At the hospital, Ciara decided to watch some television -- then realized that the remote control was sitting beside the tattered copy of Through the Looking Glass that Ben had left behind at the end of their most recent conversation. Ciara picked up the book and started leafing through it -- then suddenly remembered something.
Meanwhile, Belle and Shawn paced around a waiting area, both still reeling from their earlier conversation with Jan. "[This is] exactly what Jan wants -- she wants us to get worked up and so overwhelmed that we let her just get away with whatever," Belle eventually realized. "You're right -- we just gotta take a deep breath [and] relax [and] think," Shawn immediately conceded.
Shawn wanted to check on Ciara, and Belle wanted to get John and Marlena up to speed on what was happening with Jan, so they arranged to meet back up with each other later. "[And then] we're gonna come up with a plan on how to deal with a psycho," Belle summarized. "Jan is not gonna beat us...[because] whatever she's cooking up in that demented head of hers is no match for your legal mind --" Shawn insisted. "Or your detective skills," Belle agreed. "We are gonna crush her," Shawn assured Belle before rushing off to Ciara's room.
"What's wrong?" Shawn began after entering Ciara's room. "Nothing!" Ciara, who had been staring at the tattered copy of Through the Looking Glass that Ben had left behind, insisted while tossing the book to the foot of the bed. "Are you sure? I mean, you look like you're a little bit upset --" Shawn argued. "Nope -- I'm fine!" Ciara maintained before changing the subject, wondering if Shawn had managed to track down Hope yet. "No -- [but] I had a...situation...I needed to deal with [here in Salem, so]... Look, as soon as it's cleared up, I'm gonna get back out there, [and] I'm gonna bring Mom home," Shawn responded. "I miss her -- so much..." Ciara admitted before trying to find out more about the situation that Shawn was dealing with -- but Shawn dodged Ciara's question with a vague summary about it being a boring topic of conversation.
Shawn asked about Ciara's book as a way of changing the subject. "That is not mine -- [it's part of Ben's] lame attempt at jogging my memory and trying to make me remember the life that we supposedly lived together," Ciara replied. "Well, did it work?" Shawn curiously prodded Ciara. "No, it absolutely did not -- I do not remember being involved with Ben!" Ciara defensively assured Shawn.
"While you were missing, he almost killed himself looking for you --" Shawn tried to stress. "Yeah, well, from everything I've been told, he's the reason why I was in that mess in the first place!" Ciara interjected. "That might be true...[but] he never gave up on you -- [he] was always insisting that you were still alive, [even when] everyone else [wasn't] sure," Shawn concluded. "Okay, so...he did one good deed -- [but] he also literally killed three women!" Ciara argued. "But he's better now," Shawn countered. "That's what everyone keeps telling me..." Ciara grumbled.
"Why don't you talk to [Marlena] about this," Shawn suggested. "She came to visit me [already] -- she wanted to know if I would be open to the idea of using hypnosis to help me get my memories back," Ciara revealed. "And...?" Shawn prodded Ciara.
At the Evans-Black townhouse, Marlena assumed that John had been sitting in a parked vehicle outside Charlie's apartment complex at the exact moment that someone had shot Charlie -- and that was why John remembered having heard a gunshot that night. "[Or] I got out of my car, went up to Charlie's apartment, and just blew that little bastard away," John suggested, believing that the high volume of the auditory memory meant that the gunshot had been heard from close range and hadn't been muffled behind any sound barriers like walls or vehicles.
Belle entered the townhouse while Marlena was trying to alleviate John's concern. "Everything okay?" Belle began. "Your mother [was] just telling me that Jan [is] awake," John claimed. "She sure is -- and she is wasting no time trying to make us all miserable," Belle revealed before elaborating.
"[She] is lucky that she's nowhere near me right now, because I would put her right back in that coma!" John declared at the end of Belle's tale. "Please, honey, don't do this to yourself --" Marlena advised. "I've had enough of [her] and her damn threats -- she needs to be stopped!" John insisted. "Dad, I know how you feel -- trust me, I do -- [but] we just have to remain calm and remember that Jan is not the one in control here," Belle reasoned, and John conceded the point as Marlena stepped out of the townhouse to talk to Ben, who had just knocked on the front door.
Ben, who was carrying the copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that had once belonged to Vincent, apologized to Marlena for having dropped by unannounced. "I [just] need to know -- have you heard from Ciara?" Ben asked. "No, I haven't," Marlena replied. "Well, I have!" Ben insisted, holding up the book.
"I was at home just now, unpacking everything that I brought with me to the hospital to help Ciara remember our life together, [and] when I pulled out this book, I realized I left the [sequel] back there, [and] when I realized that, I opened this one, and I got hit with this flash to this dream I had from when Ciara was missing -- the one [we shared], where I found her in that room with the glass wall -- [and] I don't know how or why [I know this], but I'm telling you that when I got hit with that flashback, I am positive that Ciara did, too -- at the exact same time! I felt it -- I felt...our connection!" Ben elaborated. "And you thought she was feeling the same thing," Marlena guessed. "I hoped so -- at least enough that maybe she would have called you and told you that she'd decided to let you hypnotize her," Ben confirmed.
"I'm so sorry -- she hasn't called," Marlena reiterated. "But she will," Ben insisted before saying goodbye then starting to rush off -- just as Marlena received a phone call from Shawn. "Ciara said yes -- she'll let me hypnotize her," Marlena summarized after ending the call, earning a hug of gratitude from Ben.
Meanwhile, Belle informed John that, according to a contact within the district attorney's office, Sami was off the hook for Charlie's murder. "That's great news!" John raved. "Not for Trask," Belle countered. "Do they have any other suspects?" John asked casually. "Not yet...but I don't think they're gonna have to look very hard to find someone who wanted that animal dead," Belle bluntly replied.
John's memory of a gunshot returned just then -- as Belle, unaware that anything was wrong, steered the conversation back to the topic of Jan's unexpected recovery. John wanted to give Shawn the green light to arrest Jan right away, but Belle didn't like that idea. "You don't deserve to go to prison for this, Dad -- your family was under attack, and you just...reacted," Belle argued. "If I committed a crime, I got no problem paying for it," John countered as the memory of a gunshot returned again.
At the Walker-Brady apartment, Tripp began stammering while trying to tell Allie something about Charlie. "This is really hard to say..." Tripp admitted. "It's okay, [Tripp] -- you can trust me," Allie stressed. "I went to my brother's apartment -- [you know], the night he was killed..." Tripp hesitantly revealed -- but Sami arrived before Allie could get any more of the story.
Sami excitedly began to brag to Allie about being off the hook for Charlie's murder -- then noticed Tripp for the first time. "I'm so sorry -- I didn't know that you had company..." Sami stammered at Allie. "Yeah... I don't think you guys have ever actually met..." Allie responded before getting the introductions out of the way. "I've heard a lot about you," Sami declared while shaking Tripp's hand. "Mostly bad," Tripp guessed. "All of it [was] bad...but, of course, that was before we found out that you weren't the one who attacked Allie," Sami clarified.
"I'm so sorry for what you went through -- being unfairly accused is horrible... I hope you don't blame Allie --" Sami continued. "No, no, no -- not at all," Tripp insisted. "Tripp knows how sorry I am, and he's been really forgiving," Allie explained. "Nothing to forgive," Tripp stressed. "Wow..." Sami muttered, clearly impressed.
Allie raved to Sami that Tripp was great with Henry -- and that Henry clearly loved Tripp. "Oh, that is so sweet -- I love hearing that, especially because Henry's gonna need, you know, men in his life to look up to..." Sami declared, and Allie nodded in agreement while smiling at Tripp, who accepted the praise with a hint of embarrassment.
Sami started to say something else to Tripp -- then stopped abruptly. "I was just about to say I'm sorry about your brother...but I'm not," Sami admitted. "I understand -- and...I...well, I have...very complicated feelings...about it [myself]... He was dealt a bad hand, you know, and he lived a rough life -- not that that's any excuse for any of the horrible things that he did... But he's gone now, and we can all move on. He can't hurt anyone else. Never again," Tripp responded. "The question is...who [killed him]? Do you two have any ideas?" Sami casually challenged Tripp and Allie.
Henry started crying just then, saving Allie and Tripp from having to respond to Sami's question. Tripp offered to get Henry settled down so Allie and Sami could continue catching up with each other, but Sami begged for the honor, and Allie granted the request. "I'm really glad your mom's free," Tripp said to Allie after Sami stepped into one of the bedrooms. "Yeah -- me, too," Allie agreed before changing the subject, reminding Tripp that they had been in the middle of a serious conversation before Sami had arrived. "[And] the look on your face [was] scaring me, [so]...please tell me that you did not kill Charlie," Allie whispered to Tripp.
"Whatever happened at Charlie's, you can tell me," Allie quickly backpedaled -- but Sami returned with Henry just then, and Tripp seized the opportunity to rush off with an excuse about not wanting to intrude on the family reunion any longer.
At the Hernandez house, Ava continued telling Nicole about things that had happened on the night of Charlie's murder. "I saw [Tripp] in the parking lot outside [Charlie's apartment complex], hurrying away from the building -- [and] I called to him, but I guess he didn't hear me," Ava admitted. "And then..." Nicole realized. "I found Charlie with a bullet in his chest," Ava confirmed.
"[Ava, this] is huge -- why are you just telling me now?" Nicole wondered. "Well, I mean, I didn't think it was important [before -- but] now that I know that Sami is innocent..." Ava answered. "You're afraid one of your sons killed the other," Nicole summarized. "[Charlie] just had this way of making everyone so angry with him [that] they just wanted to hurt him...[but], no, [Tripp] couldn't have --" Ava reasoned. "I know this is incredibly painful, but we can't ignore the evidence --" Nicole argued. "[Which] could be entirely circumstantial --" Ava countered. "[And] we can't let Sami go to prison for a crime she didn't commit," Nicole insisted.
"I have to tell Rafe!" Nicole warned Ava -- just as Rafe entered the house. "Someone wanna fill me in?" Rafe prodded Ava and Nicole, neither of whom responded. "No? Okay, that's fine -- I'm gonna fill you both in!" Rafe continued before announcing that Sami was off the hook for Charlie's murder -- news that left Nicole and Ava eager to find out if there were any other suspects or leads yet. "No -- [which is why] I'm gonna grab something to eat and then [get right] back at it," Rafe declared before inviting Nicole to stay for lunch -- and, to Ava's dismay, the invitation was accepted.
After Rafe started cooking, Ava dragged Nicole outside and insisted that with Sami off the hook for Charlie's murder, there was no longer a reason to let the police know that Tripp had been at the scene of the crime. "You're asking me to lie to Rafe," Nicole summarized. "Tripp is the only child I have left now -- I cannot lose him!" Ava reasoned. "[But] if Tripp murdered Charlie --" Nicole tried to argue. "You don't know that, and neither do I...[but if] you tell Rafe what I told you, [then] Tripp's life -- and, [by extension], my life -- will be completely destroyed," Ava countered.
Rafe soon interrupted to let Ava and Nicole know that it was time to eat. "Nicole, what was it that you wanted to tell me before?" Rafe asked as Nicole and Ava reentered the house. "Henry had one of his little tantrums last night, and he ripped [our] poor little teddy bear's eye right out," Nicole claimed before rushing off with an excuse about wanting to check on Allie and Henry.
Ava was relieved -- but couldn't help trying to convince Rafe that it would be a shame for someone to lose their freedom for having murdered Charlie, of all people. "I know that you are a man of the law and [that] murder is never justified, but...if you were gonna drop this case right now, I would actually be fine with it -- [and] maybe that makes me a terrible mother, but --" Ava elaborated. "I get it -- I love Allie so much [that] sometimes I, [too], wish that this case would just go away -- but I can't make that happen, [because] I'm a cop, and it's my job to make sure [that] whoever killed Charlie is brought to justice," Rafe insisted. "No exceptions, eh?" Ava grumbled. "No exceptions," Rafe confirmed.
While passing through the town square, Tripp ran into Nicole, who couldn't resist the opportunity to fish for hints of guilt or innocence. "Did you hear the news about Sami?" Nicole began. "Yeah -- I actually just ran into her over at your place," Tripp answered. "[This] means Charlie's killer is still out there," Nicole stressed. "Yeah, I guess..." Tripp agreed. "[And] it's only a matter of time before they catch this person," Nicole predicted. "Right... Yeah... Only a matter of time... Well, see ya..." Tripp responded before rushing off, leaving Nicole at least as concerned as before.
Ciara remembers the cabin fire
In Paulina's room at the Salem Inn, Chanel was excited to see a room service cart. Paulina slapped Chanel's hand away. "This is not for you," Paulina warned. Chanel noted that there were two place settings. "My dear, you are not one of those two," Paulina said. With a grin, Chanel asked Paulina about her lunch date. Paulina asked Chanel to leave her alone for her business meeting.
"Maybe you could spend this valuable time looking for a job," Paulina encouraged. Chanel said she did not know where to start. Paulina gently shoved Chanel toward the door and told her to walk around town.
At Julie's Place, Julie told Jack about Paulina. When Julie mentioned Paulina's offer to pay for the twins' education, Jack agreed that the offer was generous. "I think the offer was a little over the top," Julie admitted. Julie asked Jack about Sarah's wedding. "The wedding never happened," Jack said. Jack told Julie that Sarah had left town with Rex. "What made her change her mind?" Julie asked. Jack said that Sarah had told Xander that she had never forgiven him for the baby switch.
"How did Xander take it?" Julie asked. "Barkeep! I need a drink. Immediately!" Xander bellowed as he stumbled through the front door of the restaurant. Xander plopped down in the chair next to Julie. "You seem to have had enough already," Julie said. When Xander complained about Roman, Julie surmised that Roman had cut Xander off already. "Isn't the job of a bartender to, you know, tend bar?" Xander asked. Julie smiled as she leaned away from Xander's boozy breath.
"I'm going to stand with Roman," Julie said. Xander reached across the bar to serve himself, and Jack jumped to his feet and offered to take Xander home. "I don't want to go home," Xander said. Jack insisted. "Julie, he is very sorry," Jack said. "Sorry you're such a terrible bartender!" Xander shouted as Jack pushed him out of the restaurant.
Jack steered Xander into the park. When Xander insisted that he go to the café for a drink, Jack argued that Xander needed to go to his room at the hotel. Xander sat on the bench, and he said that he could not go to his room because Sarah was there. "Sarah is gone," Jack said. "I saw her. She was in her dress," Xander mumbled. Jack told Xander that his vision of Sarah was not real.
"I know it's not real, Jack! None of this is real," Xander complained. "Sarah is doing what she thinks is best for herself," Jack said. Xander disagreed. "That bastard [Rex] doesn't love her. Not like I do. No one will ever love her the way I do," Xander said. Xander pulled a bottle out of his jacket. Jack asked Xander if he had stolen the bottle from Julie's Place.
"That doesn't sound like something I'd do," Xander joked. Jack insisted on returning the bottle, but Xander argued that the bottle was already half empty. "If you're not going to drink with me, just leave me alone, Jack. Please," Xander said.
In the Grant apartment, Lani stared at the blank check that Paulina had given her for the twins' education. Eli returned from the bedroom to announce that the babies were down for their nap. "Are you still staring at that check?" Eli asked. "Enjoying the lasting moments with it before we have to give it back to Aunt Paulina," Lani said. Eli said that he still believed they should keep the check.
"It's too much. Do you know how much college tuition is going to be in 18 years?" Lani asked. "Yes. More than two cops can afford, which is why I think we should accept the gift," Eli said. Lani argued that she did not want to accept a handout. Eli pointed out that if they rejected the offer, they would not be able to move into a bigger place or take vacations, and the kids would have to take out pricey student loans.
"Think of what the extra cash could free up," Eli said. Eli explained that the check represented less stress and more opportunity, and he did not think they should pass on those things. "I know it feels weird, okay? But I think it's the right thing to do for our family. Why are you so against it?" Eli asked. Lani explained that Paulina had given her extravagant gifts, and Lani's mother had sent all the gifts back. "Sounds like your mom was too proud to accept [the gifts]," Eli said. Lani explained that her mother had felt undermined. Eli reasoned aloud that Lani was an adult that could make her own decisions.
"Paulina isn't offering Carver and Jules a pony. She is offering them a better future. Are you really going to let your mom's feelings get in the way of that?" Eli asked. Lani told Eli that she was worried that they would be in debt to Paulina if they took the money. Eli reminded Lani that Paulina lived in Miami and that she would not be around often enough to make demands.
In the hallway outside the penthouse, Marlena told Ben that Ciara had agreed to undergo hypnosis. "That's incredible! Ciara is going to get her memory back," Ben said. Marlena reminded Ben that there was no guarantee that the hypnosis would work. "I have all the faith in you, Dr. Evans," Ben said. Marlena asked Ben if he wanted to wait outside her session with Ciara. Elated, Ben agreed that he would join Marlena after he made a phone call.
In the square, Claire and Theo chatted over lunch about his and Ciara's returns to Salem. Claire said she was thrilled to see Ciara. "I just wish the feeling was mutual," Claire added. "If Ciara ever gets her memories back, you guys are going to be friends again," Theo assured Claire. When Theo noted that things were better with Ciara around, Claire asked him if he still had feelings for Ciara.
"Why'd you ask me that?" Theo said. Claire noted that Theo's choice of words said a lot. "You know she's married, right?" Claire asked. "Of course, I do," Theo snapped. Theo stressed that he was in no position to pursue anyone because he had just ended a relationship. "Weirdly, she just showed up here in Salem," Theo said. Claire asked about his ex, but Theo said he did not know the family. When Theo offered to pay for lunch, Claire thanked him, and she told him about her Champagne brunch with a stranger. Before Claire could tell Theo about Chanel, Ben called her phone.
Ben told Claire that Ciara had agreed to the hypnosis, and Claire told Ben that she would meet him at the hospital. "Good news?" Theo asked when Claire ended her call. "Ciara agreed to the hypnosis. Theo, hopefully this means that she gets her memories back," Claire said. Theo's smile faltered as he noted that it was great news. Claire promised to tell Theo what happened in Ciara's session.
After Claire ran off, Theo thought about his last visit to Ciara when she had cried on his shoulder. Theo also thought about what Ben had said to him in the hospital hallway. "I hope you are going to be a good enough friend to try and convince Ciara to retrieve her memories," Ben had said. A hand touched Theo's shoulder, and he turned around.
"We've got to stop meeting like this," Chanel said. As Theo stood to talk to Chanel, Abe called out. "This is a surprise," Abe said as he hugged his son. "I'm Abe Carver. I'm Theo's dad," Abe said. Theo introduced Chanel as his ex-girlfriend. Abe welcomed Chanel to Salem, and he left for his business meeting.
After Abe left, Chanel sat at Theo's table with him, and she nibbled at his leftover fries. Chanel told Theo that she planned to stay with her mother for a little while. "When are you going back to South Africa?" Chanel asked. "A few days most likely," Theo said. Chanel thought about what her mother had said about learning to support herself. "Why don't I go with you?" Chanel asked Theo. Chanel asked to move in with Theo.
"What's your angle?" Theo asked. Chanel played innocent, but Theo said he knew Chanel well enough to know that Chanel needed something. "I've been thinking about this for a while. Ever since we broke up, and seeing you here in Salem made me realize what I want," Chanel said. Theo was skeptical. "We are just not compatible. Not as a couple and definitely not as roommates," Theo said. Theo asked Chanel what she really wanted from him. Chanel called Theo paranoid.
Eli and Lani rounded the corner, and Lani called out to Theo. "I see you met Chanel," Lani said. Chanel announced that Theo was her ex-boyfriend. Confused, Theo asked Lani how she knew Chanel. "She's my cousin," Lani said. Chanel asked Lani how she knew Theo. "He's my brother," Lani said. "You're Lani's brother?" Chanel yelped. Chanel asked Lani if that meant she and Theo were related.
"Not really. Theo and I, we have the same father but different mothers," Lani said. When Chanel asked Theo why he had never mentioned his sister, Theo argued that Chanel had never asked about his family or his life. "So, this is just some amazing coincidence," Eli commented. When Eli mentioned the previous issue with the Champagne, Theo asked for details. Lani explained that Paulina had cut off Chanel.
"Is that why you wanted to move back to South Africa with me? Why you wanted to live with me? 'Cause you're broke?" Theo asked. "Of course not," Chanel said. Annoyed, Theo left money for the bill, and he walked away. "Thanks a lot, cuz!" Chanel shouted as she stormed past Lani.
Abe arrived at Paulina's room for their meeting, and she complimented his suit. "Hope you like rib eye," Paulina said. "It's a little heavy for lunch, don't you think? I've been trying to reduce my read meat consumption," Abe said. Paulina dismissed Abe's notion. Paulina insisted that she needed Abe fortified so that she could make her pitch for the town square.
"I'm not sure why we are having this meeting," Abe said. Abe noted that he had already introduced Paulina to the landlord. "Nothing more I can do for you," Abe said. "That might be true if that were the only space I was interested in, but what I envision is a lot grander than that," Paulina explained.
Over wine, Paulina told Abe that she wanted to remake the whole square. Paulina showed Abe her plans for an indoor marketplace. "You agree that the town suffers overwhelmingly from a lack of diversity, don't you?" Paulina asked. Abe said he wanted to see more Black-owned businesses.
"Not just Black-owned. I'm talking about an influx of women-owned, LGBTQ-owned, BIPOC-owned establishments," Paulina said. Abe asked Paulina how. Paulina explained that she wanted not only the stores, but the architect and crews to be diverse, as well. "Think of all the jobs it will create, and all the positive attention it will bring to Salem," Paulina said. Abe agreed that Salem could use positive publicity.
"Up till now, Salem's been mostly known for murder, scandal, and a high divorce rate," Paulina said. "That's not fair," Abe objected. Paulina argued that their remodel could serve as a model for other towns. Abe asked Paulina what she wanted from him. Paulina explained that the square was not zoned for construction because it was a historical site, and she needed Abe to sign off on the project.
"So, you want me to break zoning laws to give you your indoor marketplace?" Abe asked. "Not break them. Just bend a little," Paulina said. Paulina explained that red tape was a barrier to entrepreneurship. "If you help me get this project off the ground, we all win," Paulina said. With a nod, Abe noted that even if he gave his approval, Paulina would still need to convince the landowners to sell to her.
"Leave that to me. So, tell me, Mr. Mayor, do we have a deal?" Paulina asked. "Can't make any promises, but I have to sell any changes to the zoning laws to the city council," Abe said. Abe said he believed he could help Paulina, and he shook Paulina's hand. With a grin, Paulina said that she knew that Abe was single. "I am a firm believer in mixing business with pleasure," Paulina said. As Paulina put an arm around Abe's shoulder, someone knocked on the door.
It was Eli and Lani. When Lani walked in, she noticed the room service. "Are we interrupting something?" Eli asked. Abe said that he and Paulina had finished their business meeting. "We'll be in touch," Abe told Paulina. "Please do," Paulina said. After Abe left, Eli told Paulina that he and Lani had decided to accept Paulina's offer for the twins. "That is the best news I've had all day! You won't be sorry!" Paulina said. Pauline grabbed Eli and Lani and hugged them tightly.
When Chanel stomped into the park, Xander was asleep on the bench. "I almost had him," Chanel complained. "What's your problem, sweetheart?" Xander muttered. "I'm just having one of those days," Chanel said. Xander invited Chanel to join him, and he held out his bottle of liquor.
Theo walked into Julie's Place, and he ordered a drink. "I'm guessing you didn't have a very good day," Julie said. Theo told Julie that he had learned that his ex-girlfriend was Paulina's daughter.
At the hospital, Claire rushed over to Ben and asked if Ciara was already under hypnosis. Ben explained that the session had just started. "Now, we wait," Ben said. Over coffee, Ben noted that Marlena's plan was to start with Ciara's first memory in the cabin after her accident. Ben worried aloud, but Claire assured Ben that it was a good sign that Marlena had been in with Ciara for a long time. "I have a really good feeling about this," Claire said.
Inside Ciara's hospital room, Marlena told Ciara that there would be good and bad memories. "I understand. I want to remember. I mean that's the only way that I can move on with my life," Ciara said. Marlena started the hypnotherapy, and Ciara relaxed.
"We're going back to the summer of your accident," Marlena whispered. Marlena asked Ciara the last thing she remembered from the summer of 2018. Ciara recounted her motorcycle accident. "Then everything turns black," Ciara whispered. Marlena asked Ciara about her first memory after the accident. "I don't remember," Ciara said. Marlena told Ciara that she was at a cabin in the woods. "Yes, I'm on the bed," Ciara said. Ciara started to talk about the cabin, but she grew agitated.
"Tell me what you see," Marlena said. "Oh, my God!" Ciara exclaimed. Ciara remembered when the cabin had been on fire. "It's not real," Marlena assured Ciara. When Ciara failed to calm down, Marlena woke Ciara from her hypnotic state. "You're safe," Marlena said. Ciara asked Marlena if the fire had happened after her accident. "No. That wasn't till later," Marlena said. When Ciara asked about the fire, Marlena hesitated. "[Ben] did the same thing to Chad and Abigail. It was Ben. Ben tried to burn me up in the fire," Ciara yelled.
"Trust me on this. Ben did not set the fire in the cabin," Marlena stressed. Ciara asked what had happened. Marlena refused to tell Ciara about the fire, and she noted that they needed to take the process "step by step." Ciara begged Marlena to tell her the truth. When Marlena asked to go back to a different time period, Ciara refused to cooperate until Marlena told her about the fire. "I may have amnesia, but I have not forgotten how to look things up on the Internet," Ciara said. Reluctantly, Marlena told Ciara that Claire had started the fire.
Gwen tries to make amends
Chad and Abigail entered the DiMera mansion while in the midst of a conversation about the couples therapy session they had just attended.
"I hope I didn't make you crazy [when] I just talked about Gwen the whole session," Abigail fretted. "I guess she's the reason we went to couples therapy [in the first place, though]...which, you know, really helps, by the way -- me, anyway," Abigail continued. "I had an epiphany [today, in fact] -- that I've been blaming you for something that never would have happened if it weren't for Gwen's lies, and there is no way in hell I'm letting that woman have the satisfaction of tearing us apart," Abigail concluded. "We've had this conversation [before] -- if the only reason you want to work on our marriage --" Chad tried to protest, but Abigail cut the conversation short after receiving a phone call from Jack, who wanted to have a private father-daughter meeting at the Horton house right away.
Shortly after Abigail left the mansion, Gwen entered it and joined Chad in the living room. "Harold let me in -- actually, has he put on a bit of weight?" Gwen began. "If you're looking for Abby, she's not here," Chad replied. "That's because she's with our father -- [he] summoned her for a little chat --" Gwen tried to explain. "You ran to Jack about what Abigail and Gabi did to you," Chad realized. "I hardly went running...[but] I did file a police report -- [and] Jack is a reporter, so he would have found out, anyway," Gwen reasoned. "And what did you think would happen -- [that] he would disown Abigail and anoint you his favorite new daughter?" Chad guessed. "Course not -- he would never turn his back on her; he would to me, [though], if he wasn't so obliged and guilty..." Gwen admitted.
"Am I supposed to feel sorry for you?" Chad asked. "Hardly! I made everyone's life hell -- I don't expect Jack to just welcome me with open arms after [that, and] I also don't expect Abigail to see me as a real sister. [But] if I want any sort of chance of having a relationship with my father, then [Abigail and I] are just gonna have to learn to peacefully coexist," Gwen replied. "That sounds almost...self-aware -- remorseful, even... What's your angle here?" Chad wondered. "There is no angle," Gwen insisted. "You've come to ask me for my help," Chad assumed. "No, that's actually not why I'm here -- I'm here to talk about you and me," Gwen clarified.
"You never did anything to me, [Chad...but] I used you to hurt Abigail -- you were collateral damage in my revenge scheme against her. [So], even if things don't work out between Abigail and I, you need to know that you did not deserve what I did to you --" Gwen elaborated. "Neither did Abigail," Chad stressed. "I know that now... [Anyway], I'm sorry, Chad," Gwen concluded.
"Who are you, and what did you do with Gwen Rizczech?" Chad wondered. "Well, technically, it's 'Deveraux'..." Gwen clarified. "Yeah, well, Deverauxs aren't exactly known for their strong code of ethics, either -- not that I should talk..." Chad countered. "You're not like the rest of your family, [though] -- I will never forget how very kind you were to me when your brother climbed into bed with Gabi," Gwen stressed. "Mostly because I hated Gabi," Chad admitted. "Mostly because you're just a good bloke," Gwen argued.
"And I took advantage of that, and I'm sorry," Gwen reiterated. "Seriously, what are you up to?" Chad wondered. "Nothing, honestly -- I am being completely sincere," Gwen insisted. "Or you're just working on your next plot to destroy our lives," Chad guessed. "I deserve that," Gwen conceded.
"[And I guess] I do have an ulterior motive -- [see], at this very moment, Jack is trying to get Abigail to...if not accept me, [then] at least deescalate this war...[and] if Abigail agrees to do so, then I need to make sure that I am in a good place with you, as well, because you're a package deal, after all..." Gwen admitted. "Assuming our marriage survives," Chad stressed. "I know...and I am so sorry, again -- truly, I am terribly sorry, and I am ashamed, [and that's] why I am here before you, just begging for your forgiveness," Gwen maintained.
"Okay -- I accept your apology," Chad decided. "Just like that?" Gwen asked incredulously. "Well, Abby and I are working on our marriage, [and] we need to look ahead and not back, so...yeah," Chad matter-of-factly replied. "Now, if only I could hear the same words from Abigail..." Gwen muttered. "Look, she knows that you two can't wind up in a police station every other week because you clawed each other's eyes out, [so] she wants to move past all of this, [too]...but I don't think she knows how," Chad explained. "Well, maybe if I call a truce..." Gwen suggested. "Maybe...[but she] wasn't in the best place about you when she went to see Jack," Chad warned.
At the Horton house, Abigail realized why Jack had arranged their meeting. "Of course [Gwen] told you [about what Gabi and I did to her] -- and I'm sure she cried big crocodile tears about what a victim she is [and] what a heartless bitch I am, 'cause, you know, she'd do whatever she can to turn you against me...and it worked, didn't it?" Abigail grumbled. "Gwen could never turn me against you," Jack insisted. "[But] there's nothing that she could do that would make you disown her, [either], is there?" Abigail guessed. "Could you disown Thomas or Charlotte?" Jack reasoned. "My kids aren't psychopaths!" Abigail countered.
"I'm sorry -- I know it's unfair for me to ask you to choose between your children, but I don't really see another way forward other than that," Abigail stressed. "I'm not asking you to be close to Gwen -- or even forgive her -- [but if she] wants to extend the olive branch, you think you might find a way to do the same?" Jack requested. "There are things that Gwen has done that I can't forgive [but] can get past -- [I mean], you and Mom, you're back together, [and] Chad and I, we're working on our marriage -- [but] Grandma is dead, and that cannot be fixed," Abigail declared. "It was an accident," Jack insisted. "That is just what you are telling yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that your daughter is a murderer!" Abigail countered without a hint of irony.
"Gwen called me as soon as Laura died, [and] when I got there, she was so upset [that] she was unable to function -- that's why I believe her when she says it was an accident," Jack explained. "But you don't know for sure -- I mean, how many times has Gwen fooled us?" Abigail argued. "Too many -- [so, no], I don't know for sure, but I also know [that] we will never know unless Gwen tells us otherwise --" Jack reasoned. "Which she will never do," Abigail acknowledged. "Exactly -- [so, either] you learn to accept that, or you let it eat you alive... Which would you rather it be?" Jack challenged Abigail.
"You know, when I first found out that your Uncle Steve was my brother, I hated the hell out of him [because he] stole my wife -- at least, that's the way I saw it -- [but] the truth is, Kayla always loved him first and best, and I needed to accept that...and things worked out pretty well for me in the end," Jack stressed. "How did you and Uncle Steve get close?" Abigail wondered. "Well, that took years -- a lot of loss, pain, and anger -- but now...he's not just my brother; he's one of my best friends," Jack answered. "I don't really expect to be saying that about Gwen anytime soon," Abigail warned. "I'm not expecting you to -- all I'm asking is that you try. [And] Gwen said that she's willing, so...how 'bout you?" Jack countered -- and Abigail agreed after some thought.
At the park, Chanel admitted to having concerns about drinking with a complete stranger, prompting Xander to get the introductions out of the way. Chanel further admitted to also having concerns about sharing a bottle with a nearly complete stranger, prompting Xander to point out that alcohol killed germs. "Still...a glass would be nice..." Chanel maintained. "Well, I'm staying at the Salem Inn -- we could head over there... If we're lucky, maybe they've replenished the minibar by now..." Xander suggested, taking the bait -- and Chanel happily accepted the offer.
Chanel started to have second thoughts after realizing that Xander's room was nothing like Paulina's suite. "If the owner of this skirt is gonna be unpleasantly surprised to find me here, I'll just go now..." Chanel declared after spotting Xander's kilt on the floor, perhaps looking for any excuse to leave. "That's mine," Xander clarified. "Oh... Maybe I should have asked for your pronouns..." Chanel mused. "Eh?" Xander replied. "Never mind -- I love the whole 'tartan' thing, and I do love a good skirt..." Chanel backpedaled after inspecting the kilt and determining that it was an expensive piece of clothing. "It's not a 'skirt' -- it's a kilt! I was supposed to wear it to my wedding..." Xander began to explain while preparing a drink for Chanel.
"What is this?" Chanel snapped between coughs after taking a sip of Xander's concoction. "Just a mix of whatever's left [from the minibar]...but it's probably an acquired taste -- if you don't want it, more for me..." Xander responded before gulping down the rest of the concoction -- then continuing to drink while telling Chanel the rest of the wedding story. "You might want to slow down a bit..." Chanel advised at the end of the tale before adding that Xander could probably use some food, too. "Don't go!" Xander begged when Chanel started to rush off in search of leftovers from Paulina's lunch meeting with Abe. "I'll be back in, like, five minutes, tops," Chanel promised. "[But] I hate drinking alone, [and] I don't want to take a break!" Xander protested before gulping down more alcohol.
"Look, my life is pretty much over, too -- you don't see me drinking myself blind," Chanel stressed. "What happened?" Xander wondered. "My mom cut off my credit cards and is making me get a job," Chanel grumbled. "That's it? Well, your life's a bloody tragedy, isn't it?" Xander snapped.
"Here -- problem solved!" Xander declared, producing a wallet and handing it to Chanel. "Call room service -- get another bottle," Xander, who had just gulped down the last drop of alcohol in the room, instructed Chanel before stumbling into the bathroom and shutting the door.
As soon as the coast was clear, Chanel started snooping through Xander's wallet. "Wowza!" Chanel exclaimed after finding a large stack of cash. "Titan Industries CEO..." Chanel read aloud after finding Xander's employee badge. "Looks like my financial problems may be over!" Chanel raved with a squeal of delight.
At Julie's Place, Theo informed Julie that Marlena was trying to treat Ciara's selective amnesia with hypnotherapy. "Oh, I hope it works!" Julie declared. "Yeah... Me, too..." Theo muttered. "You sure?" Julie wondered. "It's just...if Ciara does get her memories back, a lot of them are not gonna be good ones," Theo claimed.
At the hospital, Ciara struggled to process what Marlena had just revealed. "My best friend -- my family -- not only tried to sleep with my boyfriend but [also] tried to set me on fire?" Ciara incredulously summarized. "I'm so sorry. Now you understand why I didn't want to tell you. [But] let me try and explain the circumstances --" Marlena carefully responded. "So you can make excuses for her?" Ciara snapped. "No, of course not --" Marlena insisted. "I'm out of here!" Ciara declared before climbing out of bed and storming off, ignoring Marlena's protests.
Meanwhile, Claire watched as Ben paced around a waiting area. "I'm gonna grab some more tea," Ben eventually announced. "More caffeine -- that'll help..." Claire sarcastically declared. "I know -- you're right," Ben conceded, staying put. "I just --" Ben began to explain. "Hate the waiting," Claire concluded for Ben before confidently predicting that they would hear good news soon.
Claire comforted Ben with a hug -- just as Ciara approached, with Marlena close behind. "Well, isn't that perfect -- the two psycho killers in each other's arms!" Ciara observed. "Ciara, there's so much [more] you need to know --" Marlena again tried to explain. "I know all I need to!" Ciara insisted before starting to lash out at Claire.
"How is it possible that I [actually forgave] you after you hurt me so badly -- not once, Claire, but twice!" Ciara wondered. "Ciara, you have to understand -- I wasn't in my right mind then, [and] I panicked when you figured out that I was the one who lit that first fire --" Claire stressed. "Wait -- 'first' fire? Oh, my God -- are you kidding me, Claire? You tried to set me on fire more than once?" Ciara snapped. "You said 'twice' -- I thought you remembered..." Claire stammered. "I was talking about the time you almost slept with Tripp!" Ciara clarified.
"I am so sorry --" Claire whispered. "Because I survived?" Ciara assumed. "No!" Claire insisted. "Dr. Evans, I don't understand -- Ciara says [that] she remembers the cabin, [so] why not anything else?" Ben interjected. "I was taking her back to the first time she was with you in the cabin, [but] she actually went back to the second time," Marlena explained. "[So...Ciara, you still] don't remember anything about you and me?" Ben asked. "No -- not a single thing," Ciara replied. "[Then] you have got to let Dr. Evans put you under again, because if you can remember the cabin, you can remember everything else --" Ben advised. "I don't want to remember!" Ciara shouted. "Yes, you do!" Ben argued, reaching out to comfort Ciara with a hug. "Don't you touch me!" Ciara warned, pushing Ben away.
"Ciara, don't let how much you hate me stop you from being with the man that you love!" Claire advised. "There's not a chance in hell that I could ever love a serial killer!" Ciara protested. "Please --" Ben stammered, trying again to comfort Ciara with a hug. "I hate the both of you!" Ciara spat at Ben and Claire before storming off in tears.
"You have got to try and convince her to go under again -- please!" Ben begged Marlena. "Not now!" Marlena insisted before saying goodbye to Ben and Claire then rushing off in search of Ciara. "I am so sorry -- this is all my fault --" Claire fretted to Ben. "It is not your fault -- it's just..." Ben tried to assure Claire. "A total nightmare!" Claire summarized.
Marlena entered Ciara's room while the tattered copy of Through the Looking Glass was in midair. "I'm sorry," Ciara, who had thrown the book in frustration, stressed after Marlena dodged it. "I'm sorry, too -- I should have done a better job of preparing you," Marlena responded. "Please don't make me do it again," Ciara begged. "Okay, I won't -- not for a while," Marlena promised. "I just want to be left alone," Ciara requested. "I don't think that's a very good idea," Marlena objected. "Actually...may I please borrow your cell phone?" Ciara backpedaled.
A short time later, Theo approached Ben and Claire. "I came to see Ciara," Theo explained. "She's not up for visitors right now," Ben reported. "The hypnosis -- it...didn't go well," Claire elaborated. "I know -- she told me," Theo clarified. "She called you," Ben realized. "She wants to see me," Theo confirmed before giving Ben an apologetic shrug then walking away.
Marlena soon rejoined Ben and Claire. "How's Ciara?" Ben wondered. "She's calmer," Marlena answered. "I can't believe she called Theo," Claire declared. "She really needs a friend right now," Marlena explained. "I have to get some air -- excuse me..." Ben muttered before walking away.
"Grandma, I feel like this is all my fault!" Claire admitted. "It's not your fault, honey -- memories are what they are... I just wish that Ciara had all the facts..." Marlena responded. "But she does -- the fact is [that] I tried to kill her, Grandma, twice! And it was so hard for me to get her to forgive me once -- how am I gonna do it again?" Claire fretted.
Ben peeked inside Ciara's room -- and saw that Theo and Ciara were both lying on the bed, wrapped in each other's arms. "I don't want to remember anything about Claire or Ben Weston ever again in my life!" Ciara said to Theo between sobs as Ben lingered in the doorway, undetected.
Jack tries to help Abigail and Gwen settle their differences
Ava went to the Walker-Brady apartment to vent to Nicole about what had happened earlier with Rafe. "Rafe is the police commissioner -- he can't just drop a case to appease a friend," Nicole pointed out at the end of Ava's rant. "[But Tripp] is my entire world!" Ava fretted. "I understand that --" Nicole began to respond. "[Great -- then you'll] convince Rafe to just let the whole thing go?" Ava assumed.
"I don't feel comfortable --" Nicole tried to protest. "[Then] I am gonna do exactly what Sami did -- I will confess to the murder myself, I swear to God, Nicole!" Ava insisted. "You can't do that --" Nicole tried to object. "Oh? Watch me!" Ava countered. "So, you're just gonna throw your whole life away --" Nicole began to summarize. "Tripp is my whole life!" Ava reiterated before starting to rush off, prompting Nicole to reluctantly promise to at least continue to keep quiet about Tripp having been at Charlie's apartment on the night of the murder.
Gabi entered the Hernandez house and greeted Rafe, who was rummaging through a box of evidence. "I just came to get a few sketches... Since when do you bring your work home?" Gabi began. "Trask is all over me to find Charlie Dale's killer -- now that Sami's off the hook, your bro is back to square one," Rafe explained. "[Then] I'm about to do you a favor [and] solve this case for you, [because] I know who the killer is," Gabi bragged.
"All right, then, Sherlock -- why don't you fill me in," Rafe skeptically challenged Gabi. "When Sami confessed to murdering Charlie, I thought that was very confusing because it conflicted with information that I had, [but] then you arrested her, so I just figured you had something that I didn't know about...[and then], we all found out that Sami was lying, [so] --" Gabi tried to explain.
"Who's the killer?" Rafe impatiently prodded Gabi. "Ava Vitali -- no doubt in my mind," Gabi declared. "You think that Ava killed her own son," Rafe incredulously summarized. "I know she did...[because] the night that Charlie was shot, I came in here for a glass of water, and I saw Ava slipping out the back door," Gabi clarified. "That next morning, [I noticed that] Ava's bed hadn't been slept in, [and when] I asked her about it, she said she made it before she went to the store early that morning..." Rafe recalled. "She lied -- something that, I'm sure, she has a lot of experience with," Gabi summarized before bragging again about having just solved the case for Rafe. "You're welcome!" Gabi called out to Rafe while rushing off to another room in search of Gabi Chic sketches.
Kate and Philip offered to treat Allie to dinner at the Brady Pub. "You were cleared in the investigation of Charlie's murder -- I can't think of a better reason for celebration," Kate explained to Allie at the end of the meal. "I still can't believe Charlie was an intern at Titan -- that psycho was in my office every day!" Philip grumbled. "I know -- you'd never guess how dangerous he was by looking at him, would you?" Kate mused.
"I am curious how you feel about all this, Allie -- like, I know it's complicated, but...are you glad Charlie's dead?" Philip asked. "No, of course I'm not 'glad' that somebody -- that anybody -- was shot to death!" Allie replied. "So, you'd be okay if whoever shot him went to prison?" Philip assumed. "Okay, I really don't want to talk about this anymore, so..." Allie snapped before thanking Kate and Philip for the meal then rushing off. "Was it something I said?" Philip wondered. "Obviously, talking about Charlie [is] uncomfortable for her -- he is the father of her son, after all..." Kate reasoned.
"Honestly, I'm not even crazy about talking about him, you know? It's depressing! I'd much rather just enjoy this time alone with my son -- what could be better than that?" Kate declared -- just as Gabi entered the pub and began flirting with Philip. "No one invited you to join us," Kate snapped at Gabi. "I don't need an invitation!" Gabi shot back at Kate.
"I need to discuss business with Philip, so I called the office and tracked him down," Gabi explained. "What's up?" Philip wondered. "We [still] need to find a new location for the Gabi Chic flagship store...because some conniving snake stole it right from under us!" Gabi clarified for Philip while glaring at Kate.
"Gabi, you are such a poor loser!" Kate observed. "All is fair in love and war," Gabi conceded with a sigh. "Yeah, well, this may be war, but it has nothing to do with love," Kate stressed. "Well, maybe it could -- I mean, your son is just so handsome and successful, and now that we're working together very closely, you never know what might happen..." Gabi countered while draping an arm around Philip's shoulders, drawing a dismissive scoff from Kate. "He's also highly intelligent and smart enough to know when he's being used, so..." Kate argued. "Who says I'm using him? And even if I was...well, you wouldn't mind, [right], Phil?" Gabi reasoned. "Not at all -- being used can be quite a turn-on, actually," Philip admitted before giving Gabi a kiss -- and as Kate looked away in disgust, Jake entered the pub and demanded to know what was going on.
"Well, this is a welcome surprise -- what brings you by?" Kate said to Jake, not bothering to explain Philip and Gabi's kiss. "I got some news -- but it's about business, so maybe we should talk somewhere private..." Jake responded. "If it's about how you're planning to put a Basic Black store in the square, [Philip and I actually] couldn't care less," Gabi interjected, and Philip nodded in agreement. "Oh, really? Because you had a complete hissy fit the first time you [heard about it]," Kate argued. "Yeah, but that was then -- [and now] we've moved on to bigger and better things," Gabi countered, and Philip nodded in agreement again.
Kate scoffed at Gabi and Philip then gave Jake the green light to go ahead and reveal the news. "We didn't get the lease," Jake announced. "We signed a contract --" Kate protested. "Yes...[but] the landlord never executed it, [and now] he's negotiating with somebody else --" Jake began to clarify. "Paulina Price," Kate guessed with a groan. "How the hell did you know?" Jake wondered. "Damn woman!" Kate spat, ignoring Jake's question. "Who's the poor loser now?" Gabi -- who, like Philip, had been listening in amusement -- teasingly interjected. "We'll figure it out," Kate assured Jake -- and, by extension, Gabi and Philip, who soon decided to end the evening in a more private location. Kate and Jake watched in dismay as Philip and Gabi linked arms and exited the pub together.
Allie entered the Walker-Brady apartment and started venting to Nicole about what had just happened with Kate and Philip -- then moved on to fretting about what Tripp might have been trying to reveal before Sami's earlier interruption. "[You think] Tripp killed his own brother," Nicole summarized at the end of Allie's second tale. "I hope not, [but] I'm really scared for him -- I mean, what if he actually did?" Allie responded.
"You haven't told anyone else this?" Nicole assumed. "No -- and I don't want to, because...Nicole, Tripp and I, we get along really well [now], and I already accused him of one crime he didn't commit, and I do not want to do that again," Allie stressed. "[But] it's possible that Tripp could be guilty this time," Nicole argued. "'Possible' is not nearly good enough, okay? I'm not saying anything to anyone else until I have all of the facts," Allie countered. "Well, then, you need to go get them," Nicole advised. "No -- I can't do that, because then I'll have to tell Rafe, and if this gets out, it could ruin Tripp's life!" Allie protested. "It's only a matter of time before Rafe finds out the truth, [so] if Tripp is guilty, [then] it would be better for him if he just came clean [now]," Nicole warned.
Ava entered the Hernandez house with a bag of groceries and informed Rafe that they were going to have bucatini for dinner that night. "Before you get started...maybe you can answer one question -- [see], the morning after Charlie was shot, I said to you [that] it looked like your bed hadn't been slept in, [and] you said to me [that] you had made your bed early that morning, before you went to buy some eggs...[but] the funny thing is that my sister was just here, [and] she said that she saw you sneaking out of the house [on] the night that Charlie was shot, [so]...why'd you lie to me?" Rafe challenged Ava.
"Okay, well, yes, I did go out...but I wasn't 'sneaking' out -- I was trying to be quiet so I didn't wake anyone up," Ava clarified. "Why'd you go? [And] where'd you go?" Rafe wondered. "I couldn't sleep, [so]...I went to Charlie's place," Ava admitted. "To take matters into your own hands?" Rafe guessed. "No!" Ava insisted. "I need you to tell me the truth right now --" Rafe demanded. "I am telling you the truth -- I did not kill Charlie!" Ava stressed before giving Rafe the same story that Nicole had gotten earlier -- without the part about Tripp, of course.
"I don't deserve your kindness -- [I mean], you took me in [and] let me stay here, and I have just been lying to you for weeks!" Ava fretted to Rafe at the end of the tale. "Hey, you don't have to apologize, okay? I'm sorry that you had to hold that in for so long -- [I mean], you watched your son die in front of you, and that must have been...incredibly painful..." Rafe responded while grasping Ava's hands. "It's nothing compared to the pain that he felt all his life because of me. I failed him -- all he wanted was my love and approval, and I couldn't give it to him, and he turned into a monster, and I'm responsible for that," Ava declared, fighting back tears.
"I'm sure that you were doing the best that you could at the time --" Rafe reasoned. "I gave him nothing -- nothing! I gave him no attention, no affection, no praise -- and no matter how much he wanted me to feel about him the way that I felt about Tripp, I just...never did. I mean, I don't know -- why couldn't I have just faked it, you know, or pretended just a little? I mean, what kind of a mother doesn't even tell her own son that she loves him until he's about to die?" Ava countered. "I'm sure that it meant a lot [that] you were there for him, [though] -- at the end --" Rafe suggested. "And then I just walked out the door [and] left him alone!" Ava fretted.
Rafe gave Ava a moment to recover then apologetically raised a question that had not yet been answered. "That morning, when I got the call that there was a gunshot at Charlie's apartment, and I told you that I was going over there...[well], it occurs to me [that] you already knew, [so]...why didn't you say anything?" Rafe wondered. "I was upset," Ava claimed. "I get the feeling that there's something you're not telling me," Rafe admitted.
Jack contacted Gwen and reported that Abigail was ready to talk. "It'd mean so much to me if you and your sister could just --" Jack tried to admit to Abigail while they were waiting for Gwen at the Horton house. "Oh, my God -- could you please just not call her that?" Abigail protested. "Make peace," Jack concluded with a sigh.
"I don't think I can do this -- can we just call her [back] and tell her she doesn't need to come?" Abigail begged Jack as they continued waiting -- but Gwen rang the doorbell just then. "Too late!" Jack bragged to Abigail before letting Gwen into the house and starting the meeting, playing the role of mediator.
"Abigail...I know I did some truly terrible things to you --" Gwen began. "To my whole family," Abigail clarified, and Gwen conceded the point but stressed that Abigail had always been the main target. "I wanted to take away everything that you had -- everything that I thought that I had been denied -- [and] I thought I could do that from afar, before you even knew I existed, by drugging your Champagne...[but] when that didn't work, I decided to get close to you -- gain your trust -- so that you'd let me care for your children, plan your parents' party, and be alone with your husband... I wish that I had the words to express how deeply I regret what I have done, Abigail. I'm sorry, truly -- I'm sorry for all of it," Gwen concluded, fighting back tears.
"Well, don't you have anything to say?" Gwen impatiently prodded Abigail after a few moments of silence. "Talk is cheap," Abigail declared with a shrug. "Abigail --" Jack tried to protest. "She's a pathological liar, [so] why am I gonna sit here and believe any of this?" Abigail reasoned. "I think it took a lot for Gwen to say everything she just did. [And] now it's your turn," Jack countered. "All right, fine..." Abigail grumbled.
"Gwen...I'm sorry for all the times that we fought -- for instance, the time in the town square, when I punched you after you had all but admitted to drugging me and then proceeded to gloat about the fact that you had slept with my husband --" Abigail began -- and Gwen silently stopped Jack from interrupting with an objection about the tone of the apology. "[And] the time at the police station, when I almost hit you again because I had [just] urged Rafe to arrest you because you had attacked me and threatened my family, [and then] you came in with that ridiculous fake black eye --" Abigail continued -- and, this time, Gwen didn't bother to stop Jack from interrupting. "You're laying all the blame on Gwen," Jack pointed out.
"All right, fine..." Abigail grumbled again. "I'll admit, [Gwen, that] I started the fight at my grandmother's gravesite -- I did do that -- and I clearly went too far when I kidnapped you...and threatened to inject you with the same drug that you actually did give to me... [Anyway], those things, I do realize, I should not have done -- I realize that now," Abigail concluded with a shrug.
"Okay!" Jack exclaimed, apparently satisfied. "I want to commend you both on your sincere efforts -- I know we still have a long way to go, but apologizing and agreeing to move forward is a really big first step!" Jack raved. "Now, please...make your father happy and shake on it," Jack requested -- and Gwen immediately extended a hand, but Abigail hesitated.
"Well, it seems Abigail isn't quite ready..." Gwen observed. "Abigail, believe me, I understand this is challenging...[but] the two of you [just] can't go on like this --" Jack argued. "Of course not -- [and] that's why I agreed to [this meeting]; I understand that I need to let this go, [and] I do want to do that..." Abigail conceded. "[Then] what is stopping you? [Look], just shake Gwen's hand -- and don't just do it for me [but also] for your husband [and] your kids...[and], most of all, do it for yourself, [unless] you want this feud to overshadow all that's good in your life, [and] you want to be consumed by rage --" Jack prodded Abigail. "I need one thing first," Abigail warned Jack and Gwen. "I want you to look me in the eye and swear, on your life, that what happened to my grandmother was an accident," Abigail challenged Gwen.
"I..." Gwen began, suddenly looking sick. "Gwen, it's okay -- just tell Abigail what you told me," Jack advised -- and Gwen nodded in response then tried to continue speaking but ended up vomiting on Abigail instead. "Ugh, that is so disgusting! What, were you aiming at me? [And] where the hell did you learn to puke on demand?" Abigail snapped. "I didn't mean to --" Gwen tried to explain. "Oh, you're such a liar! You did this on purpose!" Abigail argued. "Abigail, please -- Gwen obviously doesn't feel well --" Jack tried to reason. "[Or that was just] one hell of a way to avoid giving me a straight answer about killing my grandmother!" Abigail countered before storming out of the house, ignoring Jack's protests.
Abigail rushed straight back to the DiMera mansion and started venting to Chad about what had just happened. "So, there goes the truce," Chad guessed at the end of the tale. "I am not making peace with this woman -- I'm not doing it now, and I'm not doing it ever!" Abigail confirmed.
Meanwhile, at the Horton house, Gwen fretted to Jack about what had just happened. "That was not a stunt, I swear -- I just wasn't feeling well, and I just suddenly --" Gwen tried to explain. "Gwen, I don't believe that throwing up could be a 'stunt,' so please don't try to persuade me that it wasn't deliberate -- of course, it wasn't deliberate! You felt sick, period -- it happens! I believe you!" Jack declared. "Thank you -- that means a lot," Gwen stressed. "Maybe it was something you ate --" Jack suggested. "Or maybe I'm pregnant," Gwen countered.
Tripp confesses to Rafe
Lucas visited Sami at the penthouse. "Did you lock yourself in this room?" Lucas asked. Sami explained that she had been avoiding Susan. "I just came to congratulate you on your release. Although they didn't have a 'I'm happy that they didn't use your false confession to convict you' card," Lucas joked. Sami groaned. Sami promised to never falsely confess to a murder again. Lucas noted that Sami in trouble was "classic Sami."
"Classic Sami takes it out of me more than it used to," Sami confessed. Sami thanked Lucas for supporting and protecting Allie. Over a bag of chips, Lucas suggested that they go get dinner. "I don't want to see anyone, talk to anyone," Sami said. Lucas started to leave, but Sami stopped him. Sami clarified that she did not want to explain what had happened with the police, but Lucas already knew the details.
"Thank God for Rafe. Thank God he cleared you. It's amazing how well you get along with all your exes. It's really great. I saw the way you looked at him. I mean, you get along with me, too!" Lucas joked. Sami noted that she often got along better with Lucas divorced than when they had been married. Sami thanked Lucas for his support.
"It's great that you were there for Allie, and, of course, I was going to be there for her. You were protecting her," Lucas said. Lucas added that he had stopped by to say goodbye. "I'm sure you want to get back to E.J.," Lucas said. Sami turned her head away. "I don't know what I want to do," Sami whispered. Sami explained that she wanted to stay in town for a little while. Lucas asked what was wrong.
"I guess I just don't think I have anything to go back for," Sami said. In an attempt to change the subject, Sami suggested that they go to the pub. "We're not going anywhere until you tell me what's going on with you," Lucas said. Sami confided that she was concerned that E.J. had been through too much trauma to ever "be E.J. again." Sami explained that once the kids had moved out, she had been alone with E.J., and "things had changed."
Lucas reminded Sami that he was on her side, and he encouraged her to open up to him. Sami explained that E.J. had been in a lot of pain. "[E.J.] is mad at the pain. And he was mad that he was helpless, and he was just mad at the world. And I understand that, right? I can understand all of that in my mind, but sometimes, in my heart, it feels like he is mad at me," Sami confessed. Sami added that she knew E.J. was not mad at her.
"I kept telling myself that it would get better, right? Like once the pain goes away, everything will be fine, but that's not what happened," Sami said. Sami explained that E.J. was no longer the same man. "[E.J.] just pushes me away," Sami said. "That sounds like hell," Lucas said. Lucas argued that E.J. had always been difficult, and Sami had done a lot to help E.J.
"If someone is drowning, and they try to take you down with them, and you push away, that is not giving up. It's called surviving," Lucas counseled. "You don't know him the way that I do. Nobody understands him the way that I do. I know that he is ruthless. He's driven and ambitious. But when it was just the two of us, all of that would just go away. I knew how much he loved me. I can feel it inside," Sami said. "You said loved. Past tense," Lucas noted. Sami said she was unsure.
"[E.J.] doesn't look at me with love anymore. He doesn't touch me anymore, and I don't know if that is ever going to change. Maybe I just have to come to terms with the fact that I'm never going to be loved again," Sami said. As Sami started to cry, Lucas hugged her and told her that she was a wonderful woman. "He's so lucky to have you," Lucas said. As Sami smiled up at Lucas, they kissed. "What are we doing?" Lucas asked. "I don't know," Sami said. Sami grabbed Lucas and kissed him again.
At Kayla and Steve's place, Kayla told Allie that Tripp was out with Steve. Kayla invited Allie to wait with her for Tripp to return home. Over a cup of tea, Kayla and Allie talked about Henry. "I'm just so happy that you [and Tripp] have worked things out," Kayla said. "I really wanted to say that I'm sorry for dragging you into that whole mess," Allie said. Kayla told Allie that she had understood how Allie had felt, and Kayla had only wanted to know the truth. "Now all we have to do is get on with our lives," Kayla said.
Steve helped Tripp pack up his belongings at Ava's old apartment. When Tripp thanked Steve for letting Tripp move back in with him and Kayla, Steve noted that he "had never wanted Tripp to leave in the first place." Steve admitted that he was surprised that Ava had decided to give up her ties to the Vitali money.
"This business with Charlie has really changed [Ava]," Tripp said. Steve apologized. "I know you're worried about [Ava]," Steve said. Tripp said he was anxious to move on with his life. With a nod, Steve said that with Sami out of the way, Rafe could focus on the real killer. As Steve packed the last box, Tripp asked to talk to Steve before they returned home. Tripp told Steve that he had gone to Charlie's apartment the night of his murder. "God, I hope you're not telling me that you're the one who killed him," Steve said.
In the Hernandez kitchen, Rafe said to Ava, "Just got the feeling there's something you're not telling me." Rafe asked Ava why she had stayed silent about the night of Charlie's death. "You have to tell me the rest," Rafe whispered. "I'm afraid that Tripp did it," Ava confessed. Ava told Rafe that she had watched Tripp leave the scene of the shooting. Ava admitted that Nicole had encouraged Ava to tell Rafe the truth.
"[Nicole] is the only one in Salem that thinks you should talk to the cops," Rafe said with a smile. "I was raised not to trust the cops, let alone be a rat and turn my son over to one," Ava said. Ava admitted she was terrified to lose Tripp again. "Just because you are telling me the truth, that does not mean you are handing Tripp over to the cops," Rafe said. Ava said it was against her nature. Rafe reminded Ava that it was only when Sami had told him the truth that he had been able to clear Sami and Allie.
"Just because you saw Tripp coming out of the building, that does not mean that he shot Charlie," Rafe said. "How do you get away from the timing? I saw him leaving the building, and then I went right in, and I saw Charlie, and he was still alive," Ava said. Rafe cautioned Ava not to jump to conclusions. Rafe suggested that they go talk to Tripp.
When Rafe and Ava arrived at Kayla and Steve's place, Allie was still there with Kayla. Kayla explained that Tripp would be home soon. "Why are you here?" Allie asked. "It's police business," Rafe said. Kayla invited Rafe and Ava inside. Allie texted Tripp, and she warned him not to return home. As Allie hit send, Steve and Tripp walked through the door.
"Police business," Allie whispered to Tripp as he saw Rafe. "I had to tell Rafe what happened the night Charlie died. I just had to tell him the truth," Ava said. Tripp hugged Ava and said, "I know you only did this to protect me." Confused, Ava asked Tripp what he meant. Tripp said he knew that Ava had wanted to protect him.
"I didn't do anything to Charlie," Ava said. "I don't understand. You said you told Rafe the truth," Tripp said. Ava told Tripp that she had not killed Charlie, but she had told Rafe that she had watched Tripp leave Charlie's building after the shooting. Ava told Tripp, Kayla, Steve, and Allie what had happened the night of Charlie's death. "I thought that maybe you had done it," Ava said. Tripp admitted he had gone to Charlie's apartment, but he had left when no one had answered the door.
"I didn't shoot him, Mom," Tripp said. Relieved, Ava hugged Tripp. "Did either of you consider telling me this?" Rafe groaned. Ava asked Rafe if he believed her and Tripp. "As I said when I went over all of this with Allie and Sami, what I believe is irrelevant," Rafe said. Rafe complained that Ava and Tripp's actions had held up the case. "They only held back what they knew," Steve said. "They lied," Rafe corrected. Rafe argued that all the lies had delayed the investigation. "[The killer] is still out there on the loose!" Rafe pointed out.
After everyone left, Kayla asked Steve if he had known that Tripp had been at Charlie's apartment the night of the murder. "He just told me tonight. I told him he had to go to the police," Steve said.
In the hallway outside of Kayla and Steve's place, Allie thanked Tripp. "I really appreciate you going to Charlie's to protect Henry," Allie said. "I wasn't going to let Charlie [sue you for custody] on top of everything else," Tripp said. Allie asked Tripp if he was okay. With a shrug, Tripp said he was unnerved that he had just missed the killer and that Charlie had been dying on the other side of the door when Tripp had knocked.
At the hospital, Marlena told Belle that she was worried that John had decided to talk to Jan alone. "You know there is no stopping him. You know how he gets when he's dead set on something," Belle said. Belle argued that, as John's lawyer, she did not want John to talk to Jan. Belle added that Marlena did not need to worry that John would hurt Jan. With a sigh, Marlena noted that John's aneurysm had altered John's ability to control his actions.
"Jan has a way of getting under people's skin," Marlena said. Belle agreed that Jan could aggravate anyone. When Belle noted that John had not had any recent incidents of violence, Marlena shifted her eyes away. "Has he?" Belle asked.
In Jan's hospital room, a nervous Jan asked John why he was there. "We have some unfinished business," John said. Jan moved to call the nurse, but John grabbed her wrist. "I'm not here to hurt you. I just want to talk," John said. "Make it short. I'm still recovering," Jan said. John said he wanted to explain his actions. John apologized for strangling Jan. "I sort of provoked you," Jan admitted. With a shrug, John thanked Jan. Jan added that John was not off the hook.
"If Belle insists on pressing charges against me, then I'm going to do the same to you. Then we're both going to prison," Jan said. John explained that he had not apologized in order to avoid charges, and Jan reiterated her demand. When John said he could not promise that Belle would not press charges, Jan ended the conversation.
When John joined Belle and Marlena in the hallway, he told them that Jan still insisted on pressing charges against him if Belle pressed charges against Jan. Belle said she was prepared to make a deal. "How can you guarantee that she will hold up her side of the bargain?" Marlena asked. Belle said she could not let her father go to jail. "And I'm not gonna let Jan Spears go free," John insisted. Belle yelled that John could not stop her.
"We will not do this here. We'll go to the pub and do it there," Marlena said. John agreed. With a sigh, Belle announced that she needed to call Shawn, but she would meet John and Marlena at the pub. "And after Shawn arrests her, have him shoot me off a copy of her mug shot, thank you," John said before he walked away. Belle watched John and Marlena leave, and then she marched into Jan's room.
"Did you really think an 'I'm so sorry I strangled you' would be your daddy's get out of jail free card?" Jan asked. "So, he strangled you. He only did what anyone who has ever met you has wanted to do," Belle shot back. Belle told Jan that she accepted Jan's deal. "That must hurt. I know how much you want to see me locked up," Jan said. "You don't always get what you want," Belle said. Jan asked about John. Belle stressed that she was the only one that could press charges. Belle handed Jan an agreement.
"This will make it official. This is a legal agreement saying that I won't press charges against you, and you won't press charges against my father. Sign it," Belle growled. Jan refused. "It just galls me to let your father get away with attempted murder," Jan said. Belle warned Jan that Jan would not get sent to a psychiatric facility "this time."
"The people who witnessed my father strangle you also witnessed you in my wedding dress, telling him that you had killed me. So, I'm pretty sure with that narrative, he is going to have a lot easier time getting off than you," Belle said. Annoyed, Jan grabbed the agreement and signed it. "I will send you a copy, and then you can shove it," Belle said. Jan smirked at Belle, and she pointed out that a button was missing on Belle's coat. "How did that happen?" Belle muttered to herself.
At the pub, John argued that the police needed to press charges against Jan in order to protect Belle and Claire. Marlena asked John to look at the situation from Belle's perspective. "If you go to prison, Belle's not going to blame Jan. She is going to blame herself," Marlena said. John disagreed. Frustrated, Marlena cried out, "I don't know who is more stubborn." John asked Marlena to support him over Belle.
"I can't shake the thought that I might have killed Charlie Dale, and if I did, I might end up in prison, anyway," John whispered. Marlena reminded John that he only had the memory of a gunshot. "You did not kill Charlie," Marlena insisted. "Then who did?" John asked.
When Rafe returned home with Ava, she apologized again. "Have you thought about why it's illegal to lie to the police? Because it's dangerous. Have you thought about how much you have helped the person who killed your son?" Rafe said. "The only thing I was thinking about was the son that I had left," Ava argued. With a sigh, Ava said she would move out. Rafe told Ava she did not need to leave. Ava asked Rafe if he planned to stay up and work on the case.
"I'm going to stick with hard evidence. [I'm going to] give up on witnesses because they lie," Rafe said. Rafe glanced over at the table at an evidence bag with a red button in it like the one missing from Belle's coat.