Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
We see a man's dress shoes walking down a quiet hallway. The noise of which echoes through the otherwise silent hall, as Tyler approaches the doors to the WXIR studio where Nicole will be shooting her TV special. Tyler stops by the sliding doors, as the stagehands rush in and out of the studio, preparing for the telecast.
Tyler sighs, his mind heavy with the memory of what Victor told him at the hospital. His mind flashes back to Victor's ominous words.
FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 167
Victor lies in his hospital bed, a simmering rage in his voice as he instructs Tyler, sat next to his hospital bed, what to do.
VICTOR: ...we have to take action, immediately.
TYLER: What kind of action?
VICTOR: Simple. We'll send Stefano a message, and clean up the filth that's rotting this town from the inside.
Tyler sighs, knowing what Victor's implying.
TYLER: Victor, we can't be working underhandedly.
VICTOR: Too late. The gloves are already off. Get rid of Nick Fallon. By any means neccessary.
Victor looks steely-eyed at a concerned Tyler, who is far less convinced of Victor's plan than Victor is.
Tyler shakes his head, worried about how he will go about making Victor's plans happen without getting caught, before stepping inside the studio.
Inside the studio, there's action all over, as Tyler stands back, trying to be inconspicuous.
As the stagehands truck over a crane camera, Abby walks over to Nicole, handing her some papers and a glass of water. Nicole seems stressed, and disinterested, barely looking at Abby, who barely looks up at Nicole, both seemingly in opposite worlds.
ABBY: Notes. And your water.
NICOLE: Thank you.
Nicole looks up, as Abby, studies some of her own papers, struggling to get her head around it all.
NICOLE: You okay? You seem--
ABBY: I'm fine. Just. Fine.
Nicole looks unconvinced, as Abby rolls her eyes. Nicole responds to Abby sarcastically.
Abby looks back down at her notes.
ABBY: Thanks, I try.
NICOLE: Abigail, listen, we got a lot going on, but if you need to talk to someone, I don't mind stepping into an office after the show.
Abby looks up, putting on a hardened, professional face.
ABBY: Thanks, but...honestly, I am talked to death for one day, and besides, we have...
Abby checks her watch before continuing.
ABBY: ...twelve minutes to air, and only one guest is here.
NICOLE: Okay, which guest?
ABBY: Anjelica Deveraux. No one's heard back from Nick yet.
Nicole looks around, frustrated, before calling out to the studio at large.
NICOLE: Has anyone heard anything from Nick Fallon?
Another assistant rushes in from outside the studio as Nicole finishes her question.
ASSISTANT: He's just in the parking lot, he'll be up in a second!
Nicole turns to a still-fretting Abby, a relaxed smile on her face.
NICOLE: See? Nothing to worry about.
Abby looks back, now the one unconvinced.
In the parking lot at WXIR, Nick parks the car that he and Percy have rode in together. Both men look weary from the taxing day, but Nick notices Percy is more troubled than usual.
PERCY: Yes, Nicholas?
NICK: You look worried.
Percy doesn't respond immediately. Nick chuckles and answers before Percy can.
NICK: There's nothing to worry about. We're gonna go in there, we're gonna make the alternative fuels project look like God's gift to the planet, and we're gonna save your land from being expropriated. Trust me, brother. We got this.
Nick goes to open the driver's side door to exit, then Percy finally speaks up.
PERCY: Nicholas, there's...there's something you should know.
Percy's ominous words stop Nick dead in his tracks. He looks back at Percy, who looks at him with concern.
PERCY: Earlier I came to see you, and...I found Miss Hernandez in your room.
Nick smiles at Percy, trying to play off Percy's observation.
NICK: Well, Percy, she's living with me, I plan to marry her soon, I mean...I'm sure she'll be in my room a lot.
PERCY: She was looking for something, Nicholas. And she was deeply troubled by being caught.
Nick stares at Percy, the smiles disappearing from his face.
At the DiMera offices, EJ works away his desk, when Sami storms inside, barely looking at EJ as she begins to rant and rave while placing her bag down and busily arranging her things on a table by his desk.
As Sami rants, EJ looks up at her, and slowly gets up from behind his desk, making his way over to her.
SAMI: I can't believe you can sit there looking so calm with everything going on right now. I mean, Nicole's TV special is on tonight, and now that Nick's taken over Titan, Will's worried Nick's gonna blow his career out of the water, I don't have a clue what that loose cannon might dig up on us, and frankly I wish Gabi would use that stupid gun you gave her to put him out of his misery because I swear to God...
Sami turns abruptly, walking into EJ. Sami looks up after bumping into him. EJ smiles warmly at Sami.
SAMI: EJ, not now, I have no much going on, and I really don't have time to--
EJ: Samantha. Talk to me.
Sami looks up at EJ and rests her head on his shoulder, as she begins to tear up. EJ is taken aback, hesitant to put his hands on her.
Kim opens the door to her apartment, and gasps with delight.
KIM: Oh my God! It's YOU!
Reaching out to embrace him, Kim finds her son, Andrew, standing in the doorway. He laughs, as he reaches over to hug his mom, spinning her around as he steps inside her apartment.
ANDREW: Mom! I missed you!
Andrew sets Kim down just inside the doorway, and Kim beams with happiness.
KIM: Oh honey, I missed you too. Oh, this is such a wonderful surprise.
ANDREW: I thought you needed something like this.
Kim smiles, but with a touch of sadness in her eye.
KIM: I did.
Kim looks behind Andrew for his bags.
KIM: Let's get your stuff inside and get you unpacked.
Andrew doesn't move, turning to watch his mom step out into the hallway of the apartment block. He calls out to stop her.
ANDREW: Ah, Mom! My bags aren't here.
Kim stops in her tracks, before turning around, confused.
KIM: Wh...well, don't tell me you booked a hotel room. You could stay here with me. Or at least take a room above the pub. One of the guest rooms just opened up!
ANDREW: No. No, you don't have to worry about that. I actually am here with work.
KIM: Work? Work sent you all the way to Salem? We're moving up in the world, aren't we?
Andrew chuckles as he answers his mom.
ANDREW: You could say that. They've got me doing a special report on the governor's race, and since I have production experience, they figure they can save money by having me self-package it.
KIM: Right. I'm glad that's going well for you.
ANDREW: It's keeping me busy, at least. What about you? How are you holding up?
Kim shrugs, responding unconvincingly.
KIM: I'm keeping busy, at least.
ANDREW: Hey, you don't get to turn that one around on me, Mom.
Kim and Andrew laugh for a second at Kim's deflection, but Andrew's expression immediately gets more serious.
ANDREW: I'm serious. I know Theresa's accident was hard on you, Mom. And...I know it's been rough with Uncle Roman so sick, and being without Kayla or Dad around to help you, plus taking care of Grandma...how are you holding up?
Kim looks at Andrew, a sad seriousness in her eyes as they well up.
EJ stands, unsure what to do as Sami begins to cry on his shoulder.
EJ: Samantha...I ah...
Sami wipes her eyes carefully, as she lifts her head from EJ's shoulder.
SAMI: Sorry, I...I've just....I'm hitting my limit right now, there's so much going on.
EJ: I can tell. Just....what's got you so upset? It's not this Nick rubbish again, is it?
SAMI: No. No, I just...(sigh) My mom and I got into a fight today.
EJ rests against the front of his desk, as he asks Sami about her fight with Marlena.
EJ: What about?
SAMI: My dad's condition. He um...he's not doing well, and I found out from my Aunt Kim that my mom wants to run a DNA test on him because suddenly, after twenty years, she's starting to doubt whether he's really Roman Brady.
EJ looks stunned by the news. He stutters as he tries to make sense of what Sami's told him.
EJ: Eh....I'm...I'm sorry, wh...your father is at death's door, and...
SAMI: And this is what my mom's priority is. I know. I...honestly, EJ, with everything else going on right now, I don't know whether I can handle this too. I just...
Sami begins to break down in tears, as EJ stands up from his desk, and steps over to Sami, but stops short of pulling her into an embrace.
EJ: You....you don't mind if I...
Sami shakes her head, as he wraps his arms around her tightly, the iciness between them from the past weeks starting to thaw, as Sami finally allows herself to be close to EJ again, feeling comforted by his arms.
At the Salem City Hall, Abe leads Roman, Lucas, Kate, and Billie into an office to discuss the Jordan Ridgeway/Sheryl Connors case. He stands by the door, ushering them all in with a serious expression.
KATE: Alright, Abe, this better be good.
ABE: I promise you, it is, Kate.
Once they're all in, Abe shuts the door behind them, before speaking to all three of the others.
LUCAS: Abe, please tell me we're finally reaching the end of this nightmare?
LUCAS: Why does that sound like there's another few steps involved in this?
BILLIE: Because there is.
Lucas looks at the others, displeased.
ABE: Billie tells me that Sheryl Connors appears to have disappeared since the virus was implanted.
BILLIE: Exactly. Her and her accomplices have seemed to have settled.
Kate looks at Billie, uncertain.
KATE: Accomplices? Wasn't it just Jordan?
LUCAS: She obviously means Nick.
BILLIE: Right. We believe there may be a third person involved. We aren't sure who. Having said this, we know Jordan's settled into her life at University Hospital, and apparently...she's engaged to Rafe Hernandez.
Kate rolls her eyes at the news.
KATE: Don't remind me.
LUCAS: Is...is Rafe aware of who she is? I mean...she could be dangerous to him.
ABE: She won't be a threat if Rafe's kept in the dark about who she is. As long as Jordan isn't at risk of being exposed, Rafe remains safe. And besides. He'll have protection.
Abe looks at Roman, who looks on awkwardly back at Abe. Abe appears concerned by Roman's spacey appearance.
ROMAN: Yes, partner?
ABE: You...you have anything to add to this? I mean, you will be providing Detective Hernandez with his protection while we finalize the operation, obviously.
ROMAN: I ah...no, I'm good.
Abe looks concerned, as Roman shuffled uncomfortably.
LUCAS: I just hope this won't go on much longer. Do we know what their plan is? Who they're connected with?
ROMAN: Well, potentially Nick Fallon but...we aren't certain.
ABE: Well, they were. But any connection between Nick, and Jordan and Sheryl was severed after Nick stopped the virus from infecting Titan's mainframe.
Billie pipes up, looking around the room seriously as she makes her suggestion.
BILLIE: I think...we need to keep an eye on Nick, regardless, though. Especially if he, and Sheryl and Jordan are at odds with each other. Now that he's become so powerful, Nick could be at high risk, or worse, be a risk to others.
KATE: You really think they'd risk getting caught to off the little weasel?
ABE: Wouldn't surprise me. And the Penthouse Grille re-opening party looks to be a perfect opportunity for them to strike.
Kate and Lucas look at each other, as Abe surveys the others for their reaction.
Inside the WXIR studio, Tyler observes the goings-on in the busy room, as the doors to the studio open, and Nick and Percy walk in. Tucked away at the back of the room, Tyler spots Nick and Percy and scuttles away behind the soundstage.
Nicole sees Nick and Percy and reacts immediately.
NICOLE: Finally! Where the Hell have you two been?
Nick smiles widely as he walks over to Nicole like a superstar.
NICK: Unavoidably detained, let's say. Shall we get on with it?
NICOLE: On one condition.
NICK: Name your price.
NICOLE: We interview Percy as well.
Percy looks deeply uncomfortable with the idea, but Nick interjects on his behalf without hesitation.
PERCY: I, ah--
NICK: I think that's a fantastic idea, actually. What do you say, Perc?
PERCY Nicholas, I...do you really think...
NICK: I do. Let's do it.
Before Percy can object, Nicole confirms Percy's interview, excitedly.
NICOLE: Great. It's really gonna help drive this home. You're not gonna regret this.
Percy smiles half-heartedly, as Nicole goes over the plan for the episode.
Behind them, Alex and Will arrive in the studio, curious to see the busy setting for the TV special.
WILL: You know, I always wanted to work in television.
ALEX: Really? I always took you more for a print man, myself.
Will looks over at Alex, amused, as they step over to the back of the studio, observing the action before them.
WILL: You haven't known me long enough to get a feel for what kind of man I am.
ALEX: I dunno about that. We've been working together pretty much non-stop since you've been hired. Plus what Sonny's told me about you...
WILL: Sonny talked to you about me?
ALEX: Yeah, here and there. He'd phone us every so often to catch up. You really made an impression on him. And on me.
Will looks up at Alex, surprised and flattered.
WILL: Well, let's hope that impression is good enough to keep me from being fed the wolves on live TV.
Will looks out at the studio, deeply uncomfortable with the potential for Nick to throw him under the bus. Alex's eyes follow his a moment later, as they survey the busy space before them.
Back at the soundstage, Nicole continues to prep Nick and Percy, as Anjelica emerges from the dressing room. Her team are busily briefing her on her segment as she walks out.
PR MAN: So we need you to ensure that you hit that talking point before the first commercial--
Anjelica stops her PR person, as she spots Nick and Percy, walking over toward them.
ANJELICA: Sounds great. Hold that thought a moment, would you?
Anjelica stops steps from Nick, speaking to him with a saccharine tone.
ANJELICA: Nick? A word?
Nick obliges, as Nicole purses her lips in annoyance at being interrupted.
Nick and Anjelica huddle together, as Anjelica speaks in hushed but pointed tones.
ANJELICA: I don't think I need to remind you of how important this interview is to the both of us, no?
NICK: Whatever do you mean, Ms. Deveraux?
Anjelica looks at Nick, unimpressed by his sarcasm.
ANJELICA: I mean this may be the only opportunity we get to sell this project before the election, and Stefano is counting on us to deliver results. Need I remind you of your little gaffe at the hospital today with Victor.
Nick sighs, displeased by the reminder.
NICK: You don't need to remind me of that. Let's just hope Victor heard nothing, and keep pressing forward. He can't touch us once the energy project's in operation.
ANJELICA: Well, you better just hope that everything does go to plan, or your neck will the first one snapped clean off. Understood?
Anjelica flashes a million dollar smile Nick's way, before turning back toward the soundstage to get mic'd up for soundcheck. Nick hangs back, another headache ringing in his ears, as he reaches into his pocket to pull his pill bottle out.
Popping another pill, we see Tyler standing above him on the lighting scaffold, glaring down at Nick from above. Tyler glares, unflinching at Nick, as Nick stands near the set, oblivious.