Monday, July 16th

In her office, both Vikki and her Mom are freaking out because they can’t reach Victor. Oh, thank God! Nikki gasps as she runs into his arms. Why didn’t you call? Vikki scolds her Dad – and where’s JT? Victor stuns them with the news that Nick’s been impersonating JT.

I’m the man I’ve always been – the man who’ll do anything to protect his family, Nick claims (which sounds a lot like Victor to Sharon) Lying to everyone and pretending to be JT!? Nick doesn’t understand why she’s taking it so personally – what are you hiding from me???

Devon’s out of town – you’re timing’s perfect, Hilary ends a call (then sighs and frowns when Shawna comes downstairs)

Phyllis comes home to tell Summer that she caught Billy playing poker. Claiming to know everything, she wonders ‘why the hell’ Summer hosted a poker game. It’s not ‘harmless’, not for Billy.

On the CL’s patio, Mariah’s delighted with the way the evening has turned out. Why am I so nervous? she giggles. Because it’s our first date, Tessa suggests. They then list all the usual first date issues and joke about who pays. We’re way beyond all that, they agree.

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Sharon likens Nick posing as JT to Mariah making her think she saw Cassie’s ghost. You saw the terror on my face! JT’s not dead – he’s gone, Nick points out. Sharon never thought Nick would be amongst the people who’d make her question what’s real. And he never thought she’d react this way.

This is insane, Nick’s not a hacker or master of disguise, Vikki points out. And what about JT being spotted outside of town? It was all Nick, Victor whines that he gloated about bringing down him and the company. My God! Nikki sputters in fury. Yes, Victor still wants to find JT – it’s not a game to him (as it is Nick) Nikki and Vikki march out to see what Nick has to say for himself.

Tessa thinks they should go celebrate with something more ‘festive’ than coffee. Holding hands at the patio door, Mariah feels as if they have a neon sign above their heads announcing they’re more than friends. No, that’s not a ‘bad thing’. This is actually happening, Mariah’s thrilled as she leads Tessa out, still hand in hand.

When Shawna comes out eating mint chip ice cream from the tub, Hilary suspects boyfriend trouble. Good guess – she was going over to Charlie’s but now isn’t allowed because his parents won’t be home. Declaring Cane and Lily ‘responsible parents’, Hilary gets a text ‘I’m here. Will get us a table’. Agreeing that Lily’s uptight, Hilary now has to step out for a bit.

If Summer had known Billy would spin out of control so quickly she wouldn’t have asked him to come bail her out at a poker game. He won enough to cover my losses. Uh no, Summer didn’t realize that Billy hadn’t told Phyllis any of this. And as Phyllis now realizes that Summer took her out to dinner to distract her while Billy was gambling, Billy comes home to a frosty welcome.

Having wired the money to regain ownership of Jaboat, Billy is now done gambling. Everything is OK. No, it’s not – Phyllis won’t let him hit a ‘reset’ button; this is not just about gambling, this is about deceit. She’s furious that Billy and Summer formed a ‘secret alliance’ and lied to her.

Charlie’s glad Shawna asked him to come over – he was upset when his parents’ change of plans messed up theirs. We have the place to ourselves, Hilary’s OK with us being alone (and thinks Lily uptight) Shawna adds. Charlie’s just happy as long as he’s spending time with Shawna (who rewards him with a kiss)

Hilary meets a handsome, young black man at the club. She appreciates his discretion – then looks up in horror as Mariah and Tessa arrive holding hands and laughing (which abruptly stops them dead in their tracks)

Vikki and Nikki show up at Sharon’s to confront Nick. Unapologetic, he knew Dad would paint him in the worst possible light but would do it all again in a heartbeat. Then you can go to hell! Vikki fumes.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns, Tessa quips. Gulping down her wine (liquid courage) Mariah agrees to go over and say ‘hello’ to Hilary (who introduces them to her old friend Mark and isn’t surprised at all to hear the ladies are out on a date) Go have fun on the rooftop, Hilary dismisses the pair and scowls at their backs as Tessa leads a bewildered Mariah off.

Nikki declares Nick’s actions spiteful; hacking and releasing your Father’s medical records!? Vikki wails about how stressed she’s been fighting off attacks on NE and worrying that JT’s coming for her. You could see I was beside myself! she remembers Nick listening to the first phone call from the hacker. Nick’s sorry he caused them distress but there was never a real threat. After Sharon chimes in to say they didn’t know that, Nick asks Vikki what lengths she’d go to if Dad came after HER kids.

On the rooftop, Mariah shares her surprise to Hilary’s (non)reaction. Tessa also credits Kyle with setting them up on their movie night. Holding hands again, Mariah thinks this a terrific first date. Tessa can make it even more incredible ~kiss~

Now seated at a table at the club, Hilary talks about how hard she and Devon have worked to build something solid for their baby – she doesn’t want to jeopardize that. Thankfully, Mariah and Tessa were distracted – we’re safe; Devon can’t find out the real reason for this meeting – no one can, she places her hand over Mark’s.

Charlie needs to tell Shawna something. We haven’t been together long but I think I’m starting to fall in love with you. Shawna feels the same way ~kiss~ Charlie backs off – he doesn’t want to cross any lines. Shawna wants their first time to be special, not rushed because Hilary might come back soon. Charlie’s not ready anyway (he didn’t stop at the drug store) When Shawna suggests tomorrow, he agrees.

Sharon sides with Vikki; the man she fell in love with would never come up with such a ‘brutal’ plan. Nikki piles on with talk of Victor’s fragile health. He’ll be fine, Dad has the best doctors money can buy. Nikki can’t believe how cold and calculating Nick’s being. He feels no remorse – ain’t gonna happen. Having nothing more to say, Nikki slams out. Having more to explain, Nick hopes Vikki and Sharon will hear him out.

Joining Victor at CL’s, Nikki wonders if he’s now regretting trying to take custody of Christian. No! Listing everything Nick’s done, Victor folds his arms and defiantly vows that his son has another thing coming if he thinks he’s won.

All now seated and calm, Nick explains that he had to stop Dad to benefit the whole family. It’ll all make sense as his plan continues to evolve. Sharon and Vikki both need more information but are told they must wait until tomorrow. You’ll understand then, Nick hopes.

As Billy drinks wine straight from the bottle a suitcase lands at his feet with a loud clattering thud. I won’t live with a man I can’t trust – leave NOW! Phyllis demands from the staircase. Summer interjects; this is my apartment – Billy can stay if he wants. Refusing to stay where he’s not wanted, Billy grabs his bag and slams out.

My Thoughts: If Hilary’s so worried about keeping her meeting a secret, why is she meeting Mark at the club? She should have met him at Top of the Tower (no one’s ever there anymore) I doubt she’s cheating on Devon (that would be too obvious and makes no sense – plus, I didn’t get that vibe between them) …. Nick does sound like Victor – right down to the ‘ain’t gonna happen’ (what’s next?- you got that punk?) Sharon going to bat for Nikki and Vikki against Nick is almost as surprising as Nick taking off his JT mask. I couldn’t care less about Mariah and Tessa kissing (I personally don’t have a problem with it just surprised the show is pushing the envelope with both an interracial and same sex kiss within a few days) That said, I’d rather they broke both daytime taboos with Hilary and Mariah hooking up than having to sit through Charlie and Shawna’s scenes. They’re boring (but I guess TPTB are trying to appeal to a younger demographic with school out)