Inside a Los Angeles home belonging to Jack's late son Keemo, Phyllis and Jack found a photo in a box of mementos. Jack observed that Keemo had seemed happy in the photograph, and Jack wondered aloud about the women photographed with his son. Phyllis said, "You don't recognize them?" Jack closely studied the image and said, "No, wait, that's Mai, Keemo's half-sister, on the right." Phyllis asked if the other women might be of significance. Jack shook his head and cried that he was completely in the dark after having been estranged from Keemo.
Phyllis comforted Jack and assured him she'd help find answers. Jack grew increasingly frustrated after having been anonymously lured to the residence, where he'd found and read a packet of letters his son had written but never sent. Phyllis, just as confused, acknowledged that someone might have been playing a sadistic prank, though she encouraged Jack to keep looking for answers.
Phyllis lifted the lid of the storage box, so she and Jack could pore over the contents a second time. Phyllis found a silk scarf, but it didn't conjure a memory for Jack. Jack became distressed about rifling through his late son's personal possessions. Phyllis, admitting she was being blunt, said that Keemo was gone, so Jack wasn't violating Keemo's memory by inspecting the things that had obviously been left behind in a nearly vacant house for Jack to find. Jack examined additional mementos, one being a small wooden box.
Inside the carved box was a necklace. In a flashback, Jack remembered the day he'd clasped the gifted necklace around Luan's neck. After Luan said she couldn't think of a gift for Jack, he said, "I already have something I've always wanted all wrapped up in a beautiful gift named Luan." Jack told Luan that it seemed like Christmas every day to wake up with her. Luan told Jack that she'd never dared to hope for being reunited during all the years they'd been separated. Luan said, "Yet, here I am. Christmas 1995, standing in front of a warm fire with my American GI." Jack told Luan that she'd already given him the greatest gift, the son he'd always wanted.
Phyllis interrupted Jack's daydream and asked about the necklace. Jack told her the necklace had belonged to Luan and that he'd sent it to Keemo after Keemo's mother had died. Jack became weepy when he found a photograph he claimed was a sign indicating that Keemo hadn't erased him, after all. Phyllis held the photo of Jack and Luan. Jack said the photo had been taken at his and Luan's wedding. Jack recalled that he'd all but given up on being with Luan, though the stars had aligned and given them a second chance. Jack told Phyllis that the biggest miracle had been discovering that he and Luan had had a son, though Keemo had initially been angry, feeling as though he'd been abandoned.
Jack fondly recalled that he'd eventually won over Keemo with patience and kindness. Jack told Phyllis that Keemo had even served as best man at his wedding to Luan. Phyllis asked about the ceremony. Jack recalled that a radiant Luan had worn red at their wedding, which had been a mix of American and Vietnamese traditions. After Jack told Phyllis he and Luan had written their own vows, he vividly remembered in a flashback gazing into Luan's eyes in a candlelit room. Phyllis said it was remarkable the way Jack and Luan had found each other again. Jack closed his eyes and cried that he'd thought he, Luan, and their son would spend the rest of their lives together as a family.
Jack found the statement of paternity he'd given Keemo after the wedding. Phyllis said that the document had been meaningful to Keemo because he'd kept it. Jack said he wished he and Keemo could have reestablished their father-son relationship and put the pain behind them. Jack cried that Keemo might have been trying to reach out, even though he'd repeatedly sent emails claiming he'd wanted nothing to do with his father. Phyllis, emotional, told Jack it was a struggle for her to watch him seek a solution he might never find. Jack picked up another photo. Phyllis, hopeful, suggested one of the people in the photo might be the person who'd sent the text messages.
In her office at Newman Enterprises, Victoria checked her phone and sighed after noting that she had no messages from Ashland. In the reception area outside the office, Ashland checked his phone and read a text message from his operative in Peru. It read, "Found another doctor who gave info to Baldwin. Took care of all three of them." Ashland seemed relieved as he pocketed his phone and said, "Okay." Ashland seemed confident as he walked toward the office door.
When Ashland entered the office, Victoria asked him what had taken him so long, noting that they'd both left Crimson Lights at the same time. Ashland claimed that he'd been detained by a traffic light. Victoria was eager to hear what Ashland had discussed in private with her father. Victoria said she assumed the discussion concerned Victor's objections to Ashland's new title or bad news about his health. Ashland told Victoria that Victor believed a lie told to him by a disgruntled, recently fired doctor at the Peruvian clinic. Ashland explained that Victor believed Ashland had paid off doctors, clinics, and various labs to falsify medical records for him regarding his cancer diagnosis.
Victoria was shocked when Ashland said that Victor had accused him of lying about having cancer and was forcing him to leave her by threatening to reveal the so-called deception. Victoria replied, "That's outrageous." Ashland told Victoria that he didn't trust her father and didn't want her to hear the ridiculous accusations from Victor. Victoria asked Ashland why her father had suddenly turned on him. Ashland said that Victor believed the lies told by a horrible doctor that had it out for him. Victoria recalled having met with Ashland's New York doctors and viewing his medical records that proved he had cancer and was responding well to treatment.
Ashland suggested to Victoria that Victor had turned on him because he feared having someone other than Newmans related by blood running the company. Victoria explained that during the company's history, others outside the family had held the CEO title. Ashland said Victor might feel threatened by him and want him out of the picture. Victoria said she couldn't understand why her father would think she'd even consider believing that Ashland was capable of doing something so heinous. Ashland replied, "Well, I have been called the 'Locke Ness Monster.'" Victoria, becoming distressed, cried that she hated the name-calling because it bore no resemblance to the man she loved.
Ashland admitted to Victoria that the moniker had once fit him like a glove, though he insisted that the man he'd been no longer existed. Ashland told Victoria that her love had profoundly changed him from the person he had once been and banished forever. Victoria credited Ashland for his turnaround, explaining that a person couldn't be changed unless they wanted to change. Victoria recalled that even her father had made some bad choices, as had she and other members of her family. Victoria said she couldn't understand why her father had suddenly turned on them.
At Newman Media, Adam and Sally discussed ways to grow the sports platform. Sally told Adam that transitioning from fashion to business had been an exciting new experience. Sally asked about Ashland and Victoria. Adam said he hadn't heard whether or not Ashland was on his way out. Sally replied, "I wonder how Victoria is doing emotionally, because you said she might be headed for heartbreak." Victor interrupted, having entered through the open door. Victor told Sally he wished to speak to his son in private about a family matter. Sally told Adam they could meet later for a drink.
After Sally left, Victor said he hoped Adam hadn't disclosed the details of Ashland's most recent deception. Adam nodded, though Victor expressed concern about Adam's close relationship with Sally. Adam assured his father that he hadn't told Sally about Ashland having faked his illness. Victor said he'd told Ashland to leave Victoria and get out of town, threatening to reveal Ashland's deception if he didn't follow through. Victor admitted he was worried that Victoria would be devastated if she discovered that Ashland had manipulated her so he could merge his company with Newman Enterprises.
Adam told Victor that Victoria would be devastated either way, unless Nick had guessed right that she'd forgive Ashland just like she had for everything else he'd done. Adam advised Victor to protect his family, his empire, and even himself should Victoria remain committed to Ashland. Victor, certain he'd prevail and prevent Ashland from getting away with his deception, replied, "It's imperative that I convince him to get the hell out of town." Adam suggested Victor have the evidence in hand to back up his threat. Victor admitted that after he'd confronted Ashland, he'd been unable to get in touch with Michael, who'd been in Peru, gathering evidence to send via courier.
Victor received a call from one of his investigators informing him that Michael Baldwin, along with two Peruvian doctors, had evidently disappeared. Victor told Adam his investigator had reported that after Michael left his hotel in Lima, he and the two physicians hadn't been seen again. Adam asked Victor if he thought Ashland had been involved, hoping to stop Michael from sending the proof. Victor shrugged and replied, "Well, I'm going to deal with it."
Chloe and Lauren met together at Society to discuss work. Chloe asked Lauren when Michael would return after his long absence. Lauren said she hoped he'd return soon. Lauren recalled having warned Michael that working for Victor wouldn't be a part-time job, though she'd never envisioned her husband being sent to Peru. Lauren, appearing worried, said, "I haven't heard from him since yesterday. I called him last night; he didn't pick up. I've been texting him all morning -- no response." Chloe suggested that Michael, like Kevin, didn't like sending text messages while busy with work.
Focusing on their own work, Lauren asked Chloe how she and Chelsea were coming along with the "Sally-free" fashion label. Chloe reported that Chelsea, working with former fashion contacts in New York, had made headway in sourcing fabrics and securing a manufacturer. Lauren issued praise for Chloe and Chelsea for having yielded such a successful initiative. Sally arrived, greeted Lauren and Chloe, and asked about the new fashion line.
Chloe acknowledged that the line was in the beginning stages. Lauren smirked after Sally said she looked forward to seeing the line at Fenmore's. Chloe asked Sally about her new job at Newman Media. Sally said she'd discovered that she was good at business and worked well as Adam's teammate, a role she proclaimed was the opportunity of a lifetime. Lauren abruptly excused herself to make a call.
After Lauren stepped away, Chloe admitted to Sally that she'd genuinely liked working with Sally. Chloe said Sally was extremely talented and was a gifted designer. Sally agreed that everything had been going well until Chelsea had arrived. Sally said she'd enjoyed working with Chloe and was sorry their partnership hadn't lasted. Chloe encouraged Sally not to give up on her dreams. Sally spotted Adam walking past the front window and said, "Nope. Haven't given up on them at all."
After Adam entered Society, Lauren returned to her seat next to Chloe. Adam, standing beside Sally, greeted Lauren and Chloe. Chloe briefly mentioned Chelsea being in New York. Adam asked Lauren how she was doing and if she'd heard from Michael. Lauren said she thought Adam and Victor might know more about Michael's status than she did, given that her husband worked for Victor. Adam, appearing somewhat tense, said he was certain that Lauren spoke to Michael far more than he or Victor did.
After Sally and Adam secured a table near the bar, Chloe asked Lauren if she was okay. Lauren admitted that not being able to get in touch with Michael, coupled with Adam's fake nonchalance, had made her even more worried. Chloe allayed Lauren's fear, explaining that Michael might not have cell service and couldn't make calls or retrieve her messages. Lauren phoned Victor and asked him if he'd spoken to Michael. Victor said he had, and he assured her that Michael would return home after finishing his work in South America. Victor promised to tell Michael to phone Lauren the next time they spoke. After Lauren hung up, she told Chloe that her conversation with Victor hadn't made her feel any better.
Sally asked Adam if everything was okay between him and Victor, explaining that she should be included in whatever was going on. Adam told Sally that for her protection, she didn't need to know more than she already did. Adam expressed concern that things might not work out as Victor hoped they would. Sally asked Adam to answer one question. Adam replied, "No." Sally, refusing to give up, asked Adam if he'd be affected if Victor's plan failed. Adam said that if the plan failed and created a rift between his father and Victoria, the altered dynamics at Newman Locke might end up working in his favor.
Victor phoned Ashland from Newman Media. Ashland, at Newman Enterprises, picked up and said he'd been expecting the call. Victor said, "No more stalling." Victor warned that Ashland had one hour to get out of town before he'd disclose the truth to Victoria. Ashland paused and replied, "Hmm. Do it. I'm not going anywhere." Victor raised his eyebrows in disbelief and hung up without responding to Ashland's bold rebuke.
At Mariah and Tessa's apartment, Faith searched online for a dress to wear to the couple's wedding. Faith inquired about the color scheme, and Mariah replied that nothing had been set, but one couldn't go wrong with black and sparkly. Faith asked how Mariah and Tessa had known they were in love. Mariah couldn't pinpoint the moment they'd both known, but she recalled that it had taken awhile before they'd been able to admit it to one another.
Tessa recognized that while being in love was great, it could also be scary. Faith queried about the number of people being invited to the ceremony, and Tessa planned to keep it small to ensure they got to spend time with each guest. Faith offered to handle the door, but Tessa remarked that they weren't that popular. Mariah insisted that Tessa was, but she was just Tessa's number-one fan. Faith wondered how Mariah and Tessa had dealt with the time they'd spent apart while Tessa had been on tour.
Mariah conceded that it had been difficult when Tessa had gone on the road, but it also hadn't been an excuse to behave badly. Faith worried that she'd dredged up bad memories, but Tessa explained that being a couple meant working through things when they made mistakes. Mariah lauded Tessa for being compassionate and forgiving when Mariah had lost her way, and Tessa countered that Mariah had done the same for her. Mariah admitted that being in a relationship wasn't always easy and fun, but it also shouldn't be agonizingly hard. Tessa added that they'd found out what worked and what didn't, and they'd figured out what they both needed to make things last forever.
Faith mused that she didn't know what forever looked like, since her parents had ended up apart even though they'd loved one another very much. Faith contemplated whether soul mates were really a thing and if it was worth risking a broken heart if they weren't. Tessa explained that she and Mariah felt like soul mates because they couldn't imagine their lives without one another, but the emotional risk had been there when they'd put their hearts on the line. Mariah reasoned that they hadn't known they were soul mates until they'd taken the chance.
Mariah inquired whether Faith was asking questions about love in general or if she was talking about her relationship with Moses. Faith reluctantly confirmed that she was asking for herself, but not because things were bad with Moses. She swore that things were great, but she was aware everything could change once they went to college. Mariah counseled that it could be reassuring to find "the one," but it wasn't always the way things worked. Tessa added that it took bravery to fall in love, and it required trust and being a team to take on the world.
After Faith left, Tessa remarked that love and forever hadn't been on her mind at Faith's age. Mariah pointed out that Tessa had dealt with a lot as a teen, and Tessa recognized that Mariah hadn't had it easy, either. Mariah recounted that she'd been too busy sleeping on friends' couches to avoid going home to the woman who'd raised her. Tessa sympathized that Faith had also had her share of issues, and Mariah was thrilled that her sister could focus on normal teenage things. Mariah murmured that she had been touched by what Tessa had told Faith about their relationship and believing they could get through anything.
Mariah knew Tessa had been worried about her after her abduction and "Bowie's" birth, but she insisted that Tessa didn't have to be strong for both of them anymore. Mariah admitted that she was still scared about some things, like Dominic being sick, what would happen if their own child got sick, and if they would even get to be parents. Mariah joked that her talent was worrying about things that might not ever happen. Tessa acknowledged that the world and the future were scary, and it was why she was glad to have a partner who would help her get through it. Tessa stated that she was glad she was able to return the favor, and they kissed and held one another close.
Noah entered Crimson Lights with a pretty girl and ordered triple espressos. Sharon cautioned that the drinks would keep them awake, and Noah reasoned that they needed a pick-me-up before heading to a club. He introduced Sharon to Cindy, who gushed that she'd already heard a lot about Sharon. Noah swore it had only been good things, and he'd told Cindy that his mom's coffeehouse was special because of Sharon. Cindy regretted that she hadn't been there before because she frequented a coffeehouse near her workplace, but she could tell it was an amazing place run by an amazing woman.
Cindy continued that Sharon had to be amazing to have raised an incredible guy like "Noel." Cindy marveled at Noah's dreamy eyes, and Sharon asked where Cindy worked. Cindy shared that she had a day job, but her real passion was in social media, working as an influencer. Sharon assumed that Cindy was the friend from Walnut Grove that Noah had been out with earlier that week. Cindy said she wished she'd known him in school because he was sexier and funnier than the guys she'd gone to school with, but they'd just met that day.
Cindy rambled that she and Noah had met during "one of those meet-cutes," since they'd both been walking down the street in opposite directions and collided because neither of them had been looking. She continued that their phones had gone flying, and she'd suffered a broken screen, while he'd suffered a broken ego because he'd gone down like a ton of bricks. Noah recounted that she'd ordered him to watch where he was going, but they'd eventually ended up getting a bite to eat together. Cindy addressed him as Noel again, and Noah corrected her. Faith entered the coffeehouse and playfully called Noah a dork, and he told Cindy that Faith was his much younger sister. Cindy teased that it was a little early to introduce her to his entire family.
On the patio, Faith privately asked Sharon what was up with Noah's date. Sharon wasn't sure, but she noted that her son seemed to be having fun. Sharon considered it nice that he was seeing someone, and she imagined that seeing Tessa and Mariah happy had put the idea of settling down into his head. Noah overheard and proclaimed that no one was settling down. Faith lectured that finding love could be scary, but they had to be brave.
Faith flounced off to get to know Cindy better over Noah's protests. Noah sensed that Sharon was thinking that he'd been out with another woman the other night, but he argued that young, single people were supposed to go out and have fun. He warned her not to make it into something weird or use it as a reason to worry about him. Sharon asked why she'd worry, and Tessa appeared in the doorway just then.
Meanwhile, Faith chatted with Cindy about social media influencing. Tessa entered the coffeehouse, and Cindy squealed that she was Tessa's biggest fan. Cindy babbled about how she knew every lyric to every song and bragged that she'd been to almost all of Tessa's shows in the area. Tessa remarked that Cindy looked familiar, and she guessed that she'd spotted Cindy at a club downtown because Tessa was drawn to friendly people while performing. Noah joined them, and Cindy exclaimed that it had turned into one of the greatest dates in her life. Cindy enthused that it was just getting started, and she invited Tessa to join her and Noah at the club. Noah blurted out that Tessa had other plans.
Cindy wondered if Noah was having as good a time as she was. Mariah walked in and jumped when a starstruck Cindy enthusiastically identified her as "the other half of 'Teriah.'" Noah mentioned that Mariah was his other sister. Cindy recounted that she'd nearly died when Mariah had shown up at one of Tessa's concerts to profess her love, and she declared that it had been one of the most romantic things she'd seen in her life. Cindy requested that Noah get her another espresso, and she begged Mariah to tell her everything about Mariah and Tessa. At the counter, Tessa told Noah that Cindy seemed cool, and Noah commented that he'd forgotten what he'd been missing by keeping to himself. He resolved to just have some fun and leave the true love to the experts.
At the Chancellor mansion, Chance descended the stairs, and Abby asked whether he was feeling better after his nap. He guessed he'd been pretty worn out, and she recognized that his first therapy session had been emotionally draining. She wondered what she could do to help. He assured her that he wasn't shutting her out, but he needed time to figure things out on his own. He promised that they would talk about it later, and they hugged.
Abby and Chance cuddled on the couch, and she asked if he was hungry. He replied that he was okay, and he apologized for being so quiet. He recalled that he'd wanted to take her out to dinner, and he regretted that it didn't look like it would happen that night. Abby was just thankful that he'd gone to therapy. She conceded that she would never be able to understand what it had been like for him in Spain, but she was grateful he was facing his trauma and fighting for them and for Dominic. They kissed and began to disrobe.
After making love, Chance whispered that Abby had no idea what it had done for him to be able to hold her, and she said she felt the same way. She envisioned having a lifetime of experiences from big ones to little moments, watching their son grow. Chance responded that he had a lot to be thankful for, and he went to the kitchen to make a snack.
Later, Abby and Chance sat in silence. Chance finally confided that it hadn't been easy talking to Dr. Huffman, but it had helped because the doctor had done three tours overseas and understood what Chance was going through. Abby pointed out that Huffman's military experience was one of the reasons Sharon had recommended him. Chance said he and the doctor had seen a lot of the same things, and Huffman understood the tension, spaciness, and feeling of always being on alert.
Chance explained that it was hard to hear people say that what had happened in Spain hadn't been his fault. He wanted to try to believe it, but it felt like he was betraying his team to move past it. Chance thought he owed it to the people who had given their lives to always remember them. Chance grappled with why he felt like he had to hold onto the guilt, and he knew it was why he needed help.
Chance lamented that his pain had put a wall between him and Abby, and he couldn't let that happen. Abby sympathized that it was difficult for him open up, and she thanked him for sharing his thoughts with her. She was determined to be his safe place, and he insisted that she was. He pledged not to fail that mission, and he kissed her hand.
At Newman Media, Victor stared at his phone. "You just made a big mistake, Ashland Locke. No one threatens me. No one threatens my family and gets away with it," Victor growled.
At Newman Locke, Victoria asked if Ashland's marketing meeting had gone well, and he responded that it had been fantastic. She sensed something was wrong, and he informed her that he'd just gotten off the phone with her father, who had put a ticking time bomb on the threats against Ashland. Ashland relayed that he'd told Victor to do his best.
Victoria griped that her dad had made her believe that he was done interfering in her personal life, and she'd genuinely thought he'd been proud and happy at her wedding to Ashland. Ashland figured that Victor might have been happy when he'd thought Ashland would be gone soon. Ashland hated to think that Victor had been putting up a front in Italy, pretending to support their marriage while also planning to push through the merger, take control of the company, and force Ashland out. Victoria was aghast at the insinuation that her father had been behind setting Ashland up.
Victoria doubted Victor was the one trying to make Ashland look like a liar, since she couldn't see her father hurting her that way. Ashland claimed that he was just considering the alternatives, since they'd had no luck thinking of anyone else who would go to such extremes. Victoria still couldn't picture Victor resorting to the lies and treachery it would take to pull something like that off. Ashland said he was sorry he'd mentioned it. Victoria was furious with Victor for trying to use the lie to get Ashland out of her life, and she was determined not to let it happen.
Ashland said he hated what Victor was putting Victoria through. Victoria huffed that Ashland shouldn't feel sorry for her but for her father, since she would fight Victor with everything she had. Victoria hissed hat Victor had no idea what she was capable of, and she wouldn't let him get away with it.
At Society, Nick swigged a beer at the bar and thanked Nate for joining him. Nate hoped Nick hadn't summoned him about Faith's health, and Nick reported that Faith was happy, healthy, and excited for her future, with college around the corner. Nate mentioned that he'd been offering Moses advice while the teen weighed his options, and he inquired about Victor. Nick was grateful for the round of good luck his family had experienced with Victor's improved health, Sharon's remission, and Ashland's miraculous recovery.
Nick was curious if Nate had ever seen another instance where someone had bounced back after being close to death. Nate confirmed that it was extremely rare, and he hoped he'd be able to go over the protocol one day. Nick muttered that he'd love to see it himself, and Nate wondered if that was what Nick wanted to talk about. Nick revealed that Ashland's condition had become a very important subject in his family.
Victor entered the restaurant and observed that Nick and Nate seemed engaged in a serious conversation. Nick said he'd been filling Nate in about the rumors about Ashland, and Nate realized that Victor had been behind the line of questioning. Nate defended the physicians Ashland had worked with, but Victor contended that Ashland was not the man he appeared to be. Victor accused Ashland of committing an egregious hoax to deceive their family, Victoria, and even Nate. Nate refused to believe it without any proof, and Victor invited Nate to accompany him to Newman Media to show him the evidence.
At Newman Media, Nate watched the incriminating video and asked if Victor had taken it to the police. Nate questioned whether the man in the video was really a doctor in Peru, and Victor informed him that two doctors had testified on videotape that Ashland had paid them a lot of money to concoct a story about his health. Nate referred to the doctor in New York and the lab where Ashland's cancer had been diagnosed. Victor conceded that his sources had been stonewalled, and Nate argued that medical staff had no right to disclose a patient's condition. Nate theorized that someone was framing Ashland, and he suspected that the Newmans were the ones being played.
Victor indicated that more damning evidence was on the way to prove that Ashland was a dangerous fraud, and they needed Nate's help to prevent Ashland from doing further damage to Victoria. Nick tried to convince Nate to seriously question Ashland's condition for Victoria's sake. Nate recounted that he'd seen Ashland out of breath and weak, and he pointed out that he'd stood up for Ashland at his wedding. Victor said he understood it was a shock to feel deceived, but he urged Nate to consider what Ashland was doing to Victoria. Nate didn't understand why Ashland would go to such an extreme. Victor asserted that Ashland wanted to control Victor's company.
Victor suspected that once Nate looked into Ashland's background and reputation, Nate would understand why it had been easy for Ashland to convince Victoria to fall in love with him, only to use her love and sympathy to convince her to merge Newman Enterprises with Ashland's corporation. Victor referred to how quickly Ashland had befriended Nate, and he surmised it was because Ashland had needed Nate's medical expertise. Nate refused to be pulled into Victor's version of events, and he resented the implication that he'd been too trusting.
Victor asked if Nate had read ChancComm's article about Ashland, since it had revealed that Ashland had faked his own death to assume someone else's identity. Nick shared that Victoria was aware the allegations in the article were true, but she had believed all of Ashland's excuses. Nick spat that Ashland had used her trust to take advantage of her, and they needed Nate's help to gather proof to make sure Ashland didn't do more damage to Victoria or their family.
Nate questioned whether there was any solid evidence that could be used to force Ashland to confess that he'd lied about his condition. Victor indicated that they hadn't found any yet, and Nick reiterated that they needed the help of a medical expert to stop Ashland. Nick asked if Nate would work with them. Victoria burst in and pointed an accusatory finger at Victor. "You have finally crossed the line. There is no coming back from this!" she bellowed.
At Society, Lily complained to Billy that they were surrounded by work, since they were working from home. She told Billy to relax about the podcast because there was "no firm start date." Billy said he would visit Traci, who might have some tips for him because she dealt with writer's block, and perhaps he would get an update on Jack, since Jack hadn't responded to any of Billy's text messages.
Lily told Billy she was going to stop by Devon's for her baby fix, but Billy asked if she was going to check with Devon about the merger. Billy didn't think it was a great idea for Lily to pressure Devon, since Devon had made it clear he wanted to focus on Dominic. Lily claimed she knew Devon, and he'd been thrown off by what she'd proposed. She'd thrown too much at him too soon. She'd been excited and hadn't been able to hold back.
Billy told Lily that perhaps Devon loved his position at Hamilton-Winters and wouldn't be willing to share it with Lily. Billy understood that Lily and Jill were disappointed the pitch hadn't gone the way they'd hoped and that it was hard when everyone wasn't as excited about Lily's idea as she was. Billy hoped Devon would decide to merge the companies because it was a brilliant idea; however, putting pressure on Devon wouldn't do it any sooner. Billy admitted the idea was genius, and he hoped it would work out exactly as Lily had envisioned it.
At home, Traci tried to contact Jack, but he didn't answer. Traci called Phyllis. She asked if Jack was with her. Phyllis said he wasn't, and it had been a long day. Traci asked if Phyllis and Jack had gotten to Keemo's house and if anyone had been there. Phyllis explained that the house was empty with the exception of a few pieces of furniture. It appeared someone had been getting the house ready to sell. There had also been a box that had obviously been meant for Jack to see. Inside had been handwritten letters to Jack from Keemo that had never been mailed.
Traci told Phyllis she was grateful that Keemo's last letters to Jack had been kind. She said it would have been very difficult for Jack if they had been full of rage and bitterness. Traci couldn't believe that Keemo had been living in the United States and had never reached out to anyone. She said things could have been very different. Phyllis said Jack was having a difficult time with that. Traci wished that the person who had sent the messages hadn't done so, but she wasn't going to push an investigation, even though someone had obviously wanted Jack to find that box of keepsakes. She called it too much loss for Jack.
Traci was happy that Jack had someone with him who knew him as well as Phyllis did. Traci asked if there were other things in the box. Phyllis said there had been a scarf, some postcards, a necklace Jack had given Luan at Christmas, and the proof of paternity that Jack had given Keemo on Jack and Luan's wedding day. Traci couldn't imagine the memories those things brought up for Jack.
When Billy arrived to see Traci, he asked if she'd spoken to Jack. She told Billy about the box of letters Keemo had been writing to Jack for years and never sent. Billy found that strange. Traci said the letters had shaken Jack up, and he was probably trying to process everything. Billy claimed that he or Traci should have gone with Jack, not Phyllis. Traci said Phyllis had been very attentive and considerate of Jack's feelings. Billy said that "this time," Phyllis had Jack's best interest at heart, but it didn't mean that there wouldn't be trouble ahead.
Billy told Traci he'd hit a wall on a project he'd been working on for Chancellor. He'd been waking up at 2:48 every morning with a lot of thoughts and ideas swirling around in his head. Traci claimed some of those midnight sessions could be gold, and she hoped Billy had been writing everything down. Billy admitted he'd been recording them. He claimed his thoughts were about turning his life around, finding a purpose, and letting go of old coping mechanisms that didn't serve him anymore and were holding him back. Traci claimed Billy had a book inside of him.
Billy told Traci that Devon thought those thoughts could be done in the form of a podcast. Traci thought it was an amazing idea. Billy said he'd built a makeshift recording studio in the apartment, and his first session had been horrendous. He hoped Traci had some pointers. She asked if he'd considered meditation, a form of putting his body in a state of relaxed awareness. She said it calmed the mind so ideas could flow. He said sitting still for any amount of time made him twitch. Traci said it sounded like something he needed to do to get over the hurdle he'd described. She asked what he had to lose.
Traci asked Billy how things were going at Chancellor and said it was a huge step from ChancComm. Billy said it was great, and when Lily decided to do something, she just stepped right in. He called her fantastic in that role and said he was extremely proud of her. He told Traci that Lily had an idea that was genius, and Jill had loved it. If it worked out, it would transform the company. Traci said that would be great for both of them. Billy said it remained to be seen if it was great for him. Billy claimed it was Lily's time, and he wanted it to work for her.
Billy told Traci that he and Lily hadn't discussed his involvement, and they didn't need to. His job was to advise her on what was best for the company, not what was best for him personally. Traci stated he was talking about his obligations as a colleague, but she wondered how it was for him as Lily's partner. Billy claimed that would be moot if the plan didn't fly. Traci was afraid that if the plan worked, Lily would find out he'd had some issues, and it would be too late to deal with them. Traci said that wouldn't be fair, and it would put Lily in a no-win situation. Traci encouraged Billy to tell Lily sooner rather than later because Lily would want to know the truth.
At Keemo's, alone, Jack looked through the letters and spoke aloud to himself as he processed some of his feelings. He wished he'd had more time to reach out to Keemo. Jack understood Keemo hadn't been afraid of Jack's reaction, but Keemo would have been worried about what those letters would have done to him personally. Jack felt Keemo had been concerned that the rage he'd held for so long that had finally faded would suddenly flare up again. Jack understood. Jack thought it would have brought much joy to Jack's life to have introduced Keemo to Keemo's brother, Kyle. Jack would have done anything to heal that rift, if only Keemo had given him a clue. He said they had come "so close."
Jack wondered who the people in the photo were. He wondered why that photo had been left in the box for him. Perhaps it had been to drive home how little Jack had known about his own son. Jack said the letters made very clear that Keemo had let go of his rage. Jack wasn't looking at the box as someone lashing out at him. He said it was meant to be a gift. The texter would have known that Jack would want to know as much about Keemo as possible. It was enough to know that Keemo had no longer despised him and had accepted their history. It was enough to know Keemo had considered reaching out to him, and it might have actually happened if Keemo's life hadn't ended so unexpectedly.
Jack believed his search had ended, since he'd found everything he was supposed to. He was about to send a text message to family to put them at ease when he heard a noise outside the window. He stepped outside and called out. Suddenly, Phyllis was there. Jack asked if she'd seen anyone because he'd thought he'd heard someone. She hadn't. Jack thanked her for stopping by. Phyllis offered to go back to the hotel, but Jack asked her to stay.
Jack told Phyllis it had sounded like a thump. He guessed that perhaps his texter was as curious about him as he was about them. Phyllis said the texter knew why they were there, but the mystery remained. She wondered what the texter's motivation was. Jack wondered if someone had read the letters and been sad that Jack would never see them. Phyllis felt that if that had been the case, the person would have boxed everything up and sent it to Jack. She insisted the texter wanted Jack to be in California for some reason. Jack agreed. Phyllis said the texter wanted Jack there, and she and Jack still had no idea why.
Jack told Phyllis that if that had been the case, they should have let him know. He didn't have enough to put the puzzle together. Jack sent a text message to the texter: "I have been through everything in this house. Is there anything else to find?"
After waiting awhile for a response, Phyllis told Jack that if he wanted to find out more about the house and the items in the box, she would research it for him. Jack claimed it had been a long day. He said he was beat and confused. He didn't know what steps to take next. Phyllis asked if he was happy being in Keemo's house. Jack claimed that before Phyllis had arrived, he'd been thinking how close he'd come to not knowing anything about what had happened to Keemo. He'd received those text messages, and he had decided they were a scam and ignored them.
Jack said Phyllis had taken it upon herself to do all the investigating, and she was the only reason he was there. He said it had given him the opportunity to read the letters from his son. He was very grateful for that small connection to Keemo. Phyllis stated it was very painful for Jack; however, Jack claimed it was "so much better" than not knowing what had happened to Keemo. Jack wouldn't have known about Keemo's death or about how Keemo had felt about Jack. Jack thanked Phyllis for making it all happen. He was deeply grateful that Phyllis was exactly who she was.
Jack told Phyllis they needed to return to their hotel, and in the morning, he would have a new perspective. Jack stopped and realized that Keemo had lived there and celebrated there. Jack wondered if Keemo had been happy there. Jack said Keemo had been a short plane trip to Genoa City and family. Jack broke down. He hadn't known Keemo, Keemo's thoughts, or what Keemo had felt about anything -- and he would never know his own son. Phyllis embraced Jack.
At home, Devon was trying to calm Dominic when Lily arrived. Lily suggested that Devon call the doctor and see what she suggested. After talking to the doctor, who believed Dominic was getting his energy back, Devon said he was happy Lily had stopped by.
Devon told Lily he wanted to discuss the merger. He knew she'd stopped by to discuss it. Lily said she wasn't going to push it. Devon said he hadn't been able to stop thinking about it. He'd had a good conversation with Amanda, and she'd laid out scenarios where they could have the best of both worlds. They could take advantage of their companies coming together without having to surrender control over what mattered to them. Lily felt they could work something out.
Devon told Lily he wasn't so sure because it would be an enormous undertaking. Lily agreed. Devon said he wasn't against it; however, he felt they needed to focus on the podcast first to see how that went. Lily said they could table the idea of the merger until Devon was ready to discuss it. Devon said he'd had a nap with Dominic earlier, and he'd dreamed of Neil. Neil hadn't said much but had just smiled. Devon felt it had been a sign that Neil approved of Lily's idea, and Devon shouldn't say no to it. Lily said she kept thinking about all the amazing ideas they could capitalize on.
When Lily arrived at home, Billy told her he'd had a good visit with Traci, and she'd filled him in on Jack. Lily thought the whole Keemo thing was very sad. She knew how much family meant to Jack and how he'd hoped for a reconciliation. Lily noticed that Billy had been researching meditation courses and asked what that was about. Billy said it had been Traci's idea and that it was a highly effective method for tapping into one's inner voice.
Lily told Billy that Devon had been very open about the merger. Devon had told her about a dream he'd had about Neil. Lily said she knew how much Neil would have loved to see the two companies merge, and she was glad Devon was beginning to realize that, as well. Lily thought she'd gotten Devon to a "maybe."
Billy told Lily he had to talk to her about something. He said he felt guilty because he hadn't been totally honest about the merger. Billy admitted that at Society, he'd answered her as her COO, and from a business perspective, he felt the merger was a fantastic idea and a great concept. Billy said it was hard for him to be objective because he wondered what it meant for him and where he fit into all of it. He said Lily and Devon would run the company together, and Devon would bring in his own people. Billy wanted to know what it meant for him. He said he might wind up being a redundancy and on the outside, looking in.
Lily told Billy it was a very valid concern to wonder how a change would impact him. She said no matter what happened with Chancellor, Billy would always be the person she depended on the most. She said he was her right-hand man. He felt reassured.
At Crimson Lights, a perturbed Victoria wasn't thrilled that Nikki had already placed a food order for her. Nikki assured Victoria that she was not the enemy. "No, but you are half of the reason that I am so furious right now," Victoria snapped. Victoria asked if Nikki had known that Victor had been poking around in Ashland's medical records. Nikki confessed that she had, but had only learned a short time before Victoria had found out.
Victoria questioned why Nikki hadn't given her a heads-up. Victoria asked if her mother believed the "hateful and disgusting insinuations" about Ashland. Nikki admitted that she wasn't sure what to believe. Nikki noted that Ashland had lied in the past. When Nikki suggested that -- even if he were wrong -- Victor only wanted to protect Victoria, Victoria flatly stated that by going after Ashland, Victor had already lost her.
Nikki said that it broke her heart to hear Victoria describe her relationship with Victor as "irreparable." Victoria could not rule out that Victor had concocted the story about Ashland faking his illness, noting that it would not be the first time that Victor had used "underhanded maneuvers in the name of business."
Victoria agreed that Ashland had a reputation of being a "ruthless businessman," just as Victor did. However, Victoria did not believe that Ashland's tactics would include lying about having a terminal illness. Otherwise, she added, it would mean that Ashland had been lying to her from the day they'd met -- and she had been "a fool all along."
Nikki suggested that it was possible that Ashland had crafted his con before ever setting foot in Genoa City. She urged Victoria to speak to Michael Baldwin and listen to what he had learned about Ashland. Victoria lashed out at Nikki for not being on her side. The accusation didn't sit well with Nikki, who fired back that she had always been on Victoria's side as her "mother, COO, [and] friend." Nikki rose to her feet and stormed off.
Later, Victoria placed a call to Michael and asked that he call her as soon as possible.
On his mobile phone in Victoria's office at Newman Locke, Ashland expressed relief that things had been taken care of, but he remained furious that they had gotten as far as they had. He warned the person on the other end that if they disappointed him again, it would be their "last time."
Moments later, Nate entered the office, and Ashland immediately knew that Nate had spoken to Victor. Nate asked if Ashland had been lying about his health. Ashland proffered that claims he was faking his illness had been made up by one of his enemies. Nate asked who could hate Ashland so much that they would create a story that Ashland had been lying about having cancer. Ashland reminded Nate that Nate had been with him during the "worst parts" of his illness.
Ashland understood that Victor might believe the rumors because he was driven by his desire to protect Victoria. Nate said that he wanted to believe that Ashland was telling him the truth, but he admitted that he did have some reservations. Ashland called Nate one of his "most trusted friends" and urged Nate to ignore the "carefully calculated plot" that Victor had fallen for.
Nate remarked that Victor wouldn't believe such a wild claim without some sort of proof. Ashland remained defiant, insisting that he would not allow his enemies to take away the accomplishments he had made. Nate asked if Ashland considered his marriage to Victoria to be an "accomplishment." Ashland claimed that marrying Victoria was the best thing to have ever happened to him. He became increasingly agitated as Nate parsed his words. "I don't know how much time I have left with her in this life," Ashland said somewhat angrily. Ashland vowed that he would not allow anyone to take away "one single second" of that time.
Ashland announced that he would expose the "sham" that had been waged against him, hopefully with Nate by his side in a new position at Newman Locke. Victoria returned to her office and asked the two men if everything was okay. Ashland told Victoria that Nate had heard the accusations and rumors and wanted answers. Victoria asked how Nate could possibly believe that Ashland would lie about having cancer. Nate replied that everything he had seen supported a cancer diagnosis.
Victoria told Nate that all of the lies that were being spread hurt her deeply. Nate hoped that the truth would come out sooner rather than later. "We're lucky to have you as a friend, Nate," Ashland said somewhat coldly. As Nate headed toward the exit, Ashland said that he hoped to have a discussion with Nate about joining Newman Locke in the near future. Nate simply replied, "Take care."
Victoria smiled slightly and expressed how nice it was to have the chief of surgery in their corner. Ashland, who had turned his back to Victoria, said nothing. After a few moments, Ashland turned back toward Victoria and said that he hated that people were trying to "poison" Nate. However, Ashland said that he was glad that things were finally out in the open so that they could be addressed.
Ashland asked Victoria if she could look him in the eye and say that she believed he was telling the truth. "Of course, I can," Victoria gushed. Ashland said that was all he needed to hear. Victoria felt the need to celebrate. She presented Ashland with a tablet that contained a digital copy of the contract that would make him co-CEO of Ashland Locke. "I can't tell you what this means to me," Ashland replied. Victoria handed Ashland a stylus. He took it, sighed slightly, and sat down in a chair to sign his name to the contract. When he was finished, he looked up at Victoria and smiled.
Kevin sat alone at a table at Society, his eyes diverted down at his cell phone. Lauren approached the table and asked Kevin when he had last heard from Michael. She was worried that no one had heard from Michael in a couple of days. Kevin suggested that Victor was keeping Michael busy, a suggestion that didn't exactly comfort Lauren.
Kevin claimed there were "a million logical reasons" why Michael had gone radio silent, reasons that included a lost or broken phone and a lack of a signal. None of those reasons really seemed to comfort Lauren. She shared her frustration over the way that Michael was "invigorated" and "inspired" by working on Victor's secret projects. Lauren worried that Michael might have gotten in over his head.
Kevin offered to look into things to see what he could find. Lauren thanked Kevin for his help then said that she couldn't just "sit around" waiting for news. As Lauren prepared to leave, Chloe walked up to the table and greeted them. Chloe wanted to update Lauren on Chelsea's trip to New York, but Lauren said that they would need to talk about it later.
Chloe sat down with Kevin and asked what she'd walked in on. Kevin shared that he and Lauren were worried about Michael. Chloe tried to strike an optimistic tone and pleaded with Kevin to not be "pulled into Lauren's fears." Kevin remained worried that something had gone awry and that Michael might be in need of help.
Victor walked into Adam's office with news that Ashland had called his bluff, told Victoria "everything," and proclaimed his innocence. Adam wasn't totally surprised, considering the amount of time and energy that Ashland had already expended "setting up this con." Victor sat down in a chair and rested his head in his hands. He said that he was disappointed with himself for allowing Ashland to "spin his web of lies" right under their noses.
Adam asked if Victor has heard any news from Michael. Victor said that he had not and admitted to being more than a little concerned. Adam knew that Victoria would never believe the truth about Ashland unless there was some sort of irrefutable evidence. Victor hoped that Michael would be able to provide that evidence soon.
Nikki entered the office and shared the details of her meeting with Victoria. She asked Victor what would happen if Victor was wrong about Ashland. Adam announced that they needed to get evidence on Ashland on their own because they could not count on Michael. The conversation abruptly stopped when Lauren appeared in the doorway.
Lauren demanded to speak to Victor. Victor told Nikki that they could discuss things later. Once Nikki and Adam left, Lauren asked when Victor had last heard from Michael. Victor said that Michael was probably wrapping things up and on his way home. Lauren accused Victor of covering something up with "vague reassurances." Victor commented that he hated seeing Lauren so upset. He swore that he would never knowingly put Michael in a dangerous situation.
Lauren asked Victor to imagine how he would feel if Nikki disappeared for two days. Victor admitted that he would probably react the same was as Lauren. Lauren warned Victor that she would never forgive him if something happened to Michael. Visibly upset, Lauren marched out of the office.
After Lauren left, Victor placed a call to a contact to get additional help locating Michael. Adam returned as Victor was finishing up his call. Adam said he was sure that Michael would turn up. Victor grumbled about how Ashland had gotten the upper hand on them, and he worried that Ashland might have something to do with Michael's disappearance.
Nate arrived at Society a bit late for his date with Elena. He explained that he had been delayed by some "next level [...] Newman family drama." Elena asked Nate if he believed the allegations against Ashland. Nate conceded that he wasn't sure what to believe. Elena told Nate that the only decision he had to make at that moment was whether to have coffee or tea with their brunch. She assured him that he would ultimately arrive at the right conclusion about Ashland.
Later, Lauren met Chloe and Kevin at Crimson Lights. Kevin said that he had run into "dead ends and brick walls" in his search to find Michael. Lauren said that sounded much like her meeting with Victor. Kevin vowed to keep digging and enlist additional help if needed.
Abby and Chance dropped by unannounced at Devon's apartment. Devon beamed from ear to ear as he told the couple that he had been playing pattycakes with Dominic. Chase told Devon that they wanted to take Dominic home with them. Chase apologized for asking Devon to return Dominic early, but he quickly added that he hoped having family time before his next therapy session might be helpful.
Devon said he knew that he would have to be "flexible" with their arrangements. Devon told Abby and Chance that Dominic was teething, so he had applied some pain reliever on the infant's gums. Amanda walked down the steps and into the living room as Devon, Abby, and Chance continued their somewhat awkward conversation.
Amanda asked Devon how he really felt about sending Dominic home with Chance and Abby. Devon insisted that nothing was bothering him, but he was concerned that something might be troubling Chance. Amanda noted that she had picked up on a tenseness from Chance, as well.
Back at the Chancellor mansion, Chance sat cribside and talked to the baby. Abby expressed concern that Chance still seemed anxious about his therapy sessions. Chance explained that he was not sure where the sessions were headed, and he worried that he might have to talk about things that were more and more upsetting. Abby told Chance not to fear the worst and to understand that there was no set deadline or timeline about how long it might take for Chance to feel better.
After Dominic was put to bed, Chance told Abby that he was "not the kind of person who wears their emotions on their sleeves" and wasn't sure how to talk about his emotions to a therapist. He also feared that if he did have a breakthrough that "everything" would spill out. Abby hoped that the experience could be "cathartic in a positive way." Chance said he admired Abby's optimism, and he thanked her with a kiss.
Rey sneaked up on Sharon at Crimson Lights as she was focused on doing inventory. He commented that her "focused and studious" demeanor was "very attractive." When he learned that Sharon had no other plans and that the house was empty, Rey said that he wanted to spend the afternoon with his wife doing something fun. His suggestions included bowling, pool, feeding the ducks, and going to a bookstore. Before getting back to doing inventory, Sharon announced that she had another idea, but she would be keeping her idea a secret until later in the day.
Later, Amanda and Devon dropped by Crimson Lights. Sharon's face lit up, and she told the couple that she knew exactly what they wanted. Devon asked Rey if there was any word on when Chance might rejoin the Genoa City Police Department. Rey stated that Paul was giving Chance time to make sure that he was fully ready to return to work. Devon then turned his attention to Sharon and asked about the therapist that Sharon had recommended to Chance. Sharon was pleased that Chance had started seeing Dr. Huffman.
Devon shared his concerns that the trauma that Chance had experienced might be negatively impacting Dominic. Sharon and Rey both understood Devon's concerns.
Sharon finished up her work and was ready to head out with Rey. Before they could leave, Faith called with news that Christian had a class project that required him to "ask one of his favorite adults five questions." Christian had chosen Sharon, and the project needed to be completed that day. Rey realized that private time with Sharon wasn't going to happen. He claimed to understand, but he was visibly disappointed when Sharon left.
In another area of the coffeehouse, Amanda expressed mixed feelings about her and Devon's trip to Crimson Lights. She had thought it had been to enjoy coffee, but she realized that it might have been because Devon wanted to ask Sharon some questions. Devon insisted that was not the case. Amanda had concerns that Devon wasn't comfortable with the agreement that he had with Chance and Abby.
Amanda told Devon that she had questions for him and wanted him to answer honestly. "Do you want to have more say in Dominic's life? Do you want sole custody?" she asked. Devon said that he did not want sole custody. He explained that the custody arrangement was a "new dynamic" that everyone was trying to navigate. Amanda questioned why Devon was asking questions about Chance's mental status. Devon admitted that he was worried that Chance could take his pains and struggles home with him and unwittingly imprint those feelings on Dominic.
Later, Chelsea dropped by Crimson Lights. She told Rey about her trip to New York to secure a manufacturer for her new line. Chelsea mentioned that she had been thinking of Rey, but she stopped midsentence and decided it might not be the best time to talk. Rey told Chelsea that he had some time on his hands and would not mind talking to her.
Chelsea and Rey sat down at a table and chatted for a while about Connor. Rey talked about a Blackhawks home game that might make for a great road trip. Chelsea said that her son was very shy, but she was glad that he was comfortable enough to talk to Rey.
In his therapy session with Dr. Huffman, Chance talked about his desire to become the man that Abby and Dominic needed him to be. Huffman asked Chance to elaborate on the last day of his mission in Spain. Chance, who had been speaking freely, suddenly recoiled a bit. He talked of the pain he'd felt when he'd heard his team yelling. "Some of the toughest people I know screaming for their lives, and I couldn't do anything," Chance said. He seemed conflicted about having played dead when the lifeless bodies of the members of his team had lain nearby.
Chance shared that not a day went by when he didn't ask himself why he'd survived the blast and his team had not. "Survivor guilt is a powerful, specific trauma," Huffman stated. The therapist asked how Chance had tried to cope with things before starting therapy. "I just tried to atone for what I did," Chance replied. Huffman pointed out that Chance had not done anything wrong and did not need to atone for being alive. Chance fired back that he knew what Huffman was trying to do and that he was "not there yet."
Huffman backed up a bit and asked Chance to explain what his atonement had involved. Chance said that he had helped pay for the funerals of some of his team members and had done what he could to let the families of the fallen know that their loved ones were heroes. Huffman asked if any family members had expressed resentment toward Chance. Chance said that they had not, and most had been thankful and grateful. The widow of one of the team members had written Chance a letter asking that he not blame himself for what had happened and that he to try to find peace. "How the hell am I supposed to find peace when I hid?" Chance asked.
After his session, Chance returned home and found Dominic fussing because he was teething. Abby suggested that Dominic might be comforted if Chance held him. Chance angrily told Abby that he did not want to hold the baby. Chance explained that he needed some time to decompress after his therapy session. He worried that his negativity wasn't healthy for Dominic. Abby assured him that they would find a way to make things work.
In Los Angeles, Jack returned to Keemo's house and seemed both frustrated and disappointed that no one was inside. Phyllis tried to be optimistic, telling Jack that she felt certain that they would be getting some answers. Jack did not share her optimism. He said that he had not expected visiting Keemo's home to be so difficult. "You give me all the support I need, and I don't want to forget to say thank you," Jack told Phyllis. Phyllis told Jack that he did not need to thank her.
Phyllis told Jack that she believed someone else had been in the house because she detected a trace of perfume in the air. Jack and Phyllis walked around the house and saw no signs of any disturbance. Jack hoped that whoever was in the house might be the person who had been texting him. Phyllis suggested going through Keemo's belongings with fresh eyes.
Jack found a photo among the belongings that he did not remember seeing before. It was a photo of a young woman. On the back was the name "Allie" and a Los Angeles area phone number. "Maybe this is the next clue in this mystery," Jack said. Jack thought the woman in the photo looked familiar. He wondered if "Allie" might be the grown-up version of the young girl he had seen in another photo.
Phyllis suggested that Jack call the phone number on the back of the photo. When he did, the call went straight to voicemail. Jack left a message asking Allie to call him back because he wanted to ask her about Keemo Nguyen. In the background, Phyllis reminded Jack that Keemo had changed his name to Hao. When Jack ended the call, Phyllis suggested that Allie still might be the mystery texter, even though the phone number and the number the text messages were sent from did not match.
A short time later, Allie returned Jack's phone call. When she indicated that she'd be open to discussing Hao, Jack asked Allie if she could meet him in person at the house -- and even offered to meet outside if that made her feel better. Allie informed Jack that she was tied up but would stop by the house as soon as she could. Phyllis told Jack that she was confident that Allie would have all the answers to his questions.
Jack stated that he had thousands of questions to ask Allie and wasn't quite sure where to begin. Jack decided that it would be best if he took a walk to clear his mind before Allie arrived. Phyllis said that she would stay behind in case Allie showed up while Jack was out. Once Jack left, Phyllis picked up the photo of Allie and smiled.
Jack returned from his walk and called out to Phyllis, but she was nowhere to be found. A short time later, Phyllis raced into the living room and explained that she had been out in the garden. She suggested that Jack would benefit from some relaxation in the garden. Phyllis wondered if she should not be present when Allie arrived. Jack pleaded with Phyllis not to leave. "I am unsure of my footing, and you are solid ground," Jack explained.
Jack paced nervously around the house. Phyllis jokingly told Jack that a "watched pot never boils." Jack decided that he would call Allie again to make sure that she had not changed her mind about the meeting. As he dialed the phone, Phyllis said that it sounded like Allie had just arrived. The front door swung open, and a young Asian American woman entered the house. When the woman confirmed that she was Allie, Jack introduced himself and Phyllis.
Allie asked what Jack and Phyllis were doing there and if they were bankers or lawyers. Jack said that he was "Jack Abbott," but it was clear that the name meant nothing to Allie. Jack told Allie that he wanted to talk to her about Hao Nguyen, someone he had always known as "Keemo," his son. Allie's eyes widened, and her facial expression changed from puzzled to one of shock.