Chelsea called Sharon and asked to push their meeting back, and she said she would call Sage to let her know. Sharon realized that Chelsea hadn't heard, and she explained that Sage had been in a horrible car accident. Chelsea was stunned when Sharon informed her that Sage was dead, and Sharon relayed that Sage had been by herself when she'd driven off the road. As Chelsea hung up, Adam descended the penthouse stairs and joked that he'd have to give the ladies a lecture on punctuality. He observed that Chelsea was clearly upset, and she passed along the news about Sage's death.
Adam recalled that Sage had saved him by giving him back his life, and Chelsea added that Sage had given Adam back to her and Connor. Adam reflected back on the months he'd been confined to a bed, and Sage had nursed him back to health. He bemoaned that Sage had lost her parents, Constance, Gabriel, and a child, but Chelsea pointed out that Sage had risen above the loss. Chelsea encouraged Adam to remember that he had been a good friend to Sage, but he questioned whether he really had been, since he'd kept Christian's true paternity a secret.
Chelsea reasoned that Sage had wanted the baby to be Nick's, so Adam had given Sage a gift by letting her believe that Christian had been Nick's son. Adam couldn't believe Sage was gone, and they heard Connor gurgle over the baby monitor. Chelsea went upstairs to tend to the boy, and Adam looked at his phone and discovered a voicemail from Sage.
At the cottage, Sharon told Sully to remember his mother's final words, since he would have a beautiful life and would be protected. Dylan overheard the end of her statement and added that it was a promise, and he asked how she was holding up. Sharon revealed that she'd been close to waking up Sully during the night because she'd wanted to feel his head on her chest, and Dylan considered Sully to be a reminder that there was good in the world. Sharon remarked that life could play cruel tricks, and Faith ran downstairs and asked why Sharon was crying. Sharon and Dylan exchanged a knowing glance.
Sharon gently explained to Faith that it was hard to understand, but there had been an accident the night before. Sharon faltered, and Dylan continued that Sage had lost control of her car and passed away. Tears began to stream down Faith's face as the girl realized that she'd never see Sage again, and Dylan assured her that even though Sage wasn't there with them, the love they shared would never disappear because it would live on forever. Faith said she just had to think of Sage to feel it, and Dylan stated that Sage had been really blessed to know Faith, since Faith had given her something she'd always wanted -- to be a mom.
Sharon struggled with her emotions, and Dylan stressed that they'd be there for Faith if she had any questions. Sharon suggested that they talk or play a game, but Faith desperately wanted to see her daddy. Dylan said he had to go to work, and Sharon lamented that the sitter had canceled. Dylan encouraged Sharon to take Sully with her to visit Nick, since one smile from either of the children might be exactly what Nick needed right then. Sharon hid her discomfort.
Summer and Luca arrived at Newman, and she suggested that he let her do the talking, since she knew her dad better than he did. She wondered if she was being bossy, and Luca replied that he deeply admired the quality of boldness in a woman. They entered Victoria's office and found Noah on the phone, and Noah hung up and said he needed to talk to Summer. She expected Noah to attack Luca, and she asserted that they had a meeting scheduled with Victoria. Noah revealed that Victoria was with Nick, and he stammered that Sage had been in a car accident and hadn't made it.
Summer said she and Noah needed to be with their father, and she asked if Noah had driven there, but Marisa had dropped him off. Luca handed over his keys and urged them to take his vehicle, and Summer hugged him goodbye and left with Noah. Luca crept into Victoria's office and looked up at Victor's portrait. Luca commented that tragedy had cursed the Newman family once again, and things were falling apart without Victor, but that was exactly what Victor wanted.
At Nick's penthouse, Nick picked up photo of him and Sage, and he ignored a knock at the door. Victoria entered and softly said she was sorry, and he tearfully replied that his wife couldn't be gone. They embraced. Summer and Noah arrived, and they rattled off suggestions about how they could help. Nick insisted on being alone, and he asked his family to respect his wishes. Faith yelled for her daddy and ran into Nick's arms, and Nick caught Sharon's eye and nodded approvingly.
Victoria, Noah, and Summer quietly ducked out. Faith asked if Nick was okay, and he replied that he was really sad because he would miss Sage a lot. Faith tenderly stated that Sage wouldn't be completely gone because her love for them was still there, and she anticipated keeping a place in her heart for Sage right next to her spot for Christian. Nick murmured that Christian was lucky to be in heaven, tucked inside Sage's arms, since she'd keep him safe forever and ever. A guilty Sharon looked down at Sully.
Faith imagined Sage and Christian together in heaven, but she worried that Christian wanted his daddy with him, too. Nick swore that Faith was stuck with him and her mommy for a long time, and Sharon echoed the sentiment. Nick vowed that no one would keep them from their kids, and he and Faith shared a "pinky promise." Nick and Faith exchanged declarations of love, and the girl went upstairs to read.
Sharon apologetically told Nick that Faith had needed to see him, and he thanked her for doing all the heavy lifting by telling their daughter about Sage's death. Nick asked if Sage had said anything when Sharon had found her, and Sharon flashed back to Sage begging her to promise to tell Nick the truth about Christian. Nick pressed to know Sage's last words, and Sharon fibbed that Sage had barely been conscious, so she wasn't sure if Sage had even known that she'd been there. Nick explained that he was trying to find something to hold onto, since he didn't understand why the accident had happened.
Sharon remarked that sometimes things just didn't make sense, and she offered to get Nick some tea or a drink. Nick inquired why Sharon hadn't called him right after she'd called 9-1-1, and she claimed that she'd been a wreck after witnessing Sage's death. Sharon added that her only thought had been to protect Sully, and Nick gazed down at the baby and marveled that the tot kept getting cuter and cuter. Sharon prepared to take Sully home, and Nick asked if she minded if Faith stayed. Sharon agreed, and Nick told her to keep Sully safe. "Always," Sharon replied.
Victoria, Noah, and Summer returned to Newman, and Victoria was livid when she found Luca in her office. Summer reminded Victoria that they'd had a meeting scheduled that morning to discuss Luca offering his services to the company, so Summer had told him to wait there. Luca pledged to make Newman stronger than ever, but Noah asserted that his aunt had it under control. Luca insisted that he just wanted to help, but Noah flatly told him goodbye. Summer whined that they weren't giving Luca a chance, but Noah questioned Summer's timing to push Luca on them right after Nick had lost his wife.
Summer apologized, and Luca said he understood. After Luca departed, Summer declared that she was with Luca, and she demanded that her family start treating him with respect. Summer contended that the company needed someone who could anticipate shady dealings, and she insinuated that they wouldn't have lost Brash & Sassy if Luca had been on board. Victoria huffed that Luca would have walked off with the division himself, and she maintained that he couldn't be trusted.
Victoria suggested that Summer ask Adam about how Luca had gotten him fired from his new job, but Summer argued that they had no proof. Summer conceded that Luca hadn't been the most loyal or honest guy, but she chalked it up to how he'd been raised. Victoria thought it was more reason to expect Luca to stab them in the back again, but Summer questioned why Victoria thought she was above Luca when Victoria had tried to bribe him out of Summer's life. Summer barked that Victoria owed both Summer and Luca, and she stormed out.
Victoria prepared to arrange a memorial service, and she asked if Noah knew what kind of flowers Sage had liked. Noah suggested that she ask Nick, but Victoria didn't want to bother her brother with details. Noah queried whether she'd really bribed Luca, and she admitted that it hadn't been one of her finest moments, but she thought it showed how badly she wanted Luca away from Summer and the company. She urged Noah to step up while Nick took time to grieve, and Noah agreed to do whatever he could to help. He wanted to check on his dad, and he reiterated his earlier statement that she had everything under control.
Victoria read an online article about the business world's loss of confidence in Newman, since people doubted that she had what it took. She angrily hurled an object at Victor's portrait. Later, Victoria returned to the bar and ordered tequila. She put a coin in the jukebox and selected her desired track from memory, and she sipped her drink at the bar.
Noah returned to see Nick, and he acknowledged that he hadn't listened to Nick's request to be alone. Noah relayed Victoria's plan to take care of the funeral, so Nick didn't have to worry about anything. Noah recommended that Nick lie down and rest, but Nick said he couldn't close his eyes without replaying his last conversation with Sage over and over again. Nick disclosed that they'd talked about their family and future, and he sobbed that he'd loved her "so much."
Nick requested that Noah watch Faith until he got back, and he walked out. Faith ran downstairs and discovered that Nick had left, and she inquired whether Noah thought Nick would be okay. Noah proclaimed that their dad was a Newman, and they had a strong family that joined together when things went wrong. Faith innocently questioned why they hadn't banded together for their grandpa, and Noah responded with a hug.
At the Athletic Club, Summer informed Luca that she'd ripped into Noah and Victoria, and Luca teased that the corporate world had better watch out. Summer doubted that she'd stick around Newman, but he thought her family would be foolish not to recognize her talent. Summer clarified that she might leave by choice, but Luca insisted that she stay and take her rightful place in her family's business if that was what she wanted. She recalled that she'd liked the idea of working there when she'd taken the job, and he refused to be the reason she gave up on her dream. Luca advised her to prove herself to her family by staying and rising through the ranks with his tutelage, and he imagined that she would be the one calling the shots by the time Victor got out of prison.
Paul examined photos of the accident site, and an officer dropped off an evidence bag with a cell phone inside. Later, Dylan arrived at the police station, eager to focus on work. He asked Paul if there had been any leads about what had caused Sage's accident, and Paul replied that there hadn't been until Sage's phone had landed on his desk. Dylan surmised that Sage had been texting or talking when she'd crashed, and Paul confirmed that she'd initiated an outgoing call minutes before Sharon had dialed 9-1-1. Dylan hesitated to inform Nick about the call if Sage had tried to call her husband, but Paul reported that the last call Sage had made had been to Adam.
Dylan mentioned that Sharon had broken the news about Sage to Chelsea that morning, but Chelsea hadn't said anything about Sage's call to Adam. Paul inquired about how Sharon was doing, since she'd been shaken up the night before, and Dylan responded that she'd calmed down and given him more answers overnight. Dylan reported that Sage had been driving after she'd left a business meeting at the cottage, and Paul wondered if that bothered Dylan. Dylan said no, but he wanted to talk to Adam about the call, since knowing all the facts might give Nick some peace.
Chelsea returned downstairs, where Adam was staring at his phone. She guessed that he was thinking of ways he could have helped Sage, but she pointed out that he couldn't possibly have been there to save her. There was a knock at the door, and Chelsea invited Dylan in. Dylan announced that he was there to see Adam, since Dylan was investigating Sage's accident. Chelsea swore that she and Adam didn't have any answers, but Dylan wondered why Sage had called Adam right before she'd crashed her car.
Adam said he'd never spoken to Sage, and her call had gone straight to voicemail. Adam claimed that Sage had been trying to find Chelsea for something work-related, but Sage hadn't sounded upset, and it had slipped his mind to give Chelsea the message. Dylan asked to listen to the voicemail, but Adam said he'd deleted it. Chelsea regretted that they didn't have the answers Dylan was looking for, and Dylan recognized that the situation hadn't been easy for anyone. Chelsea walked Dylan out.
Chelsea returned inside and noted that it was unlike Adam to forget to give her a message, and he admitted that he hadn't forgotten. He revealed that Sage had sounded terrible in the voicemail, and she'd been desperate to talk to him. Chelsea inquired why Adam had lied to Dylan, and Adam revealed that he'd just heard the voicemail seconds before Dylan's arrival. Chelsea guessed that Adam hadn't deleted it, and she asked him to play it for her. Adam obliged, and they listened to Sage tearfully say that she needed to see him about Christian.
Sharon returned home, and she jumped when there was a knock at the door. Paul said he had a few follow-up questions for her, and she informed him that she'd already told Dylan everything. Paul mentioned that Sage had been at the cottage prior to the accident, and he wondered why Sharon had neglected to tell him about it the prior evening. Sharon claimed that she hadn't thought it had been important to mention that Sage had just been at her home, since they'd often met at one another's homes for work.
Paul noted that Sharon had left almost immediately after Sage had departed, and Sharon nervously explained that she'd gone out to get snacks for their trip. She rambled on about having to cancel the vacation, and Paul said it would help him to know Sage's state of mind when she'd left. Sharon swore that she and Sage had only engaged in standard shop talk, and Paul inquired whether there was anything out of the ordinary in Sage's mood or behavior. Paul pushed Sharon to think, and she snapped that she was thinking. Dylan returned and asked what was going on.
Nick visited the scene of the car crash, and the wrecked car was still there. A crying Nick sat down on the ground and flashed back to inviting Sage to work with him, insisting that it would be strictly business, but they had soon become amorous. Nick remembered proposing to her and sharing their first dance as a bride and groom. Nick picked up a piece of metal from the debris and screamed in despair as he trashed what was left of the vehicle.
Life is like a country song
At Adam and Chelsea's penthouse, Chelsea wondered why Sage had needed to talk to Adam about Christian. Adam suspected that Sage had figured out that he'd switched the DNA test results, since he couldn't fathom any other reason why Sage had been that desperate to talk to him. Adam speculated that Sage hadn't been paying attention to the road because she'd been determined to leave the message, and he blamed himself for her death. Chelsea swore that the horrible accident hadn't been his responsibility, but Adam thought he'd cost Sage her life because he'd played God.
Chelsea reasoned that even if Sage had found out the truth, she'd probably been grateful to Adam for keeping quiet and not destroying what she'd had with Nick. Adam regretted lying to Sage after she'd saved his life, and he felt terrible that she'd discovered that he was a liar before she'd died. He lamented that despite his best efforts to be a better man, he'd done what his father would have done.
At the cottage, Paul explained that Sharon had been the last person to see Sage alive, and he needed to know Sage's state of mind. He asked if the women had argued, but Sharon maintained that they'd only had a business meeting, and she demanded to know why he didn't believe her. Dylan assured her that it was just routine procedure, but Sharon accused Paul of treating her like a suspect. Paul pushed to know every piece of information about what had happened, and Dylan flatly stated that Sage had lost control of her car when she'd been on her phone. Sharon tried not to panic.
Sharon contemplated why Sage had been on her phone while driving, and Dylan revealed that Sage had left a voicemail message just prior to the accident. Sharon wondered why Nick hadn't mentioned that Sage had tried to get in touch with him, and Paul reported that the message had been for Adam. Dylan repeated Adam's claim that Sage had been trying to reach Chelsea, and Sharon asked if Dylan had heard the message, but Dylan informed her that Adam had deleted it. Paul questioned why Sharon had thought Sage had been trying to call Nick, but Sharon simply stated that Nick had been Sage's husband. Sharon abruptly went upstairs to check on Sully, and Dylan demanded to know why Paul was being tough on her.
Sharon eavesdropped on the stairs as Paul said it wasn't his intention to upset Sharon, but he needed to establish a timeline. Dylan thought the chain of events had been pretty clear, but Paul was suspicious about why Sharon hadn't mentioned that Sage had been at the cottage when he'd questioned Sharon at the scene. Dylan asserted that Sharon had been devastated and shocked to be with Sage when she'd died, so it was amazing that Sharon had remembered anything. Paul was determined to find out what had been going through Sage's mind when she'd lost control of the car, but Dylan thought they might never know. Paul anticipated that the questions would haunt Nick forever if Paul didn't find answers, but Dylan said there was nothing Sharon could say that would ease Nick's grief.
Later, Sharon returned downstairs and reported that Sully was sleeping like an angel, so he'd missed out on his mommy getting the third degree from Paul. Dylan defended that Paul had just been trying to get closure for Nick, and Sharon wished she could have been of more help. Dylan told her that she and Sully had been a huge help to Sage, and they hugged. Chelsea arrived to see how Sharon was holding up, since she knew what it was like to be told a loved one was dead. Dylan remarked that the huge difference was that Adam had only pretended to be dead, and Sharon remembered that Sage had helped him do it.
Sharon recalled that Sage had saved Adam's life and had kept his identity a secret, so they'd had a close bond. Dylan mentioned that Sharon knew about Sage's voicemail to Adam, and Chelsea maintained that Sage had been trying to reach her about business. Sharon asked how Sage had sounded, but Chelsea claimed that Adam had deleted the message. Chelsea lamented that the accident might never have happened if she hadn't turned off her phone, but Dylan swore that it hadn't been anyone's fault. Dylan hoped Nick found comfort in knowing that Sage was at peace with their son, and Sharon guiltily looked away.
Jack greeted Victor at the prison, and he acknowledged that Victor had shut out his entire family, but he thought Victor should be aware of some bad news. Victor revealed that he'd heard about Sage's demise, so Jack had wasted a trip. Jack hoped that they could turn the tragedy into something positive by setting aside their cycle of revenge, since Nick and both families were grieving. Victor inquired about how Adam had taken the news, since Adam and Sage had shared a special bond.
Victor noted that Sage had nursed Adam back to health after Billy had tried to kill him, and he considered it to be destiny that Sage had allowed Adam to get back to his wife and child. Jack asserted that a man controlled his own destiny, and he and Victor had the power to stop the pain for both of their families. Jack recognized that Victor wanted the Newman family to suffer for turning against him, but Victor said he was sorry about Sage's death. Jack guessed that Victor wasn't sorry for setting the Brash & Sassy sale in motion, even though it had been the deathblow for Billy and Victoria's relationship.
Jack ordered Victor to stop poisoning their families against one another, but Victor snarled that Jack's brother and wife had tried to destroy Victor's company, and they would pay for it. Victor theorized that Jack was really there because Jack's life was about to slip off the rails, and Jack needed someone to blame. Jack blasted Victor for taking no responsibility for setting a match to people's lives by hiring Marco. Victor asserted that he'd defended his family and business when Phyllis and Billy had tried to destroy him, and he hissed that Jack's own family was the reason for Jack's problems, not Victor. Victor advised Jack to watch his back, since that was where those he thought loved him would stick the knife. Jack walked out.
Victor called for the guard to take him back to his cell, but Adam sauntered in and declared that Victor had time for one more visitor. Victor said he was sorry about Sage, but Adam wondered why Victor had wrecked his own plans to anoint a new successor in the immediate future, since Nick had lost both a child and a wife. Victor pointed out that they both knew that Nick hadn't been the one who'd lost a child, and Adam argued that Nick believed that Christian had been his son. Victor countered that Adam had allowed Nick to believe that in order to save both their marriages, and he praised Adam for thinking about his family.
Adam questioned whether Victor had been thinking about his family when he'd told Sage that Adam had fathered her child. Victor asked what he was talking about, and Adam divulged that Sage had left him a distraught message about Christian right before the car crash. Victor insisted that he'd never talked to her about the child not being Nick's, but Adam sternly noted that Victor was the only person other than Adam and Chelsea who knew about the DNA test switch.
Adam noted that Victor had used secrets as weapons before, but Victor reasoned that it would have done no good to tell Sage that Christian had been Adam's son. Adam guessed that Victor had wanted to prove that he could blow up his family's lives, but Victor argued that he wanted Nick to be his successor, so it wouldn't have made sense to break Nick's heart by revealing Christian's paternity. Adam contemplated who had told Sage, but Victor replied that it made no difference, since she was at peace, and the secret had gone to the grave with her.
Victoria sat at the bar, and the bartender she'd encountered the day before arrived to start his shift. He jokingly inquired how the jukebox had ended up with only one song, and she was surprised he'd remembered her. He recalled that she'd left a large tip, and she noted that he'd found the jukebox track that she'd been looking for and given her the money to play it. He wondered if he should regret his decision, since the song was still playing, and she remarked that it stirred up memories. He imagined that they weren't good ones, since she'd taken off before he could hand her a tissue, and she referred to a lousy day at work. The bartender doubted her claim, and he asked, "What's his name?"
Victoria tossed back a drink and insisted that there was no man in her life. She apologized for overreacting, and she claimed that she'd been trying to make sense of a death in the family. The bartender imagined that she had an important job if she'd had to seek out a bar where no one knew her name, but she fibbed that she answered phones to say that important people weren't available when they really were. The bartender was grateful that at least he got to meet people and listen to good music at his job, and he introduced himself as Travis. Victoria shook his hand and called herself Tori.
Victoria asked if Travis got tired of hearing sob stories, and he replied that the troubles people griped about at a bar were like a country song -- heartache, jail time, and car wrecks. She compared her life to a country song, and Travis assured her that she would be okay, since he could see strength in her eyes. He sensed emptiness in another patron at the bar, and he felt like the customer was slumming to feel like a bigger man. Victoria commented that she said knew the type, and Travis imagined that she understood what it was like to scrape by, since she answered phones for a living. Victoria said it wasn't easy for the "one percent" either, but Travis refused to express sympathy for the rich.
At the Athletic Club, Phyllis asked if Billy had spoken to Victoria, but he doubted that Victoria wanted to talk to the new owner of Brash & Sassy. Phyllis noted that Victoria's brother had just lost his wife, and Billy quipped that life went on for Victor and his family while other people suffered. Phyllis argued that Victoria was unlike Victor in that Victoria had a heart and was feeling Nick's pain, and she implored Billy to go to Victoria. Billy was certain that Victoria wouldn't forgive him and that she didn't want to be anywhere near him, but Phyllis asked how he knew unless he asked Victoria. Billy wondered why Phyllis was incessant about playing matchmaker.
Phyllis expected that Victoria would be there for Nick and the company, but she questioned who would be there for Victoria. Billy coolly replied that Victoria was made of steel, but Phyllis insisted that Victoria needed someone to tell her that everything would be okay and to wrap their arms around her. Billy thought Phyllis had created a pretty picture of him and Victoria falling into each other's arms, but he believed Phyllis was really looking for hope for herself and Jack. He flatly stated that there was no hope for either couple, and Phyllis argued that Sage and Nick didn't have any more chances, but Billy did. Billy hesitantly agreed to try again, and he encouraged Phyllis to take her own advice and fix her relationship with Jack before it was too late.
Later, Phyllis sipped a drink at the bar, and Jack observed that she seemed to be a million miles away. He mentioned that he'd gone to Victor to offer an olive branch in Sage's name, and Victor had warned him that his troubles were at home and not with Victor. Phyllis reported that she'd also tried to do some good by convincing Billy to put his pride and anger aside and admit that he and Victoria loved one another. She added that she needed to undo some damage of her own, and Sage's death had made her think about a lot of things, like who she was and what she wanted.
Phyllis professed her love to Jack and said she wanted him, and she regretted that she'd spun out of control and hurt people, especially him. She wanted things to be the way they once had been, but Jack didn't know what that was anymore. Phyllis encouraged him to prove that Victor was wrong, but Jack grumbled that she'd defended Billy when he'd bought Brash & Sassy, whereas she'd considered Jack to be the bad guy. Phyllis apologized, and she was certain that they could fix their marriage and be stronger than ever before.
Nick emitted primal screams as he smashed the remains of Sage's wrecked car, and he looked down at his bloody hands. The tow truck driver arrived to haul away the car, and he called out to ask if Nick was all right. The driver suggested that Nick have a doctor check out his cuts, and he offered to give Nick a lift, but Nick silently walked away.
Nick went to Newman Enterprises, and he hissed to Victor's portrait that Victor's mission had been accomplished, since Victor had wanted them to suffer. Nick ranted that Nikki was drinking, Abby had lost her baby, Victoria and Billy had no chance at reconciliation, and Nick had lost everything. Billy entered and asked what Nick had done to his hand, but Nick demanded to be left alone. Billy extended his condolences and said he knew what it was like to be standing on the side of the road, completely helpless.
Nick imagined that Billy knew that they could never get over the losses they'd experienced, and Billy agreed that they never would. Nick wailed that all Sage had done was love him, and Billy insisted that her death hadn't been Nick's fault. Nick blamed the Newman curse, since the sins of the father were a lot to pay for when Victor was the father. Victoria returned and asked what Billy was doing there, but she was distracted by Nick's bloody hand. Nick explained that he'd taken out his anger at the crash site, and Victoria ordered Billy to leave if he was there to take a victory lap.
Nick noted that the curse applied to Billy and Victoria, too, since the couple had "crazy big love" and every reason to be together, but something was keeping them apart. Victoria called the idea ridiculous, but Nick thought she knew he was right, and he urged her to do something about it. Billy repeated that he was just there to say he was sorry, but Victoria snapped that his being there was making it harder. Billy told them to take care of themselves, and he left. Nick realized that there was no curse keeping Victoria and Billy apart, since they were doing it to themselves.
Nick reminded Victoria that Billy had almost died, and he thought Victoria could still make things right. Victoria pointed out that Billy had lied to her repeatedly, but Nick said it was obvious how much the couple cared about one another. Nick complained that she was throwing away a shot at happiness that he'd give anything to have. Nick told her to stop living Victor's life and start living hers. She insisted on bandaging his hand.
Victoria didn't believe the Newmans were cursed, and she softly stated that what Nick and Sage had shared had been amazing. Nick thought he should have been there for Sage, but Victoria assured him that Sage had known that he'd loved her. Nick regretted that he'd thrown himself into work as a loyal Newman soldier rather than spending more time at home, but Victoria maintained that it had been an accident and not a curse that had killed Sage. Nick urged Victoria not to make the same mistake he had by taking what she had with Billy for granted.
Billy found Phyllis waiting for him at home, and she thought he might want to celebrate. She inquired about how things had gone with Victoria, and he indicated that they hadn't gone well. Phyllis imagined that Victoria was in shock and needed time, but Billy said time wouldn't change that what he and Victoria had had was in pieces, so Phyllis had to stop trying to put them back together. He poured a drink.
Phyllis pressed Billy to never give up hope, since he and Victoria had children who bound them together, and they had too much love to stay apart. Billy conceded that he had a golden collection of good times and beautiful memories, but he refused to live in the past. He said Sage's death had taught him to grab what was right in front of him -- what he could see, touch, and feel. Billy pulled Phyllis into a kiss, and she briefly responded before she pushed him away and silently headed out the door.
Sage's memorial service begins
At the Athletic Club, Abby ran into Max while looking for Stitch. Max told Abby to stop wasting her time, insisting that his father would never forgive her for the things she had said about him. "We'll see," Abby tersely replied.
Lily soon intervened, sending Max off to join Charlie for their play date. Lily explained to Abby that she had agreed to watch Max because Stitch had been called to the hospital. Abby was surprised that Lily had arranged another play date for Max and Charlie, given what had happened the last time. Lily said she had decided to give Max another chance because Charlie had been willing to do the same. Lily added that although the kids were just playing checkers, she still planned to keep a close eye on them. "Smart idea," Abby muttered.
Lily, who had received a heads-up from Dylan about his plan to take a closer look at the Athletic Club's surveillance footage from the day of Abby's fall, warned that Abby could cause irreparable damage to her marriage if she forged ahead with her quest to prove that Max was responsible for her miscarriage. Abby stressed that her instinct was telling her that she was right about Max, in which case he needed to get professional help as soon as possible. Abby added, however, that she was prepared to accept the consequences if her suspicions were proven wrong.
Later, Max overheard Lily telling Devon that Abby had asked the police to investigate her fall to determine if it had truly been accidental. Lily feared that the Athletic Club could soon be facing a major lawsuit, depending on the results of the investigation, but Devon didn't want to fight the request, reasoning that it was important to figure out what had really happened. Conceding the point, Lily assured Devon that she would give the police full access to the surveillance footage.
Max rejoined Charlie and complained that he wanted to play a new game because checkers was lame. Max proposed a game called Robot Spies, in which he and Charlie would have to sneak into the lobby and swipe the Athletic Club's master key card without getting caught. "It's to save the world. But if you're too chicken..." Max added before letting his voice trail off. Insisting that he wasn't, Charlie rushed off to start the mission, with Max in tow. Later, with the master key card in hand, Max entered the club's server room.
Lily remained skeptical of Abby's suspicions about Max, telling Devon that Abby was just desperate to find someone other than herself to blame for the miscarriage. Devon disagreed, arguing that although Abby could seem flighty and self-involved at times, her instincts about people were usually quite accurate. Before Lily could respond, the Athletic Club's fire alarm began blaring. Devon rushed off to help clear the building while Lily went to check on Charlie and Max. The kids weren't where they were supposed to be, but they soon surfaced and ran toward Lily, who demanded to know if they were responsible for setting off the alarm.
At Adam and Chelsea's penthouse, Adam admitted to Chelsea that he was nervous about showing his face at Sage's memorial service later that day, since he had a hard time hiding his emotions -- a weakness that had enabled his father to figure out his true connection to Christian during his memorial service. Chelsea assured Adam that no one would question his grief because it was common knowledge that he had shared a special bond with Sage.
Adam and Chelsea soon received a visit from Michael, who revealed, as Sage's executor, that she had named Adam in her will. Michael requested Adam's presence at the reading of the will, which would be held at Newman Towers after the memorial service. Adam tried to get more details, but Michael declined to elaborate.
After Michael left, Adam worriedly guessed that Sage's bequest would have something to do with Christian. Adam suspected that Victor, despite repeated claims to the contrary, really had told Sage about Christian's true paternity. Chelsea reasoned that Adam was just letting his guilt make him paranoid, pointing out that Sage could have simply left him some sort of keepsake from the Bingham estate. Chelsea doubted that Sage could have been capable of vindictively choosing to reveal the truth through her will, of all methods, but Adam argued that she might have decided that would be the perfect way to punish him for his betrayal.
Nikki met Victoria at Newman Enterprises so they could go to the memorial service together. Victoria admitted that there was something she wanted to get off her chest first, since the rest of the day needed to be about Nick. Pointing out that Curtis Fielding was one of the board members who always sided with Victor, Victoria demanded to know why Nikki had agreed to give him her proxy.
Nikki explained that she had been desperate for Victor's forgiveness and had offered to give him whatever he wanted in exchange for it. "And what he wanted was the power to screw me over," Victoria muttered. Nikki found it hard to believe that Victor could ever deliberately hurt Victoria out of spite, but Victoria assured her that he had done just that. Nikki apologetically acknowledged that she had failed to think things through before granting Victor's request. Victoria pointed out that Victor had used Nikki, who sadly agreed, adding that the experience had made her realize that he was never going to forgive her.
At the prison, Dr. Gates finished checking Victor's blood pressure and told him he was free to return to his cell. Victor wondered if Gates had given any further thought to their earlier discussion about her father. Victor suggested that he might be able to help repair the rift between Gates and her father if she agreed to put them in touch with each other, since they seemed to have similar views of the world.
Dodging the question, Gates struggled to understand why Victor was spending his days looking for new and improved ways to torture his family while simultaneously trying to gain their sympathy. Victor objected that he wasn't looking for anyone's sympathy, adding that his wife and children had repeatedly visited him in prison because they were seeking his forgiveness. Gates argued that there could never be any hope of healing and redemption between Victor and his family if he refused to admit that they weren't the only ones who had made mistakes.
Victor admitted that he did miss his family, especially on that particular day, when his son was preparing to bury his wife, who had died suddenly in a car accident. Victor told Gates about Christian's death and mused that thinking about how Nick had suffered two tragic losses in less than a year's time was a surefire way to put things in perspective. Victor suggested that Gates could attend the memorial service on his behalf and let his son know that he cared about him and was thinking of him, but she insisted that would be completely inappropriate.
Later, Victor received a visit from Luca, who reported that things weren't going well at Newman Enterprises. Luca bragged that he had been working hard behind the scenes to reassure the division heads, who were growing quite concerned about Victoria's ability to lead the company. Luca suggested that with Adam unwilling to step in, Nick focused on other things, and Victor stuck in prison, he was the company's best hope, but Victor refused the offer and dismissed Luca after warning that being stuck in prison didn't mean he no longer possessed the power to make Luca's life miserable if provoked.
At Chancellor Park, Sage's memorial service began, and Faith was the first to speak. suggesting that Sage would want them to remember the happy times with her instead of feeling sad. "I'll miss Sage a lot, but I know she's with Christian now. He must be so happy to be with his mommy," Faith added before urging Sharon to speak next.
Sharon evasively replied that she would actually like to hear Adam say a few words about Sage instead, since he had known her better than anyone else. Nick agreed, so Adam hesitantly complied, noting that he'd had an interesting relationship with Sage at first but had quickly grown to love her as a person as well as a friend. Adam stressed that Sage had loved Nick deeply, and he hoped Nick would never forget that.
After Adam returned to his seat, Nick stood and started to talk about the importance of living life to its fullest. As Gates arrived and took a seat on a bench at the back of the park, Nick continued that he had no idea how to follow that advice. "You know, everyone keeps coming up to me and telling me how sorry they are for my loss, and your words [are] so polite, but what do any of you know about my loss?" Nick mused.
Sensing trouble, Nikki rushed Faith out of earshot. Meanwhile, Victoria tried to assure Nick that everything was going to be okay. "No, it's not gonna be okay! It's never gonna be okay, because my son is gone, and I never even got a chance to hold him! And he's gone forever! And that's all Sage wanted -- a child of her own -- and now she's gone, too, and I don't know how to move on!" Nick tearfully countered.
"Nick, you're wrong. You're not alone," Sharon blurted out.
Sage's will is read
At Sage's memorial service in Chancellor Park, Sharon insisted that Nick wasn't alone, and she stammered that she couldn't stand to watch him suffer, wondering why his wife and baby boy had been torn away from him. Her voice trailed off, and she proclaimed that she could help him to move on. Nick declared that his wife and son were dead, and he wondered what Sharon could do to make it any better. She tearfully replied that he shouldn't feel like he'd lost everything, but she faltered when she looked at Sage's portrait.
Sharon proclaimed that everyone was there to comfort Nick, so he wasn't alone. She added that his family, friends, and children were all there for him, and he might feel like he was alone, but he never would be. Victoria agreed, and Noah and Summer hugged Nick as Dylan held Sharon. The minister concluded the ceremony, and Nick wanted to get out of there. Noah embraced Nick and said he loved his father.
Michael inquired whether he'd see Victoria later, and Victoria stated that Nick wanted to get the reading of Sage's will over and done, so unless Nick had changed his mind, she was following his lead. Michael mused that Sharon had been right, since Nick had an incredible family standing by him. Adam spotted Meredith and asked what she was doing there. She explained that Victor hadn't been able to attend, so he'd requested that she be there in his place. "And just who the hell are you?" Victoria snapped.
Adam revealed that Meredith was the staff doctor at the prison, and Meredith confirmed that Victor had sent her to talk to his family on his behalf, but it didn't seem like the best time. Summer and Adam insisted that they had plenty of time, and Meredith revealed that Victor had talked about his family a lot, so she felt like she knew them. Meredith asserted that Victor loved all of them and hoped to repair his relationships with them, and Chelsea asked if they were talking about the same Victor Newman. Meredith explained that Victor acted strong, but they'd broken his heart.
Victoria contended that Victor had broken their hearts, too, and he continued to do it with the stunts he'd pulled from prison, but she guessed that he hadn't filled Meredith in on the details. Meredith conceded that she only knew what Victor had told her, but she maintained that he was really looking for their forgiveness, and she thought their family could start to heal if they gave it to him. Victoria pointed out that Meredith claimed that Victor wanted forgiveness, but he refused to forgive them. Meredith urged them to give it time, but Victoria ranted that Victor had spent his time behind bars sabotaging the business and manipulating their lives.
Meredith said sometimes anger was a mask for pain, and Summer thought they needed to show Victor compassion, but Victoria asserted that they already had. Victoria flatly stated that Victor wanted them to bow down and kiss his ring, but it would never happen, and she stalked off. Summer followed Victoria, and Meredith interpreted from Adam and Chelsea's silence that they agreed with Victoria. Adam said Victor had to realize that there were some things in life that people couldn't get past, and he suggested that Meredith tell him that.
Marisa visited Victor in the state penitentiary to talk about Luca, since she knew Luca had met with Victor. She asked what Luca had said, and Victor replied that Luca had spoken a lot of drivel that hadn't interested him. Marisa cautioned that Luca was a much bigger threat than Victor realized, and she questioned whether Victor knew that Luca was sleeping with Summer. Marisa insisted that Luca was manipulating Summer to get his hooks into the Newman family, and she warned that Victor had underestimated Luca's ambition, since Luca wanted to sit in Victor's chair. Victor recognized that it was what a lot of people wanted, and he wished them good luck.
Marisa inquired whether Victor didn't care that Luca was plotting against him and using someone Victor loved to do it, but Victor retorted that she didn't "give a damn" about the Newman family. Marisa insisted that she loved Noah and would do anything for him, especially since he was torn up about Sage, and he missed Victor. Victor told her to give Noah the message that Victor would eventually get out of prison, and if Noah and the others apologized for the egregious mistake they'd made by testifying against him, he would forgive them. Marisa wondered what would happen if they didn't apologize, and Victor replied that she didn't want to find out.
Later, Meredith summoned Victor and informed him that she'd changed her mind and gone to the service like he'd asked, but it had been a terrible mistake. Meredith reported that other than Summer, Victor's family hadn't been interested in what she'd had to say, and she didn't think it had been any help at all. Victor appreciated that Meredith had tried, and he guessed that the visit had affected her. She admitted that she hadn't been able to help but think about her relationship with her own father, and she'd seen that she couldn't turn her back on her family.
Meredith said she'd never thought a prisoner would help her get on the path to reconciliation, and she thanked Victor for doing that. He replied that he was glad to be able to do some good by bridging the gap between her and her father, since he'd failed miserably when he'd tried with his own father.
Marisa found Noah in the park, and he explained that he'd been lingering there to say a private goodbye to Sage. Marisa offered to give him more time, but he said he needed her there. He asked where she'd been, and she reluctantly divulged that she'd gone to see Victor to warn him about Luca and Summer. Marisa added that Victor had also had a warning for her, and she thought he had a plan in the works to get out of prison.
In Luca's hotel suite, an investigator arrived with information, and Luca handed over money in exchange for an envelope. After Luca reviewed the contents, he huffed that he wasn't paying to find out that Victoria spent a lot of time at the office and at home with her kids. The investigator noted that she'd also gone to Hank's Bar, but Luca countered that the investigator hadn't followed her inside to find out if she'd been meeting with someone. Luca ordered his minion to go inside the next time and listen to Victoria's conversations, since everyone had a weak spot, and Luca had to find out what Victoria's was and how to use it to his advantage.
Later, Summer returned from the memorial service and recounted that her dad had lost it, but Sharon had saved the day by turning a horrible moment into something beautiful. Luca anticipated that Nick would take a leave of absence from Newman, and Victoria would have to get by without her brother. Summer recalled that Victoria had seemed intense when a woman from the prison had shown up on Victor's behalf, but Victoria hadn't had any interest in what the woman had wanted to say. Luca peppered Summer with questions about who the woman had been and what kind of message she'd delivered, and Summer wondered why he was interested.
Summer guessed that the reason Luca had gone to see Victor hadn't had anything to do with her, but Luca swore that everything he'd done had been about her, since he'd been trying to calm the volatile situation with her family. Luca thought the fact that Victor had never mentioned sending a woman to the service meant that the gesture had been important. He noted that everyone had been waiting for the other shoe to drop where Victor was concerned, and he thought the woman was it. Summer questioned why Luca had really visited Victor.
Luca claimed that he wanted to be someone Victor felt he could rely on, and Summer concluded that Luca wanted to run Newman. Luca maintained that he wanted Victor's trust because Luca cared about her. Luca recognized that the unrest in Summer's family tormented her, so he wanted to engineer peace. He hoped that her family would finally see how valuable he could be, and she assured him that she valued him. They kissed.
At the Athletic Club, Lily demanded to know if Charlie and Max had pulled the fire alarm like they had at the coffeehouse. Devon announced that there was a real fire downstairs, and he ushered everyone out. Firefighters arrived, and Lily assumed that the fire had started in the kitchen, but Devon informed her that it had been in the server room. A fireman said they'd figure out how the fire had started, and Lily assured a frightened Charlie that everything would be fine.
Max demanded an apology from Lily for accusing him of pulling the alarm, but Stitch pointed out that Lily had had good reason to question the boy after what had happened at Crimson Lights. Max spat that Lily hated him, just like Abby did, and Stitch pulled his son aside. Devon observed that Charlie seemed quiet, and Lily sensed that there was something her son wasn't telling her. Devon said there were some things guys would never tell their moms, but they could tell their uncles about them. Charlie simply stated that he'd been scared by the alarm and the firemen, but Devon looked skeptical.
Stitch swore that Lily didn't hate Max, but Max was sure that she blamed him for the incident at the coffeehouse. Stitch assured Max that Lily knew he was a good kid, and Abby rushed over and asked if everything was okay. Stitch relayed that there had been a small fire. The firefighters reported that they were still working on the investigation, but all of the information on the club's servers had been destroyed. Abby stepped away and called Dylan, and she left an urgent message to request his presence at the club.
Stitch approached Abby and inquired why she was worked up, and he assured her that he and Max hadn't been in any real danger. He realized that wasn't what was bothering her, and she voiced her suspicion that Max had set the fire. Stitch became livid, but Abby urged him to consider what it meant if she was right. She revealed that she'd asked Dylan to check the security tapes, but the fire had mysteriously broken out. Stitch acknowledged that she was desperate to blame someone for what had happened to their baby, but he argued that pinning it on Max was crazy.
Dylan and Sharon returned home, and he cited her speech at the service as another example of what an incredible, loving person she was. He stepped away to check in with work, and Nick arrived to see Faith, since he was sure his outburst had scared her. Sharon assured him that Nikki had smoothed things over, and she reported that Faith was taking a nap. Dylan returned and said he needed to go to the club right away, and he departed.
Nick thanked Sharon for what she'd said about him not being alone, and he was sure that Sage would have been grateful that Sharon had reminded him of that. Sharon asked what he was doing for the rest of the day, and he said he had to hear the reading of Sage's will. He mentioned that Michael had indicated that Sharon also needed to be there, and Sharon protested that she couldn't go because of the kids, but Nick offered to ask Nikki to watch them. Nick sympathized that it had been awful for Sharon to watch Sage slip away, and he thought it might give Sharon closure to hear Sage's final thoughts and words.
Meanwhile, Abby and Stitch argued, and Lily asked what was going on. Abby inquired whether Max had overheard anything about Dylan stopping by to review the security footage, and Lily recalled that she'd mentioned it to Devon but not to Max. Dylan arrived and offered to find out more about the fire and to talk to Max, but Stitch condemned him for going along with Abby's insane accusation. Dylan calmly pointed out that gathering the facts could disprove her theory, and Max raced up and asked what was going on. Stitch barked that they were done, and he dragged Max off with him.
Abby suspected that Lily and Devon agreed that she was crazy, but Lily insisted that Abby wasn't, and Devon thought it was understandable that Stitch didn't want to believe that his son might have committed such heinous acts. Dylan reported that the firefighters had confirmed that the fire had been set deliberately, and Abby bemoaned that she hadn't wanted to be right. Dylan prepared to look for fingerprints and DNA evidence, and he swore that whoever had done it couldn't hide from the law.
In a hotel suite, Max whined that Abby had accused him of setting the fire, but he'd never do anything like that, just like he never would have hurt Abby and the baby. Max wailed that he'd lost his mom, so he knew how much it hurt to lose someone he loved. Stitch said he believed Max, and they hugged.
Sharon arrived at Newman for the reading of the will, and Michael revealed that Sage had wanted Victoria to have a photo of Victoria and Nick that Sage had had framed. Michael explained that being an only child, Sage had been deeply moved by the bond the siblings shared, and the photo was a symbol of how fortunate they were to have such an extraordinary relationship. Michael read Sage's advice never to take one another for granted, and Sage had counted on Victoria to be there to comfort Nick.
Michael said Sage had left Faith the necklace that Nick had given Sage on their wedding day, since Sage had wanted one of her most treasured possessions to go to the daughter she'd always wanted to have. Michael announced that Sage had left Sully the vintage toy car that Victor had given to Christian, and she'd wanted the boy to have it as a token of gratitude for giving her solace after she'd lost Christian. Sage had left the remainder of her estate to Nick, as well as a letter. Nick read aloud that Sage hadn't had money to leave him, but there had been three things she'd wanted to give him: one more "I love you," one more reminder of their beautiful memories, and one more thank you to him, his family, and his friends for embracing her.
Sage had written that Nick had given her the life and home she'd always dreamed of, and she'd been eternally grateful that he'd never stopped telling her that they'd find happiness again. She had requested that he keep telling himself that because he deserved happiness, and she'd urged him to go out and find it. Victoria asked if Nick needed a minute, but he wanted to finish the reading. Michael revealed that the only thing left was a letter addressed to Adam.
Adam read a note on the envelope that said the contents were for his eyes only, and Chelsea suggested that they honor Sage's wishes. Michael said their business was concluded, and Chelsea extended her condolences to Nick. Adam said he was angry that Sage had never gotten the chance to grow old and raise the family she'd wanted, and he and Chelsea exited.
Nick told Victoria that reading the letter had been the hardest thing he'd ever had to do, but he was glad Sage had left it. Victoria contemplated what Sage had written in her letter to Adam, and Nick recalled that Sage and Adam had helped one another start over in Genoa City, so he understood why Sage had wanted to say goodbye to Adam. Nick said it would have been "hell" getting through the day without Victoria, and he credited her and Sharon with saving him. Victoria thought Sharon had seemed like she'd wanted to say something else when she'd started speaking, but Sharon had changed her mind. Nick guessed that Sharon had been about to remind him of what it had been like when they'd buried Cassie, but he thought Sharon couldn't have said anything better at that moment.
At the penthouse, Adam stared at Sage's letter, and Chelsea sat by his side as he opened it. They both gasped in surprise, and Adam marveled that Sage had figured out that he'd been Christian's father after the baby had died. He read Sage's words that seeing his grief had been like looking in a mirror, so she'd realized that he had changed the DNA results. Sage had acknowledged that she should have been furious, but she'd been grateful that he'd never said a word. Sage had thanked Adam for keeping the secret and not ruining her marriage, and she'd requested that Adam never reveal the truth.
Chelsea didn't understand why Sage had frantically called Adam about Christian just before the accident if she'd wanted Adam to keep Christian's paternity a secret. Adam wondered if Sage had discovered something new about the baby, but he realized that whatever she'd wanted to tell him had died with her, and so would the secret. He crossed over to the fireplace and lit the letter on fire, and he and Chelsea watched it burn.
Dylan runs forensic tests on Max
In the park, Abby discussed the Athletic Club fire with Neil, Lily, and Cane. Neil was thankful that no one had been hurt, but Abby countered that she and her baby had been hurt, and she cautioned them to worry about the safety of their guests while "that little arsonist" was staying there. Abby asserted that Max had been trying to get rid of the proof that he'd caused her fall, and she asked Lily if there was any chance Max had overheard that the police were going to review the security footage. Lily conceded that it was possible he'd heard something when he'd been playing with Charlie.
After Abby left, Cane thought he and Lily should talk to Charlie, and Neil advised them to stress that honesty was the best policy and to make sure Charlie knew they loved him. Lily left to fetch their son, and Neil assured Cane that everything would be okay. Cane said he hadn't had a role model like Neil when he'd been growing up, and he was grateful that his kids had a grandfather they could respect. Neil regretted that he hadn't been a good role model lately, and he recognized that he could sometimes be his own worst enemy.
Later, Lily and Cane sat down with Charlie to talk, and Cane said the boy had no reason to be scared. Cane added that they loved and trusted Charlie, and Lily acknowledged that the fire had been scary for everyone. Cane explained that they had to ask some questions to make sure it didn't happen again, and Lily inquired whether Charlie knew how the fire had started. Lily sensed that there was something Charlie wasn't telling them, and Charlie confessed that he'd stolen the master keycard and had given it to Max, but he insisted that Max had never said anything about setting the fire. Lily said they believed Charlie, and Cane added that he was proud of the boy for telling the truth. Lily rushed off to call Dylan.
Stitch answered a knock at his hotel room door, and he told Dylan to walk away unless he was there to apologize. Dylan informed him that the arson crew had determined that the fire had been deliberately set, and he needed Max's fingerprints and a sample of the boy's DNA. Stitch protested that Max was a child, but Dylan argued that it was the best way to prove Max was innocent. Stitch complained that the police were treating Max like a criminal, but Dylan pointed out that they could put the allegations to rest that day if Stitch worked with him.
Stitch thought allowing the tests would insinuate that he thought his kid was capable of arson, and Dylan offered to put a rush on it. Stitch requested Max's help because Stitch was tired of people thinking the wrong things. Max freaked out at the mention of fingerprinting, and Stitch promised that nothing bad would happen, but they needed to do it to prove that Max was the kid Stitch thought he was. Dylan pulled out a cheek swab.
Hilary finished a phone call as she entered the lab, and Ashley chided her for being late for her own meeting. Hilary crowed that the call she'd been on had been worth the wait, and Ashley coolly inquired whether Hilary had just found out that the patient who'd almost died was getting better. Hilary bragged that 60 Minutes was interested in discussing their medical breakthrough on the air, and Ashley scoffed at the idea that an internationally respected news program wanted to interview Hilary. Ashley refused to let Hilary destroy them on television.
Hilary declared that she was the one handling publicity, and she thought it was an excellent platform to get their message to the public. Ashley sourly recalled that Hilary had thrown Ashley and Simon under the bus at the last press event, and she griped that Hilary was undermining all of them. The women bickered, and Ashley accused Hilary of enjoying being horrible and thinking she was powerful because she had Devon's money. Ashley warned that the Abbotts had a lot of clout, so Hilary had better watch her step.
Dylan tracked down Abby at the lab and informed her that the police were running Max's forensic tests, and she assumed that Stitch had been angry. Dylan confirmed that Stitch's parental reflexes had kicked in, and Abby said she was still trying to protect her baby even though it had never been born. Abby wondered what would happen if the tests determined that Max had been in the server room, and Dylan anticipated that social services would get involved and that there could be legal ramifications. Abby lamented that Stitch had just gotten his son back, but Stitch couldn't see that Max was dangerous. Abby was terrified that Stitch was the next person on Max's list.
Dylan thought it was normal for kids to have feelings they didn't know how to handle, and Abby wondered if he believed Max had set the fire. Dylan simply encouraged Abby to be there for Stitch and Max. He said he'd let her know when the forensic results were in, and Ashley overheard as she and Hilary exited the office. Dylan left, and Hilary pushed to find out what Dylan had been talking about. Abby flatly replied that she'd discuss it with her mother later. Hilary commented that both mother and daughter were moody that day, and she sauntered out.
Abby reiterated to Ashley that Max had been responsible for her fall and had tried to cover it up, but Ashley argued that he wasn't a criminal mastermind. Abby knew that Max had been sad to lose his mother and afraid to lose his father, and he'd blamed her for both. Abby was suspicious that a fire had suddenly broken out when the police had been about to review the surveillance tapes, but Ashley chalked it up to coincidence. Abby griped that Ashley was siding with Stitch and a boy who was capable of doing unimaginable things.
Ashley insisted that the only side she was on was Abby's side, since Abby was her child, but she expected Stitch to feel the same way about Max. Abby guessed that Ashley thought that Abby couldn't understand because she wasn't a mother, but she bitterly questioned whose fault that was. Ashley hoped Abby wasn't right about Max, since it would tear Stitch's entire world apart if Max had been behind the accident.
Dylan met Lily at the club, and she informed him that Charlie had admitted that he'd stolen the master keycard and given it to Max. She lamented that Max was just a kid who had been through a lot. Dylan recounted that he'd given the same speech to Abby, but he imagined the news would be a kick in the gut to Stitch. Dylan received a text message and learned that the forensic results were in.
Stitch suggested that he and Max go to the park later, but a sullen Max didn't respond. Stitch recalled a time when one of his childhood friends had convinced him to vandalize a neighbor's home, but he'd felt guilty when he'd seen the neighbor cleaning up the mess. Max angrily accused Stitch of thinking that he'd set the fire. Stitch insisted that he didn't think that, but he wanted to find out if there was more to the story. Stitch urged Max to tell him if an accident had occurred in the server room, but Max yelled that Stitch was as bad as Abby, and he locked himself in the bathroom.
Stitch apologized for doubting Max, and he explained that he'd just been trying to make sense of everything, but people were getting inside his head. Stitch swore that he knew Max was innocent, and he knew in his heart that Max would never purposely hurt someone. Max opened the door and asked why Stitch had said those things, and Stitch conceded that he shouldn't have. Max blamed Abby for wanting him to be guilty, and he ranted that she'd lie and bribe people to have him gone. Max pleaded with Stitch to promise that Abby wouldn't make Stitch hate him, and Stitch said he could never hate Max. They hugged.
Stitch and Max played a video game, and there was a knock at the door. Max begged Stitch not to get it, but Dylan called out for Stitch. Stitch ordered Dylan to call him on his cell phone, and he refused to let Dylan near Max again. Dylan ushered Stitch into the hallway and disclosed that he had proof that Max had set the fire. Stitch barked that he didn't want to hear anything without hard proof. Dylan revealed that Charlie had admitted to giving Max the master keycard.
Stitch guessed that Charlie had said what he'd thought the adults had wanted to hear. Dylan continued that the keycard had been used just before the alarm had been triggered, and Max's fingerprints matched those found at the scene. Stitch theorized that Max had been playing a game and hadn't meant to start the fire, and Dylan suggested that they talk to Max. They returned to the room, but Max was gone, and the window was open.
In the dining room, Phyllis noted that between getting the foundation off the ground and PassKey's success, she and Jack had become a power couple. Jack hoped their good fortune spilled over into her mission to get Billy and Victoria back together, but she informed him that she'd given up. She flashed back to the most recent kiss she and Billy had shared. Phyllis explained that she should be focusing on Jack, Jabot, and her daughter, and she added that Billy was in self-destruction mode.
Jack commented that part of Billy's charm was blowing things up, and he cited a prime example when he spotted Billy with an attractive woman. Jack identified the woman as Fiona Henley, a former model who had become one of Jabot's biggest buyers. Jack guessed that Billy was playing hardball to give Brash & Sassy a push in the market, but Jack doubted that Fiona knew that Billy was in self-destruct mode, and Billy and Fiona both wanted something the other might have.
Across the room, Billy told Fiona that he liked meeting outside the office, and she asked if he'd arranged to meet there so his brother could glare at them. She assumed the location hadn't been an accident, and he replied that business was about perception. Billy thought that Fiona promoted a fun, exciting image and that she had credibility in the industry. He needed someone like her to boost Brash & Sassy's presence in the market. She reminded him that she had a relationship with Jabot, and she wouldn't dump Jabot for him. Billy said he planned to earn her business by working hard, and he was just getting started.
Billy said he was a fan of beauty but also of profit, and Fiona questioned whether he believed Brash & Sassy stood to do even better than Jabot and PassKey. She groused that it had been a headache to deal with Brash & Sassy before, since Newman Enterprises and Victoria hadn't been easy to work with. Billy assured her that she didn't have to worry about the Newmans anymore. He revealed his plan to invest in heavy advertising buys and to ramp up social media. Fiona was pleased to hear that he was ready to go all in. They clinked their glasses together.
Phyllis asked why Jack was staring at Billy and Fiona. Jack said he'd thought Billy had been trying to get under Victoria's skin by acquiring Brash & Sassy, but he'd realized that Billy also wanted to stick it to Jack and Jabot. Phyllis thought Billy was just acting like a defiant kid by trying to charm Fiona with a smile and a round of drinks. Jack thought Billy was willing to go beyond that, but Phyllis was sure that a smart woman like Fiona would see though it. Jack was surprised by Phyllis' remarks, since she had once been Billy's biggest fan. They heard Fiona laugh and request the check.
Fiona and Billy crossed over and said hello to Phyllis and Jack, and Jack assumed Billy had told Fiona about his latest acquisition. Billy crowed that Brash & Sassy was younger and fresher than Jabot, and Fiona said there was room on the shelf for both brands. Fiona added that she liked what Billy was selling. Phyllis invited them to sit, but Jack asked for moment alone with Billy. The men stepped aside, and Fiona commented that Billy was really something.
Jack confronted Billy about setting the meeting to send a message, and he dared Billy to say it to his face. Billy contended that he needed shelf space, but Jack thought Billy's intention had been to let Jack know that Billy was going after Jabot's market share. Jack accused Billy of buying Brash & Sassy to stick it to both Jack and Victoria, and he blasted Billy for going after the mother of his children. Jack ranted that Billy's cheap shots were like something Victor would pull, and Billy retorted that it was fine to compare him to "the Moustache," since Jack always lost to Victor.
Phyllis cautioned that Fiona had walked into a complicated situation. She worried that sibling rivalry could get out of hand, but Fiona planned to use it to her advantage. Phyllis guessed that Fiona wanted to lower her costs by pitting Billy and Jack against one another, and Fiona reasoned that she wouldn't say no if it happened. Fiona added that she loved a challenge, and all she had to do was close the deal. Fiona headed out with Billy.
Jack griped to Phyllis that Billy's Brash & Sassy purchase had been as much about Jack as it had been about Victoria, and he suspected that Billy wanted a war. Phyllis doubted it, but Jack condemned her and Billy for feeding one another's obsessions for months and working against him. Phyllis clarified that they'd been working against Victor, but he admonished her for stoking Billy's rage. Phyllis pointed out that Victoria had rejected Billy, and Jack had been belittling Billy ever since Jack had exiled his brother to Hong Kong. She snapped that he couldn't blame whatever "fresh hell" was about to unfold on her, and she stalked out.
Hilary approached Neil at the bar and gushed about her upcoming television interview for the research project, and she also intended to shine the spotlight on the foundation. Neil barked that it would send the public a confusing message by connecting the foundation to a drug protocol, but Hilary ordered him to stop making it personal. He called her a backstabbing egomaniac, but she thought he would change his mind when he considered the ramifications. Hilary ominously stated that the information she had on him didn't have an expiration date.
Neil spitefully asked if Hilary expected him to turn over the foundation to her to run, but she sweetly stated that he was the perfect figurehead as a recovering alcoholic. He hated the label, but she suggested that he embrace it, since people would think worse of him if they knew he'd held her captive while his son had been accused of her murder. Jack approached, and Hilary claimed Neil had just been telling her that her latest idea was brilliant.
Jack liked the idea of getting free press on a network show, and he encouraged Hilary to run with it. Jack praised their teamwork and cooperation, and he headed out. Neil grumbled that he'd once thought Hilary was beautiful, but he only saw someone conniving and ugly. She warned that he needed to learn to bite his tongue unless he wanted to be exposed as a kidnapper. Cane was aghast when he overheard that Neil had kidnapped Hilary.
Billy took Fiona back to his home, and she thought it could use a woman's touch. He said she could pick out the throw pillows if they struck a deal, and she flirtatiously asked if he negotiated with pillow talk. She proposed paying 16 percent less than she had paid to Newman for the same products, but he groaned that it would kill his profits. She pointed out that he'd have the same shelf space as Jabot, and she'd require Jabot to take a sharper cut.
Billy explained that he didn't want to ruin Jabot, but he wanted his company to be on top. Fiona implored him to fight for it, since Jabot stood between him and success, and he had to get the products into the right hands -- hers. She pointed out that if Billy chose not to accept the offer, she had his brother as a backup, but Billy urged her to stick with him. They made it official with a handshake, which led to a kiss.
Later, Billy found Phyllis at his door, and she demanded to know if he was trying to destroy her relationship with Jack by shoving Jabot's top buyer in Jack's face, since Jack believed she'd turned Billy into a revenge machine. Phyllis ranted that perhaps it had been about trying to prove to her what a clever, desirable man Billy was, and he replied that she'd already made it clear that she knew that -- twice. She slapped him and bellowed that it would never happen again, and Fiona entered with a motorcycle helmet in hand and proclaimed that she'd waited long enough to ride. Phyllis stormed out, and Fiona wondered if she'd interrupted something.