After talking to Nicole, Brady raced off to the park to find Melanie. Meanwhile, Nicole contacted Daniel and told him about what she had just witnessed. Nicole offered to call the police, but Daniel insisted that she couldn't do that.
As Melanie tried to escape her pursuers, Brady arrived and tackled the man who had seized her. The woman grabbed a nearby rock, but before she could join the fight, Melanie intervened, and they started their own struggle. Brady was no match for the man, who landed a few solid hits and soon had Brady writhing in pain on the ground.
As Melanie rushed over to check on Brady, Nicole arrived, with Daniel close behind. Nicole displayed her cell phone and warned the strangers that she was going to call the police. "Don't bother -- these are the police," Daniel announced, shocking Brady and Nicole. The woman vaguely clarified that, while she and her companion weren't official police officers, they were indeed empowered to defend their interests. Nicole started complaining about what the woman's goon had done to Brady, but Daniel interrupted and told everyone to follow him back to his place so they could resolve the matter privately.
When the group entered Daniel's apartment a short time later, Melanie started arguing with the woman, who accused Melanie of stealing seventy thousand dollars from a casino in Europe. Melanie argued that she had simply played the odds in a game about playing the odds, but the woman preferred to think of it as card counting. The woman explained that Melanie had been thrown out of the casino and banned for life but had later returned -- in disguise -- to pull the same trick again, and the whole thing had been caught on the casino's security cameras.
Brady knowingly observed that Melanie had been clutching her purse pretty tightly since returning to Salem, and she reluctantly opened it to reveal the stacks of cash the strangers were after. "I'm really good at blackjack," Melanie explained with a sheepish shrug as she removed the stacks of cash and handed them to the woman. Daniel hoped Melanie was just as good at making license plates, since that was how she would be spending her days in jail for the next ten or more years. Brady suspected that the woman might not have the authority to make an arrest, but she assured him that the casino had a close relationship with Interpol and the FBI.
Nicole warned that she was a journalist and that if the woman -- Kelly -- tried to have Melanie arrested, the casino's customers would soon learn that visiting the casino would put them at risk of having thugs follow them everywhere, even across the country. Nicole also antagonized the man into lunging at her, and she captured that on her cell phone so it could be included in her report. Kelly reluctantly backed down, and Brady made her sign a document that stated that Melanie was off the hook. Kelly warned that the document wouldn't protect Melanie from future offenses, and Kelly and her goon left.
At the hospital, Maxine wondered how Serena knew Marlena. Serena vaguely clarified that she and Marlena had only met once. Maxine started to probe for additional details, wondering if the meeting had taken place at a medical conference, but she was summoned to help a patient before Serena could respond. Serena declined to leave a message for Marlena, claiming that the psychiatrist probably wouldn't remember her, anyway.
When Marlena entered the Brady Pub, Eric was having a heated phone conversation with someone. Eric abruptly ended the call and slammed his cell phone down on the bar in frustration, prompting a concerned Marlena to wonder what was wrong. Eric vaguely explained that his outburst had involved Sami, which didn't surprise Marlena, since he had sworn during the phone call, and that was something he almost never did. Eric started to add that he was watching the pub for Caroline, who had closed the place earlier so she could go out for a few hours, but Marlena interrupted and stressed that she was more interested in knowing why he was upset with Sami.
"I'm not really upset with her. [...] It's those Hollywood piranhas -- I mean, producers. [One] got my number from Sami, and he wants me to do a reality show. [And] it's not about my spiritual life -- oh, no, he wants the good stuff. He wants to know what Kristen had done to me -- in graphic detail. So, in order for him to get what he wants -- more sex on television -- he's got Sami trying to tell me there's an opportunity for me to tell my side of the story," Eric angrily explained as he slammed his coffee cup down, splashing its contents all over the bar.
Eric quickly apologized for losing his temper again, and he started cleaning the mess as he complained that he couldn't believe Sami had even entertained the notion that he would have been the least bit interested in talking to the producer in the first place. Eric was shocked when Marlena suggested that it might be a good idea to talk to someone about what had happened, but she clarified that she wasn't trying to encourage him to do a reality show. Marlena explained that she was simply suggesting that it might be helpful for Eric to somehow share his story -- not just for his own sake but also to educate those who still believed he had willingly broken his vows.
Eric insisted that he didn't care what others thought about him, adding that he wasn't going to put himself -- or those he cared about, including Marlena -- in the public spotlight just to fix his reputation. Marlena suspected that Nicole was one of the people Eric was trying to protect, but he insisted that he didn't care what people thought about her.
"You know, none of this really addresses what the real problem is. [...] It's feeling stuck. I can't forgive Nicole. I just can't. And because I can't forgive, I can't be a priest. Forgiveness is everything, Mom. It's someone who I thought I was at my core -- someone who could forgive everything. So I pray on it, and until I can get back and understand what that is, I'm gonna be right here. I'm gonna be stuck -- stuck and lost," Eric added with a mixture of sadness and frustration. Later, while Eric was sitting alone in the pub, he received an unexpected visit from someone he recognized -- Serena.
At Club TBD, Sonny was sitting alone at a booth near the entrance, doing some paperwork, when Adrienne arrived and asked if he had talked to Paul Narita yet. Sonny glanced around the club as he quietly asked Adrienne to keep her voice down. Adrienne agreed to do so but warned Sonny that they were still going to talk about the matter. Sonny insisted that there was nothing to talk about, but Adrienne wasn't convinced, recalling that he had shut down and frozen everyone out after his relationship with Paul had ended. Adrienne admitted that she was worried, since Sonny hadn't properly dealt with his feelings back then, and Paul had just walked back into his life.
Sonny dismissively reminded Adrienne that she was his mother, not his support group, and that sharing Salem with Paul wasn't the same as having the baseball player back in his life. Sonny added that he was married and that Paul meant nothing to him. Unconvinced, Adrienne warned Sonny that telling himself that wasn't going to make it true. Sonny started to protest, but Adrienne interrupted and stressed that she had no intention of judging him or telling him what to do -- she simply wanted him to talk to her, because she knew that keeping everything inside back then had really hurt him.
Sonny clarified that he hadn't had any choice in the matter, since Paul had needed to know that Sonny could be trusted not to reveal Paul's secret under any circumstances. "He didn't need to make me promise. I would never out anyone -- ever. It's a personal decision," Sonny stressed, but Adrienne argued that Paul had basically made the decision for Sonny when he had made Sonny choose between going back into the closet with him or ending their relationship for good. Sonny reminded Adrienne that Paul had been worried that being openly gay would have ended his baseball career.
Adrienne pointed out that, while many gay athletes had probably dealt with the same fear in the past, things were starting to change. "Not that fast, and not in every arena -- not in baseball. Professional sports in general, they have that locker room mentality," Sonny countered. Adrienne argued that the locker room mentality wouldn't change until people started stepping up and doing something about it. "Mom, you can't underestimate what Paul was up against. He had to deal with things that I never had to face. You know, there were some gay people in the nightclub business before I came along. Being gay didn't make me an outcast to all the people I worked with, all right? There wasn't a glass ceiling. [...] And it wasn't just baseball -- he was thinking about his Japanese mother and grandfather," Sonny explained.
"There are no gay people in Japan?" Adrienne dryly countered. Sonny stressed that it was a cultural thing and that Paul's family had placed certain expectations on their son, but Adrienne argued that Paul had given his family false expectations when he had repeatedly paraded women on his arm in public and had ensured that those images had made their way into magazines and newspapers. Sonny clarified that he wasn't defending Paul -- he was simply explaining the issues Paul had faced. Adrienne replied that she wasn't trying to minimize those issues -- she was just arguing that it hadn't been fair to Sonny.
Adrienne wondered how Paul had dealt with being in love with Sonny. "I loved Paul. And he loved me. He dealt with it the best that he could. We were together for over a year," Sonny hesitantly replied. Adrienne recalled that Sonny and Paul's relationship had developed during a time when Sonny had been doing a lot of traveling. Sonny nodded and explained that he had tagged along with Paul while the baseball player had traveled from town to town for games. Sonny admitted that having a secret relationship with Paul had been kind of exciting at first -- like its own game -- but Adrienne knowingly guessed that the appeal had soon worn off, since Sonny had always hated hiding things, and that was one of the things she had always loved about him.
Sonny urged Adrienne not to be upset with Paul, since things were different for the baseball player. Sonny recalled that Paul had once listened enviously to a phone conversation Sonny had been having with Adrienne and Justin, and afterward, the athlete had admitted that it was hard for him to believe that a son could ever talk to his parents that openly. Sonny noted that he hadn't even been talking to Adrienne and Justin about anything particularly heavy during the conversation in question. "So you should be grateful to Paul, 'cause being with him, it really hit home how damn lucky I am to have you and Dad," Sonny concluded.
"This is the part where I'm supposed to be understanding, huh? You get on my nerves, Jackson Kiriakis," Adrienne playfully told Sonny, who wasn't fooled for a moment. Adrienne stressed that Sonny couldn't be upset with her for being on his side, prompting Sonny to reply that Paul hadn't had anyone on his side. "He had you -- and he blew it," Adrienne argued. Sonny conceded the point but once again urged Adrienne not to judge Paul, who was simply doing the best he could do. Adrienne admitted that Paul wasn't really her concern -- Sonny and Will were. Adrienne wondered how Will was going to feel about Paul being in Salem.
Sonny insisted that Will never needed to know anything about the matter, prompting Adrienne to wonder if Sonny was just saying that because he didn't want Will to know about Paul. "He knows that I've been with other guys, and he said he never wants to know who they were, so...that equation doesn't change because it's the famous Paul Narita. [...] And he'll -- he'll be healed and gone before Will gets back from Hollywood, so there's nothing to worry about," Sonny reasoned with a shrug.
Adrienne stressed that Sonny could talk to her if things ever got complicated with Paul. Sonny was absolutely certain that things wouldn't get complicated, but he assured Adrienne that if they did, she would be the first to know. Adrienne kissed Sonny's cheek and told him to give Will her love the next time they spoke. "Whenever that'll be," Sonny muttered with a sigh after Adrienne left. Later, Sonny received an upsetting phone call from his contractor, who revealed that the new club Sonny was building on the south side of town was getting more and more expensive every day.
At the hospital, Paul was alone in the physical therapy room, gingerly exercising his right shoulder with a two-pound dumbbell while fantasizing about Sonny, when Abigail arrived and snapped him back to reality. Abigail presented Paul with another container of baseballs that were awaiting his signature, and as he started the task, she noted that he had seemed really focused on his workout earlier, and she wondered if that was the norm for him. "It's part of the strategy. You recreate the intensity you have in a game so that when you do go out on the field, it comes naturally," Paul explained.
Somewhat confused, Abigail wondered if Paul had essentially been playing a game in his head during his workout. "Well, sometimes it's other things...or people," Paul clarified. Abigail guessed that Paul had been thinking about someone special when she had entered the room, and he quietly confirmed her suspicion. Abigail sympathetically mused that it had probably been really hard for the woman in question to date a celebrity like Paul, given the baseball player's crazy schedule, among other things.
Paul remained silent, so Abigail apologized for getting too personal. Paul assured Abigail that he understood, and he vaguely confirmed that his way of life had indeed been hard on the person he had been thinking about, which was why their relationship hadn't worked out in the end. Abigail guessed that it had to be difficult for Paul to be alone in a strange town's hospital with no friends to hang out with, but he stressed that he wasn't looking for any sympathy. Paul admitted that, all things considered, he was pretty lucky, and he added that conversations like the one he was having with Abigail helped him keep things in perspective.
Paul glanced around and sighed as he continued signing baseballs. Abigail offered to leave, assuming that Paul was getting bored, but he clarified that he was simply wondering why Jordan had not yet shown up for their scheduled evaluation. Meanwhile, in a secluded section of the town square, Jordan pulled away from Chad's kiss and suggested that they could go somewhere else instead.
Chad assumed that Jordan simply wanted to get dinner somewhere, but she clarified that she had been thinking of doing something else entirely, and she passionately kissed him to stress her point. Chad got the message and offered to take Jordan to the DiMera mansion, but she thought it would be better to go to her apartment, where they wouldn't have to worry about pesky butlers spreading rumors about them.
As Chad and Jordan started kissing again, she received a text message from someone, and her eyes widened in horror when she read it. Jordan rushed back to the hospital, with Chad in tow, assuring her that it wasn't a big deal that she was a few minutes late for work. Jordan disagreed, admonishing herself for being unprofessional, and she went to find Paul after thanking Abigail for the earlier text message.
Abigail blamed Chad for Jordan's tardiness, but he blamed Rafe, who had said something to Jordan earlier that had really shaken the physical therapist. Abigail observed that Chad was quick to defend Jordan -- and that Jordan was quick to defend him, too. Chad joked that Abigail knew from personal experience that he needed a lot of defending.
Unamused, Abigail stressed that, while the physical therapist seemed to really like and trust Chad, she couldn't just forget about how things had ended between them. Chad admitted that he didn't expect Abigail to forget, but he added that it was possible that he had learned something from that experience. Abigail hoped that was true. "Like not to get caught," Chad quietly muttered after Abigail walked away.
After Paul finished his session with Jordan, he wondered if she could tell him whether he would ever be able to pitch again. Jordan admitted that it was too soon to tell, although she added that Paul had at least been cleared to check out of the hospital, and they would be continuing his physical therapy on an outpatient basis. Paul appreciated Jordan's honesty. "It's not easy talking to an athlete about what's next, after it's all over," Paul noted.
Later, after leaving the hospital, Jordan suggested that she and Chad could pick up where they had left off earlier, but he didn't think that would be a good idea, since she had been in a vulnerable place earlier. Chad explained that when he and Jordan took that step, he didn't want her to be thinking about Rafe or anything else but them.
Back at the hospital, Paul continued lifting weights as he recalled an incident that had happened several years earlier, when he had forced Sonny to hide in the bathroom after receiving an unexpected visit from a fellow baseball player. Paul had been eager to return to fooling around with Sonny after the other baseball player had left, but Sonny hadn't been in the mood to do so. "You act like we have a secret -- that you believe they're right to think that we're wrong. I hate it. I hate it," Sonny had complained, but Paul had assured him that that wasn't going to last forever -- but they were.
"Guess I was wrong," Paul muttered with a sigh of disappointment as he snapped back to reality.
Victor was reading his tablet in the Kiriakis living room when Sonny stopped by to ask for money for the south side club. Sonny explained that he needed $200,000 to comply with city codes. Victor refused to help. Victor said that he believed the new club was a money pit. Concerned, Victor remarked that he was worried that Sonny was behaving desperately, and he did not know why.
Sonny said that he was anxious to have a successful new club, and Victor pointed out that Sonny already had one of those. When Victor suggested that Sonny was pushing to open the club in order to impress Will, Sonny shook his head in frustration. Victor demanded to know how much money Sonny had borrowed from Chad. Sonny said that Chad was not a problem. As an example, Sonny explained that Chad had given him a greater share of the profit and access to a fund for the club.
When Victor asked if Sonny had signed an agreement, Sonny nodded yes. Victor asked to see the document. Sonny opened his briefcase and handed the agreement to Victor for review. Sonny assured Victor that Chad was his friend. With a raised eyebrow, Victor asked Sonny if he had read the document. Sonny noted that he did not want to dispute the document that provided him with a larger share of profit, and Victor countered that there was an issue with the liability section of the agreement.
Sonny reviewed the agreement and read that in addition to the larger share of profits, the liability clause stated that if the club failed, all the expenses would fall solely on Sonny. Upset, Sonny insisted that Chad would not behave so underhandedly with a friend. As Sonny shook his head, Victor asked Sonny if his push to open the second club was an effort to show Will that life in Salem was just as exciting as Hollywood. Upset, Sonny said he did not know why he had wanted the club then he stormed out.
At the hospital, Theresa visited Paul in his room. As Theresa fondled Paul's leg, she looked into his face and realized the person in the bed was Brady. Brady told Theresa they were connected. Theresa awoke from the dream, on the couch in her living room. As Theresa made a cup of tea, Anne knocked on the door, bearing a bottle of wine. Theresa let Anne into her apartment, and Theresa talked about her dream of Brady. Theresa swore to move on from Brady.
Theresa and Anne gossiped about everyone at the hospital. When Theresa mentioned she had met a woman at the hospital that seemed nice, Anne wanted to know all about the woman. Theresa admitted that she did not know the woman's name.
"She kind of seemed like she would be trouble. But in a good way," Theresa said. When Anne asked about Paul, Theresa admitted that she did not like him so much as what Paul could do for her. Theresa said she hoped Paul could help her forget Brady. Anne yawned. As Anne rose to leave, Theresa asked why Anne was leaving so early. Anne offered the unopened bottle of wine to Theresa and suggested that Theresa sneak into Paul's room with it. Anne joked that the manager of Paul's baseball team was handsome and that Theresa could introduce her to Paul's team manager. Smiling, Theresa hugged Anne and thanked her for cheering her up.
In the town square, Abe asked Nicole why she had called 9-1-1 earlier but had then hung up. Nicole admitted she had made the call and explained that it had been for Melanie. Nicole promised that Melanie was fine. Nicole explained that she had misunderstood the situation, and that was why she had ended the call. When Abe said that he hoped Melanie's return would help Daniel get past his breakup with Jennifer, Nicole groaned. Nicole protested that what she had done was not to blame for Daniel and Jennifer's separation. Abe argued that Nicole had hurt Eric. Nicole curtly said goodbye.
In Daniel's apartment, Melanie iced Brady's lip and apologized for placing him in danger. Daniel grumbled that he was angry with Melanie. Feeling awkward, Brady made an excuse to leave, but Daniel invited Brady to stay so that he could hear what Daniel needed to say to Melanie. Upset, Daniel railed at Melanie for not telling Maggie, Daniel, or Brady that she was in trouble when she'd returned home.
"If Nicole and Brady hadn't happened to see you with that goon, would I have even known about this?" Daniel asked. Melanie promised that there were no more secrets. Daniel asked Melanie if the casino was the only reason that she had left London. Melanie swore that she had returned home because she'd missed Daniel. Before Daniel could ask a follow-up question, Maggie arrived with Parker. Daniel scooped up the giggling Parker.
Maggie asked Brady what had happened to his lip, and Brady assured Maggie that he had not been in a bar fight. Melanie smiled in delight as she commented on how much Parker had grown since she had last seen him. Parker hugged Melanie, and she fought back tears as she told him how much she had missed him. When Maggie noted the tension in the room, Melanie told Maggie that she had not been honest with her. Melanie said that she had wanted to return to Salem to be with her family.
Melanie and Brady adjourned to the apartment hallway, and Melanie apologized to Brady for dragging him into her drama. Laughing, Brady joked that Melanie did not have a monopoly on being "stupid." Melanie mentioned Brady's most recent love affairs. When Brady mentioned Theresa Donovan by name, Melanie asked for details. Brady shook his head and said that he regretted mentioning Theresa's name and that he did not want to talk about her with Melanie. Brady asked Melanie to steer clear of Theresa.
In Daniel's apartment, Maggie asked Daniel for information on Melanie's secret. Daniel assured Maggie that the trouble was over. Melanie returned to the living room after Daniel explained to Maggie what Melanie had done in the casino. Maggie told Melanie that she was happy Melanie was safe at home. Melanie promised not to count cards again. Crying, Maggie hugged Melanie.
Melanie told Maggie that she intended to work at the hospital again. With a twinkle in her eye, Melanie asked Daniel if Maxine was working at the hospital. Daniel smiled. Melanie borrowed Daniel's car keys and headed over to the hospital to talk to Maxine about getting back her nursing job.
In the Brady Pub, Eric was startled to see Serena walk through the front door. Eric and Serena laughed about the last time they had seen one another in Africa. With a smile, Serena lamented that she had not seen Eric in his collar. Smiling sheepishly, Eric admitted that he had lived through a rough year. Eric thanked Serena for her support. When Eric asked Serena why she was in Salem, she said that it was a complicated story. Serena changed the subject to the pub. Nervous, Serena asked Eric if she could go upstairs to his room so that they could have privacy.
Eric said that he had moved into a new apartment. When Serena asked to go to the apartment, Eric assured her that they were alone in the pub. Serena said that she had a lot to say and that she did not want to say it in the pub. Smiling, Eric asked Serena to follow him. Eric escorted Serena to a clearing in the park. Serena asked Eric about what had happened with Kristen. Eric was reluctant to talk, but Serena insisted that she wanted Eric to confide in her.
"I got time. I've always got time for you," Serena said. Smiling, Eric asked Serena how long she would be in town. Serena grinned and said that she had moved to Salem. Serena explained that she would be in town for a year, working as a journalist, doing medical research at Salem Hospital. Eric was surprised that Serena had not emailed him about the move.
With a sigh, Serena said she had been unsure how Eric would react to the news. Serena said that although she was excited about her research project, she had picked the story because of Eric. Baffled, Eric smiled coyly.
"You knew how I felt about you. I told you when we said goodbye in Africa," Serena said. Serena explained that she had not fought for Eric when he'd left Africa because he had left for the priesthood. With her hand gently caressing his cheek, Serena explained that when she had learned that Eric had left the priesthood, she'd known she needed to find him.
In Paul's hospital room, he packed his bag in preparation to leave. Marlena stopped by the room to talk. Marlena asked Paul if he had changed his mind about talking to her. Nodding, Paul said he wanted to talk to Marlena. When Marlena asked what he wanted to talk about, Paul said insanity. Paul explained that it was Marlena's third visit to ask him to talk, even though he had previously stated that he did not want to undergo therapy. Marlena wished Paul luck with his physical therapy and left.
Paul checked into the Salem Inn. A bellhop named Derrick promised Paul that he was discreet. Paul smiled and gave Derrick a tip. After Derrick left, Paul warned himself to stay focused on his rehabilitation. Paul thought about making love to Sonny. Frustrated, Paul put on his coat and a ball cap and left.
At Club TBD, T asked Chad about his date with Jordan. Chad gruffly explained that Jordan had been tired, and their date had ended early. When T teased Chad that he was losing his touch, Chad countered that he had played the situation perfectly. T chuckled that Ben would not appreciate Chad's comment about Jordan. A stone-faced Chad countered that Ben should keep his temper in check. T shrugged and said he did not have any problems with Ben. When T asked Chad if he didn't like Ben because of Abigail, Chad said he had no reason to lash out at anyone because everything was going his way in life.
A furious Sonny returned to the club and confronted Chad about the contract. Sonny said that he had not read the contract because he had trusted Chad. When Sonny noted that he would lose everything if the south side club went under, Chad clarified that Sonny would only lose everything if Sonny burned through the contingency money that Chad had set aside in the fund. When Chad asked Sonny if he believed the club would fail, Sonny groaned.
"You knew this was a bad idea from the beginning, didn't you?" Sonny asked. After Sonny recounted the code issues at the new club, Chad swore that he had not been aware of all the issues at the site of the new club. Chad stressed that the only thing he had known about the space was that Sonny liked it. Scared, Sonny reiterated that he could lose everything if the new club failed. Chad promised that nothing bad would happen. Chad told Sonny that he had faith that Sonny would make everything work.
"Whether you did it on purpose or not, I'm screwed," Sonny lamented after Chad left the club. A stressed Sonny marched out of the club. Outside, Paul stepped out from a nearby walkway and followed Sonny. Sonny walked to the bench by the archway in the park and left a voicemail on Will's phone, pleading for him to call back. As Sonny hung up the phone, Paul walked up to Sonny and smiled.
Victor went to the hospital to talk to Marlena in her office. When Marlena asked what was wrong, Victor confided that he was worried about Sonny and Will. Marlena reminded Victor that the last time he had asked her for help, it handed ended up in disaster. With a sigh, Marlena said that Sonny and Will needed to make their own mistakes. Nodding, Victor admitted that Marlena was right. Victor added that the tension between Sonny and Will was thankfully only about work and not because one of them was cheating on the other.
At the nurses' station of the hospital, a giddy Melanie hugged Maxine. When Maxine asked what Melanie's plans were, Melanie asked Maxine if there was an opening on the staff. Maxine nodded. Melanie worried aloud if she could be rehired because Anne was still the head of human resources. When Maxine joked that Anne's assistant was worse than Anne, Melanie's mouth dropped open, and she asked who could be worse than Anne. Maxine shook her head. Maxine promised to take Melanie's job application from Anne's desk and redirect it to the head of nursing.
As Maxine walked away, Theresa exited Paul's room. Melanie and Theresa cheerfully greeted one another. When Melanie asked Theresa if she was working late, Theresa explained that she had stopped by to visit a friend but that he had been sent home. Grinning, Theresa showed Melanie the bottle of wine she had taken with her to the hospital. When Theresa asked Melanie to join her for pizza and wine, Melanie thanked her for the offer but declined, citing the desire to spend time with her little brother.
Theresa asked Melanie for her phone number. As the two exchanged phones to type in their phone numbers, Theresa said that she thought they would hit it off. Melanie agreed. After entering her phone number, Theresa cheerfully noted that if Melanie received a text from "Theresa Donovan," then the message would be from her. Melanie's face fell, stunned. When Theresa asked if there was a problem, Melanie laughed and introduced herself.
In his living room, Daniel and Maggie talked about Melanie. Daniel assured Maggie that Melanie would be safer at home. Maggie cautioned that they needed to make sure that Melanie was not running away from her problems.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady thanked Nicole for standing up for Melanie against the casino security goons. Nicole said that she had loved taking the casino woman down a peg. Nicole added that she was so happy to have Daniel back in her life that she was pleased to have been able to jump to Melanie's aid. When Brady smirked, Nicole stressed that she and Daniel were just friends. Brady commented that Nicole was a straight shooter about everything except men.
"Your guard is up so high that even when it is obvious to everyone else, you can't admit when you're falling for someone," Brady said. Nicole swore that she would not pursue Daniel. With a shrug, Brady said that it would be a good idea for Nicole to date Daniel. Brady added that if Nicole was waiting for Eric, then she should give up that dream and move on with her life.
Jennifer was surprised when Daniel dropped by the Horton house to see her. They greeted one another warmly. After Jennifer said that she was aware that Melanie had returned, Daniel admitted that Jennifer was still the one he wanted to share good news with. Daniel alluded to, but didn't go into details about, the trouble Melanie had gotten into in Europe. He added that Melanie was applying for her old job at the hospital, so Jennifer would get to see her -- unless Jennifer still intended to look for a job elsewhere.
Daniel explained that one of the reasons he'd visited Jennifer was to tell her that he hoped she had changed her mind about looking for another job. Jennifer said that after some time away from Salem, she had, indeed, changed her mind. Daniel admitted that although he'd initially been relieved when Jennifer had decided to quit, time had changed his mind, as well, and he didn't want to run away from things. The exes agreed that they had both made mistakes, but they had learned a lot from one another and had no regrets.
Even though they acknowledged that they couldn't call themselves "friends" yet, Daniel and Jennifer hoped they would soon be able to do so -- and mean it. As Jennifer walked Daniel to the door, he started to tell her something, but she admitted that Eric had already informed her that Daniel and Nicole had patched things up. Jennifer urged Daniel to be careful if things between him and Nicole turned into more than friendship. Jennifer asked Daniel if they could try to be good friends to Eric, who seemed very lost.
In the park, Serena tenderly caressed Eric's cheek as she told him that she had never stopped caring about him. Eric gently grasped her hand, and Serena pulled away, admittedly surprised by her own actions. They sat on a bench and recalled the first time they'd met in Africa, when Serena had been trying to interview a tribal chief in the Congo while Eric had been photographing the man. They had argued until Serena had discovered that Eric had captured in a photograph what she hadn't been able to get the chief to say. They laughed at the memory.
Serena expressed admiration that even after everything Eric had been through, he hadn't forgotten how to laugh and make others happy. "I've forgotten a lot of things, but I haven't forgotten how much we loved each other," Eric said quietly. Serena noted that things between them had been really good until Eric had fallen in love with the idea of being a priest -- and out of love with her. Eric said that Serena had been very understanding about it. Serena acknowledged that watching his friend die had changed Eric forever.
Serena recounted how Eric had started sneaking out early in the morning for Mass at a nearby church, and when there had been no services, he had gone into the bush to pray. "I knew what was happening. You realized that you had a calling, and you had no choice but to follow it. And I couldn't have -- nor would I have -- stood in your way," Serena assured him. Eric said that Serena's understanding had been a good omen. Serena admitted that knowing Eric had been a good thing, and being happy and fulfilled had gotten her through the time after he'd left for the seminary.
Serena's cell phone chirped, and as she looked at it, Eric asked if she had forgotten an appointment. Serena confessed that she had forgotten that she was supposed to Skype with her editor, but she didn't want to leave because they still had a lot to talk about. Eric and Serena agreed to get together the next day. Before Serena left, Eric declared with awe, "You still have the most beautiful smile."
Eric returned to his apartment and spotted a beaded leather basket, which evoked a memory of his time in Africa with Serena. He recalled the two of them lying in bed together and Serena telling him that he made her very, very happy. Eric smiled dreamily at the recollection.
Clyde spotted Rafe walking in Horton Square and said hello. Rafe noted sarcastically that he had been meaning to compliment Clyde on his acting ability when Clyde had pretended that he'd never met Kate. "Well, I was just trying to protect a nice lady from an embarrassing moment," Clyde maintained, playing up his drawl. Rafe said that, since Clyde had managed to fool Rafe, who was a cop, it had made Rafe wonder what else about Clyde was an act. Rafe clarified that Clyde had clamed to be in Salem solely to try to make things right with Ben and Jordan.
Clyde insisted that was the truth, although he wasn't sure Jordan would ever forgive him. "At least Jordan's got a man in her life who's somebody, who's substantial," Clyde added pointedly. "Instead of a nobody like me," Rafe said, refusing to let Clyde rile him. Clyde said that Ben allowing him to help with tuition had made the whole trip worthwhile. "You sound like you mean that. But then, when you said you'd never met Kate, you sounded like you meant that, too," Rafe noted before walking off.
Later, Rafe called someone and asked them to put a rush on a background check on Clyde Weston.
As Sonny exited Horton Square, he was on the phone, leaving a message for Will to call him back because Sonny really needed to talk with him about what was going on. Paul appeared as Sonny was hanging up and offered, "You were always able to talk to me about anything. You still can, if you want." Paul explained that he'd been released from the hospital, but he was staying in Salem for physical therapy. He reiterated his offer to listen if Sonny wanted. "Wait a minute. Were you following me?" Sonny asked.
Paul maintained that he'd merely been taking a walk when he'd seen Sonny leaving a coffeehouse. "It's my coffeehouse," Sonny said, and Paul was impressed. Sonny hinted that things weren't going that well, but he wouldn't divulge anything further. Paul said that it was nice to see Sonny following his dream to be his own boss. When the guys, especially Paul, began reminiscing about old times, Sonny looked uncomfortable and said that he had to get back to work.
Paul reassured Sonny that he was not there to mess up Sonny's life; he was only in Salem because he'd heard such good things about Dr. Jonas and because his agent had thought it was a good idea to have the surgery in a smaller town. Paul apologized for being so forward when he'd first seen Sonny and blamed the medication he'd been on after surgery. Sonny wished Paul well, and Paul said that he would help Sonny with anything he might need -- whether it were someone to talk to or a loan to keep the coffeehouse afloat.
Paul informed Sonny that he was staying at the Salem Inn, and Sonny recalled with a smile how much Paul had loved hotels. The inference clear, Paul noted that room service had not been the reason. "I have to go," Sonny muttered as he hurried off.
Ben poked his head in the door of a conference room at the hospital after he made the last of the day's coffee deliveries and spied a solo Abigail working late on the project that she and Jordan had started. He closed the door and locked it behind him, surprising her. They began to kiss, and Abigail pulled away after a moment, noting with a grin, "I'm not going to get any work done tonight, am I?" Ben and Abigail's making out grew more passionate, until they were horizontal on the conference table.
A knock at the door interrupted Abigail and Ben. Embarrassed, Abigail jumped up and ran to unlock the door and found Jordan on the other side. Jordan tried to resist teasing Abigail and instead just let her friend know that her lipstick was smudged. Jordan explained that her dinner date with Chad had ended early, and she had gotten Abigail's message about working late on the project and thought Abigail could use some help.
After Ben left so the women could get some work done, Jordan apologized for being defensive about her relationship with Chad -- which she sincerely hoped wouldn't affect her friendship with Abigail. Abigail assured her, "We'll make sure that it doesn't." Abigail asked why Jordan and Chad's date had ended early. Jordan explained that Chad had walked in on an intense conversation between her and Rafe, and Chad had later suggested that they end the evening early. Abigail wondered if Chad could tell that Jordan was still a bit hung up on Rafe.
Jordan insisted that she and Rafe were over for good, and she had made that clear to Chad. The women returned to working on funding for the project. A little later, Jordan offered to finish up while Abigail went to meet Ben. A grateful Abigail took her up on the offer and hurried out.
When the door opened a little later, Jordan assumed that Abigail had returned. "Did you forget something?" Jordan asked without looking up. "Yeah," said Rafe's voice behind her.
Clyde was at Club TBD when Ben returned. "That's great. I'm all for you donating to some worthy cause here in Salem," Ben declared, noting that Jordan would be pleased, as well. Clyde said that having his kids support his decisions was very important to him. "If there's one thing I've learned in therapy, it's that my children give meaning to my life more than anything else. One day, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about," Clyde added before heading out.
When Sonny got back to the club, he suggested that Ben take off early to be with Abigail. Ben happily accepted. As Ben headed out, Sonny got a text message that read, "Ready to move on the south side renovations. Need a definite answer on the $200,000." Sonny was frustrated because Will still hadn't returned his call.
Paul returned to his hotel room and climbed into bed with a magazine. Sonny called him and admitted, "I've been thinking about what you said... Maybe we could talk?" Paul suggested, "Do you want to come over here, to the hotel?"
At University Hospital, Theresa and Melanie exchanged contact information -- then each realized with much dismay who the other woman was. Theresa pronounced Melanie's dad, Daniel, a "creep," and Melanie countered with, "[You're] the raving bitch that everybody's been warning me about." Theresa insulted Melanie, who was quick with a retort, so Theresa walked away. Irked, Melanie stormed after her. When she caught up with Theresa in a private waiting room, Melanie slammed the door.
Through gritted teeth, Melanie called Theresa a "money-grubbing, lying cokehead." Theresa assumed that Daniel had been telling tales about her to Melanie, but Melanie clarified that her best friend Abigail had given her the lowdown about Theresa's offenses. Maintaining that she didn't care what Melanie thought about her, Theresa started to leave, but Melanie held out an arm to stop her. "Just really fast, I want to run by you who my other BFF is: Brady. Yeah. And I know all about what you did to him, too," Melanie declared.
Theresa bristled, but Melanie recounted everything she knew that Theresa had done to harm Brady. "He told me that if I ever see you, I should run the other way," Melanie concluded. Theresa defensively ordered Melanie to shut up. Melanie continued badgering Theresa until Theresa flew into a shrieking rage and attacked Melanie. Melanie shoved Theresa off of her before Theresa could yank out too much of Melanie's hair.
Theresa and Melanie were screaming at each other when Maxine ran in and broke it up. "Do you need reminding that this is a hospital?" Maxine bellowed. She admonished both women to shut their mouths -- and stay away from each other when they were in the hospital at the same time. Theresa stomped out, giving Melanie another shove for good measure and slamming the door behind her. Melanie tried to complain to Maxine, but Maxine cut her off.
"Honey, I can't wait to get you back here, and I love ya. But I also know that you haven't been pushed around since you were a baby in a carriage. You give as good as you get," Maxine asserted firmly. She urged Melanie to go home, cool off, and fill out her job application. A much calmer Melanie gave Maxine a hug. "It's good to have you back. Now get out of here," Maxine instructed. As the door shut behind Melanie, Maxine muttered, "Lord, have mercy."
As Anne and Theresa entered the Brady Pub, Theresa revealed that she'd learned her potential new friend was Daniel's daughter, Melanie. Jennifer appeared and overheard Anne's horrified exclamation about Melanie applying for a job at the hospital. "That's right! It's great, isn't it? And I have known Melanie for ages. You both, you're just going to love working with her," Jennifer declared, beaming with fake sincerity. She added that the entire hospital staff and the patients had been crazy about Melanie.
Theresa interrupted to ask why Jennifer cared when she was no longer with Daniel. Anne chimed in that she'd never understood what was so great about Melanie. "I don't think that she should be allowed in the hospital at all, the way she just rips into people for no reason," Theresa asserted. Jennifer deduced that Theresa had run into Melanie and that it hadn't gone well. Jennifer cheerfully urged Theresa to get used to it, since Melanie was back for good.
After Jennifer left, Theresa complained that she couldn't deal with having one more person at the hospital hate her. "Well, maybe you don't have to," Anne suggested. Pointing out that she was the head of H.R., Anne whispered her plan in Theresa's ear.
Melanie went back to Daniel's and informed her dad that Maxine had promised to take her application directly to the head of nursing. Melanie noticed that her jacket was torn. Daniel remarked that her scarf was dirty and her hair was a mess, too. He asked what had happened. Melanie admitted that she'd met Theresa Donovan -- whom Abigail had accurately described as "a psycho." Daniel listened as patiently as he could while Melanie described her run-in with Theresa.
When Daniel learned that the encounter had gotten physical, he made his daughter promise to stay away from Theresa Donovan, who was "troubled" and "malicious," no matter how much Theresa provoked her. Melanie gave her word. Daniel asked if Melanie wanted to read Parker a story. "You can tell him that I will personally make up a story for him every night if he wants," Melanie said. "You're good at that -- like Scheherazade," Daniel joked as he headed into Parker's room, although Melanie didn't get the reference.
Serena called Melanie just then, and Melanie asked if Serena had seen Eric. "I did... I'll tell you all about it tomorrow, but it was all good. Really good," Serena declared, grinning.
At the hospital, Jordan objected when Rafe tracked her down in one of the conference rooms, insisting that they had nothing left to say to each other. Rafe clarified that he didn't want to talk to Jordan about their relationship -- he wanted to talk to her about Clyde. Rafe explained that he wanted to help Jordan get her stepfather out of her life for good because he considered himself indirectly responsible for the man's presence in Salem.
Jordan wasn't willing to share any information with Rafe, so he vowed to find some other way to dig up dirt on her stepfather, reasoning that he owed her that much. Jordan tried to protest, but Rafe refused to listen. "I think that Clyde's big trouble for you. And you're shunning me, just like my sister did, and I won't have that on my head again. [...] I'm not gonna let you convince me that everything is okay. I'm not gonna stand by -- again -- and let something bad happen to someone that I care about. [...] I'm gonna find out exactly who Clyde Weston is, and no one is gonna stop me -- not even you," Rafe added before walking away.
Clyde met with Jeremiah in a secluded section of the park to find out why they were short on cash. Clyde accused his employee of either sleeping on the job or stealing from him, reasoning that there were no other explanations for the lack of funds because they had been in control of every territory in Salem for months, and they were in possession of more than enough product to distribute.
Insisting that he would never be stupid enough to steal from Clyde, Jeremiah explained that he had simply been under the impression that he had been expected to lie low for a while, but Clyde wasn't satisfied with that answer. "You have been lazy and sloppy! You get any sloppier, you'll end up like E.J. DiMera," Clyde warned. Jeremiah said he would need to hire a couple guys to help him handle Clyde's demands, but he assured Clyde that he already had some people in mind for the job. Jeremiah left after promising that he wouldn't let Clyde down.
Ben was expecting a visit from Abigail, so when he heard a knock, he grabbed a branch of mistletoe and held it over his head as he opened his apartment door -- and found that she was holding a branch of mistletoe over her head, too. After sharing a laugh about the coincidence, the couple kissed, and Abigail surprised Ben with a miniature Christmas tree for his place, along with some supplies so they could decorate it together.
As Ben and Abigail worked on strands of popcorn garland -- something he had never done before -- they shared Christmas memories with each other. Ben revealed that his father had rarely celebrated holidays after his mother had died, although he was able to recall one time when the man had gotten drunk and stolen an aluminum tree off the hood of a Jeep in a used-car lot -- and had sliced his hands up pretty badly while carrying it home.
Ben admitted that Christmas had been a lot easier before his mother had died, and he fondly recalled the last Christmas he had shared with her, during which she had defiantly chopped down a tree in their backyard while upset with Clyde about something. Ben shared that he and Jordan had helped their mother decorate the tree with kitchen utensils, and when Clyde had returned home, he had actually joined them, bending forks and spoons into different shapes to create makeshift ornaments. However, the family had neglected to save some utensils for more practical purposes, so that year, as a six-year-old, he had been forced to learn how to use chopsticks.
Abigail told Ben about the Horton family's tradition of hanging ornaments that represented every member of the Horton clan, past and present. "Must be one big frickin' tree," Ben jokingly mused. Abigail laughed and confirmed that the tree was starting to get a bit crowded with ornaments. Ben pointed out that the Horton family could always retire some of the oldest ornaments to make room for new ones if necessary.
"No, that's -- that's...the beauty of it, you know? It's -- it's like everyone in my family is together, no matter where they are, or -- or what's happening with them, or whether they're alive or they're dead. Every single year, on Christmas Eve, it's like we're -- we're all together again, and they're with us," Abigail explained. Ben noted that Abigail had a great family, and she agreed that she was lucky.
Abigail added that she was happy to be involved with Jordan's new charity project because it felt good to give back to families who weren't as fortunate. Ben smoothly but sincerely replied that Abigail already made his family of one feel very, very lucky every time she walked through his apartment door. Abigail hoped she would be able to get enough funding for the project, since plenty of other worthy causes were also looking for end-of-the-year donations at that time.
Victor summoned Kate to the Kiriakis mansion, and when she arrived, he offered her a glass of scotch. When Victor revealed, in response to Kate's inquiry, that Maggie was at a meeting, Kate implied that he was about to proposition her while his wife wasn't around. "Forget about the drink. Clearly, your fevered imagination still only runs in one direction," Victor replied as he set aside her glass.
Kate tiredly demanded to know what Victor wanted, so he vaguely explained that they needed to straighten out her co-CEO. Kate refused to discuss Chad -- or anything else related to DiMera Enterprises -- with Victor, and she warned that she was just days away from figuring out which one of her board members was moonlighting as Victor's mole. "Keep digging -- I'm sure you'll come up with something. In the meantime, this doesn't have anything to do with business. It's a family matter -- yours and mine -- [concerning] what that whelp is doing to Will and Sonny," Victor clarified.
Confused, Kate reminded Victor that Chad was Sonny's best friend, was close to Will, and was crazy about Arianna. "Of course he is. Vintage DiMera -- screw over the people closest to you. [...] Who do you think you're in business with, Kate -- some young boy you can lead around by the nose? Maybe that was Chad before he spent a year with his old man. [Or] maybe [this other side of Chad] was always in there, waiting to emerge -- who knows? What I do know is that the boy that came back to Salem is a little shark [who is] just as ruthless as E.J. and Kristen ever were. [...] Chad set a trap for Sonny -- and Sonny stepped into it," Victor revealed.
Victor showed Kate the document Sonny had signed, and she quickly spotted the problem. Kate couldn't believe Sonny had failed to read the fine print, but Victor assured her that he had already admonished his nephew for being too trusting. Victor added that he had also hired a good lawyer to go over the rest of the paperwork Sonny had signed, just to make sure Chad hadn't hidden any other surprises anywhere. Kate suggested that Chad might not have realized just how devastating the liability clause could potentially be for Sonny, but Victor refused to believe that Chad -- who had managed to outmaneuver Kate -- was that incompetent.
Conceding the point, Kate wondered what Victor wanted from her. Victor replied that he wanted Kate to be honest with herself, since honesty was good for the soul -- and, in the long run, might just save her hide. Victor wondered what Kate thought Chad's latest move meant. "I think it looks familiar. Even with family, Stefano wants to be in control," Kate mused as she claimed the drink Victor had set aside earlier. Victor nodded and summarized that Chad was going to be in control once Sonny's business went down the tubes -- and it would, because Victor had already crunched the numbers and determined that it was inevitable.
Kate pointed out that it wasn't really Chad's fault that Sonny had made a poor choice, and Victor agreed, vaguely explaining that Sonny had gone into the business venture for all the wrong reasons. Concerned, Kate wondered if Sonny was okay. Victor replied that his nephew had a lot going on and was stubbornly refusing to listen to his advice. Kate once again wondered what Victor wanted her to do. "Be ready. Once this blows up in Sonny's face, there's going to be consequences...and an opening. You're going to be in the perfect position to turn the tables on Chad," Victor informed Kate.
Later, after Kate left, Victor received a visit from Rafe, who was hoping Victor might be willing to help him dig up some information on Clyde Weston, since the man was shacking up with Kate. Rafe accepted a glass of scotch from Victor, confirming Victor's suspicion that the detective was off-duty. Victor had heard that Clyde was the stepfather of the woman who had accompanied Rafe to Will and Sonny's wedding but hadn't heard that Rafe and Jordan were no longer together, so he assumed Rafe was simply trying to protect a girlfriend. Rafe corrected Victor but declined to elaborate on how the relationship had ended, although Victor still quickly managed to deduce that Kate had been involved.
Changing the subject, Rafe filled Victor in on Clyde, and Victor agreed to help. Victor was intrigued when Rafe revealed that Jordan was seeing Chad. Rafe admitted that he had been suspicious of Chad since the young man had ruined Gabi's wedding nearly two years earlier. "Well, that's child's play compared to what he's up to now," Victor cryptically replied. Rafe wondered if there was anything he could do to help Victor with Chad. Victor accepted the offer, asking Rafe to keep an eye on Chad for a while. After Rafe left, Victor contacted someone and asked for information on Clyde Weston.
Kate met with Clyde at the Brady Pub for a nightcap. Clyde invited Kate to accompany him back to his hotel room, but she declined, explaining that she had a conference call with European board members scheduled for four o'clock in the morning. Kate wondered if Jordan had really pulled a gun on Clyde a few days earlier.
Clyde was surprised Kate had managed to figure that out, but he vaguely confirmed that he had given Jordan and Ben plenty of reasons to hate him. Kate wondered if Clyde was seeing a psychiatrist because he wanted to change, and he confirmed that he was trying to be a better man for everyone's sake -- including hers. "Well, just don't get too nice, because I like you just the way you are right now," Kate replied.
Adrienne ran into Chad in the Horton Town Square and seized the opportunity to catch up with him for a few minutes, since it was the first time they had seen each other since his return to Salem. Adrienne didn't waste much time before mentioning Abigail, and when Chad stated that he was happy for his ex because she seemed to be in a good place with her new boyfriend, Adrienne observed that it seemed like he truly meant that. Chad confirmed Adrienne's suspicion that he had also moved on -- with Jordan. Adrienne thought that had to be awkward, since Jordan was not only Ben's sister but also one of Abigail's friends, but Chad insisted that it wasn't.
Changing the subject, Chad started praising Sonny's work on the new club on the south side of town, and he urged Adrienne to get Sonny to give her a tour of the place sometime. Adrienne promised to do that, and she abruptly excused herself. Later, Chad spotted Jordan walking through the town square, and when he caught up with her, he quickly realized that something was wrong. Jordan was reluctant to talk about what had happened, but Chad deduced that she had just had another encounter with Rafe. Chad assumed the encounter had been about him, but Jordan clarified that it had actually been about Clyde.
Chad stressed that Jordan could talk to him about what had happened if she wished to do so, but she insisted that she simply wanted to forget the encounter had even happened. Jordan started to excuse herself, but Chad stopped her and wondered why she was in such a hurry to leave. Jordan started rambling about how she always managed to kill the mood when she was with Chad, and she promised never to mention Rafe's name again. Chad tried to assure Jordan that she had done nothing wrong, but she wasn't listening, so he finally shut her up with a kiss. A short time later, Chad and Jordan were in her bedroom, having sex.
At Club TBD, Sonny hesitated when Paul suggested they could meet at the Salem Inn, so Paul offered to meet Sonny somewhere else instead. Sonny remained silent as he weighed his options, unaware that someone had just crept into the club. As Paul eagerly prompted Sonny for an answer, Sonny happened to turn around -- and was shocked and delighted to find himself face-to-face with Will and Arianna.
Sonny abruptly ended the phone call and lifted Arianna into his arms before greeting Will with a kiss. Will explained that he hadn't told Sonny he would be returning to Salem because he had wanted to surprise Sonny -- and it was obvious that he had accomplished his goal. Sonny told Will and Arianna that they had no idea how much he had missed them.
Will could tell that the reunion was bittersweet for his husband, so he wondered what was wrong. Sonny admitted that he was just feeling a bit sad because he knew Will and Arianna wouldn't be able to stay long before heading back to Los Angeles. "Sonny...I'm not going back to L.A. [...] I was crazy to think that I could be away from you for that long. We're here to stay...forever," Will revealed, eliciting a huge smile from Sonny.
Will was starving, so Sonny quickly prepared a meal for him. As Will finished eating, he caught Sonny staring at him in disbelief. Sonny admitted that he was still shocked that Will was actually back for good. "Truth? I hated Hollywood. You know, I tried to be into it -- I gave it everything that I had -- but I hated being away from you, and I hated what it was doing to Gabi to have the baby be so far away. And -- and I just started to think --" Will started to explain, but Adrienne interrupted when she burst into the club and excitedly greeted him.
Sonny warned that Arianna was sleeping, so Adrienne lowered her voice and wondered how long Will would be staying. After explaining that he was home for good, Will excused himself so he could call Sami and let her know he had arrived safely. While Will was gone, Adrienne started to ask Sonny something, but he interrupted and insisted that Will didn't need to know about Paul.
Outside, Will was on the phone with Sami. "Mom, don't make this a war with the studio. They gave me a shot. It was up to me. If they didn't like my work, then -- no, to be honest, I'm very happy to be home, and I would appreciate it if this was kept quiet, because it's not going to be good for me if it gets out that the studio dumped me," Will stressed.
Adrienne clarified that she had actually been trying to ask if Sonny had told Will about the new club on the south side of town. Sonny guessed that Adrienne had talked to Victor, but she explained that she had actually just talked to Chad, who had said the development was going really well. Adrienne wondered if Will knew yet. "What is it I don't know, Sonny? Ya keepin' somethin' from me?" Will playfully asked as he rejoined his husband and mother-in-law. Adrienne excitedly revealed that she and Sonny had just been talking about the development of the new club, which was already getting a lot of great buzz and was going to be huge.
"Will you stop it?" Sonny snapped before quickly apologizing to Adrienne, explaining that it had simply been a really long day. Will suggested that it might be a good time to head home for the night, and Adrienne took the hint and excused herself. Sonny accompanied Adrienne outside, where he apologized again and admitted that he was starting to feel the need to lower people's expectations because he had made a lot of mistakes and was having a lot of problems with the new club. Adrienne started to get concerned, so Sonny hugged her so she wouldn't be able to study his face when he assured her that he would somehow figure everything out.
Paul stared wistfully at his empty bed, thinking about times he had spent with Sonny in similar hotel rooms. Paul put on a shirt and started to leave, but when he opened the door, Zoe was standing in the hallway. Paul didn't immediately recognize Zoe, but when she showed him a copy of the Sonix issue that had featured a cover story about him, he remembered that she was the editor of the magazine. Paul was surprised that Zoe had managed to find him, but she pointed out that she did do that sort of thing for a living. After glancing around the hallway to make sure no one was watching, Paul invited Zoe in so they could talk privately.
Zoe revealed that she knew Paul was recovering from surgery in Salem, and she assured him that she had no intention of blowing his cover -- provided that Sonix was granted the exclusive on the story. After a brief discussion, Paul promised to think about Zoe's proposal. Zoe handed Paul her business card and started to leave. After glancing at his copy of Chad's issue of Sonix magazine, Paul stopped Zoe and said he wanted to discuss one more thing with her first.
Later, after leaving Paul's hotel room, Zoe contacted Will and was pleasantly surprised when he revealed that he was back in Salem. "Does that mean you're available? [...] An assignment just came up -- I think you will find it very interesting," Zoe teasingly informed Will, who agreed to talk to her about the assignment the following day. As Will ended the call, Sonny reentered the club and wondered if Will was ready to go home. "I'm more than ready. I'm so happy that I'm here. I love you so much," Will replied as he hugged and kissed his husband.
At the Horton house, J.J. spoke on the phone with Paige, who was in California with her mom, visiting her Grandpa Shane in a hospital. Paige apologized to J.J. for hanging up so abruptly the day before and for having to leave town without saying goodbye. Although J.J. was glad that Paige's grandfather seemed to be doing okay, he wondered why Paige had needed to go along. Paige explained that her mom was really worried about Shane and had wanted Paige along for moral support. Paige had to hang up when she saw her mom exiting Shane's room.
Jennifer arrived downstairs and found J.J. playing his guitar while he waited for his new therapist, Dr. Richards, to arrive. J.J. admitted that the idea of a shrink who made house calls surprised him. Jennifer explained that Dr. Richards had felt that J.J. might be more comfortable talking at home. J.J. regretted blaming Jennifer, among other people, when he'd found out what his dad had done, and he was grateful to his mom and Abigail for their support when he'd been so difficult. Jennifer assured J.J. that she was proud of him -- and his dad would be, too.
When Dr. Richards got there, Jennifer headed upstairs to give J.J. and the doctor some privacy. Dr. Richards informed J.J., "[Your mom] told me what happened between your father and your aunt." J.J. noted that no one who knew about it could even say the word "rape." Dr. Richards asked how J.J. had felt when he'd first heard about it. J.J. admitted that he had been very angry, and his girlfriend had been upset when she'd found out about it, but mostly because he hadn't been the one to tell her. J.J. continued that it had helped him understand why his mom and sister hadn't been able to tell him about it.
"J.J., knowing what you do, how do you feel about your father now?" Dr. Richards asked. J.J. declared that he didn't understand how his father could have done what he'd done to Kayla -- or any woman. J.J. added that his dad had hated himself for it and had spent the rest of his days trying to lead a better life. "I keep going back to what he always used to say to me, that I'm a chip off the old block -- and what if he's right? [...] What if I'm exactly like him? What if I have it in me somewhere to do what he did?" J.J. wondered anxiously.
J.J. admitted that he had smashed a window in the town square when he'd first found out what his dad had done, and once when he'd been making out with his girlfriend, he had taken things too far, and she'd had to yell at him to stop. He added that he had been very careful ever since then, but he'd made a lot of mistakes with women. Dr. Richards assured J.J., "Rape is an act of violence in a sexual situation. You understand that it's nothing like you're describing." J.J. wondered why he always managed to screw things up when things were going well.
"The question troubling you right now isn't really about those other bad choices, is it? It's about whether you could make the same terrible choice your father made. Do you think you could ever be violent toward a woman in the way your father was toward your aunt?" Richards asked. Shaking his head as the realization hit him, J.J. declared that he could never do that to anyone. Noting that J.J. had solved his own problem, Dr. Richards said, "If anything, learning about your father's past may have made you more aware, more sensitive than many other people your age."
Dr. Richards encouraged J.J. to try to figure out why he had made bad choices in the past and to stop sabotaging his own happiness. He added that while J.J.'s disappointment in his father would never completely disappear, J.J. wasn't doomed to repeat his father's mistakes. Dr. Richards urged J.J. to call if he ever felt he needed to talk again.
Jennifer returned and asked J.J. how it had gone. J.J. impulsively hugged his mom and thanked her. "Deep down, I guess I already knew what Dr. Richards was saying, but it really did help to talk it through... And I know that I'm never going to understand why Dad did what he did, but I know that it has nothing to do with me or the choices I make," J.J. said. A relieved Jennifer embraced her son and suggested that it shouldn't stop him from reconnecting with Paige.
In bed at Jordan's apartment, Chad awakened Jordan with a soft kiss on the forehead. Jordan beamed and kissed him back. She got a message with some information she'd requested for the project she and Abigail were working on, but she quickly resumed cuddling with Chad. After they had sex, Jordan said that she felt very lucky that she'd met Chad, who meant a lot to her.
Rafe went to the DiMera mansion to question Chad. Kate appeared to take pleasure in informing Detective Hernandez that Chad still hadn't returned home from the previous night. Rafe maintained that he didn't care where Chad had spent the night, but he still needed to track Chad down. Kate offered to call Chad for Rafe, but she got Chad's voicemail.
Kate's attitude made Rafe testy, but she accused him of being jealous because Jordan had moved on with Chad. Rafe insisted his visit had nothing to do with Jordan, although he admitted he was worried about her -- just as he was about Kate, because he suspected she was helping Stefano. "No money or title is worth the hell that you're going to pay when you get caught. I'm really going to hate having to come back here to deal with you, too," Rafe cautioned on his way out.
Rafe was walking through the park when Jordan spotted him and ordered him to stop his investigation. Rafe said with a groan, "I should have known that Kate would tip off Chad." Jordan clarified that she'd been talking about Clyde, and she was incredulous that Rafe was going after Chad, as well. Rafe maintained that he was just doing his job. Jordan asserted, "I'm pretty damn sure he hasn't done anything wrong." Rafe calmly countered that, if that were true, Chad had nothing to worry about -- and the same was true for Clyde.
When Chad returned to the DiMera mansion, Kate chided him for missing a conference call that morning. She added that Rafe had been there, looking for him. "He seems to be under the impression that you've done something illegal," Kate explained. She clarified that Chad's sudden ascension to co-CEO at DiMera Enterprises had raised some eyebrows, plus he was listed as an owner of a company that Victor, Kate, and Lucas had helped to bail out. "I was just trying to help Sami," Chad maintained. Kate pointed out that the police viewed it as Chad aiding and abetting a fugitive -- Stefano.
Chad shared Kate's belief that Rafe was retaliating out of jealousy over Chad's relationship Jordan. Chuckling, Kate admitted that Rafe had been "piqued" to learn that Chad hadn't returned home the previous night. She warned Chad that Rafe was out to crucify him and would not let up. "Well, he better, or your ex-boy-toy is going to find out that he's taken on the wrong guy," Chad vowed.
As Ben and Abigail walked into Club TBD, he praised her for her outreach project at the hospital. Abigail corrected him and reminded him that the project had been Jordan's idea. "Honestly, it doesn't even matter who thought of what. What matters is that the people of the community get the care that they really need," Abigail insisted. Clyde arrived just in time to overhear the last part of what Abigail said, and he chimed in, "Well, amen to that!"
Clyde confessed that he had no idea what Ben and Abigail had been talking about, but their enthusiasm had been contagious. Ben explained that Abigail was working on a project to provide access to medical care for the community, but Abigail pointed out that she still needed to raise the money to make it happen. Clyde surprised Abigail by suggesting that he might be able to help. He explained that he'd been looking to make a donation and asked Abigail to tell him more about her project. Abigail somewhat hesitantly clarified that it was actually Jordan's project, but the two of them were working together on it.
Abigail elaborated that the project would provide preventive and rehabilitative care to people who needed medical services but couldn't get to a hospital. Ben added that although it had been Jordan's idea, Abigail had taken the initiative to apply for government grants and had launched a fundraising campaign. "Your compassion really shines through, just like Jordan's always has. Hearing about this makes me damn proud," Clyde declared with admiration. He said that it was exactly the kind of project he'd been looking to donate to.
Ben and Clyde cautioned Abigail that Jordan would never accept a donation from Clyde. Abigail was skeptical that Jordan would turn down money for something she was so passionate about and that would help so many people just because it was from Clyde. Clyde proposed that he could make his contribution anonymously. Although Abigail seemed eager to go along with it, Ben was shaking his head and scowling. He said he didn't like keeping things from his sister. Abigail pointed out that if Clyde wanted to make an anonymous donation, they were obliged to keep it that way.
"Seeing how much this means to you, knowing how happy my stepdaughter will be if this project gets off the ground, that's all the thanks this anonymous donor will ever need," Clyde declared, grinning. A grateful and thrilled Abigail jumped up and ran around the table to hug Clyde in thanks. After making sure that Ben was all right with it, Clyde left to get the process started. Abigail excitedly threw her arms around a grimacing Ben.
While Aiden and Chase had breakfast at the Brady Pub, Aiden reminded his son that while it was good to talk about his mom, Chase shouldn't discuss her money with other people. Chase didn't understand why it was such a big deal. Aiden emphasized that talking about money wasn't polite, and certain things, such as their special memories of Chase's mom, were personal, and Aiden wanted to keep those just between the two of them. Aiden embraced his son and reassured him that everything was all right.
Kayla and Hope caught up over coffee in Horton Square. Hope said that she and Aiden were going Christmas shopping for Chase and Ciara later, while their kids were at school. Hope confided that Aiden had seemed very serious when they'd first met, but he'd actually turned out to be quite funny and sweet -- and Ciara really liked him. Hope added that she hoped Kayla wasn't upset with her for divorcing Bo. "How many times do I have to tell you? I am upset with my brother. He put you in a terrible position, and you deserve to go on with your life," Kayla said emphatically.
Hope suspected that Kayla was keeping something from her. A few minutes later, an embarrassed Kayla had apparently revealed that she'd been thinking about trying online dating. Hope insisted that there was nothing wrong with online dating, noting that a few of her friends had met their husbands that way. She offered to help Kayla get started, but Kayla declined. Kayla added that her friend Lisa was going to help her set up a profile. Hope acknowledged that she knew Lisa's sister-in-law, Bree, whom Hope had seen a few weeks earlier when Bree had been visiting from Portland.
Kayla started second-guessing her decision to set up the dating profile, but an enthusiastic Hope tried to reassure her that it was a good idea. When Aiden arrived and overheard part of the women's conversation, a mortified Kayla made an excuse to leave. Aiden teased Hope about keeping things from him, but she assured him that it had just been "girl talk." Hope and Aiden headed for the stores.
Later, their arms full of shopping bags, Aiden asked Hope if she wanted to get a latte before they continued. Since Hope had thought they were finished, she took a peek at Aiden's shopping list. "Wow... Chase is going to have a very nice Christmas," Hope remarked. Aiden sheepishly admitted that Santa hadn't delivered everything Chase had asked for the previous Christmas, plus Aiden needed to make up some things to Chase. Hope assured Aiden that he didn't need to explain.
Aiden confessed that he still felt a lot of guilt about what had happened with Chase's mother. "A kid needs his mom," Aiden added. Hope admitted that when she'd been a baby, her mom had died. Aiden admitted that he knew he couldn't replace Meredith, but he hoped that having the latest game system would mean that all of his son's friends would go to their house to play. Hope asked if Aiden regretted moving to Salem from Portland. He said he had no regrets, but it had been a tough adjustment -- as his initial "ill-tempered" behavior had proved. Hope assured him that she understood how long grief could last.
Kayla walked by with her friend Lisa while Aiden and Hope were kissing on a bench. "Is that Aiden Jennings? Is he the guy your sister-in-law -- I mean, ex-sister-in-law -- is dating?" Lisa asked, taken aback. Kayla was surprised that Lisa knew Aiden, but Kayla got a page from the hospital for an emergency before she could ask anything further. As soon as Kayla left, Lisa pulled out her phone and dialed.
Aiden gave Hope a steamy goodbye kiss before resuming his shopping. A few minutes later, Bree called Hope after getting Hope's number from Lisa. "She told me that you are dating Aiden Jennings?" Bree questioned. When Hope confirmed that was true, Bree warned her, "You are making a terrible -- a deadly mistake."