At the police station, Ava entered the commissioner's office while Rafe was thinking about Nicole. "Hope I'm not disturbing you," Ava began. "Just thinking about...a work thing," Rafe claimed.
At Basic Black, E.J. entered the CEO's office while Nicole was thinking about Rafe. "Really?" E.J. protested after spotting Nicole and Rafe's shared teddy bear. "What?" Nicole responded. "Well, considering his backstory and the fact he's now perched on your desk, it makes me wonder if you're still pining over Rafe Hernandez," E.J. explained. "No!" Nicole claimed.
"The first thing I did right after Samantha left [was] remove every single trace of her from the home -- it was quite cathartic. [Now], you say you want to move on from Rafe -- getting rid of this silly reminder might do the same for you," E.J. advised before tossing the teddy bear in the trash can then starting to escort Nicole out of the office with a comment about not wanting to be late for their dinner date. "I forgot my phone!" Nicole declared with a gasp before rushing back into the office and fishing the teddy bear out of the trash can then rejoining E.J. in the hallway.
E.J. took Nicole to Julie's Place and made a point of ordering the most expensive bottle of wine on the restaurant's menu. "I've always enjoyed the finer things in life -- [and], as I recall, so do you, [so] it's a good thing you're not with Rafe, [because] I assume he's more of a 'beer and pretzels' kind of a guy," E.J. stressed, annoying Nicole.
E.J. apologized and assured Nicole that the rest of the date would just be about the two of them -- just as Rafe entered the restaurant with Ava. "Fancy meeting you here," Nicole said to Rafe and Ava with a forced smile as E.J. silently stewed. "So, you two are out celebrating, huh? Business must be good," Rafe assumed. "'Business'? This is pure pleasure!" E.J. bragged.
Lani received a phone call from Abe while waiting for Paulina to emerge from one of the town square's stores. "You can't let Paulina come home yet," Abe begged Lani. "No problem -- just text me when you're ready," Lani assured Abe.
Lani ended the call with a sigh and a shake of the head, clearly worried about the possibility of failing the mission -- and Paulina approached just then and wondered what was wrong. "Just a little misunderstanding," Lani answered before trying to lead Paulina into another store. "Honey, I cannot take one second longer in these heels, so I'm going home," Paulina insisted before starting to rush off, ignoring Lani's protests.
Meanwhile, Chanel entered the Price condominium and greeted Abe, who was in the process of setting a table for dinner. "[This is] probably what you wanted to talk to me about at the bakery, so I will make myself scarce..." Chanel offered before starting to rush back out of the condominium, having noticed that Abe had placed candles on the table. "Wait," Abe requested, stopping Chanel.
"I'm gonna make this brief, since your mother may be here any minute... Look, Chanel, your mother and I have gotten very close lately -- and, at this point in our lives, why wait to make a firm commitment -- so, I want to ask her to be my wife, which means that I would be your stepfather...and I want to know what you think," Abe announced. "What I think is...you're the best thing that's happened to Mama in forever -- you're one of those guys who, when you say everything's going to turn out all right, it actually does -- so I know you'll make Mama happy. [And], as you know, my own dad died when I was real young, so I don't really remember what it was like having a dad, but I'm guessing it'll be nice having a step one like you," Chanel declared with a hint of emotion. "Thank you for that, Chanel -- and I guess it would be wonderful having a stepdaughter like you," Abe responded with a smile.
Having secured Chanel's blessing, Abe went back to the dinner preparations. "I called your grandmother in Florida, and I got her to send me the recipes for all of Paulina's favorites," Abe explained while drawing Chanel's attention to three sheets of paper that were fanned out atop the bar. "I hate to tell you this, but...Big Mama screwed up -- Mama hates pecan pie; [it's] my Aunt Tamara's favorite, [but] Mama's favorite is key lime," Chanel warned Abe after glancing at the recipes. "Please tell me you have some limes," Abe begged Chanel, who nodded in response then offered to help with the dessert disaster.
Meanwhile, Lani blurted out something about an urgent need for help as a way of stopping Paulina from leaving the town square. "I'm...thinking about surprising Eli with a trip as a Christmas present -- and I know Christmas is a few months away, but if I want to get a decent airfare --" Lani hesitantly began to elaborate -- and Paulina immediately bought the story, seeing how it could be risky to put off the conversation for even just one more day.
Paulina happily agreed to watch the twins during the holiday then started suggesting travel destinations for Lani to consider -- and eventually mentioned Paris. "I've never been..." Lani grumbled. "Because of me," Paulina realized. "It's okay --" Lani tried to backpedal, but Paulina didn't want to be let off the hook so easily. "I broke your little heart when you were all of eight years old -- what kind of a...person does that to a child?" Paulina fretted, and Lani didn't seem to sense that a significantly different word had nearly been uttered during the pause in the sentence.
"You had an important business trip," Lani acknowledged. "Said your mama -- who lied...and I was the coward who let her tell that lie," Paulina confessed. "You both lied to me? Why?" Lani asked incredulously. "Because...when I told my sister about my big plans and how I'd sworn you to secrecy, she shut me down -- hard. [She] raised you with a firm hand, [and] look how you turned out -- [now], if she'd let me spoil you the way I really wanted to...well, who knows!" Paulina carefully replied. Lani assured Paulina that it was water under the bridge.
Lani soon received a text message from Abe -- and played along when Paulina guessed that Eli was checking in to find out why the shopping spree was taking so long. Meanwhile, Abe thanked Chanel, who requested -- and received -- permission to stick around long enough to see Paulina's reaction to the surprise dinner.
Abe and Chanel had everything ready by the time Paulina joined them at the condominium. "Walking in high heels should be an Olympic sport," Paulina grumbled before noticing the lit candles and realizing that Abe and Chanel were up to something. Chanel flashed Paulina a grin as Abe revealed the dinner menu. "I hate key lime pie!" Paulina protested at the end of the preview, prompting Abe to shoot Chanel a questioning look.
At the hospital, Kayla entered Marlena's office and greeted John. "I thought I might find you here -- I heard you were looking for me," Kayla began. "Yeah, I am -- and looking for Doc, also," John responded.
"You weren't gonna listen to that, were you?" Kayla challenged John, who was still holding Marlena's recorder. "I was tempted," John admitted before starting to tell Kayla about what was going on with Marlena -- and Doug, too.
Meanwhile, in the Williams room, Doug discreetly pressed the hospital bed's call button as "Marlena" checked Julie's motionless body for signs of life. Doug quietly climbed out of bed and approached "Marlena" from behind then grabbed the serving tray that had been used to knock out Julie. "Don't you dare touch my wife!" Doug snapped while struggling with the demonic presence for control of the makeshift weapon.
Kayla rushed off to the Williams room with John after being informed that the call button had been pressed -- and they were both shocked to see Doug and "Marlena" fighting over a serving tray near Julie's motionless body. Kayla rushed to Julie's side, and John forced Doug back into bed, giving the demonic presence time to change Marlena's glowing yellow eyes back to a human color.
Kayla eventually managed to rouse Julie. "What happened?" Kayla wondered. "I don't know," Julie responded. "I came in to check on Doug...and when I walked in, that's when I saw Doug hit Julie over the head with this -- so, of course, I grabbed it away, and then that was when you came in," the demonic presence claimed as Marlena.
"No -- that is not what happened --" Doug protested. "Darling, I know -- you would never do that," Julie agreed. "I know how hard this is to accept, but Doug just hasn't been himself --" the demonic presence reasoned as Marlena. "I am myself -- you're not!" Doug countered.
"She did it -- she tried to kill my Julie!" Doug revealed. "Oh, for heaven's sake, now -- this needs to stop! Listen, Kayla, I think we've got to sedate him!" the demonic presence declared as Marlena. "I know who you are -- I know what you did --" Doug snapped at the demonic presence, leading Kayla to conclude that "Marlena" was right about the need for sedation.
Doug and Julie both tried to object, but Kayla insisted on administering a sedative -- and the demonic presence watched until satisfied then followed John out of the room, still posing as Marlena. "The man is so weak he can barely walk -- how could he leap up, grab a tray, hit me so hard on the head that I passed out --" Julie argued. "You know, when Tripp and I were taking care of him after he collapsed, he woke up and suddenly -- almost violently -- grabbed Tripp's arm; we were amazed at his strength!" Kayla recalled. "He didn't do this!" Julie maintained. "There was no one else in the room," Kayla countered. "Except Marlena..." Julie grumbled.
Meanwhile, at the nurses' station, the demonic presence feigned concern for Doug as Marlena -- and John listened with a hint of suspicion. "Why did you leave your office and go to Doug's room?" John eventually asked. "I...learned that Doug is more of a threat to Julie than I had thought," the demonic presence carefully replied as Marlena before telling John that Doug had expressed a desire to kill Julie during the recorded therapy session. "You really think Doug would have killed Julie?" John incredulously protested. "Doug has lost his mind -- I think he's gone around the bend," the demonic presence gravely reasoned as Marlena.
"He told me something that upset me, as well -- [he] said that you had tried to kill him," John casually revealed, annoying the demonic presence, which laughed off the accusation as Marlena -- just as Kayla and Julie approached, still arguing about whether Doug truly was responsible for what had happened earlier. "Julie, I'm so sorry, but you need to face the truth! I know how painful this is for you -- how painful it is for all of us who love Doug so much -- but, in my professional opinion, Doug has become a danger to himself and to others, and so it needs to be my recommendation that Doug be committed to Bayview," the demonic presence declared as Marlena.
Meanwhile, Doug sobbed while tossing and turning in bed, trying to fight the effects of the sedative. "Please, God -- please don't let him hurt Julie anymore!" Doug begged.
When Paulina returned to her apartment, Chanel and Abe were there. Abe explained that he had fixed Paulina's favorite foods. "I hate key lime pie," Paulina said. Confused, Chanel argued that she had seen Paulina eat a whole pie on her own.
"If I was to eat a whole pie by myself, which has never happened, it would be a Florida lime pie. There is a world of difference," Paulina said. When Abe offered pecan pie, Paulina said she hated that, too. "I feel so bad that you worked so hard making me pies I don't like," Paulina said. Paulina went into the bedroom to change her shoes.
Chanel apologized for the confusion. "We just won't serve dessert," Abe said. "You're proposing tonight. Everything has to be perfect," Chanel whispered. When Abe said the food was enough, Chanel offered to get a Florida lime pie. Abe started to protest, but Chanel walked out.
Lani returned home, and Eli ran to the door to quiet her. "I just put [the twins] down!" Eli hissed. When the twins did not wake, Lani confirmed that Abe's plan to propose was in motion. Eli asked Lani if she approved of Abe's plan. Lani admitted that it was strange to call Paulina her aunt and her stepmom.
Eli told Lani that Doug had knocked out Julie. "Is she okay?" Lani asked. "Yeah, but it's clear she can't be alone around Doug anymore," Eli said. Eli explained that Marlena had admitted Doug to Bayview. "I'm so sorry that I wasn't here when you heard all this," Lani said. Eli asked about Lani's shopping day with Paulina.
Lani told Eli about her conversation with Paulina about the aborted trip to Paris. "[Tamara] let you think that Aunt Paulina dumped you, and she didn't tell you that she was the one who canceled the whole thing?" Eli asked. With a shrug, Lani said that Paulina had lied because she had not wanted Lani to be angry at Tamara. "Sounds like there is more to the story than what Paulina is telling you," Eli said.
Eli kissed Lani's neck, and she offered to show him the lingerie she had bought. When Lani showed the lingerie to Eli, he suggested that they skip wearing it. Eli pulled off his shirt, and he fell onto the couch with Lani. Someone knocked on the door. As the knocking intensified, Lani noted that the person might wake the kids.
It was Chanel at the door, and she apologized for the interruption. Chanel handed the pecan pie to Eli. Chanel put Eli and Lani to work in helping her make the Florida lime pie for Paulina. Eli asked why the pie was so important.
"I just thought it would be cool if Abe could present the ring on top of the piece of pie," Chanel explained. Chanel added that she felt like she had screwed up the night, and she wanted to fix it for her mother. "That's really sweet of you. You know, you and your mom have really come a long way since you just blew into town," Lani said. "I guess we have," Chanel said.
While the pie baked, Chanel texted Abe to tell him the status. "I cannot believe that your mom and my dad are actually getting married," Lani said. Eli noted that Chanel and Lani would be stepsisters. "I always wanted a sister," Lani said. "Me, too. I used to bug my mama about it all the time," Chanel said. Lani promised to be the best sister to Chanel.
"You already were. You gave me a place to stay, and you listened to me," Chanel said. Chanel credited Lani with giving her the courage to open the bakery. "How is that going?" Eli asked. Chanel said the bakery was doing well. "And it hasn't been awkward?" Lani asked. Chanel said that Allie understood. "Besides, I'm into men now," Chanel said. "Who is the lucky guy?" Eli asked. Chanel said that she was dating Allie's twin brother.
"What does Allie think of the idea?" Lani asked. Chanel told Eli and Lani about Allie and Johnny's fight. "It's all worked out now," Chanel added. The oven buzzer rang, and Chanel said, "I just hope I'm not too late." After Chanel left, Eli and Lani dug into the pecan pie. Eli suggested that he and Lani pick up where they had left off before Chanel had arrived.
At Paulina's apartment, Abe and Paulina started to eat dinner. "I could not have done it without input from your mother and Chanel," Abe said. Abe poured wine, and Paulina asked about Chanel. When Abe said that Chanel had mentioned an errand, Paulina suggested that Chanel was with Johnny. Abe explained that Johnny was his late wife's nephew.
"I only hope he is good enough for my Chanel," Paulina said. "[Johnny] was a great little kid, but if he takes after either one of his parents, Chanel will have her hands full," Abe said. Abe added that Chanel was tough enough to handle Johnny.
"To you, my love," Abe toasted. Paulina raved about the short ribs and potatoes, and she said she had enjoyed her day out with Lani. When Paulina noted that Lani had rambled on about a trip, Abe explained that Lani had been stalling so that Abe could finish dinner preparations.
"I am so blessed to have your niece in my life," Abe said. "Lani, she is a very special woman," Paulina agreed. Abe told Paulina that he looked forward to making up all the years he had lost with Lani. "Being her dad, it's one of the most precious gifts God's ever given me," Abe said.
After Abe cleaned the dishes, Paulina said that she was tired. "What about dessert?" Abe asked. With a chuckle, Paulina said, "If you're craving some sweets, then why don't you just jump into bed with me." Paulina walked toward the bedroom, and Abe dropped to one knee.
"This is not the most original idea, but tough times call for quick decisions. Paulina Price, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?" Abe asked as he held out an engagement ring. Surprised, Paulina hesitated to answer.
"I know we talked about this, but I didn't expect a proposal so soon," Paulina said. "Would you be good enough to give me an answer?" Abe asked. Startled out of her reverie, Paulina shouted, "Yes!" Abe put the ring on Paulina's finger.
Abe and Paulina poured Champagne, and they toasted to "finding love again." Chanel returned home with the pie, and she asked Abe to join her in the kitchen. "That won't be necessary," Abe said. Paulina held out her hand to show off the ring. "Your mama is getting married!" Paulina yelled. Chanel jumped up and down with joy.
"I had to take my shot before she went to bed," Abe explained. "I'm wide awake now, though!" Paulina said. Abe asked Chanel to stay and celebrate with them. "And some pie!" Paulina added.
At Julie's Place, Nicole and E.J. were sipping wine when Rafe walked in with Ava. "You guys are out celebrating?" Rafe asked. "Business? This is pure pleasure," E.J. said. Surprised, Rafe asked if E.J. and Nicole were on a date. "We are," E.J. confirmed. In disbelief, Rafe asked Nicole if that was true. E.J. pointed out that he and Nicole had been married twice.
"That's exactly my point. I thought you'd figured this guy out?" Rafe said. When E.J. noted that the third time was the charm, Nicole interjected to stress that it was just a date to catch up. "I would love to invite you to join us, but you might actually say yes," Rafe muttered. Ava took Rafe by the hand, and she led him to their table.
"Did you really have to push Rafe's buttons like that?" Nicole asked. "He started it," E.J. grumbled. Nicole rolled her eyes. E.J. argued that Rafe should not care who E.J. dated. Nicole glanced over at Rafe's table.
"I can't believe Nicole is actually out on a date with that guy. He's treated her like trash," Rafe complained. "People do change, Rafe. I am living proof of that," Ava said. Rafe argued that E.J. had not changed. "It's just a date. Like the one we're supposed to be on," Ava said. Rafe smiled at Ava. "You're right. I'm sorry," Rafe said. While Ava studied the menu, Rafe looked across the room and locked eyes with Nicole. E.J. saw Nicole gaze across the room.
"[Would you stop] mooning over Rafe?" E.J. asked. "I'm looking at the menu," Nicole protested. E.J. reached across the table and turned the menu in Nicole's hand right side up. Nicole joked that it was a good brain exercise to read the menu upside down. E.J. noted that since the date had been an effort to forget Rafe, they should go to his house and get dinner. Nicole asked E.J. if he wanted their $300 bottle of wine to go to waste.
"No. I don't. And it won't," E.J. said. E.J. grabbed the bottle, and he walked it over to Rafe and Ava's table. "What's this?" Rafe asked. "A very lovely and expensive parting gift. You two have a great night," E.J. said. E.J. left money on the table, and he escorted Nicole out of the restaurant. Rafe shook his head in frustration. When Ava went to pour a glass of wine, Rafe warned her that E.J. could have drugged it. Ava rolled her eyes and poured a glass.
"E.J. sure did get under your skin," Ava said. "The guy is such a damn phony. Of all the guys that Nicole could have chosen to go out with," Rafe said. Ava made a face. "You think that I'm jealous because E.J. is out with Nicole," Rafe said. Ava asked if that was true. Rafe stressed that he was not jealous, just worried.
"Her and E.J., they have a history, you know?" Rafe said. Ava nodded in agreement. Rafe asked Ava if she knew that E.J. had threatened Nicole's life multiple times. Rafe mentioned when Nicole had been pregnant, and Rafe had pretended to be the father of the baby. "Nicole is a grown woman, and she has a right to make her own decisions. And there's nothing we can really do about it. At least not tonight," Ava said. Rafe agreed. Rafe wanted to get rid of E.J.'s wine, but Ava told him no.
"I'm sure E.J. didn't want to share [this wine] with us, but he had to. He had to because Nicole, she couldn't have any fun at all while you were here," Ava said. Ava told Rafe that he had won, and the wine was the prize. "You are really good, but I'm still not drinking the wine," Rafe said. Ava poured another glass.
Johnny returned home to the DiMera mansion, and he found Chad playing chess in the living room. Abigail sat on the couch nearby and read Johnny's script. When Chad looked up at Johnny, he noted that Abigail had not been able to stop reading the script. Excited, Johnny asked Abigail if that meant she would play Marlena in the movie.
"I think it sounds like fun," Abigail admitted. "But she's nervous because she never acted -- sorry, professionally acted before," Chad added. "But I don't want professionals. I want this to feel like it is happening in real time with real people," Chad said. Chad said the performances would ground the supernatural material.
"I do have experience with mental illness. More than once. So, I do know what it feels like to have something you don't understand take over your mind," Abigail said. Chad offered to back up Abigail if she decided to do the movie. "I needed to hear that from you," Abigail said. Abigail agreed to play Marlena. Johnny asked Chad if he had given any more thought to investing in the movie. Chad argued that E.J. would hate his guts if he funded it.
"Are you really going to let your big brother tell you what to do?" Johnny asked. Chad explained that if E.J. made a grab for power at DiMera Enterprises, Chad would likely lose that fight. Johnny joked that that was not a reason to not invest with his favorite nephew. "Who said you're my favorite nephew?" Chad joked. Johnny added that he was a good luck charm because he had been there when Chad had met Abigail.
"It was Java Café. I thought you were Johnny's father," Abigail noted. "I am responsible for putting you two kids together," Johnny said. Johnny noted that there would be no movie for Abigail without financing. "That's blackmail!" Chad said with a laugh. Johnny said that E.J. had made sure that no other family members would invest in the project.
"So, I either piss off E.J., or I deprive my beautiful wife of doing what she wants to do," Chad said with a smirk. Abigail told Chad to take her out of the equation. "If it doesn't happen, I'm not going to be heartbroken," Abigail said. Abigail added that she did not want to alienate E.J.
"I told my dad, whether or not I get to make my movie, I'm not going to work at DiMera. So, he is not getting his way, no matter what happens," Johnny said. "In that case, okay," Chad said. As Johnny and Chad hugged, Nicole and E.J. walked into the living room.
"What did I just walk in on? Why were you two happy?" E.J. asked. Chad explained that he had agreed to fund Johnny's movie. Furious, E.J. argued that it was bad enough that Lucas was on board, but worse that his own brother had agreed to fund the movie, too.
"What I do with my money is none of your business," Chad said. "It becomes my business when you start funding my son's idiotic dreams!" E.J. shouted. Johnny argued there was nothing wrong with Chad's willingness to support him and Abigail. "What do you have to do with this?" E.J. asked Abigail. "Johnny asked me to play Marlena in the movie, and I said yes," Abigail explained. E.J. groaned.
"Have you all gone insane?" E.J. asked. E.J. argued that Chad had known how E.J. felt about the movie, and he had not bothered to talk to E.J. first. "I forgot all about our long discussions about my feelings before you made your power grab and tried to install yourself as CEO. Sole CEO," Chad said. "So, this is payback," E.J. muttered. Johnny argued that the world did not revolve around E.J. Chad told E.J. that he could not stop him.
"The hell I can't," E.J. growled. E.J. suggested that he and Chad should "take it outside," but Abigail and Nicole intervened. Nicole dragged E.J. out of the living room. Johnny closed the door behind them, and he apologized to Chad and Abigail. "I hope you haven't changed your mind about investing in the movie," Johnny said. "Don't worry. Nothing can make me back out," Chad said. Johnny celebrated, and he hugged Chad in thanks.
After Johnny left to go work on the script, Abigail laughed. "When you told E.J. to back off, I could have grabbed you, I could have kissed you," Chad said. Abigail stared at Chad. "I mean, I still could," Chad said as he walked over to Abigail. Chad suggested that they grab a bottle of Champagne and celebrate upstairs. "The offer is very tempting, but I'm just not quite there yet. It's just too important -- I don't really wanna rush it," Abigail said. Chad agreed. Abigail kissed Chad's cheek. "I'll see you in the morning," Abigail whispered. Chad touched his cheek.
Outside the mansion, E.J. ranted about Chad's betrayal. Nicole urged E.J. to calm down and sit with her. Reluctantly, E.J. sat down next to Nicole on a brick wall. E.J. took a few cleansing breaths. "I don't understand why everyone is against me," E.J. whispered.
"All that time you were fighting for your life, they were going on with theirs. But Chad is not your kid brother anymore. He is a man with a wife and kids. And Johnny is growing up, too. And he wants to be his own man. Make his own mistakes," Nicole said. "I was just trying to be a father to my son again," E.J. said. "By forcing him to work at DiMera?" Nicole asked. With a chuckle, Nicole noted that Johnny had too much Sami in him. E.J.'s face went white, and he looked away.
"Is that what this is about? Sami?" Nicole asked. E.J. looked at Nicole with a sadness in his eyes. "I don't know what Samantha has to do with any of this," E.J. said. "Well, Sami cheated on you with Lucas. And you feel like you've lost control of your life. So, now you're trying to regain that control by telling your son and your brother and everyone else what to do," Nicole said. Nicole reminded E.J. that he had done that before.
"You try to control people, you're just going to push them away. So maybe if you just back off a little bit, you won't end up alone," Nicole said. With tears in his eyes, E.J. told Nicole that he would take her advice under consideration. "In the meantime, I will make you dinner myself," E.J. said. E.J. noted that someone had complimented his omelets in the past. "That was me," Nicole said with a grin. E.J. took Nicole's hand.
At the hospital, Kayla updated Tripp on the situation with Doug -- then changed the subject, wanting to discuss a new project. "Thank you for taking the lead on [this] -- have you had any luck finding a patient that will volunteer to be the face of the campaign?" Kayla began. "As a matter of fact, I have --" Tripp confirmed. "And that would be me," Steve revealed, joining Tripp and Kayla in an otherwise unoccupied examination room.
"Dad pretty much pounced on it," Tripp explained. "I mean, look at this mug -- can't do any better than this, right?" Steve bragged. "Well, there is a patient in 608 who bears a striking resemblance to George Clooney..." Kayla teased before wondering if Steve even knew the job requirements. "We didn't get that far, actually..." Tripp admitted as Steve showed a hint of concern -- and Kayla received a phone call before anything else could be said.
Kayla stepped out of the room to take the call, leaving Steve alone with Tripp, who insisted that the job requirements weren't bad at all. "So...you want me to get a flu shot," Steve summarized after Tripp elaborated. "Basically, yeah," Tripp responded. "Sorry, son -- it's not gonna happen," Steve backpedaled. "I don't get it, Dad -- I mean, what's the downside?" Tripp protested. "I've never had one -- and I rarely get the flu, and I'm healthy as a horse," Steve explained to Tripp with a shrug as Kayla returned. "That is...the lamest reason I have ever heard in my entire life," Kayla declared with a shake of the head before admitting that it was actually a shock to learn that Steve wasn't getting a flu shot every year -- and Tripp agreed on both counts.
"I can't believe that I missed [that -- I mean, you] could be sick as a dog with the flu if you were exposed..." Kayla fretted before basically ordering Steve to get the flu shot, making it clear that there was no risk associated with the vaccine -- and Tripp again sided with the person who was actually a fully licensed doctor. "All right -- I'll be the face of your campaign, and I'll get the flu shot," Steve agreed, prompting Kayla and Tripp to celebrate with a high-five.
Steve headed off to the pharmacy then rejoined Tripp and Kayla a short time later. "I didn't feel a thing -- [and] I'm grateful to my wife and son for encouraging me to do it, because now I really do feel invincible," Steve declared between licks of a lollipop. "Well, I'm grateful to you for actually coming around, Dad, because you really are the perfect face for this program," Tripp stressed. "Because I'm so handsome," Steve assumed. "Yes, that -- and...you know, although everyone should get the flu shot...the target demographic is...65 and over," Tripp teased, drawing a laugh from Kayla and a scoff from Steve.
Xander summoned Justin to the police station then revealed Gwen's plan to entrap Smails. "Genius!" Justin declared. "You don't have to be sarcastic..." Xander grumbled. "You know, hearing this, I could have been...derisive, disgusted, even angry at your total contempt for the legal system -- you should be happy I settled on 'sarcastic'!" Justin snapped. "You're actually kind of a prig, aren't you?" Xander complained.
Xander insisted that Gwen's plan to entrap Smails truly was a stroke of genius, but Justin still didn't see how it could ever work. "He'll have her arrested before she even gets out of the office!" Justin predicted. "I know that -- that's why I told her not to confront him with the evidence herself; I told her to bring the tape back to me," Xander clarified. "What are you gonna do with the tape -- invite the judge to your cell for a little chat?" Justin asked incredulously. "I'm not going to confront the judge with the tape -- you are," Xander matter-of-factly replied.
"[You're] an officer of the court -- Smails will know that if you have the tape, it won't be so easy to make it disappear," Xander reasoned. "I am not going to have any part in this!" Justin objected. "To an outside observer...or a cop...it might look like you have already taken part in this..." Xander warned.
"Wow -- you are a true Kiriakis..." Justin muttered. "Maybe it's time that you remember that you're a Kiriakis, too. [Now, maybe] Gwen and I came up with a stupid plan -- a crap plan -- but it still has a hell of a lot better chance of helping Bonnie than anything else you've got; [after all], we both know Justin the lawyer can't help her now...but Justin the Kiriakis can. [Look], think of it this way -- neither Smails nor Trask would think twice about doing something like this, [so] is your high-mindedness really worth Bonnie spending the rest of her life in Statesville? [And besides], just imagine the look on Victor's face when you tell him that Bonnie's going to go free!" Xander countered.
Meanwhile, Gwen barged into Smails's office and shut the door then started begging the judge for help with Xander's case. Smails eventually reached for a desk phone to call security, but Gwen stopped the judge -- and made sure that their hands touched in the process. "You dismissed the case before, so why isn't there just a way that you could dismiss the case again?" Gwen challenged Smails while conjuring a few tears.
"I would do anything..." Gwen informed Smails while undoing blouse buttons. "You're a very beautiful woman," Smails acknowledged. "So...would you like to come and see me sometime?" Gwen wondered. "I think I would," Smails confirmed. "I will sleep with you if you promise to let Xander go -- I believe that they call that a 'quid pro quo'... Agreed?" Gwen summarized. "Agreed," Smails responded. "I'm really looking forward to holding up my end of the bargain," Gwen whispered in Smails's left ear before giving that area a barely detectable kiss then exiting the office.
Gwen rushed over to the police station, where Xander was still trying to convince Justin to go along with the plan. "This could all be hypothetical, because I'm still not sure that Gwen is gonna be able to pull this off," Justin informed Xander as Gwen entered the conference room they were using. "You really don't have much faith in me, do you?" Gwen challenged Justin before handing Xander a recorder. "What happened?" Xander asked Gwen as Justin stared at the device in disbelief. "Exactly what I said would happen -- we're meeting this eve...[and], surprisingly, he was even able to name a motel that he found to be discreet; I think maybe he's done this before..." Gwen replied as Xander waited for Justin to make a decision.
Later, Justin barged into Smails's office and shut the door then advised the judge to dismiss Bonnie's case -- and Xander's, too. "Why would I do that?" Smails wondered, prompting Justin to play Gwen's recording.
At the Hernandez house, Jake roused Gabi with a few kisses -- but Ava barged into their bedroom with a plate of fresh muffins before things could progress any further. "Is there a better way to start the day?" Ava reasoned with a grin as Jake quickly pulled away from Gabi then awkwardly began to get dressed. "Did you poison them?" Gabi wondered. "No -- but they aren't gluten-free, so if that's an issue for you..." Ava answered.
"Oh, Gabi, you look so cute with bed head," Ava teased before exiting the bedroom, leaving the plate of fresh muffins behind -- and Jake quickly reached for one, prompting Gabi to angrily smack it away. "You really think she poisoned the muffins?" Jake asked incredulously. "'Poisoned muffins' is like a practical joke to her -- [that's] nothing compared to what she's done [in the past]," Gabi matter-of-factly replied.
Suspicious of the timing of the breakfast delivery, Gabi fretted to Jake about the possibility that Ava was spying on them with the help of a hidden camera. "Who would do something like that?" Gabi grumbled. "You!" Jake responded. "She's up to something -- the question is...what?" Gabi mused. "Okay, I'm just gonna run something by you real fast -- how 'bout we find another place to live?" Jake suggested. "No -- this is my family's house; I'm not gonna let her win!" Gabi argued. "Is it really 'winning' if you're miserable 24/7?" Jake countered. "I can outwait her," Gabi insisted.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady entered the study with a plate of fresh muffins while Philip was trying to give Chloe a kiss. "What are you doing here?" Chloe wondered. "I came to see the most beautiful woman that I know," Brady responded. "Oh, brother..." Philip grumbled. "I'm a sucker for redheads," Brady explained. As if on cue, Maggie entered the study just then, leading Chloe and Philip to conclude that Brady had simply been messing with them.
While helping Brady and Chloe welcome Maggie back to Salem, Philip received a text message from Ava, who was at the park and wanted some company. Philip rushed off with a vague explanation about needing to deal with a work-related matter, leaving Maggie alone with Chloe and Brady. Maggie guessed that Brady and Philip were once again at odds with each other because of Chloe -- but credited the wrong man as the one who had earned another chance with their shared love interest. Chloe and Brady took turns clarifying the situation for Maggie, who blamed Victor for the misinformation. "To think I've missed that man..." Maggie grumbled after finding out why Brady and Chloe suddenly had Victor's support.
Chloe and Brady eventually acknowledged the reason for Maggie's extended absence from Salem. "You know, when Summer died... As awful as it was, it was also a relief that she wasn't in any more pain... When I went to L.A. and I scattered her ashes over the ocean, it was this sense...I don't know, of calm...that washed over me, 'cause I knew she was finally at peace..." Maggie declared. "I'm really glad you were with her at the end," Brady stressed.
At the park, Ava handed Philip a folder that contained a detailed report of all the crimes Jake had committed while working for the Vitalis. "Wow -- this is damning...if it's true..." Philip mused. "I can even produce an eyewitness," Ava stressed. "If a mob informant steps up, Gabi would have a pretty good idea where this came from, and my guess is [that] she'd be more than happy to tell Rafe about it," Philip warned. "She won't be able to prove anything -- especially if you say it came from someone you met during our ill-fated association," Ava countered.
Later, Ava ran into Jake, who had just finished buying a muffin from Sweet Bits. Jake explained that the contents of Ava's muffins remained in doubt. "Wow -- [Gabi] really does have a suspicious mind... I mean, come on -- what could I possibly do to her?" Ava argued, drawing a shrug from Jake, who still didn't share Gabi's concern.
Meanwhile, Gabi joined Philip at the park. "I thought it'd be best to do this in private -- in case there was some kind of scene," Philip explained before firing Gabi. "Fine -- but I'm taking Gabi Chic with me," Gabi responded after realizing that Philip was still suspicious about the source of the spyware that had been found on their computers. "Actually, you're gonna sign that company over to me...[or] I'm gonna send Jake to prison -- for murder," Philip warned Gabi.
At the police station, Gwen realized that Xander felt bad about having roped Justin into their scheme. "Justin has more morality in his little finger than the rest of the Kiriakis men combined -- blackmailing a judge, that will not come easy for him," Xander explained. "[But], thanks to us, he's going to have a future with his fiancée," Gwen countered.
"And once the judge drops the charges against Bonnie, you know, that million dollars that she stole is no longer gonna be evidence, [so] the police are gonna have to give it back [to you]," Gwen reminded Xander. "I'm gonna enjoy spending every penny," Xander declared before promising to use some of the money to take Gwen on an extended vacation to a secluded tropical island. "I've never been anywhere remotely warm in my entire life," Gwen admitted, surprising Xander, who named several locations as potential destinations. Gwen produced a cell phone and started researching Xander's suggestions.
Xander and Gwen eventually settled on the perfect place -- but Justin returned before they could book a flight. "What happened?" Xander excitedly wondered. "Mr. Kiriakis was busted for blackmailing a judge," Trask triumphantly answered, following Justin into the conference room Xander and Gwen were using. "Judge Smails, understandably, was unsettled when Ms. Rizczech made her offer, so he contacted me and followed my advice -- and was ready with his own recording device," Trask continued. "Not only is this recording evidence of blackmail on Mr. Kiriakis' part, but it also proves that Ms. Rizczech solicited Judge Smails, and she will be charged accordingly," Trask concluded.
"I wasn't actually gonna bloody sleep with him!" Gwen protested. "But you were trying to entrap him -- that's enough to charge you," Trask explained. "Oh, that's a load of crap!" Xander declared. "Actually, it's the law!" Trask countered. "Judge Smails is in E.J. DiMera's pocket --" Justin reasoned. "Then you should have tried to prove it through legal means!" Trask snapped.
Trask lectured Justin for a couple minutes then stormed off -- and Xander and Gwen both started to apologize once the coast was clear. "No one forced me to do anything," Justin acknowledged. "You did it for love," Gwen summarized. "Now Bonnie and I will be prison pen pals instead of husband and wife..." Justin fretted. "We will find a way out of this," Xander insisted. "How?" Justin wondered.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady apologized to Chloe for having failed to convince Victor that it was pointless to lobby for them to get back together. "Maybe I should have Justin talk to Grandfather -- [I mean, Grandfather] has more respect for Justin, I believe..." Brady mused before pausing to take a phone call from John.
After ending the call, Brady explained to Chloe that John and Marlena had been planning to take Rachel to the pumpkin patch later that day but weren't going to be able to because Marlena wasn't feeling well. "My dad thinks she may be overworked," Brady continued. "[Anyway], my schedule's wide open, so I can just take [Rachel]," Brady concluded.
"Send me some pictures," Chloe begged. "I have a better idea -- why don't you come with us," Brady suggested. "I actually have a job to do," Chloe teasingly reminded Brady, who dismissively countered that there was nothing pressing on the schedule for that day. "If it helps you with your decision...[this] would be very, very good for Rachel -- who, obviously, misses her mom a lot, and...I'm doing the best I can, Chloe, but I'm gonna be honest with you, she could probably use some female energy; Marlena's been supportive, but she's got a lot on her plate..." Brady admitted to Chloe with a dramatic sigh.
"[But] you're obviously not eager to go, [and] I don't want to pressure you, [so] we'll be fine -- and you won't have to worry about upsetting Philip..." Brady conceded. "I don't think he would object to us trying to take [Rachel] to have some fun, [so] if you think it's good for [her]... Besides, the pumpkin patch is really close to where Philip and I planted that tree, so I could water it on our way back," Chloe decided. "Great..." Brady grumbled.
At the Horton Town Square, Ava and Jake agreed that it would be nice if everyone who lived at the Hernandez house could just learn to peacefully coexist -- and, after comparing the situation to a war between two mob families, they decided to treat it as such. "So, here's the plan -- we tell Gabi and Rafe we're gonna have a sit-down --" Jake began to summarize. "Eh, maybe we don't use that word," Ava advised. "Okay -- that we're gonna have a dinner -- [and then], once everybody's good and loosened up, we put all of our cards out on the table," Jake concluded, drawing a nod of approval from Ava.
"You're turning out to be very valuable to me!" Ava raved before walking away from Jake with a smirk.
At the park, Gabi laughed off Philip's assertion that Jake was a murderer. "Ever heard of the name 'Jed Zanetti'? [He] owned a bar in Philly -- and, apparently, he made a habit of stiffing the Vitalis whenever it came time to collect, so Jake was sent in to rough him up a little...[but Jake] ended up beating poor Jed to death then dumping his body somewhere off the Jersey shore. [Now], turns out, there was an eyewitness [who] saw everything up close and personal -- and he's prepared to testify in a court of law that the man you love is a stone-cold killer," Philip clarified as Gabi snatched the folder that contained a detailed report of not only that crime but also every other crime Jake had committed while working for the Vitalis.
"This 'Carmine' person is lying," Gabi argued. "I might agree -- if he didn't provide so many specifics... [Carmine] and Jake shoved Zanetti up against the wall, then there was some punches thrown, and it escalated [until Zanetti was] coughing up blood -- [and] Carmine even described the moment that they realized [Zanetti] was dead; [they] were standing there, blaming each other for taking it too far, then Jake said something like...'You're gonna shut your beak and get rid of the body'... That's a hell of a lot of detail to make up," Philip countered. "Carmine's seen too many movies," Gabi declared before guessing that Philip had gotten the information from Ava.
"Ava forced me to launder money for her -- why would I go to her for anything? [That information came from] a background check that Titan runs on its new employees -- initially, our investigative team didn't find any major red flags, but as they dug deeper --" Philip claimed. "[Your] aftershave -- I smelled that in my house yesterday; you were there, weren't you? Oh, no, you didn't get that dirt on Jake from a background check -- you and Ava are teaming up to take me down!" Gabi maintained. "You're losing it, lady," Philip declared before warning that the police would soon find out about Jake's crimes -- unless Gabi agreed to cooperate, of course.
"Your company or your boyfriend -- which one are you gonna lose?" Philip challenged Gabi before walking away.
After Rachel was done at the pumpkin patch, Brady tried to rush back to the Kiriakis mansion, but Chloe protested that they needed to water the nearby sapling first. "Why is this a special tree?" Rachel wondered. "Because your Great-Uncle Philip and I, when we were in high school together, we were sweethearts, and we carved our initials into a tree that was originally right over there," Chloe explained while directing Rachel's attention to the cited spot. "But then your uncle, he...kind of chopped it down because he was acting like a spoiled brat..." Brady added. "He made a mistake, and he fixed it; [he] went and bought us this new one to symbolize a new beginning, and we planted it here together -- wasn't that so sweet of him?" Chloe concluded.
Rachel helped Chloe water the sapling then obtained Brady's permission to water other trees in the area. "Was it really necessary to tell her that Philip chopped down our original tree 'cause he was being a brat?" Chloe snapped at Brady after Rachel rushed off. "I could have said 'jealous lunatic'..." Brady joked, annoying Chloe.
Brady apologized to Chloe. "I'm just having a hard time accepting the fact that I lost you to Philip," Brady explained. "I appreciate your honesty -- but please try harder...or our friendship is gonna suffer," Chloe responded. "I value our friendship more than you know, [and] I would never want to do anything to jeopardize it, [so]...I accept the fact that you have chosen him, [and] I hope it works out... [And], look, you know I don't like to give Philip credit for anything, but I think the guy is actually beating me on this front -- it was gracious of him to invite me to dinner...and it was his idea to plant this tree, and that was thoughtful... Maybe the guy has finally changed his ways -- and, for your sake, I hope he has," Brady conceded, earning a hug from Chloe -- which Philip witnessed from afar.
Gabi ran into Jake while storming through the town square. "I'm guessing it didn't go too well with Philip," Jake said to Gabi through a mouthful of muffin. "Did you kill Jed Zanetti?" Gabi demanded to know, causing Jake to choke on the food.
In the square, Gabi confronted Jake about whether he had killed Jed Zanetti. "Where is this coming from?" Jake asked. "From Philip. Who, by the way, just fired me," Gabi said. Gabi explained that Philip had threatened to send Jake to prison for murder. "Did you kill this guy Jed back in Philly?" Gabi asked. When Jake did not answer, Gabi's eyes went wide.
"Not here. Not in public. Let's talk at home," Jake said. "Fine. Be lucky if we run into that bitch Ava," Gabi muttered. Jake asked Gabi if she believed Ava was behind the blackmail. "Where else would Philip find this information?" Gabi asked.
When Gabi and Jake returned to the Hernandez house, they went into Gabi's bedroom for privacy. Jake noted that Ava did not appear to be home. With a sigh, Jake told Gabi that he had spoken to Ava in the square, and she had been nice to him. "The whole time, she was plotting with Philip to take us both down," Jake muttered. Gabi lamented that she had not recognized Philip's aftershave when she had first smelled it in the kitchen.
"[Ava] blackmailed [Philip]. He almost died because of her," Jake said. "But now they have a mutual enemy," Gabi said. When Jake asked about the blackmail, Gabi told him that the eyewitness was named Carmine. Jake recognized the name. "So, it is true?" Gabi asked. Jake said that he had not killed Jed but that he was not innocent.
"I shouldn't even be talking about this. It's not good for either of us," Jake said. Gabi demanded to know the truth so that they could figure out a way to fight Philip. "Never even wanted to think about this again," Jake whispered. Gabi softened, and she reminded Jake that she loved him, no matter what.
"Carmine was not a witness. Carmine and I worked together," Jake explained. Jake told Gabi that they had gone to collect money from Jed Zanetti, and they had been ordered to scare Jed. "[We] roughed him up a bit. Carmine wouldn't stop. Before I knew it, Jed was coughing up blood," Jake said. Jake grew emotional, and he choked back tears. Gabi caressed Jake's back as he explained that he had attempted to pull Carmine off of Jed. "It was too late. It was too damn late," Jake whispered. Jake sniffled.
"Philip says that Carmine is willing to testify you were the man that beat him to death," Gabi said. "I was there, but I tried to stop it," Jake stressed. Gabi told him that she believed him. "The worst day of my life," Jake said. Gabi told Jake that she knew how he felt, and she told him about Nick.
"When someone is that obsessed with trying to control you, they will destroy your life if you let them," Gabi said. Gabi told Jake that Jed's death was not his fault, and she reminded Jake that it was his word against Carmine's. "Sure, Carmine is a lowlife, but Gabi, I've got a rap sheet," Jake said. Jake noted that either he would be convicted of murder or, in the best case, accessory to a murder.
"What's Phil want you to do?" Jake asked. "He wants me to choose between my company and you. But I've already made my decision. There is no way in hell that I'm losing you," Gabi said. Gabi grabbed her phone to call Philip, but Jake stopped her.
"You're incredible. You impress me every day with your strength, your determination, your ladyboss badassery. I mean you built Gabi Chic from nothing," Jake said. "And if it goes away, this time, I won't have nothing. I will have you," Gabi said. Jake smiled. "I appreciate you trying to protect me. It means everything, but I'm not gonna let anybody take your company away from you. So, we're going to have to find another way to stop Philip," Jake said.
At the river, Brady told Chloe that he accepted that she had chosen Philip. "I hope it works out. I hope that you're happy together," Brady whispered. Relieved, Chloe thanked Brady, and she hugged him. Nearby, Philip watched through the trees. After the hug, Brady told Chloe that he hoped Philip appreciated her.
"I don't think Philip appreciating me is the problem. I kind of feel like he appreciates me a little too much," Chloe joked. Brady agreed, and he said he hoped Philip would get over his jealousy. Chloe noted that she believed the tree was a good sign. "You deserve only the best, Chloe," Brady said. "You, too," Chloe said. Chloe admired the sapling she had planted with Philip.
Maggie visited Julie at the Horton house. "When did all this trouble with Doug start?" Maggie asked. Julie told Maggie about the freezer incident and what had followed up until the attack in the hospital.
"Marlena was in the room, and she told me what happened," Julie said. Julie told Maggie that Marlena had convinced her to sign the papers to commit Doug to Bayview. "That had to be so painful for you," Maggie said. Julie noted that it had been the hardest moment of her life. "Because as he is going away, he looked back at me with such desperation and fear, and I realized, what if it's me? What if it's me that he needs, and I'm turning him over to strangers?" Julie said. Maggie hugged Julie to comfort her.
At the penthouse, Marlena lay on the couch and looked at a news article about Doug. "We certainly took care of that old geezer, didn't we, Marlena?" the devil voice said. Startled, Marlena looked around the room. The voice emanated from the tablet in Marlena's hand. "Just look at what you and I can accomplish together when you let me in," the devil said. The devil told Marlena that they would be unified again, but Marlena whispered no to her tablet.
"It's so much simpler not to fight it," the devil said. "No!" Marlena cried out. Marlena threw her tablet to the end of the couch. Worried, John rushed in from the other room to check on Marlena. John noticed the tablet, and he asked Marlena if the article about Doug was what had upset her. Distracted, Marlena whispered yes.
"You were right there when he assaulted Julie. You had to make the painful judgment to commit him to Bayview," John said. "I feel awful about that. About all of it," Marlena said. John argued that Doug would agree with her decision. "You only did what you had to do in order to not only protect Doug, but everyone that he loves," John said.
Still on their honeymoon, Ben and Ciara ate Chinese food in their apartment while they talked about his hesitancy to have a child with her. "Whatever comes from your talk with Marlena, we will deal with it. But ignoring the discussion isn't going to make your problem go away," Ciara said. "Marlena does always help," Ben agreed. Ben grabbed his phone and called Marlena.
"Hello, Ben. Is everything all right?" Marlena asked. Ben asked to schedule an appointment. "How about right now?" Marlena offered. After Ben agreed to meet Marlena in her office, Ciara offered to go with him to the counseling session. "I think I have to figure this out on my own. Dr. Evans somehow always finds a way to help me see things a little bit more clearly," Ben said. Ciara asked Ben to call her after the session, and she kissed him goodbye. After Ben left, Shawn called Ciara to tell her about Doug.
At the penthouse, John urged Marlena to cancel her session with Ben, but Marlena stressed that Ben needed her. "I couldn't do anything for poor Doug, and now maybe I can help Ben," Marlena said. John nodded yes. Marlena kissed John goodbye, and she walked out.
Brady returned home, and he sent Rachel to her room to draw scary faces to carve into the pumpkins. "I hope it doesn't give her nightmares. Enough of those going around these days," John said. Brady asked about Marlena. John noted that Marlena had gone into work, but she was still upset about Doug. "Did Doug really attack Julie?" Brady asked. With a shrug, John said that Doug had blamed Marlena for the assault.
"That's just evidence of his mental decline then, right?" Brady asked. "Maybe," John said. Confused, Brady asked John what he meant. John explained that Doug had claimed that Marlena had attacked him, as well. With a shrug, John reasoned aloud that Doug blamed Marlena because it was easier to blame her than himself. "I can't even imagine how Julie is feeling about this," Brady said. John argued it was difficult to believe that the person one loved was a threat to them.
Ben met with Marlena in her office at the hospital. "Do you mind if I record the session?" Marlena asked. Ben gave his approval. As Marlena pressed record on the machine, she remembered when the devil had spoken to her on it.
"You seem distracted," Ben said. "Not at all. Why don't you tell me what's on your mind," Marlena said. Ben told Marlena that he and Ciara had discussed having a baby. "I'm worried it might be a big mistake. I'm already responsible for enough pain," Ben said. Marlena asked Ben if he wanted to have children. Ben explained that he loved the idea of starting a family with Ciara, but he was worried about his demons.
"My father is troubled, my sister Jordan was, too, and I know Tripp is just a medical student, but he also confirmed that my condition could be hereditary," Ben said. "He's right. It could be," Marlena agreed. Ben admitted that he had discussed his concerns with Ciara, but he still had reservations. Ben told Marlena about his dream about a necktie killer child.
"I understand how disturbing that dream must have been," Marlena said. Ben argued that he worked every day to make up for his past, but he was concerned about fathering a child capable of evil. "Am I being paranoid?" Ben asked. Marlena told Ben that his fears were understandable. "I think that every child has a right to be loved and wanted without reservation," Marlena said.
"The more you and I sit here and talk about this, the more sure I am that it is just not the right thing to do," Ben said. When Marlena asked Ben if he was certain, he said his guilt and shame were too much. "I can't chance my child suffering that same fate. Or me being responsible for more suffering or death," Ben said.
Ben thanked Marlena for her time. As Ben rose to leave, the devil's voice spoke to Marlena through her voice recorder. "Don't let him go, Marlena. You need to convince Ben Weston that he and his wife must have this baby," the devil said.
At the Horton house, Ciara rushed into the living room to hug Julie and see if she was okay. "I'm glad to see you, Ciara. And Maggie is back. Isn't that wonderful?" Julie said. With a grin, Ciara gave Maggie a big hug, as well. Julie told Ciara that she had talked to Hope, but Julie had advised her not to return home because Doug could not have visitors. "[Doug] is in isolation until he is further evaluated," Julie explained.
"I really can't believe that Grandpa Doug would try to hurt you," Ciara said. "He wouldn't, and he didn't," Julie said. Confused, Maggie asked Julie what she meant. "I'm saying that the person that hit me over the head with a tray is not my Doug," Julie said. When Ciara asked Julie if she blamed Marlena, Julie laughed and said no. Julie clarified that she meant that the assailant could not have been her Doug.
"I didn't want to believe that he had dementia, but now it is becoming clear that my darling is losing touch with reality," Julie said. "That may be so, but Julie, the one thing that he'll never lose is you. That's not going to happen. And you've got to try to hold on to that," Maggie said. Julie nodded in agreement. Maggie promised to light a candle in the church for Doug. After Maggie left, Ciara told Julie that she knew what it was like to love someone and to be afraid that they might hurt you.
"You and Ben, that's different," Julie said. "I know it is, but I also know how lucky of a man Grandfather is to have someone like you fighting for him," Ciara said. With a smile, Julie said that in 50 years of marriage "the betters always outweigh the worsts." "We were both so lucky," Ciara said. Ciara told Julie that better days were ahead for her and Doug.
Julie asked Ciara about Ben. "What's next?" Julie asked. Ciara said she did not want to talk about her problems, but Julie insisted it was a welcome distraction. "In that case, Ben and I have been discussing what it would feel like to have a baby," Ciara said. "That's wonderful," Julie said. With a grimace, Ciara went on to explain that Ben was hesitant to have children because of his genetics. Ciara told Julie that Ben was in a therapy session. "There's no one I trust more than Marlena," Ciara said.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Philip poured a glass of liquor, and he thought about when he and Chloe had planted the tree. Frustrated, Philip downed the drink in one gulp. Philip called Henderson on his phone. "My father doesn't pay you to ask questions, Henderson! Just have the gardener bring me a saw!" Philip bellowed into his phone. Philip thought about when he had chopped down the original tree in a fit of jealousy.
"This one is going to be a lot easier to cut down," Philip muttered. As Philip turned to walk out, Chloe walked in. "Hey! You're home from work early," Chloe said. "So are you. What a nice coincidence," Philip grumbled. Chloe asked Philip why he was headed out again. Philip explained that he was on his way to the river to water their tree. "You want to come?" Philip asked. When Chloe hesitated, Philip asked if there was a reason she did not want to go with him.
"Of course not. I would love to go with you. It would be nice to spend some time there," Chloe said. With his anger simmering below the surface, Philip noted that he agreed. "If you don't nurture these things, they can wither and die," Philip said. Philip added that it was also possible to overwater a tree. When Philip asked Chloe if they needed to worry about that, Chloe sighed.
"Let me save you the trouble of lying! I saw you at our tree. In Brady's arms," Philip barked. Worked up, Philip asked Chloe if she had had sex with Brady in front of the tree. "Do you hear yourself? No! Rachel was with us," Chloe said. Philip said he had not seen Rachel. Chloe explained that Brady had asked her to join them at the pumpkin patch. When Philip started to make a snide comment, Chloe yelled at him to shut up.
"I'm the one that asked him to stop at our tree to water it after the pumpkin patch. When we got there, Rachel asked me what our story was. How you and I fell in love. It was after that that Brady finally realized what I've been talking about all along!" Chloe said. "Which is what?" Philip asked. "That I'm with you! That I'm not interested in being with [Brady]," Chloe said. Chloe explained that Brady had promised to back off. Philip said he did not believe it.
"But it's the truth, and he agreed to it because he thought you had gotten over your crazy jealousy. And I can see now that this dangerous obsession of yours has gotten worse," Chloe said. "What was I supposed to do when I saw you and Brady together?" Philip asked. Frustrated, Chloe cried out, "How about ask me? How about giving me the benefit of the doubt for once?"
When Philip reiterated that he trusted Chloe but not Brady, Chloe sighed. "I thought that you were fine with the fact that Brady and I are friends and that we work together," Chloe said. Philip stressed that that was true. When Philip argued that he had not spotted Chloe and Brady in a marketing meeting, Chloe reminded Philip that he had spied on her at their tree.
"[The tree] that's supposed to symbolize the hope for our future!" Chloe added. Philip asked Chloe if she expected him to not be upset to see Chloe in Brady's arms. "I expect you not to be a jealous ass!" Chloe screamed. "What is going on here?" Maggie asked as she walked in. Chloe explained that Philip was intent on sabotaging his relationship with Chloe.
"But I'm the one fighting for us," Philip argued. "I'm sick of your obsession, and I'm sick of you not trusting me!" Chloe yelled. Chloe stormed out of the room as Philip yelled, "I never said I didn't trust you!" Maggie started to agree with Chloe, but Philip waved her off. Philip admitted that Chloe was right, and he had been a jerk. "But I'm not going to sit still while Brady steals her away from me again," Philip added.