Hope reasoned. Grinning, Aiden promised Hope that they would get it back -- and it would be wonderful.
Meanwhile, at the police station, Roman watched with interest as Rafe took his frustration out on a filing cabinet. "How you doing?" Roman asked. "Fine. Great. Never been better," Rafe replied with a sigh.
At Club TBD, Dario joined Nicole at the bar, where she was knocking back mimosas. Dario assumed that Nicole was celebrating the fact that she no longer had to deal with Victor and Deimos, but she clarified that she was actually fortifying herself with liquid courage. Nicole filled Dario in on what had happened, and when he wondered if she really had killed Deimos, she insisted that she was innocent. "I had to ask," Dario explained.
"I wouldn't be surprised if Kate killed the bastard herself," Nicole mused. Dario agreed, reasoning that Kate probably wouldn't feel safe framing Nicole for Deimos' murder unless she had reason to believe that Deimos would never be able to contradict her claim. Nicole contacted a friend at Titan TV and was relieved to learn that Deimos' body hadn't surfaced yet, but she remained worried about what might happen to her if it did.
Kate went to the police station to see if Deimos' body had been recovered yet. Roman reported that it had not, but he added that signs of a scuffle had been found at the park. "There wasn't a scuffle; there was a fight -- there was a full-blown fight! Nicole pushed [Deimos] into the river! Don't tell me you're gonna let that woman get away with murder, Roman!" Kate protested with a sigh of frustration.
Roman patiently continued that the river had been dredged, and no trace of Deimos' body had been found. Kate insisted that Roman needed to expand the search. "If my husband was [still] alive, he would have contacted me," Kate added, prompting Roman to demand proof of the marriage. Kate expressed a great deal of indignation but eventually assured Roman that she would produce the documents the following day.
"How 'bout we not wait 'til tomorrow?" Roman replied. Scowling, Kate reluctantly agreed to let Roman follow her to the Kiriakis mansion, claiming that she had stored the documents in a desk drawer there. Kate led Roman inside and asked him to close the door then rushed into the living room ahead of him so she could transfer the forged marriage certificate from her purse to a desk drawer.
"What are you doing?" Roman asked as he joined Kate in the living room. Kate innocently claimed that she was having trouble with the lock on the drawer, and as she added that she planned to have a wall safe installed soon, she retrieved the marriage certificate and handed it to Roman, along with a flight manifest and a receipt from a Las Vegas wedding chapel. "It's all in order, Roman," Kate promised.
"You never change, do you, Kate?" Roman mused with a shake of his head as he skeptically inspected the documents. Groaning, Kate impatiently countered that Roman's opinion of her didn't matter; all that mattered was that Nicole had murdered Deimos, and Roman needed to make her pay for the crime. Roman hoped Deimos was actually alive and well. "Not because I like the man -- I don't -- but just because this whole scenario [is] just so damn bizarre. My take on it? This is going to end very ugly for somebody -- maybe you," Roman warned Kate before showing himself out, taking the documents with him.
At an undisclosed location, Deimos stumbled into a mechanic's shop, caked in mud from the river, and asked to use the man's phone. "Hi, it's Robert. I need your help," Deimos told the person he chose to contact. After ending the call, Deimos took a seat on a crate and waited, thinking about the arguments he'd had with Nicole and Kate at the park, until his friend -- Chloe -- arrived to help him.