At the DiMera mansion, Stefan, Chloe, Ben, and Ciara converged in the foyer, each seeking shelter from the gunfire.
"Where are the other guards?" Chloe asked worriedly. "They should have been here by now," Stefan agreed. "Unless the other gunmen took them out first," Ben pointed out before rushing back into the living room to get a clearer picture of the threat. Ciara sprang into protective mode and tried to chase after Ben, but Stefan stopped that from happening.
Ben soon returned and reported that the other members of the security team were still alive and were actively searching the property for the shooter, who seemed to be a lone gunman. "He left that," Ben added, producing a black card that had a gold, skull-shaped sun in the center. "The symbol of El Fideo's cartel," Chloe recalled with a gasp of horror, no longer the least bit unsure about the shooter's intended target. Chloe immediately contacted Maggie, who confirmed that Parker and Holly were both safe and sound at the Kiriakis mansion. Meanwhile, Stefan contacted the police.
"The cartel must have thought you were me. My hair was that long when they kidnapped me," Chloe apologetically explained to Ciara, who wasn't interested in blaming anyone other than the shooter for what had happened. Ben waited until the police arrived then started to escort Ciara back to the loft apartment. Meanwhile, Stefan called in more security guards then tried to comfort Chloe, who was still shaken and wanted to be held for a while.
Claire burst into the loft apartment and found Tripp in the living room, fiddling with a cell phone. "Are you texting Ciara? 'Cause I need to talk to her -- right now! It's life or death!" Claire said dramatically. "Why? What's -- what's going on?" Tripp asked, concerned. "I need to borrow her red sweater!" Claire explained, drawing a groan from Tripp, who clearly didn't think that was much of an emergency. "This is very serious, Tripp! I -- I have a live stream that I'm about to do, and I can't wear something that my followers have seen already!" Claire elaborated. "And Ciara's not answering any of my texts right now, so..." Claire added.
"No, I'm not texting Ciara, okay? I'm -- I'm trying to find out how it went with Haley's hearing," Tripp clarified, still not particularly sympathetic to Claire's plight. "Oh... Okay, well...your uncle's her lawyer, [and] he's the best, [so] I'm sure it was fine," Claire dismissively replied. "Even the best lawyers lose sometimes," Tripp worriedly pointed out. "That's true, I know... You always have to stay on top of your game...which is why I need to find something to wear for my live stream -- right now!" Claire said before starting to rush off to another room to change clothes. "Wow. Way to change the subject, Claire," Tripp grumbled, stopping Claire.
"You seem pretty reluctant to talk about Haley," Tripp curiously observed. "It's none of my business," Claire reasoned with a shrug. "Right, right -- except...I'd still like to find out who it was that ratted her out," Tripp replied, eyeing Claire skeptically. "Why on earth would I tip off Jack Deveraux about Haley Chen?" Claire asked indignantly. "I know as much about [this] as you do!" Claire added before starting to rush off, claiming to have forgotten to go to the library to pick up some research material for an upcoming final. Still suspicious, Tripp quickly decided to follow Claire -- and bumped into Kayla on the way out of the apartment.
"I just wanted to come by and see how you're doing," Kayla explained. "Hanging in there," Tripp replied before thanking Kayla for the concern. "Any word from my dad?" Tripp asked hopefully after inviting Kayla into the apartment. "I spoke with him on the phone just the other day. [He's]...okay, I think... Um...he said he misses all of us -- wanted to make sure that I let you know that -- and, um...unfortunately, it looks like the cleanup with the ISA is gonna take longer than he was hoping, and...I don't think he's gonna be back home for a while," Kayla sadly reported. Tripp was disappointed to hear that, but Kayla sensed some concern, as well.
"I'm worried that Claire's lying to me," Tripp began to explain. Kayla agreed, after hearing the whole story, that Claire certainly wasn't above lying to further a personal agenda.
"But I don't want what you did to get lost in all this," Kayla added, confusing Tripp. "Hiding [Haley] from the authorities until you could figure out how to keep her in this country," Kayla elaborated. "You didn't even think of the consequences and how it could jeopardize your own freedom -- you just jumped right in!" Kayla continued as Tripp began squirming. "It was impulsive, and it was reckless...and it was exactly what your father would have done," Kayla proudly noted, surprising Tripp, who had mistaken everything beforehand as the start of a lecture. "When he finds out about this, he's gonna be so proud of you," Kayla concluded.
"Getting back to Claire...I -- I think the best advice I can give you is to be direct. If you're honest with her, then maybe she'll be honest with you," Kayla advised. "I agree...but Ciara has already accused Claire, and she denied it, and if I just repeat the same thing, then it'll just --" Tripp began to explain. "Be like you're ambushing her," Kayla knowingly concluded for Tripp, seeing the dilemma. "Uh-huh -- and I don't want it to feel like we're ganging up on her, especially when I don't know for sure that [she] was even the one who did this...but if she did, [that means that] Haley might get deported because of me," Tripp continued, sighing. "No," Kayla assured Tripp.
"[She would have been] at risk no matter where she was. Her face was plastered all over the news," Kayla pointed out. "Because of my uncle," Tripp grumbled. "You know, he had the nerve to show up here at my door and pretend like he actually wanted to get to know me, when all he wanted was to get Haley busted so he could use the footage for his next campaign commercial! I mean, can you believe that?" Tripp continued, outraged. "Actually...I can," Kayla vaguely admitted. Tripp didn't bother to question Kayla's response, having just thought of a way to find out if Claire was the person who had provided the tip that had led to Haley's apprehension.
Shortly after Tripp and Kayla left the apartment, Ciara and Ben entered it.
"The only reason why you were even inside of that house was because you wanted to see me, which just confirms my feelings that if we weren't together, you'd be a hell of a lot safer," Ben said to Ciara with a sigh. "You listen to me, Ben Weston, because I'm only gonna say this once -- we just got back together, [and] it's gonna take a hell of a lot more than a hail of bullets to scare me away this time!" she insisted with finality. "You're a lot tougher than you look," he somewhat jokingly replied, having found her stern tone a bit scary. Unamused, she pressed for an answer. "I got the message," he assured her.
Satisfied, Ciara started to clean Ben's hand, which had gotten cut on a shard of glass from one of the windows that the shooter's bullets had shattered. He insisted that wasn't necessary, but she was quite happy to be taking care of him for a change. They soon began kissing passionately, but he eventually stopped things from progressing any further, making it clear that he was doing so against his better judgment. "I'd love to stay, [but] I should really get back to the mansion [and] make sure that [everything's] under control," he explained. "As long as you're okay...?" he added. "Trust me -- I am more than okay," she replied before kissing him again.
At the Horton Town Square, Jennifer approached Jack and Eve, who had been discussing the latest poll numbers. "We are actually in a campaign meeting, so if you'll excuse us, Jennifer..." Eve irritably stated. "Well, I would be happy to, but as a member of the free and fair press, I have a question...and I'm sure you don't want to deny the voters a chance to hear your candidate's position," Jennifer countered. "Of course not..." Eve grumbled as Jennifer produced a recording device. "How does it feel to destroy the life of a young, innocent woman for political gain, Mr. Deveraux? How do you justify using Haley Chen as a political football?" Jennifer asked pointedly.
"No comment," Eve tiredly answered for Jack. "Actually, Eve...I asked Jennifer to meet me here [and] invited her to interview me," Jack clarified, stunning Eve. "Why in the world would you grant Jennifer an interview?" Eve asked after pulling Jack aside. "She supports Abe 100%!" Eve added. "Relax. I can handle Jennifer," Jack dismissively replied. Eve sighed and reluctantly agreed to give Jack some time alone with Jennifer.
"I want to make sure that, uh, this interview is fair and unbiased -- that I'm not just setting myself up for a hatchet job so you can [try] to destroy any chance I have of being mayor," Jack said after rejoining Jennifer. "My job is to inform the electorate...and I realized that I don't even know what you stand for, which means the public doesn't know what you stand for, so that is why [I'm doing this] -- so you [can] give me a clear picture of your platform. And if it resonates with the voters, so be it," Jennifer replied. "And for the record...I don't do 'hatchet jobs' because I don't need to lie and betray people to get what I want," Jennifer pointedly added.
"I'm a clean slate," Jack began to explain, ignoring the dig. "Isn't saying that you're 'a clean slate' just a way of not taking responsibility for anything that you have ever done?" Jennifer asked. "I've never denied my past. I'm well aware I've made mistakes, even if I can't remember them," Jack replied. "And if others can?" Jennifer countered. "I'm beginning to think that maybe someone else should be writing this article -- someone who's not so personally involved," Jack evasively mused. "Trust me -- I'm a professional," Jennifer dismissively insisted. "My opponent also has flaws!" Jack defensively pointed out, but Jennifer refused to allow the weak deflection.
"Are you gonna print what I say, or are you just gonna keep printing your own fake news?" Jack asked. "'Fake news'? That's what spews out of your mouth every time you open it!" Jennifer replied. "'Spews'? Is that what the opinion of the Spectator is?" Jack wondered. "No, that's the opinion of Jennifer Horton -- and you can quote me on that!" Jennifer countered.
"I am surprised that you would even allow me to be a part of your byline...but, then again, I am surprised that we were ever married in the first place! I don't know -- I can't remember -- [but] maybe -- just maybe -- I threw myself down that elevator shaft, just to get away from you!" Jack spat. Furious, Jennifer picked up a nearby glass of water and doused Jack with it.
"I thought that you said you were a professional," Jack mused while drying off. "Which is why I am going to kill this story," Jennifer replied. "And just a little advice for you, off the record -- the less you open your mouth, the better chance you have at fooling people into voting for you!" Jennifer added before starting to storm off -- just as Kayla arrived. "Oh, Kayla -- I'm glad you're here! Your good friend Jennifer just gave me an unsolicited cold shower. Maybe you can help her cool down now," Jack said. "I doubt that...'cause I assume she's as mad as I am at you for being a pompous ass and only caring about yourself," Kayla countered with a glare.
Jennifer was stunned to hear about what Jack had done to Tripp. "He was harboring a fugitive! As a citizen and a candidate, I had the obligation to --" Jack began to pontificate. "Save it for your rallies, Jack," Jennifer tiredly advised, stopping the speech. "If what you plan to do for Salem is the same thing that you have done to your son and your nephew, I pray that Abe wins!" Jennifer added before storming off, with Kayla close behind.
At the Salem Inn, Eve received an unexpected visit from Tripp, who demanded to know who had provided the tip that had led to Haley's apprehension. "I can't be specific here. The person that alerted Jack and me to Haley's location said that they would only tell us if they remained anonymous. But I can tell you this -- it was a concerned citizen," Eve explained. "Last time I checked, there's no such thing as 'campaign manager-concerned citizen confidentiality,' so why don't you just tell me who it was?" Tripp countered. "It was a neighbor of yours, okay?" Eve claimed. "Mrs. Carney?" Tripp assumed, and Eve played along.
Satisfied, Tripp started to leave -- just as something fell in the bathroom. "Is there somebody else here?" Tripp asked suspiciously. "That, um -- that's Jack. He was taking a shower before, and he must have dropped something," Eve explained before stepping into the bathroom for a second. "Oh, yeah -- everything's fine. He dropped the shaving cream. And he said he would come out and see you, but he's absolutely buck naked and dripping wet," Eve continued after emerging from the bathroom. "That's okay. I want nothing to do with him -- not after what the two of you did to Haley," Tripp replied before storming off.
As soon as the coast was clear, Claire emerged from the bathroom and thanked Eve for backing up the cover story.
At the park, Kayla tried to assure Jennifer that Jack was only doing hurtful things because of the amnesia. Jennifer admitted to having doubts about that. "I believed that he beat his demons and that he really changed [years ago], but I'm starting to wonder if it was all an act, because [now he] doesn't seem to have a conscience at all, and I don't know -- I really don't know -- if I or anybody else can save Jack from himself," Jennifer mused.
Tripp entered the town square, ready to start a work shift, and noticed that Jack was sitting at one of the tables. "How did you get here so fast?" Tripp wondered. "Hmm?" Jack replied, confused. "You know what? I don't -- I don't care. I just want you out of my section," Tripp demanded. "Tripp, I'm sorry --" Jack began. "I don't want to hear it, okay? Haley might get deported because of you! Do you get that? You might have just destroyed someone's life, and you're -- what, you're out ordering coffee? I don't understand how you can live with yourself," Tripp snapped before storming off with a shake of the head.
After leaving the courthouse, Justin and Haley rejoined J.J. at the police station. "So, how did [the hearing] go? What did the judge decide?" J.J. asked nervously. "The judge postponed making a decision," Haley replied.
Haley didn't know whether to consider the postponement a good thing or a bad thing, but it had clearly left Justin feeling quite optimistic. "For one thing, you were released on your own recognizance...and I also think the judge seemed sympathetic -- I mean, in my opinion, the fact that he didn't make a ruling right away is only cause for hope," Justin reasoned. "There are certainly some challenges, uh, presented by the current political climate...and, of course, the fact that there has been violence linked to a Mexican drug cartel right here in Salem doesn't help our cause...[but] I have heard good things about this judge -- that he's fair, that he is not easily swayed by whatever rhetoric is in the wind -- so I believe that he will base his ruling on the facts [of your history here], which are more than in our favor," Justin added.
Haley thanked Justin for the help and support then started to leave. "Wait," J.J. called out, stopping Haley. "I know I'm not your favorite person right now, but...I really need to talk to you," J.J. continued.
Haley agreed to join J.J. for coffee at the Brady Pub -- and acknowledged, once they were there, that she deserved more blame for her predicament than he did, and she only stood a chance of getting out of it because of him. "I've never felt this alone. My own sister [has stopped] returning my calls -- [not that] I should be surprised, [since] we were never that close, anyway... In fact, I've always been really scared of that -- getting close to anybody. I guess I was just really worried [that if I did], they'd find out my secret," she admitted. "Must have been a hard way to live," he sympathetically mused. "Yeah...[but] in some ways, it actually made me stronger," she replied. "Now that I think of it...I mean, does it even matter if I have to go, [since] I don't have anybody [keeping me here]?" she suddenly realized. "You have me," he stressed.
"Let me be the same kind of friend for you," Haley replied, sensing that something was bothering J.J. "I know you're still furious at your dad. You want to talk about it?" Haley continued. "I know he doesn't remember who he is, but that's not an excuse, you know? I'll never forgive him for what he did to you, [and I'm gonna do] whatever it takes to stop him from becoming mayor," J.J. vowed.
Just then, Justin entered the pub and apologetically revealed that the judge had just decided to start the deportation process. "You said this judge was fair -- that he wouldn't be swayed by the political climate!" J.J. pointed out, confused. "And I hoped that he wouldn't be. I mean, considering Haley's exemplary record, I -- I -- I thought he'd be more lenient. But he's sticking to the letter of the law," Justin explained with a shrug of defeat. "I'm afraid you have 30 days before you have to, um, leave the country," Justin told Haley. Meanwhile, at the Salem Inn, Eve and Claire celebrated the judge's ruling.
J.J. followed Haley out of the pub and tried to convince her that there was no reason to give up just yet, but she couldn't think of any way to get around the judge's ruling. "Marry me," he suggested.
• Sarah confides in Maggie.
• Eric struggles to forget about Sarah.
• Hope and Rafe find some time for each other.
• J.J. tries to convince Haley to accept his proposal.