Ben and Ciara, still honeymooning in New Orleans, continued discussing their future. "I want to have kids -- I do -- and if you don't...I mean, isn't that something you should have talked to me about before I married you?" Ciara tearfully challenged Ben. "I didn't mean to mislead you," Ben regretfully informed Ciara.
"I don't think I even admitted it to myself before...until you said you wanted to stop using birth control -- and then everything just got...real, fast. [So, now] I'm afraid, because I don't want to have a baby and have him turn out like me -- I'm not trying to bring evil into this world right now," Ben explained before breaking down in Ciara's arms.
Ciara argued that there was nothing to worry about because bad parenting, not genetics, had led to Ben's mental illness and subsequent acts of evil. "That wasn't inevitable, Ben -- that was circumstantial," Ciara summarized, and Ben conceded that the same could be said about Jordan, as well -- but that thought led to another concern. "I don't want anybody to think that my child would be better off dead than with me as a parent," Ben fretted, recalling why Jordan had killed their mother and their unborn sibling. "Ben, I know in my heart that you would make the most amazing father -- like, you would be the best," Ciara countered.
"But I also know that I'm not gonna change your mind in just one conversation, so...we don't have to settle this tonight, okay?" Ciara added. "You sure you're not upset with me for hiding how I really felt?" Ben wondered. "No -- I'm just glad that you told me the truth. So, we can just put this baby conversation on the back burner, okay? Because right now, I just want to be with you -- I just want us to love each other," Ciara responded before giving Ben a passionate kiss.
Later that night, Ben had a dream:
Ben and Ciara repeatedly paused to make out with each other while passing through the halls of an apartment complex. "I can't believe it's been ten years! [You know], I am so impressed, dear husband, that you managed to get a restaurant in Salem to recreate the first meal we had on our honeymoon -- and, I've gotta say, the bread pudding was as good as what we had in New Orleans!" Ciara said to Ben between kisses when they finally entered their apartment.
Ben and Ciara started undressing each other while blindly making their way to the living room couch, not bothering to turn on any lights first -- and they stepped on something in the process. "I guess the babysitter wasn't too strict on putting all the toys away," Ciara said to Ben with a laugh when the item squeaked -- and then they realized that their son was watching them from the kitchen.
Ben and Ciara quickly rearranged their clothing. "Sweetheart, what are you doing up -- and where's Rita?" Ciara asked. "She was mean to me, so I punished her," Bo replied. "What happened, buddy?" Ben wondered. "She made me play with these toys instead of what I really wanted to play with," Bo explained. "And what did you really want to play with?" Ciara prodded Bo while flipping a light switch, illuminating both the living room and the kitchen. "Daddy's necktie," Bo clarified before casually stepping aside so Ben and Ciara could see the babysitter, who was slumped over in a chair at the kitchen table and had a bruised neck that was still sporting the familiar murder weapon.
Ben awoke with a start, rousing Ciara in the process. "I just had a nightmare," Ben revealed. "What was it about?" Ciara wondered. "Don't really remember," Ben claimed. "Well, it was just a bad dream -- doesn't mean anything," Ciara assured Ben, who seized a hug to hide signs of doubt.
At the DiMera mansion, Chanel warned Johnny that it might be dangerous to make a movie about a real person's experience with demonic possession. "You are literally tempting the devil to walk right through that door," Chanel explained to Johnny -- just as Tony entered the living room and greeted them.
Chanel jumped, drawing a laugh from Johnny, who took care of the introductions then seized the opportunity to get Tony's account of the matter that was being discussed. "You were there, [after all] -- it says right here in Will's script that you were married to Aunt Kristen, but she was in love with Grandpa John, [so] the devil tried to tempt..." Johnny summarized while flipping to the relevant section of the script then handing it to Tony. "By the way, how did that happen -- aren't you two brother and sister?" Johnny added as Tony skimmed the relevant section of the script. "We're not related by blood," Tony clarified. "Okay..." Johnny muttered.
"Anyway...she didn't want to leave you, because you were blind -- and Grandpa John, apparently, was a priest at the time --" Johnny continued. "Everybody thought it was me -- even Kristen was fooled -- but it was my evil cousin, Andre, [who] had plastic surgery to look like me -- only, I turned out to be much more winsome, witty, and wise... Anyway, as I was saying, I was stranded on some deserted island when Andre was running around Salem posing as me," Tony interjected. "White people are crazy..." Chanel declared.
"I wasn't here when all this allegedly happened -- [so], what you need to do is to find someone who actually lived through it back in the '90s, when it all went down," Tony advised. "No one has any idea where Aunt Kristen is..." Johnny grumbled. "Why don't you go directly to the source and ask Marlena," Tony suggested. "I don't think John would be cool with that..." Johnny predicted with a nervous laugh. "Perhaps that's a sign. You know what they say -- 'sometimes the past is best left buried,'" Tony responded before saying goodbye to Johnny and Chanel then rushing off, leaving the script behind. "Hate to say, 'I told you so,' G, but...I think you'd be doing everyone in this town a big favor if you just dropped this," Chanel maintained -- but Johnny dismissed the concern.
Chanel managed to get Johnny to agree to at least stop talking about the matter for the rest of the night. "We could go upstairs -- we'd have total privacy up there...and, just so you know, I have protection this time," Johnny suggested. "Oh -- so, you thought we were gonna have sex tonight," Chanel translated. "No, not at all -- I just...wanted us to be safe if and when it happens..." Johnny responded. "Hmm. Well, it is not happening tonight, Romeo," Chanel insisted. "I see what's going on here -- yeah, you want me to woo you! [Then] prepare to be wooed -- [and] brace yourself, because I am going to wine you, dine you, serenade you...the whole nine yards," Johnny declared before giving Chanel a kiss.
Johnny eventually pulled away from Chanel -- who promptly forgot about the agreement they had just made. "Please don't make that movie -- like I said, G, you're playing with fire," Chanel begged. "Noted," Johnny responded.
At the Walker apartment, Allie and Tripp discussed various topics during a private dinner date -- including Sweet Bits and Doug. Tripp nearly choked on a sip of water when Allie moved on to a third topic -- the family secret Johnny had uncovered.
"As someone who firmly believes in science, I just think there has to be a rational explanation, [so]...I would hypothesize that Marlena was suffering from a neurobiological disorder -- something along the lines of schizophrenia," Tripp declared. "I don't think that 'schizophrenia' would explain her levitating several feet off her bed," Allie countered. "Is there proof?" Tripp wondered. "Like, a video or something? Not that I know of...but my grandfather saw it firsthand -- and a few other people did, too," Allie answered. "Could be mass hysteria," Tripp suggested. "Wow -- you really are a skeptic!" Allie realized.
"There are many instances where exorcisms are successful, so...I mean, how do you explain the victims getting better?" Allie wondered. "Power of suggestion -- you know, if you truly believe that you're possessed, and a priest performs a sacred ritual, you're gonna believe it worked," Tripp reasoned. "And you think that's what happened to my grandmother," Allie assumed. "I'd bet money on it," Tripp confirmed. "[Well], I trust Grandpa John -- and if he says that my grandmother was possessed, that's enough for me," Allie declared.
At the Evans-Black townhouse, John frowned while pondering the strange things that Marlena had done during their earlier conversation.
At the hospital, "Marlena" glared at Doug with glowing yellow eyes while continuing to speak in a demonic voice. "Isn't it ironic that I persuaded Marlena to let me into her in order to save your life...and now I'm going to take it, anyway?" the demonic presence mused. Doug watched helplessly -- and voiced a few fearful protests -- as "Marlena" reached for a nearby pillow.
"Of course, family and friends will be devastated...but they'll think you died of natural causes," the demonic presence reasoned. "Stop -- don't do this!" Marlena snapped at the demonic presence. "Your friend Marlena is trying to stop me from doing what I have to do -- you see, she hasn't entirely given herself over to my powers yet. But. She. Will," the demonic presence explained to Doug, who couldn't hear what Marlena was saying. "No, I won't -- you can't make me hurt him!" Marlena warned the demonic presence. "Yes, I can -- and I will," the demonic presence countered aloud.
"Stop fighting me, Marlena -- you're not strong enough to resist me," the demonic presence advised aloud while trying to push the pillow toward Doug, who was just inches away. "No -- you'll never win!" Marlena maintained. "Doug has to die -- he knows too much," the demonic presence insisted aloud while continuing to struggle with Marlena for control of the pillow.
Meanwhile, Julie ended a phone conversation with John, who had called to find out how things were going. "John's coming down here to pray with me," Julie informed Eli, who offered to check on Doug and Marlena in the meantime.
Eli headed off to the Williams room -- and found "Marlena" standing at Doug's bedside, holding a pillow in midair. "Is everything okay?" Eli began. "Yes -- I was just...trying to make Doug a little more comfortable," the demonic presence claimed as Marlena before reverting to a human eye color then turning to face Eli. "Were you able to ask him what he meant when he told Julie that 'he went into her'?" Eli wondered. "No, not yet -- we were on the verge of that conversation when you came in, so...if you'd just step outside, we can continue," the demonic presence responded as Marlena, prompting Doug to beg Eli to stay.
"I think he's just tired of being in the hospital," the demonic presence explained to Eli as Marlena before again requesting privacy, but Doug continued objecting. "You know, my grandmother and John, they went to the chapel to pray -- I think Julie wanted you to meet them there," Eli hesitantly informed "Marlena" -- and Doug quickly approved the idea, annoying the demonic presence.
"Fine," the demonic presence reluctantly agreed as Marlena before giving Eli and Doug a forced smile then heading off to the chapel. The demonic presence's glowing yellow eyes reappeared as it parked Marlena's body at the doorway to the chapel and watched John and Julie, who were in the process of saying a prayer together. At the end of the prayer, John started vaguely offering Julie firsthand assurance that a couple's love was strong enough to overcome any obstacle -- and the demonic presence rolled its eyes and shook Marlena's head while listening then suddenly went dormant.
Marlena entered the chapel and warmly greeted John and Julie. "I'm glad you're here," Marlena said to John. "How is Doug?" Julie wondered. "Oh -- Doug...has been through a lot... [And] I'm not sure how much I helped him, but I tried my best," Marlena answered. "In his confusion, poor darling, he said you were the one who needed help!" Julie reiterated. "Huh... Well, maybe he was right -- maybe I did need some help," Marlena conceded.
"And I found it," Marlena added while gazing at John -- and Julie took that as a sign that it was time to give the couple some privacy. "Thank God you're here -- it's as if you knew I needed you," Marlena raved before seizing a hug from John.
Julie entered the Williams room while Doug was trying to tell Eli about what had happened earlier. "He's just wearing himself out," Eli explained to Julie. "She...was...trying...to..." Doug stammered. "Yes, Marlena was trying to help you -- and she'll help you again...but right now, my precious one, you just need to sleep," Julie interjected -- and Doug gave in, too weak to restart and finish the sentence.
Chloe was in the Kiriakis living room when Philip entered the room with a large box. "It's national strawberry pie day," Philip said. "Well, how many pies are in there?" Chloe joked. Inside was a bouquet of fire and ice roses in a watering can.
"After all these years, you're still surprising me," Chloe said. Philip explained that the watering can was for the sapling they had planted. Philip explained that it had been 22 years since they had met, and that was a water anniversary.
"You've always been the one that got away. I made so many mistakes back then," Philip said. "We both did," Chloe agreed. "But I learned from them. I promise you, I'm going to take perfect care of our tree and of you," Philip said. Philip and Chloe kissed.
"I hope you know how hard I'm working to turn over a new leaf," Philip said. "I know you are. When you came home last night and saw me talking to Brady, I could tell that your head wanted to explode, but you were very understanding," Chloe said. Philip admitted that he felt bad that he had accused Brady of corporate espionage.
Philip explained that he believed that Gabi and Jake had installed the spyware. "I still need to find the proof, but when I do, those two are going to regret ever thinking they could play me for a fool," Philip said. Chloe asked how Philip had discovered the truth.
"An old business associate tipped me off," Philip said. Philip explained that he had noticed issues with his computer after he had caught Gabi in his office. "You should have just fired her on the spot," Chloe said. "I did. Her and Jake, but then he said that [Gabi] was having tech problems, as well," Philip said. Chloe asked Philip if Gabi had planted spyware on her computer proactively.
"As soon as the heat was off of them, they put it right onto Brady. Made me think he was behind it," Philip said. "Which is why you freaked out on him and insisted that I quit my job," Chloe added. Philip apologized. Chloe said she had spoken to Brady, and he had no interest in destroying Titan.
"And now you have to hold up your end of the bargain and never badmouth Brady to me again," Chloe said. Philip promised. Chloe suggested that Philip use Brady to help bust Jake and Gabi. Philip said he did not need Brady's help.
"So, I'm assuming the next step is to fire them again?" Chloe asked. "If I fire Gabi, she could regain control of Gabi Chic. That was part of her deal," Philip said. Philip argued that Gabi Chic was too profitable to lose. Philip added that he could not fire Jake because it would tip his hand. "Gabi's trying to steal my company; maybe I try to steal hers," Philip said.
While Brady was working at the penthouse, Jake visited. Jake asked about Brady's conversation with Victor. "I don't remember confirming that I was going to have that talk with my grandfather, so, how exactly do you know that I did?" Brady asked. Jake said he had seen Brady's car at the Kiriakis mansion, and he had assumed Brady had gone to speak to Victor. "You happen to know what kind of car I drive?" Brady asked. With a smile, Jake reminded Brady that he had been a mechanic.
"I know that you used to be in the mob, right? So, is this your not-so-subtle way of letting me know that you're keeping tabs on me?" Brady asked. Jake reminded Brady that they were on the same side. "Despite working for the competition, I don't want to see my family's legacy hurt at all," Brady said. Brady asked Jake why he cared about Titan. Jake explained that he did not want to see Gabi's company flame out.
Brady asked Jake if he wanted to be the boss. "No, we approached you because Philip has been acting like a crazy person," Jake said. Brady said he believed Jake, but he was concerned that Jake was pumping him for information. Brady noted that he had lived through his share of takeovers at Titan.
"If you want this coup attempt to be successful, you're going to have to be a little more slick than this," Brady said. "Get real here. Nobody is going to make a brand-new employee CEO," Jake said. Brady laughed, and he reminded Jake that he had gone from mechanic to CEO before.
"And you want Philip out of the way, don't you?" Brady asked. "Let's be honest. Don't you want the same thing?" Jake countered. Brady said he had no interest in destroying Titan. "While we are putting all our cards on the table, was it you and Gabi that put that keylogger on Philip's computer?" Brady asked.
"I do not know what a keylogger is, and as you've pointed out, I'm just a grease monkey. Obviously, Gabi didn't put a keylogger in her own computer, so your theory needs work," Jake said. Brady said he had to leave for work. "You never told me how your talk with your grandfather went," Jake said. Brady said that Victor was pleased with Philip's work.
After Jake left, Brady took a call from Victor. Outside the penthouse, Jake eavesdropped on Brady's side of the call. "I know that you think that Philip would be less distracted without Chloe in the picture, but you need to know that I have no interest in getting between the two of them," Brady said.
In the Hernandez kitchen, Rafe was surprised to see Gabi. "I thought you moved out?" Rafe asked. "I'm back," Gabi said. Gabi told Rafe that she was sick of Ava, but when Gabi had attempted to move back into the DiMera mansion, she had learned that E.J. owned the house.
"I already have my lawyers on it," Gabi said. Rafe told Gabi that he did not mind that she had moved back into the house, but he did not like the way Gabi treated his girlfriend. "It's not my fault you're dating a heartless bitch," Gabi said. "Good morning to you, too," Ava said as she walked in. Rafe asked Gabi to apologize to Ava. When Gabi argued that Ava had said worse to her, Rafe countered that Gabi had likely provoked Ava into it.
Rafe took Gabi's cup of coffee and gave it to Ava. "Why are you taking her side? I am your sister," Gabi said. "Ava is my girlfriend," Rafe countered. Gabi argued that Rafe had scraped the bottom of the barrel. "You cannot say those kinds of things," Rafe stressed. When Gabi argued that Ava was "in my face all the time," Rafe reminded Gabi that she had moved into his house.
"Are you saying that I'm the one that has to move out?" Gabi asked. Ava offered to find her own place. "Family means everything to me, and I know you feel the same way," Ava said. "I am not asking you to move out. I am asking for my sister to be reasonable and take the high road for once, like you are," Rafe said.
Ava shifted her eyes away, and she thought about when she had told Philip about Gabi's sabotage. Ava sipped her coffee and grinned at the thought. "The only way that Ava would take the high road is if she took a wrong turn," Gabi said. Rafe ordered Gabi to apologize. When Gabi asked if Ava had to apologize, Rafe said he had not heard Ava say anything that had merited an apology.
"I sure as hell have," Gabi objected. Rafe raised an eyebrow. Through gritted teeth, Gabi apologized to Ava. "You can even say it like you mean it," Rafe said. Gabi apologized again in a softer voice. "Are you happy?" Gabi growled at Rafe. Ava thanked Gabi for her apology. "Go choke on a ravioli," Gabi grumbled as she walked out of the house.
"She could have said a lot worse!" Ava said. "You could have said a lot worse," Rafe noted. Ava called Gabi her own worst enemy. "People used to say the same thing about me. That I couldn't get out of my own way, and they were absolutely right," Ava said. Ava noted that most of her heartache had been self-inflicted. "I'm afraid that Gabi is about to go down the same road," Ava said.
Rafe asked Ava about her job prospects at Titan. Ava noted that she knew how to get what she wanted but that she did not think Titan would approve of her usual methods. Rafe said he was surprised that Ava wanted to work with Philip because of their history.
"Victor Kiriakis was in the mob back in the day, so I think it's a place that I really might fit in," Ava said. While Rafe got ready for work, Ava packed a lunch for him. "I hope you know that I would never want to cause a problem between you and Gabi," Ava said. Rafe told Ava that he appreciated that Ava had made an effort to get along, unlike his sister. "If she doesn't change her attitude, she is not going to like me choosing who stays or who goes," Rafe said.
In the town square, Gabi met up with Jake to talk about Brady. "I think I came on a little too strong," Jake admitted. Gabi said they had no choice, since E.J. had stolen her house. "We have to get aggressive, and we have to get this plan moving. So, is Victor going to fire Philip?" Gabi asked. Jake said no, but he told Gabi what he had overheard. "Chloe is the Achilles heel that we are going to use to bring down Philip," Gabi said.
At Basic Black, Nicole found Duke the bear in her desk drawer. Nicole was startled when E.J. said her name. "Once again, the big boss shows up unannounced," Nicole said. Nicole reminded E.J. that the last time he had dropped by, it had been to force her to hire Xander.
E.J. informed Nicole that he had fired Xander because Xander had failed to pay back Sami's money. "You'll never see him in this office again," E.J. said. E.J. added that he was fine if Xander rotted in prison. Confused, Nicole said she did not understand why the D.A. had reinstated the case against Xander. "Let's just say, the less you know, the better," E.J. said. E.J. noticed the bear.
"I did not bring Holly to work, and that is not her bear," Nicole explained. "So, it's yours?" E.J. asked. Nicole explained that the bear belonged to Rafe. "How unconventional," E.J. said. Nicole explained that she had won Duke for Rafe. E.J. called the stuffed bear a useless-looking sheriff. Nicole smirked at E.J.
"I don't have to explain anything to you," Nicole said. E.J. called Rafe an "enormous embarrassment." Nicole snapped at E.J. "Seems I've hit a nerve," E.J. said. Nicole stressed that she and Rafe were just friends. E.J. apologized.
"You never apologize," Nicole said with a look of surprise. "I had no idea the commissioner was such a sensitive subject," E.J. added. Nicole shoved the bear back into the desk drawer. E.J. asked if there was something going on between Nicole and Rafe. When Nicole answered no too quickly, E.J. noted, "I'm getting the sense you wish that there were." Nicole reminded E.J. that Rafe was dating Ava.
"And watch it, Ava Vitali is my friend, too," Nicole said. "Even though she stole your man?" E.J. countered. "Rafe was never my man!" Nicole said. "But you'd like him to be," E.J. teased. Nicole stressed that she was in the middle of a divorce, and she did not want to interfere in Rafe and Ava's relationship.
"As much as I hate seeing my favorite ex-wife unhappy, my experience with Ava Vitali is, staying out of her way is a wise move," E.J. said. Nicole stressed that Ava had changed since E.J. had last dealt with her. "We both know [Ava] will revert to type eventually," E.J. said. Nicole disagreed. Nicole argued that Ava would not jeopardize her relationship with Tripp. With a shrug, E.J. noted that Rafe had always been attracted to bad girls.
"I hope you know you could do better than that dolt. In fact, you have," E.J. said with a smirk. Nicole told E.J. that he had a big ego. "I thought you liked my big ego," E.J. said. E.J. asked Nicole out to dinner.
In the hallway of Basic Black, Brady ran into Chloe. Chloe asked Brady if he had declined Victor's suggestion to seduce her. "I did, and I got an earful, as expected. You have my word, Chloe. If things don't work out with you and Philip, it's not gonna be because of me," Brady said.
At the Hernandez house, Philip met with Ava. "How would you like to help me bring down Gabi Hernandez?" Philip asked. Ava smiled serenely.
A restless Xander tugged at his handcuffs as he waited in the interrogation room at the police station. Gwen walked in. "I'm so sorry," Gwen said. "Don't be. 'Cause like I said, you're worth it," Xander said. Xander stressed that Gwen was not at fault. Xander blamed E.J.
"You don't belong here. You didn't even commit a bloody crime," Gwen said. "I've committed plenty," Xander muttered. When Gwen said that she would not let Xander stay in jail, Xander teased her about a jailbreak. "That would be incredibly sexy," Xander whispered. Gwen offered to confess. Xander stressed that Gwen's confession would not help him because E.J. had the judge in his pocket.
"I can't just sit here and do bloody nothing!" Gwen objected. Xander reiterated that Gwen was not to blame. "Maybe it is just karma catching up with me," Xander grumbled. "Me, too," Gwen whispered. After a moment, Gwen argued that neither she nor Xander was the type to give up. Gwen suggested they get a good lawyer, but Xander explained he had already been rejected by everyone in town because of E.J. When Gwen wondered aloud if there was anyone in town that was not afraid of the DiMera name, Justin walked in.
"And here he is!" Gwen said. Relieved, Gwen said she was thankful that someone in Xander's family had cared enough about him to show up. "I came down to see Bonnie," Justin said. Xander said if he saw Bonnie, he promised to have a conversation with her about taking other people's property. Justin started to leave, but Gwen stopped him.
Gwen asked Justin for help with Xander's case, but Justin said he was busy with Bonnie's case. "I'm sure that's a full-time job, given that she's murdered two people in cold blood and stole Xander's money. And that's the reason he's back in jail. So, you owe him," Gwen argued. Justin countered that Bonnie was remorseful and that there were extreme circumstances to her case.
Justin announced that he needed to prepare his case for Judge Smails. Xander explained that Judge Smails was corrupt. "What makes you say that?" Justin asked. Xander told Justin about his deal with E.J. and how it had fallen apart. "If Smails is on the up and up, how could that happen?" Xander asked. "Maybe you and Xander can help each other," Gwen said. With a laugh, Justin asked how.
Gwen suggested that Justin use the information to sway the judge to look more favorably on Bonnie and Xander's cases. When Justin noted that there was no evidence of corruption, Gwen promised to find it. "So, you're suggesting that I blackmail the judge, using evidence I don't have, that he himself is corrupt. Sounds like a winning strategy," Justin said. Frustrated, Gwen asked Justin to look at the bigger picture of protecting the public.
"I appreciate you reframing this as an issue of social importance, but I have sworn an oath to the court," Justin said. Gwen argued that Justin would have difficulty saving Bonnie, whether the judge was fair or corrupt. "Don't you want a future with the woman you love?" Gwen asked. Justin noted that, hypothetically speaking, if E.J. had bribed the judge, there would be a record.
"It wouldn't make sense for E.J. to pay money to someone just to get his own money back," Xander said. "No, E.J. got to him some other way. We just have to figure out how," Gwen said. Justin noted that it sounded like a fishing expedition. "But we're worth it if we can hook the big one, yeah?" Gwen said. Justin left. "Well, he didn't say he was on board, but he didn't say he wasn't," Xander said. "I think I have an idea," Gwen said.
In the police precinct bullpen, Justin asked Rafe about Bonnie. "I just got word from Judge Smails that [Bonnie's] visiting privileges have been restricted due to bad behavior," Rafe said. "What bad behavior?" Justin asked. "It's Bonnie Lockhart," Rafe said with a shrug.
At Basic Black, Brady and Chloe entered the CEO's office while E.J. was in the process of trying to secure a dinner date with Nicole.
"You're not seriously thinking about going out with this guy, are you? [I mean], how'd it turn out last time you two were together?" Brady challenged Nicole. "Not...great..." Nicole acknowledged. "You were lucky you survived it," Brady stressed.
"Let's stop dancing around what's really happening here -- what's bothering Brady is that, back then, he wanted you all to himself...but you chose me instead," E.J. said to Nicole before advising Brady to butt out and focus on Chloe instead. "I happen to be seeing Philip," Chloe clarified. "Brady lost out again?" E.J. translated before warning Chloe not to share any secrets with a business competitor -- then apologizing after getting an earful from Nicole.
Brady and Chloe soon rushed off to attend a business meeting -- and E.J. immediately started trying again to secure a dinner date with Nicole.
"Do you really want to go out with me...or is this just your way of sticking it to Sami?" Nicole wondered. "Don't tell me that you wouldn't want to stick it to Samantha as much as I would," E.J. countered. "Sami left town -- maybe she won't find out --" Nicole acknowledged. "Oh, I am quite sure she would," E.J. insisted. "Well, then, fine -- let's do it," Nicole decided.
E.J. rushed off after instructing Nicole to be ready at a certain time that evening -- but Brady and Chloe returned in time to figure out what had happened while they had been gone. "When this blows up in your face, don't say I didn't warn you," Brady advised once the coast was clear -- and Nicole tried to laugh off the comment but wasn't particularly convincing.
At the police station, Gwen told Xander that if they couldn't prove that Smails was in E.J.'s pocket, then they would simply have to find some other form of leverage that would force the judge to side with them instead.
"Everybody has vices -- maybe the judge has a gambling problem, or he cheats on his wife, or maybe he frequents prostitutes --" Xander mused. "Maybe he'd hire me!" Gwen suggested, drawing a laugh from Xander.
Xander stopped laughing after realizing that Gwen was being serious. "It's worth a try, don't you think? I offer him sex, and in exchange, he dismisses your case," Gwen reasoned. "That is an offer that any man would have great difficulty refusing..." Xander conceded. "Especially when I make it clear that there's nothing that I wouldn't do to save my boyfriend," Gwen agreed.
"Are you saying I'm your boyfriend?" Xander wondered. "I don't know -- are you?" Gwen responded. "Yeah, I guess I am!" Xander decided, prompting Gwen to seize a kiss. "So, it's settled -- we're going with Operation Seduce Smails," Gwen summarized after pulling away from Xander. "No!" Xander objected. "Why not?" Gwen countered. "Because I'm your boyfriend!" Xander explained.
"I'm not gonna allow you to have sex with this judge just to save my sorry ass!" Xander insisted. "Hello -- I'm not actually gonna have sex with that old fossil, you dummy! [Look], I'm gonna go in there with a recorder [and] get Smails to agree to the trade, and bam -- we've got him; he either throws out your case, or he loses his job," Gwen clarified. "Oh -- yeah, that makes a lot more sense..." Xander admitted with a laugh.
"Absolutely not," Xander maintained. "It's my turn to take some risks for you, [okay]? You are the first man that actually means something to me, [and] I will be damned if I let you go to prison!" Gwen argued. "You think we have a future?" Xander translated. "Does that scare you?" Gwen wondered. "A little -- [you know], because I want it so much..." Xander confirmed. "Then it's settled," Gwen declared -- and Xander didn't try to reject the entrapment plan again.
Jack headed over to the DiMera mansion to fly kites with Thomas and Charlotte -- but ended up running into Abigail first. "I was reading today's Spectator [just now] -- couldn't have been easy to run that article on Xander being arrested on drug charges," Abigail said to Jack, who admitted that it had been especially difficult because Xander was actually completely innocent. "I didn't state it clearly enough in my retraction of the op-ed, but I know for a fact that Xander didn't deal drugs -- [he] only confessed to it to protect your sister," Jack elaborated. "Wow -- that's a match made...somewhere other than heaven..." Abigail mused.
Jack explained everything to Abigail. "So, all of this happened to Gwen because of me," Abigail summarized. "There's only one villain in this story -- and he is dead," Jack protested. "Still --" Abigail tried to counter. "Please, take it from someone who has made more mistakes in his life than you ever will -- you can't change what happened; you can only commit to growing and learning so that it doesn't happen again. [Now], I have learned to live with my regrets and not let them wreck me -- [and] it is time for you to [do the same]; you and Gwen both need to forgive yourselves," Jack advised before giving Abigail a hug.
Abigail eventually pulled away from Jack. "You know, there is just this one thing that bothers me about what happened between Gwen and Snyder... [Look], I totally understand her not wanting people to know that she was a sex worker...[but] I would have rather told the truth than commit more crimes..." Abigail said to Jack, who seemed to see the point.
At the Horton Town Square, Gabi complained to Jake about having been deprived of coffee that morning as Rafe's way of making it clear that there would be consequences for being mean to Ava -- then conceded, without even a hint of actual concern, that there were worse ways to be punished for mistreating a mafia princess. "I know she hasn't left the past behind," Gabi argued. "You saw firsthand how hard it was for me to get out," Jake noted.
"Hey, you must have met a few...professionals...during that time, right? [So...know] someone that could...rub the bitch out?" Gabi asked casually. "I can't even believe you'd say that out loud," Jake quietly replied. "I'm just tossing out a hypothetical," Gabi explained. "Okay, well, toss it back in!" Jake snapped. "Why are you so nervous?" Gabi wondered. "Because you're talking about killing Ava Vitali -- a boss!" Jake answered.
Gabi dismissively reminded Jake that Ava had gotten out of that life and had left it behind -- and neither Jake nor Gabi seemed to realize how that argument was a direct contradiction of the one that had been made just a few minutes earlier. "She's still a Vitali, and anyone who touches her would have an immediate target on their back -- you could incite a mob war!" Jake reasoned. "Okay, okay -- I get it..." Gabi grumbled. "I don't think you do!" Jake countered.
"Look, I came to Salem to get out of that life, okay? So, I don't want to think about my past with the Vitalis -- or the crap that they had me do when I worked for them!" Jake declared with finality, piquing Gabi's interest. "Jake...have you ever...killed someone?" Gabi wondered. "Why are we even talking about this?" Jake responded. "I made a joke --" Gabi began to explain. "Was it a joke?" Jake interjected. "Half a joke --" Gabi backpedaled. "There's nothing funny about working for the mob, okay? It's a violent, scary, soul-sucking trap!" Jake stressed. "I've seen the movies --" Gabi agreed. "It's nothing like the movies!" Jake countered.
Gabi warned that, in that case, Jake was going to need to be more specific. "Well, the bosses, they would make arrangements with local businesses -- you know, for 'protection'...[as in], protection from us, basically -- [and] I would enforce those arrangements," Jake revealed. "Meaning you would hurt them if they didn't pay," Gabi translated. "I did what I had to do because I didn't have a choice -- but the entire time I was in, I was trying to get out," Jake explained. "And you've done that," Gabi acknowledged. "I like to think so...but, Gabi, the mob can play the long game, so if they suddenly decide that I am useful to them again..." Jake fretted.
"If there was some way to connect Ava to a crime -- one that she was never charged with -- we could use it against her..." Gabi suddenly mused. "Digging back into that world feels like tempting fate," Jake worriedly protested. Gabi conceded the point and agreed to drop the subject, earning a hug of gratitude from Jake, who promised to never do anything to jeopardize their relationship.
At the Hernandez house, Ava wondered how Philip planned to deal with Gabi and Jake. Philip reiterated that Gabi Chic was one of Titan's most valuable assets -- then explained that the plan, therefore, was to enlist Gabi and Jake's housemate Ava as a perfectly positioned spy who could dig up dirt that could be used to oust them from Titan without losing Gabi Chic in the process. "I have a better idea," Ava teased.
"[But] if you want my help, you're gonna have to put me in charge of Gabi Chic," Ava warned. "I understand why you'd want to run Gabi Chic, but I can't risk you running it into the ground," Philip protested. "A word of advice -- don't underestimate me. I ran my own corporation -- and I was the head of another business that's a lot less welcoming to lady bosses than the fashion industry," Ava responded. "Yeah, I don't think I can make that pitch to the board members -- nor my father," Philip argued. "Fine, it is your choice -- but unless you agree to my terms, I'm not helping you...and without me, you don't get the dirt that you need," Ava countered.
"[See], Jake used to work for my family business -- turns out, he did a lot of illegal stuff for them -- [and] I was out of commission for a lot of the time Jake was there, but my cousin Angelo, he runs a tight ship, and he's obsessive about paperwork. [Now], if Gabi's boy toy were threatened with prison --" Ava explained. "That would make her very, very sad -- maybe even sad enough that she would trade Gabi Chic for his freedom!" Philip raved. "We are gonna have to do something about that name -- what do you think of...Ava Chic?" Ava suggested. "Okay, fine -- 'Ava Chic' it is," Philip agreed with a shrug before shaking Ava's hand to seal the deal.
Ava contacted Angelo, but the call went to voicemail. "Angelo usually plays bocce with the crew today -- don't worry, he'll call soon," Ava assured Philip after recording a message -- just as Gabi and Jake approached the house while in the midst of a conversation. "I hope she hasn't stunk up the kitchen with garlic again!" Gabi complained to Jake as Ava and Philip ducked into another room. "Don't detect garlic -- smells more like...aftershave..." Jake observed after entering the house -- and Gabi agreed. "Not Rafe's -- but it does seem familiar..." Gabi mused, drawing a shrug from Jake.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Philip received a visit from Kate, who was concerned because Lucas had been in a funk since Sami had left Salem. Philip advised Kate to stop obsessing about Lucas' love life.
"Get a love life of your own," Philip recommended, drawing a scoff from Kate, who admitted that Roman had recently expressed interest. "Love is risky, and I don't want to take that risk," Kate declared before starting to gush about Roman.
At the Brady Pub, Lucas overheard E.J. making dinner reservations. "Did Sami come back to you? I didn't think she would be that stupid," Lucas began after E.J. ended the call. "No, Samantha is not back in Salem -- not that it's any of your concern," E.J. responded. "She's the mother of my children -- [and] also my friend --" Lucas argued. "Have you heard from her?" E.J. countered. "No -- [and] I just find it hard to believe that she's not keeping in touch with anyone," Lucas admitted, prompting E.J. to suggest that Sami was hiding from everyone due to feeling embarrassed about having been exposed as someone who had once again stooped low enough to sleep with Lucas, of all people.
"That's not how Sami saw it," Lucas bragged. "Oh, you better watch what you say -- you're very close to making me angry...and, trust me, you don't want that," E.J. warned, getting right in Lucas' face. "Take your best shot, DiMera -- go ahead," Lucas countered while inching even closer to E.J. -- but Roman emerged from the kitchen just then and intervened.
"Tell Johnny that I've set things in motion," Lucas advised E.J. before starting to exit the pub. "What the hell's that supposed to mean?" E.J. demanded to know, stopping Lucas. "What, you didn't hear? I'm investing in his movie -- [and] I don't want to spoil it for you, but you'll be surprised who your wife's real love interest is," Lucas clarified before continuing to walk away. E.J. tried to follow, but Roman again intervened.
"Can you believe the nerve of that son of a bitch? First, he sleeps with my wife, and now he's giving money to my son for some cinematic pipe dream --" E.J. grumbled. "Lucas isn't the only one -- [see], I am not about to tell one of my grandkids 'no' when they're following their dream," Roman revealed. "That dream is puerile -- his place is at DiMera, working for me!" E.J. declared. "Real question -- do you ever think about how stupid you are? Look, if you want a surefire way to get Johnny completely out of your life, then force him to do something he doesn't want to do -- and, yeah, sneer at the most important thing in his life," Roman countered.
E.J. sarcastically expressed appreciation for advice from one of the best parents in Salem's history. "I'm trying to help my son grow up, and you're indulging him -- just like you always indulged your tramp daughter!" E.J. spat. "Oh, wow -- you obviously came here for a fight, didn't you? Well, you know what they say -- 'be careful what you wish for'..." Roman warned, getting right in E.J.'s face. "Sorry -- I was out of line," E.J. responded.
"I'm not defending [Sami]...but we both know you were far from a great husband, all right? And, like I said, just like you pushed her away, you are about to do exactly the same thing to your son," Roman advised E.J. again.
At the Horton Town Square, Chanel yawned while helping Allie pass out free samples to potential Sweet Bits customers. "Am I keeping you up?" Allie teased. "I'm just really tired -- it's hard to get a good night's when the bed keeps rocking like you're shooting the rapids or something," Chanel explained. "So, Johnny finally wore you down, huh? Was it worth the wait?" Allie wondered. "You have a dirty mind, Horton -- that's one of the things I like best about you," Chanel declared.
"The bed kept rocking [because] your evil twin made me watch The Exorcist last night -- and, as you know, I am very sensitive and highly suggestible... [Anyway], I read about that movie before I went to bed -- and when they were making it, the sets burned down; the actresses who played the mother and the daughter, they both got burned; the crew, they kept getting sick; and people who saw it, they had heart attacks, and some women even had miscarriages... [So], every time I closed my eyes, I just kept dreaming that I was that girl in the movie and that the devil was coming after me..." Chanel clarified before telling Allie that Johnny was playing with fire.
"I didn't sleep much, either," Allie admitted. "You and Tripp?" Chanel guessed. "Tripp did spend the night, but that's not why I didn't get any sleep. See, I'm dealing with a horror movie of my own -- it's The Teething of Toddler Henry -- [and] the poor guy, he was up most of the night...but, fortunately, Tripp was there; he actually got up with him at 5:00 this morning so I could come here and bake doughnuts, [and] this man offered to come over every day at that ungodly hour until the nanny gets there at 7:00," Allie responded. "I'm really happy you have someone who wants to take care of you," Chanel stressed. "Yeah, he's pretty incredible...and I really, really care about him..." Allie declared.
"But...?" Chanel prodded Allie. "Tripp is so great...and I really, really like him...and the sex is..." Allie continued before flashing a pointed grin. "So, what is the problem?" Chanel wondered. "He told me that he loved me the other day, and I didn't say it back," Allie concluded. "I wish I could relate, [but] Johnny and I are nowhere near the 'I love you' stage; we're still 'wooing' -- his words, not mine..." Chanel revealed before remembering that the conversation was supposed to be about Allie's love life at that moment. "What do you think is holding you back?" Chanel challenged Allie.
At the Evans-Black townhouse, John began a phone conversation with Johnny, who was at the DiMera mansion. "If you're calling to talk to your grandma about your movie, we had that discussion, and we have decided that we're gonna pass on investing in it," John informed Johnny after reporting that Marlena was trying to sleep off some sort of ailment at that moment and was therefore unable to join the phone conversation.
"To say that the memories of that time are painful would be a gross understatement," John explained. "Yeah, but maybe confronting the memories could be a good way of...exorcising them," Johnny countered. "Was that supposed to be a joke?" John irritably wondered. "No?" Johnny innocently responded. "Look, kiddo, I'm sure you think demonic possession is big box office here, but what happened to your grandma, it was horrific, it was painful, and it needs to stay private, so if and when you decide to make this movie here, you're gonna leave that part out!" John snapped before hanging up on Johnny. "Sorry, but...Grandma's possession is the only part I'm leaving in..." Johnny muttered.
Abigail entered the living room a short time later and observed that Johnny seemed upset about something. Johnny confirmed the suspicion then started venting to Abigail about the situation. "Will -- he didn't happen to write anything about --" Abigail nervously interjected in the middle of Johnny's rant. "Your affair with my dad while he was engaged to my mother? As a matter of fact, he did," Johnny bluntly informed Abigail.
"It's the most cinematic sequence in the script -- [there's] very little dialogue; [it's] just my mother going about her life [and] planning a wedding, completely unaware that anything was even wrong, and it's intercut with some rather...striking...visuals --" Johnny elaborated. "Discreet visuals?" Abigail hopefully translated. "There's a long shower montage, [so] there's a lot of steam, but I don't know that I'd call it 'discreet' -- the way that Will described my dad's naked body, it's almost like he had a thing for his stepfather; little inappropriate, if you ask me..." Johnny matter-of-factly clarified.
"Can't wait for the premiere -- I'll bring the whole family..." Abigail declared with a groan, prompting Johnny to crack a smile and admit that none of those scenes were going to be included in the movie. "With Will's blessing, I've begun rewriting the script -- I'm gonna focus on the darkest, most dramatic thing that's ever happened to my family," Johnny began to explain as Abigail breathed a sigh of relief.
Johnny finished revealing the true subject of the movie then wondered what Abigail remembered about that time in Salem's history. "Not much, really -- I was just a kid," Abigail answered. "But weren't people talking about it?" Johnny protested. "I mean, there were whispers about it here and there, but no one really wanted to talk about it very much," Abigail recalled. "Yeah, I'm getting that..." Johnny grumbled.
"Do you not see that your family might see the movie as exploitative? I mean, what's the phrase -- 'sell your own grandmother' --" Abigail challenged Johnny. "What I don't see is why everybody's so offended by it -- I mean, possession's nothing to be ashamed of, right? She didn't seek out the devil -- she didn't upload a profile to a demonic dating website!" Johnny reasoned. "Right, but just because it wasn't her fault, that doesn't mean she wants there to be a movie made about it," Abigail noted.
Abigail was surprised to learn that Johnny wanted the movie's cast to consist of friends and family members instead of professional actors. "This is a Salem story -- I want people who are connected to this town, people who are connected to the people who had to go through this unspeakable horror..." Johnny explained before suddenly deciding that Abigail was the perfect person to cast as Marlena.
"I guess, as someone who had DID, I do know a thing or two about someone taking over your life and who you are..." Abigail conceded. "So, does this mean you'll do it?" Johnny wondered.
At the Evans-Black townhouse, Marlena awoke with a start after dreaming about what had happened in Doug's hospital room the previous night -- and John, who was in the living room at that moment, rushed off to the master bedroom to find out what was wrong. "I had the most horrible nightmare..." Marlena explained. "Had to be a doozy -- you're still shaking," John observed. "I think it had something to do with Doug..." Marlena recalled.
John thought that made sense because Marlena had gone to the hospital the previous night to check on Doug. "I wanted to make him feel better...and I don't remember exactly what I said to him, but I think I made him feel worse..." Marlena admitted. "How could you do that?" John wondered. "I don't know, [but] I need to figure this out..." Marlena fretted.
"Is there any way you might have recorded your session with Doug?" John suggested with a shrug. "I did!" Marlena confirmed with a gasp. Marlena excitedly jumped out of bed and started to get dressed, wanting to head over to the hospital right away to listen to the recording -- and John forced a smile and grudgingly offered to tag along after realizing that it would be pointless to try to argue that the matter could wait until the following day.
At the hospital, Tripp entered the Williams room and greeted Julie, who had been in the process of saying a prayer. "[Kayla] had an emergency, so I'm gonna be checking on your husband," Tripp explained. "He really had a terrible night -- he tossed and turned..." Julie reported. "I will talk to Kayla about increasing the dosage of the sedative they gave him, [but] his vitals are good, and his condition is stable," Tripp assured Julie.
Julie curiously mused that things had gotten worse, not better, after Marlena had checked on Doug the previous night -- which was just a coincidence, of course, and proof that the psychiatrist wasn't a miracle worker. "Try not to worry, okay? Agitation is a fairly common side effect for dementia --" Tripp advised. "My husband does not have dementia!" Julie protested. "I'm sorry -- I should be more careful with my words; I'm not making a diagnosis, [and] his cognitive status is still being evaluated, you know, so...we'll do some more tests and see what the data tells us --" Tripp backpedaled. "I don't need to see 'data' -- I know if I pray for my husband, he will get better!" Julie declared.
"Well, I'm not questioning the power of prayer -- I've read more than one study that a positive attitude can result in significant benefits in a patient's prognosis --" Tripp conceded. "Do you really believe everything has a scientific explanation?" Julie wondered. "I'm sorry if I seem clinical -- it's very clear how much you love your husband and how important your faith is to you --" Tripp responded.
"Just answer the question," Julie advised. "Yes, I do -- but I don't think that faith and science are mutually exclusive; you know, the more I learn about how the body works, the more I'm convinced that life itself is a miracle, [and] saying that I think there is a scientific explanation doesn't mean we have it yet... Like, I was talking to Allie about this last night..." Tripp clarified before starting to tell Julie about Johnny's recent discovery that Marlena had supposedly been the victim of demonic possession at one point -- and Doug's heart rate and blood pressure increased during the conversation, but the changes weren't dramatic enough to sound any alarms and went unnoticed as a result.
"Doug and I were not in town at the time, [but] I've heard the stories," Julie revealed. "And do you believe the stories are true?" Tripp wondered. "Let's say...in my life experience, the devil takes many forms -- Gabi Hernandez is one of them --" Julie grumbled. "Sorry?" Tripp interjected. "Never mind -- you keep your faith in science, I'll keep my faith in God...and I'm sure, between the two of us, we can do Doug some good," Julie concluded.
Tripp, whose work shift had just ended, nodded then said goodbye to Julie and headed over to the town square, where Chanel was still interrogating Allie. "What are you two talking about?" Tripp casually began. "Chanel getting 'wooed,'" Allie hesitantly responded. "And about how you're her 5:00 a.m. hero," Chanel coolly added. "Guess we're all pretty lucky," Tripp declared, and Allie agreed before seizing a kiss -- as Chanel watched closely.
John and Marlena entered the hospital together then parted ways with each other. John frowned while en route to the Williams room, pondering Marlena's odd behavior. Julie decided to use John's visit as an opportunity to take a quick break, wanting to shower and change clothes -- and Doug's heart rate and blood pressure, which had never stopped increasing but were still under the magic numbers that would set off alarms, both started decreasing when Julie handed over a rosary before leaving.
"We're all right here for you, buddy -- in fact, Marlena is in her office right now, just trying to figure out what she's gonna do next --" John reported, prompting Doug's heart rate and blood pressure to start increasing again. John noticed and reached for the hospital bed's call button, but Doug -- suddenly awake and alert -- dismissed the concern. "John, Marlena needs our help -- she tried to... Oh, dear God..." Doug fretted. "She tried to...what?" John prodded Doug. "Kill me!" Doug concluded.
Meanwhile, Marlena started listening to the recording of Doug's therapy session -- then shut it off with a shudder shortly after the demonic presence began speaking. Marlena took a deep breath then rewound the recording and started listening to that section of it again -- but, this time, only static could be heard. Confused, Marlena began to investigate the recorder's malfunction -- then dropped it when the static suddenly ended and the demonic presence's voice started speaking again. "Dear Marlena, do you really need to play this tape? I'm so hurt that you've already forgotten our little reunion! Allow me to refresh your memory..." the demonic presence growled.
Ben and Ciara returned home from their honeymoon, laden with bags of souvenirs. Ben lamented that his hands had been too full to carry Ciara across the threshold, but Ciara called it a silly tradition. "We are here in our own place. We're married," Ciara said. Ciara added that it was all she needed.
In the square, Allie and Tripp kissed until Chanel cleared her throat. "Get a room," Chanel joked. Allie laughed. Since it was quitting time, Tripp suggested that they get a drink at happy hour. Chanel hesitated. Allie suggested they get one of their favorite French cocktails, but Chanel decided to go to bed early instead.
Allie and Tripp went to the new bar, and they ran into Ben and Ciara, who were there to grab burgers. "You should join us," Allie said. While Ben and Tripp went to the bar to get drinks, Allie asked Ciara for details about her honeymoon. "It was everything I could have wanted in a honeymoon, except," Ciara said. Allie asked Ciara what was wrong. Ciara told Allie about her conversation with Ben about starting a family.
"People are not kidding when they say that having a kid changes your entire life," Allie said. Allie encouraged Ciara to enjoy some time alone with Ben for a while. Ciara noted that Ben had said the same thing, but he had also expressed his worry about his genetics.
"The ones that made him mentally ill?" Allie asked. "He's convinced of it. And he wasn't just mentally ill, Allie. He killed three people," Ciara countered. Allie noted that it did not mean that their child would kill anyone. As an example, Allie reminded Ciara that Henry's father had been violent. "I don't think that Henry's going to turn out like that," Allie said. Ciara agreed that Henry would be fine because Allie was a good mother.
"And I tried convincing Ben that his problem was a father who beat him, not that he is evil in his genes. I told him that he would be an amazing dad, but what if I can't convince him? What if he never changes his mind? What if he never wants to have kids with me?" Ciara said. Allie suggested adoption as an option. With a shake of her head no, Ciara noted that Ben's history would preclude an adoption. Allie told Ciara that she could adopt a child through a lawyer rather than an agency.
"That never occurred to me. I know that Ben and I would love any baby. No matter whether it was biologically ours or not," Ciara said. With a sigh, Ciara told Allie that it broke her heart that Ben believed he was cursed.
At the bar, Ben asked Tripp if it was possible to pass evil on to one's child. Ben explained his worry that his child would be homicidal because of his genetics. "There's not a homicidal gene. Okay, you can't pass something like that on to your children. But if you were in a psychotic state," Tripp said. "I was," Ben interjected. Ben explained that he took medication to control his psychosis. With a nod, Tripp noted that psychosis could be genetically inherited.
"Which means your kid would have what they call a genetic predisposition toward having it, too," Tripp said. "So, I'm right?" Ben asked. Tripp reminded Ben that it was also possible that the child would not inherit Ben's traits. "My sister, she wasn't right, either," Ben said. "There is still no way to predict, okay?" Tripp said. Tripp apologized for not having better news.
Ciara and Allie rejoined Ben and Tripp at the bar. "What were you guys talking about?" Ciara asked. Tripp joked about the ingredients in Allie's French cocktail.
When Tripp and Allie returned to Nicole's apartment to relieve the nanny, Allie thanked Tripp for the night out to relax. The monitor blared to life with Henry's cries. As Allie started to rise, Tripp gently pushed her back on the couch, and he got up to check on Henry. "You keep enjoying the night," Tripp said. "Careful what you wish for, Ciara," Allie whispered to herself.
When Ben and Ciara returned home, Ciara asked him what he had actually talked to Tripp about at the bar. "It was nothing," Ben said. When Ciara pushed Ben to open up, Ben admitted that he had asked Tripp about genetics. "First of all, you don't have psycho genes. And second of all, no one can predict what kind of baby we'll have. Not even a doctor, and I'm sure Tripp told you that," Ciara said. Ben said yes. Ciara suggested that they talk to Marlena about the issue.
In the DiMera living room, Johnny asked Abigail to play Marlena in his movie. As Abigail hemmed and hawed, Chad walked in and asked what was going on. "Just trying to convince your wife to be my grandmother," Johnny said. "Johnny wants to make a movie about demonic possession, and he wants me to play Marlena," Abigail explained. Chad asked why the topic of the movie had changed.
"It is still the Sami Brady story, but grandma's a big part of mom's story," Johnny said. Chad agreed that horror was a more lucrative genre for a movie. "I would love to hear your pitch," Chad said. Johnny offered a new version of the script to Chad to review. "I know you're not going to be able to turn me down," Johnny said.
After Johnny left, Abigail read through the script while Chad talked about work. "The script must be a real page-turner, huh?" Chad asked. "I get to be a panther," Abigail said with a grin. With a shrug, Chad noted that the panther would likely be CGI. "I know this all sounds really out there, but it is my job to make it all sound believable," Abigail said. "Your job?" Chad asked. Abigail smiled.
"For argument's sake, what's so crazy about it?" Abigail asked. "No disrespect, but, babe, you can't act," Chad said. Abigail said that with the kids in school, she had time to work on the movie. "What about your job at the Spectator?" Chad asked. Abigail said that she could continue her leave of absence from the paper. Surprised, Chad said, "You're serious about this, aren't you?"
"I guess I am serious, you know? I would really like to do something outside my comfort zone. Something that's just not so me," Abigail said. Abigail said she wanted to focus on something new in her life. With a chuckle, Abigail said doing the film would help her get over the trauma of her second grade school play when she had forgotten her lines, and the teacher had recast her. Abigail teared up as she recalled the memory of having had to go home and tell her family.
"This is so silly," Abigail said as she wiped away her tears. Abigail noted that Jennifer had looked disappointed in her. Chad called Abigail's teacher "a real bitch." After a sob, Abigail yelled out, "I didn't forget my lines! I blew her away! I was brilliant." Chad clapped. "I told you I could act," Abigail said with a grin.
In the town square, Chanel locked up the bakery, and she started to walk home. On the bench, Johnny started to strum his guitar. Johnny serenaded Chanel. "Who do you think you are?" Chanel asked with a chuckle. "I think I'm a guy who has come here to woo a beautiful lady," Johnny said. Johnny continued to sing while Chanel listened.
When Johnny finished, he told Chanel that he had once wanted to be a rock star. "That was right before I wanted to be a filmmaker and right after I gave up on being an FBI agent," Johnny said. "You keep reinventing yourself. You sound like me," Chanel said. Johnny noted that he and Chanel were perfect for one another. As Johnny and Chanel chatted, she yawned.
"Guess that's the downside of dating a baker. She's got to be in bed early," Johnny said. Johnny pulled a flower out his guitar case, and he placed it behind Chanel's ear. "You can't have a romance without flowers," Johnny said. Johnny kissed Chanel goodnight on the cheek, and he walked away.
At the hospital, John was sitting at Doug's bedside when Doug woke up. "Marlena needs our help," Doug whispered. Doug added that Marlena had attempted to kill him. John told Doug that he was mistaken. Agitated, Doug begged John to listen to him. "[Marlena] wants me dead," Doug said. "You know that's not true," John said. Doug apologized, and he grabbed John's hand.
"If you won't believe me, if you won't try to stop her, she'll try again. Is that what you want for me, too? You want me to die?" Doug asked. John urged Doug to calm down. "I have to convince you!" Doug said. "Everything is going to be okay," John assured Doug. John announced that he would track down Kayla. Doug begged for John not to leave, but John ran out of the room.
When John ran into the hallway, he saw Julie. John told Julie about Doug's accusation. "Are you sure?" Julie asked. "That's exactly what he said," John said. Julie suggested that Doug was confused. "I'll go sit with him," Julie said. John went in search of Kayla.
In Marlena's office, she listened to the recording of her session with Doug, and she heard the devil's voice on the recorder. "Did you really need to play this tape? I'm so hurt you've already forgotten our little reunion. Allow me to refresh your memory," the devil said. The devil went on to explain that Doug had been the perfect vessel to get to Marlena. Marlena remembered her conversation with the devil about how to save Doug.
"I could have easily killed the old man, but you spared his life by letting me take control," the devil said. The devil added that he was disappointed that Marlena had chosen to turn away from him in favor of John. "Thanks to the cursed power of John's prayer, you and I were torn apart. You had so graciously invited me in. I was tucked up, warm and cozy. Then that so-called priest had to go and invoke God," the devil said on the recording.
The devil said that he had been certain that Marlena would stop fighting and give in to him like she had had 25 years earlier. "Our first effort? Getting rid of that old man. You were a vision holding that pillow over his head. But then John had to say that prayer," the devil continued. The devil added that he had been cast out by John.
"It's time for you to let me back in, Marlena. I will not allow you to leave me, not when we have so much work to do," the devil said. Marlena closed her eyes, and she refused to help the devil. The recording said, "No use fighting it, my dear. You know I always win in the end. Besides, don't you remember the fun we had together?" The devil told Marlena that she needed to stop Doug from telling anyone about his possession.
"Together, we can take care of the old man," the devil said. "No! I will not hurt Doug!" Marlena cried out. The devil continued to talk on the recording about giving Marlena power. "I'll take care of [Doug] with or without you," the devil said. "Don't hurt Doug," Marlena whispered. As if in conversation with Marlena, the voice on the recording told Marlena that he would spare Doug if Marlena backed him up. "Is it him or me?" the devil said.
Julie joined Doug in his hospital room, and he sighed with relief. "You're just a little confused right now," Julie said. When Julie said that John was looking for Kayla, Doug refused to take any more drugs. "I don't want to calm down. I want people to believe me. I want you to believe me," Doug said. Julie assured Doug that everyone supported him. "You're going to be yourself again soon," Julie said. Julie told Doug that he was surrounded by love.
"Not Marlena!" Doug said. "She wants you to be well. She wants to take care of you," Julie said. As Julie continued to talk about Marlena, Doug shifted restlessly. In the dark corner, Marlena sat in a chair and watched with her devil yellow eyes. Julie went to the sink to refill the water jug. Devil Marlena crept up behind Julie, and she used a tray to knock Julie unconscious.
Down the hallway, John stopped by Marlena's office to see if Kayla was there. The office was empty. John saw the recorder on the desk, and he picked it up.