At the hospital, Sharon, under observation after being hit over the head with a carafe at Crimson Lights, awoke from fitful sleep. Mariah, keeping watch over her mother, became concerned when Sharon placed her hand on her forehead and cried out in pain. Mariah suggested her mother continue resting, but Sharon expressed concern about Faith. Mariah explained that family friends were taking care of Faith. Sharon was eager to identify her attacker.
Sharon said, "I mean, do the police know who did this yet? Because whoever it was doesn't deserve to be running around free." Mariah said she was aware of Phyllis' claim that Chelsea was the attacker. Sharon asked about Nick. Mariah said Nick was likely exhausted after pacing the floor, worrying about Sharon. Both Mariah and Sharon spoke about Nick's resilience. Sharon said, "I should give him a call."
At the Newman ranch, Nikki and Victor discussed Chelsea's decision to flee with Connor. Victor seemed encouraged because he'd assigned his own team to search a 500-mile radius of Genoa City. Victor added that the authorities would step up the search after reading the letter Chelsea had left for Nick. In the letter, Victor explained, Chelsea had admitted to a number of felonies, including theft from Fenmore's. Nikki wasn't as positive as Victor. Nikki expressed concern that Chelsea, likely in possession of fake identification, had already shown her willingness to take extreme measures by trading cars with Jordan to evade tracking via a hidden GPS locator. Victor anticipated that Chelsea would slip up. Victor vowed to stop Chelsea from absconding with Adam's son.
Nikki blamed herself for allowing Chelsea to leave with both boys. Nikki paced the room as she relived her odd exchange with Chelsea. Nikki expressed relief that Chelsea had had a change of heart, ultimately deciding against taking Nick's son. Nikki cried that she loved both boys equally, no matter their biological connection to her. Victor suggested visiting Christian, but Nikki wasn't in favor of storming in, considering the bad circumstances between Victor and Nick. Victor insisted he wouldn't lose another grandson.
At the penthouse Nick had once shared with Chelsea and Connor, Nick encouraged Christian to eat breakfast. Christian, quiet and confused by Chelsea and Connor's absence, looked toward the adjoining empty rooms. Nick sighed, acknowledging his son's feelings of abandonment. Nick said, "Yeah. Sorry, man. It's just us." Nick kissed Christian on the head to offer comfort. Nick promised Christian that no other family members would leave them, including Faith, Johnny, and Reed. As if the pep talk Nick gave to Christian was meant for himself, Nick said, "It's going to be hard, you know, at first. It'll be hard, but your daddy's going to always be there for you, bud. I'm going to help you through this."
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Hilary and Phyllis sat together at a table while Hilary remained fixated on Devon, sipping coffee alone at the bar with his back to the women. Hilary and Phyllis discussed what had transpired with Chelsea. Phyllis noted that Nick could've stopped Chelsea had he heeded Phyllis' warnings. Hilary recalled how she'd been persecuted after devoting a segment on her television show to delve into Chelsea's past. A past, Hilary recalled, when Chelsea had made her living being a professional grifter.
Hilary complained that she, too, had been mistreated and silenced for her efforts to communicate awareness about Chelsea's misdeeds. As Hilary continued her tirade, she cried that a certain person had rejected her apology and refused to reinstate trust, even shutting her out. Phyllis acknowledged that Hilary was talking about Devon. Phyllis said, "If you want him back, we'll get him." Hilary mentioned that Devon seemed to be smitten with Simone, a new conquest. Hilary hammered home her point by stating that men loved "new."
Phyllis noted that Hilary was at least acknowledging her feelings for Devon. Hilary replied, "Right when he despises me again." Hilary cried that she wanted Devon back. Phyllis advised Hilary to step back and focus on the thought of herself nurturing a little baby. Phyllis assured Hilary that doing so would make Hilary attractive to a man, especially the one man who'd once dreamed of building a future with her.
Hilary expressed dread when she thought about attempting IUI with another unsuitable donor. Phyllis suggested that Hilary select a different donor. Hilary seemed exasperated and overwhelmed. Phyllis offered more advice. Hilary seemed to perk up and embrace a spark of hope. Addressing Hilary's yearning to reconnect with Devon, Phyllis advised Hilary to consider Devon an added bonus without allowing him to be her sole motivation for contentment.
Phyllis stopped by Nick's to visit. Phyllis jokingly reminded Nick that he'd labeled her as an irrational crackpot full of conspiracy theories. Phyllis added that she wouldn't unleash on Nick because he was suffering the sting of loss. Nick thanked Phyllis for being predictably stubborn and refusing to drop the matter, even visiting the ranch to check on the boys. Phyllis apologized for not being able to stop Chelsea. Nick expressed regret for not having trusted Phyllis. Phyllis admitted she'd let Nick down too many times in the past. Nick said, "You know you're a very hard person to thank?" Phyllis replied, "You're welcome."
Nick told Phyllis that Chelsea had left a heartfelt note. Nick acknowledged that he wasn't sure how much of Chelsea's seemingly heartfelt claims he could believe. Nick, perplexed, mentioned that Chelsea had penned a vague statement about Christian that hadn't yet made sense. Nick said he couldn't understand why Chelsea had changed her mind about taking Christian, too. Nick admitted he didn't know what had been real about Chelsea and what had been a sham. Phyllis nodded that she understood and supported Nick, though she seemed wary of his interest in the puzzling clue Chelsea had alluded to.
Nick told Phyllis that Chelsea had used him. Phyllis, pointing out Nick's best traits, acknowledged that being with Nick changed people for the better. Phyllis noticed that Sharon was attempting to call Nick's phone. Phyllis covertly ended the call and claimed that her own phone had been ringing. Phyllis told Nick she had to leave to deal with something before it turned into a massive headache.
After Phyllis left, Nick perused Chelsea's sketch book, finding a drawing of a wedding gown. Before grief overwhelmed Nick, Nikki and Victor stopped by. Victor told Nick that Christian needed his grandfather. Nikki recalled Chelsea's odd behavior the night she'd left with the boys. Christian entered the room, and his grandparents doted on the child. Victor, briefly touching on shared experiences of being abandoned, assured Christian that there was nothing to worry about because things would get better.
Phyllis stopped by the hospital to talk to Sharon. Phyllis said she was aware that Sharon had attempted to phone Nick, but Phyllis wouldn't say how she'd become aware of the call. Sharon said, "You need someone to rein you in." Phyllis replied, "No, you need someone to enlighten you about what's going on in the world, and unlike Nick, I have no problem rubbing how wrong you were in your smug, self-righteous face." Sharon couldn't believe that Phyllis' wild assumptions had turned out to be true.
Phyllis explained to Sharon that Chelsea had left behind a note admitting to her crimes, including theft. Sharon, realizing Chelsea could've been her attacker, cried, "Was she trying to kill me?" Phyllis said Chelsea's aim had been to delay Sharon from telling Nick the truth. Phyllis described Chelsea's escape, noting that Chelsea had left Christian behind alone on Victoria's doorstep in the middle of the night. Phyllis told Sharon that the paternity secret was safe, hoping Sharon would change her mind about dropping a bomb on a grieving Nick.
Unlike Phyllis, Sharon remained unconvinced that divulging the truth wasn't in Nick's best interest. Phyllis, determined, said she'd begun to believe that Sharon took perverse pleasure in thwarting Nick from being a father to his children that weren't also Sharon's. Phyllis berated Sharon for not identifying Chelsea as the attacker, which would have prompted police to thwart Chelsea's escape. Sharon wasn't persuaded and insisted that Nick deserved to know the truth about Christian. Phyllis became emotional as she pleaded with Sharon not to rip away Nick's chance for happiness. Phyllis added, "You tell me what the truth is going to prove. You tell me who it's going to help. You do this, you're going to be no better than Chelsea. Think about that."
Later, at her studio, Hilary used her laptop to peruse photos and biographical sketches of potential sperm donors, culling all until one particular prospect caught her eye. Hilary's thoughts trailed off and morphed into a daydream. Lost in her fantasy, Hilary envisioned herself enjoying an easy delivery while a doctor, his face covered by a mask, coached the birthing process. After the baby boy entered the world, the doctor removed his mask, and Hilary realized that the man was actually her sperm donor. The donor refused to give Hilary the newborn as he thanked her for delivering his baby, a son the donor insisted he would raise on his own. Hilary was left in tears.
In a second disturbing daydream, Hilary was stunned to learn that another donor was actually a murderer, arrested before her eyes just weeks before she was set to give birth. Mariah approached and snapped Hilary back to reality. Hilary closed the lid of her laptop and said, "I am done with this." Mariah offered a positive spin on Hilary's predicament by reminding Hilary that she'd play a bigger part in her child's life. Hilary cried that she didn't want to make a mistake and didn't feel that the insemination route was right for her.
Falling in love with a prospective father, Hilary proclaimed, appealed to her as the right path to motherhood. Hilary sobbed as she spoke about her deep longing for a child. Devon walked in and asked what was wrong with Hilary. Hilary clammed up. Devon said he wanted to talk about the show because he had an investment to protect. Hilary defended her vision of the show and asked if she was expected to blindly follow Devon's orders. Devon said Hilary was.
Hilary quit on the spot and proclaimed her clean break to be the best decision she'd ever made. Devon said, "When I bought GC Buzz, , it was contractually dependent on you coming with it, so if you quit, you're going to have to repay me, plus costs." Devon insisted he wouldn't let Hilary out of her contract. Hilary asked Devon why he wouldn't let her go if he hated her and didn't approve of her creative vision. Devon reminded Hilary how she'd often touted that she was the show, so she should be prompt on the set and stick to the material he approved. Hilary was miffed, realizing she'd have to follow Devon's orders.
At the Newman ranch, Victor prepared to go out because it was "too damn quiet" around there, and Nikki inquired whether there had been any word about Chelsea. Victor groused that Chelsea and Connor could be anywhere, but he refused to allow her to take his family away. Nikki was glad they still had Christian, but Victor questioned whether he would have access to the boy without Chelsea running interference between Victor and Nick. Nikki advised Victor not to go see Christian because they'd just visited, and she thought Nick needed some time to adjust. Victor pledged to straighten things out but not by seeing Nick.
At the penthouse, Nick stared at a key and a note from Chelsea that had welcomed him and Christian to their new home. He tore up the note and threw it away. Nikki arrived, and Nick lamented that Christian had known three different moms in his short life. He figured that the boy was too young to remember Sage or Sharon, but Chelsea had abandoned Christian and taken off with his cousin. Nikki pointed out that Christian would always have Nick, and she assured Nick that all he had to do was love his child.
Nick worried that he hadn't done well with continuity, since Christian hadn't been anywhere for more than a few months at a time. Nick added that the police had been looking for more evidence, and there had been talk of the D.A. seizing the place because Nick's name wasn't on the deed. Nikki implored Nick to move back to the ranch, but Nick thought it was a terrible idea. Nick reasoned that Abby's stay in Paris was only temporary, and he refused to box up her stuff and clear it out like his dad had done to him.
Nick recounted that Victor had wanted him off the ranch, but Nikki swore that things had changed. Nikki contended that Victor adored Christian and that Nick had called the ranch home for years. Nick scowled at the idea of being back in punching distance, but Nikki referred to Victor's weakness for his grandchildren. Nikki pointed out that Victor was in pain because Connor was missing, but Nick reiterated that his answer was still no.
At Victoria's home, J.T. returned from a run in the freezing cold, and Victoria informed him that he'd received an express delivery while he'd been out. J.T. ripped open the envelope and revealed that it was from Mac's divorce attorney, and Victoria chalked it up to the lawyer just wanting to generate more billable hours. A distraught J.T. showed her the documents, and Victoria was shocked by what Mac had done. J.T. made a call and learned that his attorney had received the same documents.
J.T. questioned why Mac had suddenly demanded full custody, and Victoria insisted that he talk to his ex to understand what she was after. J.T. accepted that Mac hadn't wanted to fight for their marriage, but he had expected their divorce to be about what was best for their kids. Victoria recalled that she'd felt the same way when J.T. had moved Reed to the East Coast. J.T. stressed that he regretted what he'd done, but he didn't deserve to lose his kids just because he'd made mistakes in the past. Victoria theorized that perhaps it was Mac's opening volley to get more out of a settlement, but J.T. thought Mac was being straightforward about wanting full custody.
Victoria envisioned Mac relocating to Genoa City, but J.T. doubted it because Mac liked her job. Victoria implored J.T. to talk to Mac to make her realize that both of them had the kids' best interests at heart, but J.T. flatly stated that it wouldn't work. Victoria pointed out that if she and J.T. had talked things out years earlier, there might have been less heartache for them and for Reed. J.T. snapped that it wasn't the same, and Victoria whined that she couldn't help if he kept shutting her out. J.T. suspected that Mac was doing it because of Victoria.
J.T. revealed that Mac hadn't been thrilled that he'd moved on so quickly, and Victoria wondered if he wanted to move out. He recognized that it would make things easier, but it wasn't what he wanted. Victoria wailed that she never would have asked him to move in if she'd thought he'd be punished for it, and J.T. vowed to fight for custody from there. He wanted to talk to his lawyer after clearing his head, and he told her not to fixate on it. J.T. added that all he wanted was to be with Victoria, and if he had to fight, he'd fight. They kissed, and he left. Reed descended the stairs and prepared to leave for community service, but Victoria insisted on talking to him about Mac.
Reed wasn't entirely surprised to hear that Mac was seeking full custody. He imagined that the kids would understand little other than that they wouldn't be able to see their dad all the time, just like he'd felt when J.T. had taken him to D.C. Reed figured that divorce resulted in all-out war, but Victoria protested that it didn't have to be like that. She asked why Reed hadn't been surprised about the news, and she inquired whether he'd expected J.T. and Mac to split up.
Reed felt uncomfortable discussing it, but Victoria reasoned that the more she understood, the more she could help J.T. She pushed to know if there had been other reasons why Reed had run away, but Reed insisted that Mac and J.T. hadn't been fighting. Victoria pressed to know more about the situation, but Reed indicated that he hadn't been around much because he hadn't fit in with J.T. and Mac's family. Reed worried that he'd be late for community service, and Victoria thanked him for talking. He departed.
Nikki stopped by, and Victoria recounted that she'd found Christian on her doorstep by himself. Victoria sympathized with Nick for thinking he'd loved and known someone, only to realize that he hadn't known them at all. Victoria imagined that Nikki was worried about Victor, and Nikki suggested that Victoria take Katie, Johnny, and Reed over to the ranch, since Victor shared a very special bond with his grandkids. Victoria referred to it as the grace period where the kids couldn't disappoint him yet, and she regretted that it was over far too fast.
Nikki sensed that there was something Victoria wasn't saying. Victoria divulged that Mac had filed for full custody because J.T. had moved in with Victoria. Nikki urged Victoria not to blame herself, and Victoria was surprised that Mac was being that vindictive. Victoria reported that Reed had made it sound like Mac had been different for a while, but she wasn't sure what her son had gone through. Nikki figured that it was up to J.T. to work things out with Mac, but Victoria considered helping him by calling Mac. Nikki advised her against it, since it sounded like something Victor would do. Nikki urged Victoria to let J.T. and Mac work it out themselves.
At home, Phyllis ordered Billy to start writing, and he muttered an apology about the toilet seat. She pressed him to give her something useful about Sharon, and Billy recalled that he'd slept with Sharon the night before his wedding to Chloe. Phyllis figured that Jack or Victoria had told Billy something incriminating about Sharon, and Billy realized that Phyllis was looking for blackmail material. Phyllis explained that she needed something dark and twisted enough to keep Sharon's mouth shut about Christian's father.
Phyllis begged Billy to tell her that he had some good stuff, and she cooed about how attractive he was when he was on her side. He held up his notepad, on which he'd scrawled that he wasn't helping her. She protested that she'd thought he wanted to have sex again someday, but Billy argued that the whole world knew all the bad things that Sharon had done. Billy anticipated that it would hurt Nick when he learned that Christian wasn't his son, but secrets had a way of getting out, and it would kill Nick all over again when he found out that his two ex-wives and Billy had known.
The doorbell rang, and Phyllis reluctantly invited Victor in. Victor announced that he was there to express his gratitude to Phyllis for having the courage to warn his family about what Chelsea had been up to, and he was relieved that Chelsea had returned Christian to Nick. Phyllis guessed that Victor would hunt Chelsea down to find Connor, and Victor insisted that Connor belonged there with his family, especially since Christian and Connor had bonded like brothers. Phyllis acknowledged that Nick hadn't deserved Chelsea's lies, and she vowed to do anything for him.
Victor anticipated that Nick would have his hands full as a single father, and Billy incredulously asked if Victor was asking Phyllis to play mommy to Christian. Victor clarified that he and Nikki were willing to support their grandson in any way necessary, and he urged Phyllis to remind Nick of that because it was the right thing to do for Nick and his child. Billy huffed that Victor had no leverage over Phyllis, but Victor reminded her that he'd done her a favor by returning the stolen money to Fenmore's. Victor insinuated that he would revisit the issue in the future if he couldn't convince her to help.
After Victor left, Phyllis noted that the sheer brass of the guy both annoyed and amazed her, and she thought she could learn from him. She wondered how Victor would get Sharon to see that keeping her mouth shut was the only way to protect Nick, and Billy asked if he had to remind Phyllis of what Victor had done to her and Jack. Billy warned that there was no recovering from sinking to Victor's level, since Victor wasn't a role model for anyone. Phyllis remained determined to protect Nick.
Later, Billy deliberately bumped into J.T. in the Athletic Club foyer and asked him for input about why Phyllis was ignoring Billy's text messages. J.T. quipped that Phyllis had regained her senses, but Billy blamed J.T. for fueling Phyllis' obsession with proving that Chelsea had stolen the money. J.T. suggested that Billy man up and shut it down, and Billy barked that J.T. sounded like a tool. J.T. huffed that he had his own problems, so it wasn't the best day to ask for advice about women.
At the club bar, J.T. filled Billy in about Mac's petition for full custody, and Billy was surprised because Mac usually played fair. J.T. shared his suspicion that it had to do with him moving in with Victoria, and he confided that Victoria was upset about it. Billy dryly noted that it was a bad time to mention karma, since J.T. had put Victoria "through hell" during their custody battle. Billy was skeptical about why Mac had filed for full custody, and he wondered what J.T. had done to provoke her. J.T. stalked off.
Victoria left a voicemail for Mac, hoping to talk as women and mothers. Victoria requested that Mac call her back, and J.T. returned home. J.T. said he'd talked to his lawyer about pushing back on Mac's demands, and he planned on letting the attorney take care of it while they got on with their lives. Victoria couldn't let it go because she felt responsible, and she admitted that she'd spoken with Reed to get some insight.
J.T. was appalled that Victoria had dropped the news in their son's lap, since it wasn't her business or Reed's. Victoria apologetically explained that she'd been trying to help, but J.T. contended that he would have told Reed if he'd wanted the teen to know. Victoria conceded that it should have been J.T.'s call, and J.T. scolded her for making decisions on her own and leaving him out of the loop. "Message received," she replied.
Sharon tore down the crime scene tape outside Crimson Lights and grumbled about her customers seeing it. She declared that she'd had enough time off, and Mariah opened the door and flipped on the lights. They spotted the remaining evidence from the attack, and Mariah suggested that they go home. Sharon insisted on cleaning up, but Mariah was adamant that Sharon get out of there, since Sharon was obviously upset. Sharon maintained that she was well enough to work.
Sharon was certain that her attacker wouldn't be back, and Mariah noted that Chelsea was long gone. Sharon argued that she hadn't seen or heard anything that implicated Chelsea, but Mariah thought it made sense because Chelsea had wanted to keep Sharon from telling Nick that Chelsea had been stealing from Fenmore's. Sharon sympathized with Nick, who'd thought he'd had a family, only to find out that Chelsea was a thief who'd taken their kids. Mariah was thankful that Chelsea had changed her mind about taking Christian, adding that even Chelsea wasn't evil enough to tear a kid away from his father. Mariah figured that at least Nick knew the truth, but Sharon anticipated more secrets and surprises.
Mariah called GC Buzz and asked for Hilary, and Sharon hoped that Mariah wasn't calling in sick. Mariah explained that it was a work call, since Chelsea's story was perfect for the show. Sharon grabbed the phone away and objected to Mariah pitching the idea, but Mariah argued that Chelsea was on the run after confessing in writing to a crime, and breaking the story might help the police find her faster. Sharon didn't want to be the reason Chelsea got backed into a corner, and she recalled that Chelsea had given her a job and treated her with respect when the whole town had treated Sharon like a pariah.
Sharon added that she'd kept Nick from his son and let him and Sage think that their baby had died, so she'd lost the right to judge anyone else. Mariah recognized that she and Sharon had tried hard to make amends and do better, whereas Chelsea had left town like a coward. Mariah figured that Chelsea would have kept lying forever, and lies like that always hurt. Sharon countered that sometimes the truth also hurt, but they couldn't escape it.
Later, Phyllis walked in and startled Sharon. Phyllis asked if Sharon had thought Chelsea had returned to finish her off, and Sharon guessed that Phyllis had been waiting outside until Mariah had left. Phyllis mentioned that she'd stopped by the hospital and heard that Sharon had been released. Phyllis hoped that meant Sharon was thinking more clearly and had reconsidered telling Nick about Christian. Phyllis hissed that Sharon needed to suck it up because Sharon had only been smacked upside the head and not shoved down the stairs into a coma.
Phyllis ordered Sharon to leave Nick alone, and Sharon swore that she didn't want to hurt him. Phyllis looked her in the eyes and realized that Sharon still wanted to rip Nick's world apart by telling him. Phyllis barked that Sharon might not care if she ruined his life, but Phyllis "sure as hell" did. Sharon asserted that what she did or said was none of Phyllis' business, and Phyllis accused her of lying when she'd said she wouldn't tell Nick, even though telling him would be wrong and selfish.
Sharon questioned how telling the truth would be selfish, and Phyllis envisioned Sharon holding Nick's hand, wrapping her arms around him, and tearfully promising to do whatever it took to get him through it. Phyllis warned that Sharon would regret it if she told him, but Sharon replied that Phyllis didn't scare her. Phyllis pleaded with her not to ruin Nick's life after he'd been through enough, but Sharon firmly stated that Phyllis didn't get to decide what Nick deserved to know. Nick rapped on the door.
Nick asked how Sharon was feeling, and she declared that she was ready to work. Nick assumed that she'd heard about Chelsea, and Sharon bemoaned that it was awful. Phyllis insisted that Sharon go home to get some rest, but Sharon snapped that she was fine. Sharon assured Nick that he wasn't alone, and she understood that things wouldn't get easier anytime soon, but he could and would get through it. Phyllis pointedly stated that Nick didn't want to dwell on the past, and she told Sharon not to make it about herself.
A confused Nick asked what was going on between the two women, and Sharon pointed to the spot where Chelsea had attacked her. Sharon confirmed that she hadn't seen Chelsea, but there was no doubt in her mind that Chelsea had knocked her out because she'd been about to warn him. Nick surmised that Sharon was referring to the stolen money, but Sharon insisted that it was about something more important than the cash. Phyllis claimed that Sharon didn't know what she was talking about, and she insisted on taking Sharon to the hospital.
Phyllis fibbed that Sharon had been talking gibberish before Nick had gotten there, but Sharon insisted that she was lucid and that she knew the difference between right and wrong. The women argued, and Sharon shoved Phyllis aside when Phyllis tried to drag her away. Sharon announced that Chelsea had lied to Nick and that Phyllis wanted the lie to continue, but Sharon couldn't let it go on. Sharon blurted out that Nick wasn't Christian's father -- Adam was.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon explained to Nick that she wouldn't have given him such information unless she'd had positive proof. Phyllis claimed that Sharon was lying and tried to stop Sharon from saying any more, but Nick wanted to hear what Sharon had to say. Sharon told Nick that Adam was Christian's biological father. Phyllis decided to tell Nick what she knew. She said that Chelsea had threatened her with disclosing Christian's paternity to Nick if Phyllis didn't stop investigating her or if Phyllis revealed that she'd been behind the scam.
Sharon explained that she and Phyllis had checked the DNA. Sharon had been able to access Adam's DNA from the police records, and she'd already had Christian's DNA. They'd been able to confirm that Adam was Christian's biological father after they'd compared the DNA reports. Sharon asked what Nick planned to do next. Nick was upset. He said that he'd had a DNA test done after Christian had been born, and the results had indicated that he was Christian's father. He found it hard to believe that Sage had kept Christian's paternity from him. Nick said he needed answers, and once he had them, he'd decided what to do.
Devon arrived at GC Buzz and greeted Mariah and Hilary. Hilary said they were about to go live. Devon said that was why he was there. She asked if he was there to supervise. Devon said he had no intention interfering with the show -- he wanted to show support for the show he'd bought, and if Hilary stuck to the plans they'd made, then there wouldn't be any problems.
Hilary warned him not to patronize her because she was a professional. He reminded her that, on impulse, she'd tried to quit when he'd asked her to avoid changing the form and content. Hilary claimed it had been an unfortunate and isolated incident. Devon asked Hilary to treat it like a real job. Mariah chimed in that nothing would stop them from making it the best show ever.
When Devon walked away to take a call, Mariah asked if Hilary had tried to quit. Hilary said that Devon had been hammering away at her relentlessly, and she admitted she'd tried to quit. However, Devon had threatened her with a lawsuit. Mariah felt that that sounded like foreplay between Hilary and Devon. Hilary claimed that she and Devon were strong, passionate, and stubborn people. They clashed over things, and no matter how much they pushed each other's buttons, there had always been something drawing them together.
Mariah confessed that even when she'd been dating Devon, she'd known that they had been together for all the wrong reasons. He'd still been attracted to Hilary, even if he didn't want to be, and Mariah hadn't blamed him.
Hilary said that things were different this time. She said that Devon believed she'd crossed the line -- like she'd broken something that couldn't be fixed. Hilary didn't want to be at war with Devon. She knew how petty and spiteful she'd been with him -- she admitted what she'd done to Brash & Sassy and to Juliet, but she'd made an honest apology for everything on-air. Hilary asked if Mariah believed that she'd come across as a phony. Mariah admitted she hadn't.
Hilary claimed that if Mariah had seen the honesty, then Devon had to have seen it too. Hilary claimed that Devon hadn't cut her any slack and that he'd been very cold and distant. Mariah asked if that had been when Hilary had decided to quit. Hilary admitted it was and explained that Devon had reminded her that she'd signed a contract and was his investment. That was all she was to Devon. She didn't know if she could live with that. Mariah said that Hilary had no choice.
In the kitchen area at GC Buzz, Hilary whispered into the phone that she had to go. Mariah handed her a couple of copy changes, but Hilary said she'd look at them when she returned. She claimed she had to go out because he had some things to sort out that couldn't wait. Mariah reminded her that they were about to go live. Hilary told her not to panic and that she'd be back.
Moments later, Mariah was on the phone, asking Hilary where she was -- they were about to go live, and Mariah was about to lose it. Devon joined Mariah and said he wanted to talk to Hilary because he'd realized he'd been too hard on her, especially before she was about to do the show. He asked where Hilary was. Mariah tried to cover for Hilary by telling him that Hilary was doing her vocal warm-ups. Devon realized that Mariah had no idea where Hilary was. Mariah admitted she didn't. Devon tried to call Hilary, but it went straight to voicemail. Mariah received a text message from Hilary stating that she wouldn't be back in time for the show.
Devon told Mariah he knew what Hilary had done. She'd tried to leverage him by showing him how much he needed her. Devon said he wouldn't let her do that, and the show would go ahead. He said that people expected a live show, so Mariah would do a solo. Mariah panicked and told him that she wasn't prepared to do the show alone, but Devon assured her that she'd be great. He said that the show would be live momentarily, and if Mariah didn't do it, people would see two empty chairs.
Mariah hosted the show. Among other things, Mariah covered the Chelsea scandal and how Chelsea was on the run with her small child. When the show ended, Mariah received resounding applause from Devon and the staff. Devon said that she'd been amazing and that she belonged in the chair. Devon realized that Hilary was dispensable.
A short time later, Devon took out a bottle of Champagne to toast a successful show. He claimed that Hilary had jeopardized the show and his business just to make a statement. She hadn't shown any loyalty to Mariah or anyone else who made a living off the show. Hilary had been egotistical, unprofessional, and childish just to get Devon's attention. He admitted that Hilary had his attention and that he'd accept the resignation that Hilary had thrown in his face the previous day. As far as he was concerned, Hilary was done at GC Buzz. Devon asked Mariah how The Mariah Hour grabbed her.
Victoria and Jack sat at the bar at the Athletic Club. Jack asked Victoria how things were at the dark tower. Victoria claimed they were fabulous, and she expected things to become even more so once Ashley was tossed out of Newman for corporate espionage. She asked Jack where things stood on that front. Jack advised that he'd given an interview to a major business weekly magazine and claimed that he'd had some juicy information about Newman Enterprises.
Victoria loved it and asked when the interview would be released. Jack advised that he'd discreetly let her know beforehand so she would be suitably shocked and outraged. She assured Jack he needn't worry about her because she could sell it, and she'd get her father to believe she had been right about Ashley all along. Ashley would be out, and Jack would be able to welcome Ashley back to Jabot at his convenience. They toasted to getting what they both wanted. Jack said that Ashley could never find out, or they'd have a major problem.
Jack asked how Ashley had been doing at Newman. Victoria claimed that Ashley had been scoring points with Victor and asserting her influence over several areas of the company. She claimed that Ashley was in her element, and Victoria couldn't wait to see the back end of her.
Jack wondered if Ashley ever talked about Jabot. Victoria assured him that Ashley hadn't been giving away any top-secret intel. Jack asked if it ever sounded like Ashley missed Jabot. Victoria said that Ashley only mentioned it in the context of kicking Jabot's butt. Jack reminded Victoria that the sole purpose of their project was to get Ashley back at Jabot once everything blew up at Newman.
Victoria confirmed that she'd committed to helping Jack get Ashley out of Newman, but the rest of it was Jack's problem. From the look on his face, she knew it wouldn't be an easy task. She asked Jack what he'd done to drive Ashley out of Jabot and make her so pissed off at him.
At that moment, Ashley arrived at the Athletic Club and saw Jack and Victoria together. Ashley approached them and sarcastically commented about the COO of Newman and the CEO of Jabot enjoying a happy chat at the bar. Victoria took that as her cue to leave.
Ashley said that she'd noticed the Jack and Victoria had been talking. Jack claimed it had been meaningless chatter, but when Ashley claimed it hadn't looked that way, Jack admitted they'd been talking about her. Jack said that he'd asked Victoria how Ashley had been doing at Newman. Ashley said he could have asked her. She advised him that right from the first day, she'd intimated to Victoria that she was after Victoria's job. Ashley felt that healthy competition was good. She was certain that Victor appreciated her approach.
Jack asked if Ashley was happy at Newman. Ashley turned the question around and asked if Jack was happy, because she was certain that Jack would have felt better if she had been failing miserably. Ashley asked about her replacement. Jack said that Helen was good, but she wasn't Ashley. Jack claimed that his offer for Ashley to return to Jabot was still on the table. Ashley stated that she was happy where she was, and she left.
At her condo, Phyllis griped to Billy about Sharon. She claimed that Sharon, who'd been a supreme liar, had decided to be brutally honest with Nick. In Sharon's defense, Billy said he couldn't blame Sharon for telling Nick the truth after everything Sharon had put Nick through with Christian. Billy felt that Christian deserved to know where he'd come from.
Phyllis claimed that Chelsea had only loved Adam and herself. Billy admitted that Chelsea had had him fooled and mentioned that he'd almost married her. They discussed the fact that Nick would raise Adam's son, which came with its own set of challenges. She felt no one should know about Christian's paternity, especially Victor.
A short time later, Ashley arrived at Phyllis' condo, looking for Billy. After a few choice words from Phyllis about having the right to know about Abbott family business because she lived with Billy, Phyllis left Ashley and Billy alone. Ashley told Billy about the suspicious meeting between Victoria and Jack. She suspected that Victoria was up to something that involved her. Billy admitted that Victoria had asked him why Ashley had left Jabot and how Jack had handled it. Billy wished he could be more helpful, but he didn't have any other information.
After Ashley left, Billy told Phyllis he loved "the hell out of" her, and he wanted them to nurture what they had -- especially after what had happened to Ashley and Nick. He was afraid of screwing things up. He and Phyllis kissed. She told him that she wouldn't let him screw things up.
Sharon found Nick at the hospital. Nick knew that Sharon thought it was a waste of time to get another DNA test, since she already knew the truth. Sharon assured him that she knew why he needed to do it. When Nick said she shouldn't have gone there, Sharon told him she wouldn't let him go through it alone. She claimed that she'd been wondering if she'd done the right thing, telling him about Christian's paternity. She felt it might have been the wrong time to do it.
Nick said he'd been amused to see that Phyllis and Sharon had joined forces. Sharon admitted that they both cared about Nick and hadn't wanted him to be hurt again. Perhaps Phyllis had been right -- Sharon shouldn't have said anything. Nick told her to stop. He reminded Sharon that she'd believed that Christian had been hers.
Sharon suggested they get a bite to eat and wait for the lab to call them, but Nick claimed he couldn't eat. He recalled the night he'd arrived at Sharon's to take Christian away from her. He said he'd been cold-blooded and hadn't cared about her feelings. Sharon claimed that Nick had been a victim. He said that Sharon had also been a victim -- she'd been drugged and led to believe that Christian had been her baby.
Nick apologized, but Sharon told him that he had nothing to apologize for. Nick said that he'd taken all of his frustrations out on her and hadn't bothered to stop and think how the situation would affect her. He said that it had to have been hell for her to lose Christian. Sharon admitted it had been profound and that it had been the end of her and Dylan. They hadn't been able to help each other and had wound up going their separate ways.
Sharon admitted that some nights, she'd go into the garage and scream and cry into a pillow in an attempt to get through the pain, but she'd known she'd had to go through it in order for things to be better. Sharon thanked Nick for allowing them to get their relationship back to where it was at that moment.
Nick mentioned how he and Chelsea had grown close, but he realized that perhaps Chelsea hadn't been as into him as he'd been into her. He claimed he'd always known that he and Chelsea were different, and the day he'd talked to Chelsea about moving in together, she'd been shocked and had made excuses. He'd convinced her that they'd have a good life together. Chelsea had made him believe she was with him.
Nick admitted that Adam had been every bit Victor's son -- ruthless and dangerous. They stood for everything that he'd always hated. Nick wanted to be himself and have his kids proud of him. Instead, he was in the hospital, waiting for DNA results that the lab was pushing through on a pity rush. Sharon told Nick that she'd never wanted to be so wrong about anything in her entire life.
Nick held the envelope containing the DNA test results. He sat down next to Sharon and read the results that confirmed Christian wasn't his son. Nick broke down and sobbed on Sharon's shoulder while she held him.
Surrounded by moving boxes at the penthouse, Nick picked up a photo of him and Chelsea and threw it in the trash. He packed framed pictures of Connor and Christian, and he stopped and stared at a baby photo of Christian. Christian called out for his daddy.
Sharon sent Nick a text message to ask how he was doing. Meanwhile, Nick carried Christian downstairs and imagined that he had been lonely up there. Nick started to say that Daddy was there, but his voice trailed off, and he stammered that he was there. Nick answered the door, and Victor lovingly greeted Christian. Nick coolly advised Victor to call before he stopped by, and Victor promised that he would the next time. Nick assumed that Victor wanted to spend time with Christian, but Victor announced that he was there to see Nick.
Victor guessed that Nick had been trying to wrap his head around Chelsea's lies. Nick recognized that it hadn't been the first time he'd been disillusioned by a woman he'd loved, but he had handled it before and would again. Victor thought the situation was different because Chelsea had tried to steal Christian, and she had taken Connor, who Nick had treated like his own son. Victor wondered what would happen if Nick never saw Connor again. Nick brokenly replied that he couldn't think about it.
Victor noticed the boxes, and Nick figured that there was no point in staying. Victor urged him to give it more thought, but Nick anticipated that he would only keep thinking about Chelsea if he stayed. Victor headed out to let Nick pack, but he stopped and asserted that he cared, despite their differences. Victor suspected that they were on the same page for the first time in a long time, since they were both dealing with a lot of loss. Victor turned to leave, but Nick told him to wait.
Nick recognized that there was no telling when they'd see Connor again, so it made sense that Victor wanted to spend as much time as possible with Christian. Victor swore that he just wanted to help if Nick would let him. Nick agreed to be civil, but he couldn't pretend that everything was cool. Victor suggested that they deal with one another like they were then, and he encouraged Nick to consider moving back to the ranch. Nick reported that Nikki had already asked, but he couldn't do it, since Victor might throw them out like he had before.
Victor countered that it would give him and Nick a chance to set things right, but Nick contended that he needed someplace that wasn't filled with memories of the life he'd shared with Chelsea. Victor suspected that Nick wouldn't get closure until Chelsea and Connor were found, and he pledged to do everything in his power to be sure it happened. Nick told Victor to let the police do their jobs, but Victor insinuated that he wanted to do it for Nick. Nick stated that he never wanted to see Chelsea again, and he believed that Victor only wanted to track them down to get Connor back for himself.
Victor respected that Nick wanted to do things his way, since it was how Victor had always lived his own life. Nick inquired about the part where he intended to keep his distance, and Victor said it was all right as long as he had continued access to his grandson. Nick agreed that it was important for Christian to stay connected to family, but it had to be on Nick's terms. Victor confirmed that he understood, and he patted Nick's shoulder and headed out.
Nikki summoned Phyllis to the Newman ranch to discuss Phyllis' appearance there when Chelsea had decided to run off with the boys. Nikki thanked Phyllis for warning her and Victor about Chelsea's intentions, and Phyllis was sorry that she hadn't gotten to them sooner. Nikki apologized for not believing Phyllis, but Phyllis couldn't blame her, given Phyllis' past. Nikki acknowledged that they weren't close and probably never would be, but she was sincerely grateful that Phyllis had tried to help Nikki's son when he hadn't been able to see the truth for himself. She wouldn't forget that Phyllis had done everything she could to protect Nikki's grandkids.
Phyllis stressed that she'd done it for Nick, and she was sure that he would do the same thing for her. Phyllis marveled that it was rare to get thanks from both heads of the Newman family, and she mentioned that Victor had reached out in his own way. Nikki imagined that he resented the fact that Phyllis had figured out Chelsea's plan before he had. Nikki guessed that it killed Victor to not have had an inkling that Chelsea might bolt, but Phyllis revealed that Victor had known that Chelsea had defrauded her own company and had helped Chelsea cover her tracks. Nikki was aghast.
Phyllis recalled that Victor had denied that Chelsea had been behind the scam, and he'd acted like Phyllis' claims had been ridiculous. Nikki was appalled that Victor had known that Chelsea had broken the law and that he'd chosen to protect Chelsea instead of telling Nick the truth. Phyllis regretted mentioning it, but Nikki pointed out that Phyllis had done what Victor should have done by telling Nikki the truth. Nikki planned to take it from there.
J.T.'s phone rang as he entered Crimson Lights, and he was surprised that Mac had called instead of communicating through their lawyers. He wondered what more she wanted when she was already suing for full custody, and he was stunned to hear that Victoria had left a message for her. J.T. swore that he'd told Victoria to stay out of it, but Mac angrily hung up. Paul approached and requested a progress report on J.T.'s investigation into Victor's illegal dealings.
Paul recalled that J.T. had indicated that he might have something soon, and he asserted that soon was then. J.T. protested that it wasn't easy to try to find something that would stick, and Paul asked if he'd reached a dead end. J.T. clarified that he hadn't found the right lead yet, and Paul complained that J.T. hadn't found a shred of evidence to build a case on after all that time. Paul warned that Christine couldn't warrant continuing the operation for much longer, and she'd be forced to pull it unless J.T. delivered. J.T. swore that he wouldn't let Paul down, and he walked away.
Nick arrived at the coffeehouse in response to Sharon's text message, since he'd wanted her to see that he was still standing. She led him to the patio and admitted that she'd been worried about him, and she asked if he'd slept. He replied that a lot had been going through his head, but he didn't want to dump it on her. She encouraged him to talk it out so his thoughts wouldn't keep him up at night, and he bemoaned that he had questions for Adam and Sage that he'd never get answers to. He added that Christian was the one bright light in all of it.
Sharon reluctantly informed Nick that Mariah had broken the story about Chelsea going on the run. Nick said he didn't care, since it had been bound to get out anyway. Sharon suggested that he do a preemptive strike with the press, but he had bigger things on his mind. Phyllis joined them to check on Nick, and he reported that a DNA test had confirmed that he wasn't Christian's biological father. Phyllis expressed sympathy, but Nick asserted that it was better that he knew the truth.
Phyllis asked what was next, and Nick declared that he was going to raise his son, since the news hadn't altered his love for Christian at all. Sharon mused that she'd known he would feel that way, and Nick vowed not to let anything get between him and Christian because they'd lost enough already. Nick announced that there was something he needed Sharon and Phyllis to do. After he shared the details of his latest encounter with Victor, Sharon warned that Victor wanted something if he'd extended an olive branch. Phyllis divulged that Victor had pushed her to encourage Nick to lean on his parents for help with Christian, and Nick realized that Victor was finding ways to insert himself into Christian's life.
Nick thought that it was best to keep things civil, but he was adamant that Victor not find out about Christian's paternity. Nick appealed to Sharon and Phyllis to protect what they knew, and Sharon warned Nick not to say anything to Victoria. Nick intended to keep the secret from both Victoria and Nikki, since he expected that Victor would try to challenge Nick's rights with Christian. Phyllis and Sharon swore that Victor would never learn about it from them, and Nick thanked them for everything. Nick left to get back to Christian, and Phyllis growled that all of Nick's pain and fear was on Sharon.
Sharon refused to let Phyllis dictate her life, and she repeated Nick's words about being glad to know the truth. Phyllis pointed out that Nick's heart was breaking, and she wondered if Sharon had thought about what telling Nick would cost him. Sharon accused Phyllis of being jealous because Sharon had earned Nick's respect for telling the truth. Phyllis ranted that Sharon was the most self-centered person she knew for making it all about herself, but Sharon stood by what she'd done and pledged to help Nick through it, whether Phyllis liked it or not. Phyllis barked that the last thing Nick needed was more of Sharon's help.
J.T. returned home and found Victoria hunched over her computer on the couch. He insisted that they needed to talk, but she was determined to finish a report before heading into meetings. He barked that the report could wait, but the doorbell rang, and he invited Lily in. Victoria led Lily to the kitchen to get some tea before they dove in, and J.T. poked around Victoria's paperwork. He gazed at her computer, but Victoria returned and asked what he was doing.
J.T. claimed that something of his had been buried under Victoria's things, and he offered to get out of the way. J.T. lingered as Victoria reviewed Lily's report about where to put Brash & Sassy's marketing dollars, and she seemed disappointed that Lily had agreed with Ashley's approach. Lily argued that she'd also included Victoria's points, and she'd determined the best way to drive sales based on her research.
Victoria mentioned that she'd gone over the statements that Lily was to give at appearances, and Lily pointed out that Ashley had already approved them. Victoria indicated that she'd made revisions, and she'd decided to add appearances to the roster. Lily said she'd have to run the changes by Ashley, but Victoria huffed that her decisions didn't need to be run by anyone, since the hierarchy at Newman was clear. J.T. pointed out that Lily was stuck in a rough position, and Victoria grumbled that he was hardly staying out of the way. J.T. conceded that it was their meeting, and he scowled as he headed out.
At the Athletic Club bar, J.T. left a message for Mac, asking her to call him and promising that Victoria wouldn't bother her again. Lily joined him, and J.T. apologized for how Victoria had treated her earlier. Lily recalled that Victoria had been a great boss before Brash & Sassy had become part of Newman, and things had escalated after Ashley had joined the company. Lily was confident that she could roll with whatever Victoria threw at her, but the worst part of it was that she'd thought of Victoria as a friend and not just a boss. J.T. confided that although he loved Victoria and was glad they were back together, it was sometimes hard work. Lily offered to lend an ear.
Lily thought it was out of character for Mac to sue for full custody, and she empathized with both Mac and J.T. Lily recalled that Mac had been the kind, generous person who'd carried the twins for her, but J.T. groused that Mac wasn't warm and fuzzy where he was concerned. He wished that Victoria had stayed out of it, but Lily figured that Victoria had just been trying to help. Lily advised him to remind himself of the reasons he loved Victoria, and she stressed that J.T. and Victoria were a team, so no one was trying to hurt anyone. J.T. teased Lily for becoming so wise, and Victoria spotted them laughing.
Victoria commented that Lily and J.T. had happened to cross paths again, and he chalked it up to living in a small town. Lily added that they had years of catching up to do, but Victoria had assumed that Lily would be hard at work after everything they'd gone over. Lily departed, and J.T. chided Victoria for taking out her frustrations on Lily. Victoria sensed that Lily was on Ashley's side and not hers, and she requested that J.T. not put himself in the middle.
J.T. agreed not to intervene in work matters, but he asserted that Lily was a good friend. He intended to talk to Lily whenever he wanted to, especially since she found time to listen, unlike Victoria. Victoria was taken aback that he'd shared personal business with one of her employees, but J.T. argued that he and Lily were two committed people who had been discussing relationships. J.T. pointed out that it was nothing like Victoria calling Mac when he'd specifically asked her not to, and he relayed that Mac was furious about getting Victoria's voicemail. J.T. wished Victoria had listened to him and let him handle it.
Victor returned to the ranch and wanted to put off his discussion with Nikki about hosting a charity event, since he had other things on his mind. Nikki agreed to delay it, since she preferred to hear why he'd chosen not to tell Nikki or their son about covering up Chelsea's crime. Victor explained that Chelsea had reverted back to her old ways, and he'd told her that he wouldn't tolerate it, but she'd panicked. Victor claimed that he hadn't wanted to disturb Nick's life or the lives of his grandsons, and they would have found out about her crime if Victor had gone to the authorities.
Nikki understood why Victor hadn't gone public and even why he hadn't gone to Nick, but she lectured that Victor should have turned to her. She pointed out that if he had, she wouldn't have believed Chelsea when she'd taken the boys. Nikki clucked that she and Victor were supposed to be partners, so they had to trust one another to look out for their family together.
Victor said he'd been thinking about the future of their family, and he envisioned him and Nikki getting custody of Connor once Chelsea was caught. Victor vowed to do everything possible to protect Connor and Christian. Nikki remarked that Christian had Nick, but she wouldn't mind if Christian visited more often to keep Connor company. Victor stressed that it was very important to keep Christian close.
Nick returned to the penthouse and told Christian that it would be a great day, and he tried to convey excitement about the tot having a new room. Nick promised that everyone would still be around and that Faith would want to see him all the time. Nick swore that he would always be Christian's dad and that Christian would always be his son, and no one would ever take that away. Nick set Christian on his lap and hugged him.
Later, Nick was shocked to find Anita at his door. Anita hugged him and said her heart was breaking for him, but he doubted that she was there to express her sympathies. Anita insisted that she felt for him after what Chelsea had done, and he asked when she'd found out. Anita claimed that she'd almost fallen off her chair when she'd learned about Chelsea's crimes on a TV show the day before, and she was there to support him because Chelsea had left both of them. Anita cried that she'd never stopped being a mom, and she would miss Chelsea and Connor a lot.
Nick pointed out that Anita hadn't visited since he'd moved in, and she reasoned that she'd been showing respect by giving the couple time together. Nick demanded to know what Anita really wanted, and she feigned embarrassment that Chelsea had sent her money when she'd needed it. Nick surmised that Anita needed it, and she wailed that she wouldn't make her rent without it. Nick spat that she was in the wrong place for a handout, but Anita mentioned that she had another reason for stopping by that he would be interested in. Nick snapped that she wouldn't get anything from him, but Anita reported that she'd received a surprise in the mail that morning.
Anita held up a flash drive and claimed that it contained a video file for Christian. Nick told her to keep it because he didn't want to watch the last words of a woman who'd left him. Anita argued that Chelsea had been a mother to Christian, and she imagined that the boy would one day want to know what Chelsea had had to say. Nick reached for the drive, but Anita informed him that it would cost him. He warned that he no longer had millions of dollars, and she offered to give it to him for $25,000. Anita taunted that it was his last chance to hear from Chelsea -- and maybe even find out why she'd left him.
At GC Buzz, Hilary gave input about Mariah's solo effort hosting The Hilary Hour, but Mariah waited for thanks for ad-libbing the entire episode while Hilary had gone AWOL. Mariah questioned why Hilary had left right before they'd been about to go live, and Devon appeared and wanted an answer to that, too. Hilary snapped that she could tell him that she'd missed the show because she'd been rescuing preschoolers from a fire, and he'd still find fault with her. Devon pointed out that she still hadn't told him what had been more important than a live broadcast.
Hilary vaguely stated that her absence had been unavoidable, but she guaranteed that it wouldn't happen again. Devon threatened to reconsider Hilary's resignation if she wouldn't provide an explanation, and he guessed that it was her passive-aggressive way of getting him to fire her. Hilary explained that she'd honestly thought that she'd make it back in time to host the show. Devon flatly accepted her resignation.
Tessa dropped off some checks for Devon to sign, and she noted the tension between Hilary and Devon. Mariah revealed that Devon had accepted Hilary's resignation and that he wanted Mariah to host the show. Tessa squealed in excitement that Mariah would be hosting the show solo, but Hilary bellowed that she didn't want to leave the show. Hilary clarified that she'd offered to resign because it was difficult to be around Devon, but she'd thought he understood how much the show and the job meant to her. Hilary considered it sad that they'd lost the ability to communicate, and she ran off in tears.
Devon gave instructions to Tessa for the next episode, and Tessa recognized a young woman who'd entered the studio. Tessa thought the woman lived in her building, and Devon approached the woman, Shauna, who said she was looking for Hilary. Devon suggested that Shauna leave her contact information for an autograph, but she explained that she was there to thank Hilary. Shauna revealed that Hilary was her mentor in an after-school program, and Hilary had been there for her after Shauna's brother, Clayton, had overdosed on pills.
Shauna explained that Hilary had met her at the hospital because she'd been alone, and Hilary had been a great help with talking to the doctors and the cops. Shauna added that Hilary had stayed with her until they'd known Clayton would be okay, and she was there to thank Hilary in person because she'd just learned that Hilary was paying for her brother's rehab when her own family couldn't afford it. Devon was floored.
Devon found Hilary at the Athletic Club bar, and she barked that she wasn't in the mood for more lectures. He mentioned that he'd met Shauna that day, and he wondered why Hilary hadn't told him that she was involved in a mentoring program. Hilary griped that no matter what she did, all anyone saw were hidden motives. Hilary admitted that she'd spent a lot of time focused on herself, trying to figure out if she had what it took to be a star, but she'd realized that she didn't have to be so driven. She recognized that if she'd had a mentor to confide in about her mother's alcoholism while she'd been growing up, she wouldn't have been as bitter.
Hilary hoped to make a girl from a troubled family realize that she could be like Hilary by overcoming her background and dreaming big. Devon confessed that he'd been blown away to learn that Hilary was paying for Clayton's rehab, and Hilary was surprised that Shauna had opened up to him. Hilary said she'd thought about Devon's upbringing when Shauna had talked about her brother. Devon considered what Hilary was doing to be impressive, but he didn't understand why she'd felt that she couldn't share it with him. Hilary insisted that it hadn't been about her but had been about Shauna and protecting Shauna's privacy.
Devon admitted that he'd misjudged Hilary, but he saw that she'd meant her claims of wanting to be a better person. Hilary wasn't sure that she had the skills to help Shauna, but it seemed to be mostly about just being there. Devon noted that most people never figured that out, and she asked if he forgave her. He pointed out that she had to go to Lily and Cane for that, but he understood that people made mistakes. Devon still considered Hilary to be part of Hamilton-Winters, and she inquired about the personal side of things. He specified that he was only talking about their business relationship, since it would be a step backward for them to get involved again.
Anita arrived at the penthouse and assumed that Nick had called because he was ready to accept her offer. Nick argued that $25,000 was steep for a video, especially when it might not be anything worth seeing. Anita explained that Chelsea had made it for Christian's 18th birthday to answer some questions when he was old enough to understand. Anita said she was sorry that Chelsea had hurt Nick, but she looked at it as a win-win situation, since he would get his questions answered, and she would get to keep her apartment. Nick informed her that he didn't have that kind of money because he'd given away his trust, but he had a counteroffer for her.
Anita examined Chelsea's engagement ring and couldn't believe that Chelsea hadn't taken it with her, but she complained that the ring wasn't worth anywhere near $25,000. Nick was unsure whether the video was worth a nickel, but he was certain that the ring would pay rent for a long time. He firmly stated that it was the best offer she was going to get, but she referred to Victor. Nick anticipated that Victor would dig up dirt on her to force her to give him the video, and Anita reasoned that some dough was better than no dough. She handed over the flash drive, and she asked if Nick had any message to give her daughter if Chelsea ever called her. Nick replied that the woman was out of his life, so he had nothing to say to her. Anita left.
Nick plugged the flash drive into his laptop, but the doorbell interrupted him before he could watch the video. He found Sharon at the door, and she explained that she'd been thinking about what he'd said about needing to get away from the penthouse. She assumed that he didn't want to go back to the tack house, but she had a perfect solution. Sharon invited Nick to move into her house, since it would be good for Christian to be around her, Mariah, and Faith when he was missing Chelsea and Connor. Nick added that it would save Faith from going back and forth, and he found the offer tempting. Sharon implored him to say yes, but he thought that he and Christian needed to figure out a future for themselves.
After Sharon left, Nick stared at a frozen image of Chelsea on his computer screen before he hit play. In the video, Chelsea wished Christian a happy 18th birthday. She doubted he would remember her, and she explained that she'd taken care of him as a baby as if she'd been his mom. She claimed that it had been really important to her to make the video because she wanted him to know how much she loved him, and she couldn't have cared more if he'd been her own son. Chelsea believed there were some important things he needed to know as an adult, and she revealed that Nick wasn't his biological father -- Nick's brother, Adam, was.
Chelsea apologized for dropping the bomb on Christian in case he hadn't known the truth, but she stressed that it was important for him to know that Connor was his half-brother. She recounted that Adam had been tragically killed and that Sage had died knowing that Adam was Christian's father. Chelsea continued that Sage had written a letter to Adam, asking him not to share the information with anyone, since Sage and Adam had been together just one time, but they'd both been in love with other people. Chelsea confessed that Adam had tampered with the DNA test, knowing that Nick was a wonderful dad who would be a great parent to Christian.
Chelsea admitted that she'd known the truth about Christian's paternity and kept it a secret, and her first thought when she'd decided to leave town had been to take both him and Connor so that Adam's sons could grow up together. Chelsea had realized that she hadn't been able to do that to Nick, so she'd returned Christian to Genoa City and left with Connor. Chelsea swore that she missed Christian every day, and she was sure that he'd hear terrible things about her that were all true. She pleaded for him to believe that she truly had loved Nick and that she would always love Christian. She hoped that one day Christian would connect with his brother and have a close relationship -- the kind Nick and Adam had never had the chance to have.
At home, J.T. didn't react when Victoria presented him with a cup of tea, and she inquired whether he was giving her the silent treatment just because she'd called Mac. J.T. sternly reminded Victoria that he'd specifically asked not to interfere in the custody battle, and it really hurt to know what little respect she had for him. Victoria explained that she'd seen how wrecked he'd been when Mac had demanded full custody, and she'd called Mac to ease Mac's mind about him moving in. J.T. grumbled that Victoria had done it without the courtesy of letting him know, but Victoria reiterated that she hadn't done it to aggravate the situation but to help him.
J.T. accused Victoria of considering him incapable of handling his own problems, but she protested that he was twisting her words. J.T. spitefully asked if she thought he didn't understand English, and he spat that she had to be right about everything. He ranted that she'd made it all about her and her insatiable need to control everything, since there were no healthy boundaries for a Newman. He hoped she realized that she was no smarter than him and that he might know a thing or two about his ex-wife, and she inquired whether he was still mad at her. J.T. clarified that he was disappointed, since he'd thought that he could count on her not to undermine him, but he'd been wrong. Victoria coldly stated that she'd see him at the office, and she left.
At the Abbott mansion, Jack told Ashley to enjoy her day in "Moustacheville." Ashley suggested that Jack have Helen hit the ground running if she wanted to compete with Ashley and Brash & Sassy. Jack figured that he'd have to up his game with Ashley as a competitor, and he anticipated that she'd be angling to get her job back when Jabot innovated in new ways that they'd never imagined. She stressed that she was happy at Newman, and she wondered what had made him think she'd go back to Jabot. Jack mused that he'd never stop hoping.
Victoria arrived at the office and tried to calm down. Victor and Ashley appeared in the doorway, and she announced that legal had finished the due diligence on her acquisition deal, which was ready to close. As Victor beamed, Victoria politely congratulated Ashley. Ashley expected Victoria to say that Victoria could have produced a better deal, but Victoria indicated that her dad had convinced her that any victories scored were for the good of the company. Ashley requested Victoria's input on integrating the new business with Brash & Sassy, and Victor envisioned that they'd become the dream team that he'd hoped they'd be.
Victoria called Jack and informed him that she was ready to pull the trigger on their plan. Jack confirmed that his interview was scheduled to be released the next day, and he had everything under control. Victoria hung up as J.T. entered her office, and she coolly told him that the call had been about work and not him. He wished that she'd stuck around to finish their conversation, but she thought that he'd made it clear that her attempt to be supportive had been demeaning and disrespectful. He insisted that she was misinterpreting what he'd said, but she remarked that he couldn't unring a bell. Victoria pointed out that he'd sounded really angry, but J.T. swore that he wasn't mad -- he just needed her to stop overreacting to every little thing.
Victoria mentioned that Ashley had been driving her crazy by being magnanimous after Ashley's acquisition deal had closed. J.T. claimed that he'd seen Victor and Ashley with their heads together in the break room, and Victoria pressed to know if they'd been talking about her. J.T. replied that he hadn't been close enough to hear anything, and he thought Victoria was overreacting again. She complained about Ashley claiming that she wanted Victoria's input when Ashley clearly didn't care what Victoria thought. J.T. cautioned that insecurity wasn't an attractive quality in a top executive, and he thought it was no wonder that Ashley had closed the deal rather than Victoria.
Victoria asked if J.T. was saying she was too paranoid to conduct business, and he apologized if it sounded harsh, but he insisted that he was trying to help her. He pointed out that she wanted her boss's approval, but her father didn't approve of anyone. He advised her not to let it mess with her head. J.T. claimed that people had been starting to talk, and Victoria panicked that people had been gossiping about her. She remembered that she'd seen him talking to Lily, and she concluded that Lily had been talking about her behind her back. J.T. swore that he was on Victoria's side, but he warned that she would sound completely paranoid to anyone else.
Victoria asserted that she'd been a strong and effective leader since she'd returned to Newman, and she couldn't believe that anyone would think she was paranoid, except for Ashley. J.T. maintained that Victoria had always seemed that way, and he chalked it up to having Victor as a father, but he found it endearing. He contended that a lot of guys wouldn't put up with her idiosyncrasies, but he was glad they'd found a way back together, since he loved every part of her complicated mind. He hugged her, but she looked disturbed.
Jack spotted Nick in the Athletic Club foyer and asked if he had a second. Nick was anxious to beat up a heavy bag at the gym, and Jack recognized that it had been a tough couple of years for Nick. Jack recalled that he'd been through tough times himself, and he assured Nick that things would get better. Jack referred to how things had improved between him and Billy over time, and he cited his conflict with Ashley. Nick questioned how they lived under the same roof while at odds. Jack noted that it was in the house that their dad had built, so they always found a way to coexist because there was no escaping one another.
Mariah arrived at Crimson Lights, and Sharon informed her that they'd almost had two new roommates. Mariah dryly suggested that they start a boardinghouse because Sharon kept inviting people to live with them, and she wondered who had said no. Sharon revealed that it had been Nick and Christian, and Mariah blurted out that it would have been a disaster to live in the same house with the boy who Sharon had thought was hers. Sharon swore that she'd been over her Sully issues for a long time, but Mariah was glad that they'd dodged a bullet when Nick had declined the offer.
Later, Nick stopped by the coffeehouse and told Sharon that he'd just watched a video that Chelsea had left for Christian. He reported that Adam had changed the paternity test results to protect his relationship with Chelsea, and he was glad to know that Adam had been okay with him raising Christian, since the boy had already had a lot of upheaval in his little life. Nick revealed that he couldn't stop thinking about Sharon's offer to move in with her. He thought moving back to the tack house would feel like regressing, but there was a lot of good history at Sharon's place, and he suspected that he could get his bearings there before he moved on. He took her up on her offer if it still stood, and she suggested that he and Christian move in that night.
Ashley returned to the mansion and invited Jack to join her for a celebratory drink, since there was big news at Newman that he would hear about soon enough. He pushed for a hint, but she replied that she took her nondisclosure agreement seriously. His computer chimed with a video call from Paris, and Jack asked how Dina was doing. Dina muttered that she wasn't sure, and Ashley asked her to put the nurse on. Dina wailed that she was all alone, and she didn't know where she was because she and her nurse had been separated on the train. Jack instructed Dina to find someone in uniform who worked there, and she begged "Jackie" to help her. The call abruptly ended.
Ashley and Jack frantically made calls to try to track Dina down. Ashley learned that a nurse had planned to take Dina to visit an old friend in Bordeaux, but they'd apparently gotten separated at a train station. Jack panicked that Dina could be anywhere, and Ashley vowed to find her. They embraced.