Wednesday, January 7th

Is it true?! Nikki grills Victor (who never said he didn’t own the land) But you withheld information (and it doesn’t matter how Dylan and Avery found out) You’ve betrayed me Victor! Nikki won’t be silenced – your deal is putting my son out of business! How dare you, Victor sputters, insisting it’s not personal. No, Cane didn’t know. Guess Joe thought what you didn’t know couldn’t hurt you, Collin sidles up to him and Lily to say.

With flowers, Nick joins Mariah at Cassie’s grave (and wishes her a happy birthday too) Mariah never celebrated her birthday, but doesn’t need Nick’s pity. It’s not pity, it’s compassion, Nick corrects (then gets a jab about ripping his family apart)

At home, Sharon thanks Noah for going to the cemetery with her. We’ll have a simple celebration for Mariah’s birthday when she comes home. Sharon also has a job interview (to show the Judge she’s stable) Mediation failed – we’re going to court. Hiding, Faith tells her doll that her parents will get married. All they need is a little push, like Summer said.

At Underground, Summer and Austin aren’t worried about Mariah. Kevin defends her – you don’t understand her. Just how well do you two know one another? Summer asks.

The Baldwin’s are in yet another doctor’s office, waiting. Dr Jain shakes hands – you’re looking for a second opinion? Mike wants to know the best way to beat this cancer without losing himself.

Sharon DOES want shared custody, but her lawyer says she needs to make a strong stand. She’s not comfortable with it either, but David’s the expert. Noah worries about Faith. But what else can Sharon do? She can’t lost Faith (who runs in to show babble about Mariah’s birthday – and call Daddy) Sharon tries to dissuade her, but is easily guilted (isn’t this important enough to call Daddy?)

Nick’s also blaming Sharon’s lawyer – Cassie hated when they fought. Flashback to Cassie trying to play ‘peacekeeper’ to Nick and Sharon. Mariah had dreams like other kids, imagined something better. But it just wasn’t for me.

Mariah and I are friends, Kevin tells Summer – we understand each other because of tough childhoods. This new life is an adjustment. Austin returns to realize it’s Mariah’s birthday (and when Kevin goes looking for her, he and Summer don’t see eye to eye on her)

You said you came to ‘gather information’, Nikki turns away from Victor. She won’t apologize for him – there’s no point. His long history of underhandedness won’t end nows. After she clip clops off, Victor tells Dylan that he doesn’t understand – there’s larger considerations than your coffee house. When Jill comes to crow, Victor claims her ignorance is only surpassed by her lousy timing. Marching after him, she insists he hand over CI. It’ll be a cold day in hell, have a good day, Victor exits.

Dylan updates Paul. Kevin found out that Gerolamo Emiliano is the patron saint of orphans – Victor owns the land. He doesn’t care who he hurts and has the power to make this deal happen. And Joe will stay in town (and around Avery)

Avery catches up with Joe – you’re sticking it to my fiance. You and Victor; you both think you can have anything for the right price. It’s a good deal for this town, Joe argues. And Dylan won’t walk away ’empty handed’ – he has you.

Cane wonders why Victor’s so eager to sell this land, knowing it’s an unpopular decision. He doesn’t care what people think, Lily says – as she and Cane go to check on security. That leaves Jill to tell Collin that Victor must be broke to risk his marriage (making it a good time to fight for CI)

Dr Jain recommends radiation and hormone therapy. Yes, he favours less aggressive treatments – but thats’ for slow growing cancer caught earlier. Mike’s in stage 3 – the cancer is spreading. Mike’s goal is to stay the same man he is today – and that won’t be possible with this treatment. Angered, Mike slams out, Lauren giving chase.

Faith’s delighted when Nick brings Mariah home. We’re making Cassie’s favourite cookies. Mariah will leave them to it (but is convinced by all that the celebration is for her birthday too) Nick’s also convinced to stay.

Austin comes out to wonder where all the customers went. Summer paid their tabs and closed Underground for a private party. She brought a ski trip to him (a fireplace app on her phone, candle and mugs of hot chocolate) They cuddle and watch the roaring fire.

As the family take turns relaying a funny Cassie story, Mariah welcomes Kevin. Joining the party, he wastes not time blabbing about Victor owing the warehouse district. If Nikki doesn’t know, she will soon.

The Ashby’s ask Paul to go speak to the crowd (who’re making it had for guests to come and go) Dylan confronts Joe (who says HE’s the home wrecker) Not my fault if you couldn’t keep your wife satisfied, Dylan replies. Paul returns to break them up.

Victor comes home to say he does everything for his family. Gaslighting Sharon was for us? Tricking Summer into handing you control of Phyllis’ care was for us? Nikki rants. But Victor saved Nick and Phyllis – and revamping the city is good for NE/CI; his kids and grandkids. And to hell with my son!? Nikki’s not happy.

On the CL’s patio, Mike wants yet another opinion. Lauren’s frustrated – are you looking for a doctor to tell you you’re sick, You have cancer. Mike knows that. Yes, but he obviously hasn’t accepted it.

On the front porch, Mariah tells Kevin that she feels like an outsider, looking in at Cassie’s perfect life. It’s not fair that she’s here and Cassie’s not. Kevin gives her a gift – an anime-type picture of a fantasy character. it’s perfect!!!

Back at Underground, Austin and Summer enjoy their ‘ski trip’. Now it’s massage time. And now it’s time to remove clothes and make out.

You’re not making any friends in this town – and Paul’s not happy with you, Lily chides Joe (who leaves her to grumble to Cane; what other surprises does Joe have in store?) Cane’s just searched Gerolamo; the patron Saint of orphans. Jill chimes in – one of use should be running CI. Or both of you, Collin suggests.

Assault and battery is not the answer, Paul follows Dylan and Avery into CL’s. As for Nikki, she knows who Victor is. Remembering their recent conversation, Paul worries aloud – Nikki’s coping skills aren’t always the best.

Victor thinks Nikki’s blowing this out of proportion – since when do we discuss business? Nikki welcomed Abby, why can’t he do the same for her son? Victor will give Dylan start up money for a new place. Nikki rejects that idea. After Victor slams out, Nikki’s left to look at a glass of booze.

Everyone else in the kitchen, Sharon gives Mariah a gift. At first she likes the garnet necklace, but hearing it’s hers and Cassie’s birthstone, Mariah changes her mind – she doesn’t want Cassie’s leftovers. Mariah grabs her coat and slams out. Seconds later, Kevin and the family prance out with a cake.

Sharon tells everyone that Mariah thought she bought the necklace for Cassie. Should I go after her? Kevin will go look. Nick leaves too. That leaves Sharon to get ready for her interview. As Noah takes a call, Faith tells her doll that she needs to do something so big Mommy and Daddy will never stay apart again.

As Summer goes to dress, Mariah returns to Underground – and plants a big kiss on Austin.

On the patio, Mike tells Lauren she’s out of line – he’s accepted his diagnosis. He’s discussing treatment options. Yes – but he’s not DOING. You’re not alone in this. Thank God for that. Mike calls Dr Jain – to schedule radiation.

Dylan and Avery leave CL’s. Paul stays to leave Nikki a message (worried that she’s drinking)

You don’t need alcohol – don’t even think about it, Nikki heads up to bed – but is unable to ‘just walk away’. Glug glug. She drains the glass.

Back at the club, Collin makes his pitch – there’s strength in numbers. Together they can unseat Victor. Partners – Jill and Cane shake hands. Maybe this is what Kay wants us to realize, Jill beams.

Victor meets Joe in the lobby – the deal’s still on. I don’t get ‘cold feet’. Jill and Cane smile at one another as they listen.

Next: Kevin walks into Underground to find Mariah kissing Austin…. Chelsea tells Billy she’s looking for Connor’s toy car – he’s been asking for it all morning and I don’t know where it is (Adam’s playing with it) … Sage is surprised to open her front door – Hi (Nick’s brought flowers)

My Thoughts: No, Cassie didn’t always have big parties. Half of her life was spent with Alice and Millie. And why would Sharon have hung on to a necklace she’d bought Cassie so many years ago. The rich don’t regift …. Paul said today that he’s Roman Catholic? Which is odd, because they don’t usually commit to one religion (though it’s assumed) …. Dylan says the answer was right under our noses for anyone aware of Victor’s history (is he hinting that Paul’s not such a great Detective?) … Mike wants to call the University of Medicine to see what they recommend? Has the never heard the adage, those who can, do – those who can’t, teach? Or does he plan to ask a student? … Shouldn’t Dylan and Avery have been serving hot beverages to all the ‘foot troops’ who’ve been waving signs outside the club all night? … Uh oh – what ‘big thing’ does Faith plan to do to get her parents back together? …. Poor Kevin. He has the worst luck. And gross – does Mariah not taste Summer’s lip gloss or whatever? .. What kind of job would Sharon be interviewing for at this time of night? Perhaps she’ll be commissioned to sell real estate in Joe’s new development (which Victor will somehow pull the rug out from under her and make it appear as if she’s working at a strip club or something)