Victor and Vivian catch Justin and Hope in a lip lock. Victor is furious and demands an explanation. When Hope and Justin try to cover, Victor kicks Justin out of the house. He demands to know what Hope was thinking. Genuine, Hope admits it’s because of Carly. She tells Victor that she saw Bo and Carly kissing and she feels her marriage is over for good. Bo finds Carly at the hospital and tells her the good news that the information about her daughter seems to be safe for now. Carly is relieved and thanks Bo… Carly goes back to work, but is stuck reminiscing about a past New Year’s celebration with Bo. Hope calls Justin and apologizes for him getting the boot. She tells him that she nearly left, too, but Victor asked her to stay. Justin is glad because the answer to Carly’s secret lies in Vivian’s puzzle box. Hope apologizes for their kiss. She’s sorry, but Justin isn’t. Later, Justin runs into Carly and she learns that he’s moving out… Melanie and Stephanie learn that Philip and Nathan are in jail and rush to their aid. Philip lays into Nathan, who is determined to tell Melanie she’s making a mistake in marrying Philip. As the arguing continues, Philip wants to know where Stephanie fits into all of this, and Nathan says she doesn’t. The girls arrive and Philip is free to go on bail. When he’s forced to go upstairs to fill out paperwork, Nathan has his moment alone with Melanie. He urges her to reconsider, and insists that Philip is the wrong guy for her. Melanie disagrees and claims Philip is Mr. Right. At the same time, Philip reluctantly tells Stephanie that he and Nathan were fighting about Melanie. After Melanie and Philip leave, Stephanie decides Nathan is on his own. Brady tries to pull Nicole out of her dark place. He tells her she can get through this and Nicole wonders why she ignored the truth from the beginning. Brady was the one she loved. Brady tells her that maybe their time has passed, but for her to never give up on life. After he leaves, Nicole decides to change her plea and throw herself on the mercy of the court. Sami secretly meets with EJ, who tells her he’s received another note from the kidnapper. When Sami and EJ have difficulty deciphering the instructions, Sami wants to call Rafe for help. EJ again persuades her that this would only endanger Sydney. They arrive at the pier and receive a call from Anna, who is using a voice changer. Anna makes a $5 million ransom demand. She reiterates that Sami had better keep her mouth shut, most especially to Rafe. EJ assures Sami that he will get the money and that they will get their daughter back. Sami desperately wants to believe him but, at home, she starts having second thoughts about putting her daughter’s life in EJ’s hands. Brady shows up at Sami’s and finds Rafe there. Rafe questions Brady about his feelings for Nicole. Rafe warns him that he’d better not end up hurting Arianna. Rafe leaves and has a mysterious meeting with his FBI friend. After his meeting, Rafe is about to tell Sami his huge news in person when he gets a call from her. Sami has something she needs to tell Rafe, too. Bo presses Hope about the nature of her feelings for Justin Hope apologizes to Justin for the fact that their cover hit so close to home for him, especially since she does not reciprocate his feelings. Justin is understanding, but says maybe someday she will. Troy hires an assassin to take Arianna out of action. Brady shows up to see Arianna, who tells him about the incident with Troy’s phone. Brady worries that Arianna is getting into an increasing amount of danger, but she is sure that Troy is clueless about what she is up to. Brady admits that he saw Nicole the previous night. Arianna understands when he explains that he went partly for Sydney’s sake. They ring in the New Year together, but Gabi interrupts their celebration. Arianna wants to have a heart-to-heart with her sister about Chad, so Brady leaves. Troy, however, has Arianna get rid of Gabi so Al can do his job.
Troy’s hired gun, Al, is about to shoot Arianna when Brady enters. He hides the gun before Arianna and Brady see it and slips out. Arianna goes to Nicole’s sentencing, where she is upset to witness Brady’s undying support and love for Nicole. Rafe tells Sami that the FBI reinstated him. He, Sami and Will go to Nicole’s sentencing hearing. Sami, EJ, Mia and Chad make emotional appeals, all testifying to how Nicole hurt and betrayed them. Brady makes an emotional plea in Nicole’s defense. Nicole also testifies and admits that she’s guilty and should receive the maximum sentence. The judge is moved by her honesty and Rafe, Sami and EJ fear he’s going to set her free because of it, especially since he reacts in anger toward EJ and Sami for their past misconduct. Nicole rises as the judge is about to impose his sentence. The judge sentences Nicole to twenty years in prison to pay for her crimes. EJ asks Sami if maybe they should tell Rafe about the ransom. Rafe overhears part of their discussion and doesn’t completely buy EJ’s cover. Nicole warns Brady about Arianna, expresses her love for him, and then pushes him away before she leaves Salem in chains.
Maggie prepares to go on a cruise with Mickey. She sets up for Chloe to take over her volunteer slot at the hospital. Lexie comes in and tells Chloe about Nicole’s sentencing. Alone, Lexie and Maggie talk about family. Spooked, Anna worries Nicole’s fate could be hers too, and fears someone is watching her. When she is about to flee, she opens the door to someone standing in her way… EJ. It is finally revealed who enlisted Anna’s help to kidnap Sydney. In good time, Anna is going to walk away with the $5 million ransom. Hope arrives at Maggie’s and helps her out in a time of need. Will is fed up with Mia’s lies and breaks up with her.
Justin and Bo have it out. Justin admits his feelings for Hope, but he tells Bo that he needs to figure out what he wants because he can’t have both women. At the same time, Vivian taunts Carly when they find themselves trapped together taking a long ride on the hospital elevator. Carly and Vivian discuss the truth behind Lawrence’s death. When Vivian gets off, she pushes all the buttons. Carly panics as the elevator becomes stuck and her claustrophobia kicks in. After a maintenance worker works on the elevator, Bo strolls by and as soon as the doors open, she goes into his arms. He takes her home, and they wind up in a passionate embrace.