Brawlers Nathan and Philip spent New Years Eve in a police cell, disputing whether Melanie should elope or whether questioning that is unfair to Stephanie. Philip is bailed out, but Stephanie tears up the forms when she learns how much Nathan apparently still cares for Melanie. Victor throws Justin out of the mansion after catching him kissing Hope, actually to cover up searching Vivian's room. Brady visits totally disheartened Nicole on jail and pleads against giving up the fight for freedom
Elvis manages to talk Sami out of informing Rafe, who got good and bad news from an FBI friend, about a code letter from Sydney's kidnapping, which he deciphers so they can contact her by phone to learn it's a mother and the first demand is $5,000,000 cash, which he withdraws. Troy hires hit-man Al to eliminate Arianna, who is taking stock, can't keep Gabi home to help but gets it offered by pub-visiting lover Brady.
Having failed to persuade rival Philip, Nathan tries to talk Melanie out of 'eloping' to Vegas. Vivian finds out, accepts that 'son' Philip refuses her wedding planner services or any part in his life but gets him to accept an heirloom jewel as 'something old'. Troy instructs his hit-man to find a silencer to eliminate Arianna. Victor and Brady scold each-other for consorting with bitches Nicole viz. Vivian. When Nathan an Melanie here about Mikey's demise, he offers to move back in and she to cut her honeymoon to support Maggie, but she insists not to waste precious marital quality time. Bo's affair with 'ex' Carly escalates into bed.
Elvis assures Anna he'll soon be able to take Sydney home for good. Then he goes to Sami, and allows her, against reason, to tell Rafe about the ransom note, but that changes her mind to following his advice to keep the FBI out of the case. Nathan senses that the surprise kiss with Melanie proves they're not over, but she denies that and tell nothing to Philip, who lets her decides whether to cancel their honeymoon, against family advise. Rafe encourages Will at least to be friends again with Mia now they both mourn Maggie. Hope tells her father Doug it's probably too late for her and Bo.
Elvis spares no emphasis to talk Sami out of informing Rafe at the last moment, yet when they go deliver the cash ransom, the FBI agent appears there too. Chad can invite three friends to his parents' Vancouver holiday house, so he asks Will, Mia and surprised, hesitant Gabi. Victor isn't impressed when Vivian calls it near-certain that Mia is Carly's daughter, but considers it all the worse given her past with Nicole and orders Vivian to make sure and deal with them 'now'
Elvis realizes that Rafe guessed about the ransom and comes clean, tries secretly to warn Znna but can't reach her by phone. Roman calls Arianna from bed fun with Brady to warn that her undercover deal is about to be canceled an he can't prevent that. After two failed attempts to killer her, Troy calls off the hit-man, hoping to do it himself at a trap, so he promises her a meeting where the drug lord may attend himself. Vivian, slapped with a restraining order by Bo, urges Gus to find out if Mia is Carly's daughter and take over tailing her. Melanie openly despises meddling Carly as husband killer and gets Brady to accept giving her away to Philip
After the ransom is collected, only a note delivered stating the FBI was warned, so Sydey isn't returned. Elvis's fears as a woman was arrested give way when Rafe must acknowledge her alibi, so he scolds the FBI for 'ruining the exchange'. Preparing for the winter Olympics holiday with Tad, Chad seems happy with Gabi and to leave Mia to Will, but she wines at Grace's grave, feeling wickedly guilty for still desiring both lovable boys. Overheard that Melanie now wants a grand wedding, Philip again turns down Vivian's services as wedding planner. Hope absurdly considers proof that Carly never stopped wanting Bo and returned for him as 'proof' of him faking their wedding vows and allows comforting Justin to kiss her
Elvis is delighted that his plan works, surprising Anna that they don't keep the ransom but Sydney. Rafe is bitter over Sami's lack of trust, she because the FBI may have messed up the ransom transfer. Nathan claims to resign to Melanie marrying Philip. Vivian starts bonding with Melanie over the bridal dress choice but still wonders who is Carly's daughter and if her enemy perhaps returned to Salem just for Bo
Troy's attempt to strangle Arianna is foiled by passing-by Elvis, who pretends not to know Troy. Carly's absurdly-vehement hostility to Vivian for approaching Melanie, whose wedding dress gets coffee-stained in the turmoil, only arouses suspicion she may by Carly's bastard daughter, so Gus is instructed to make sure. Brady is not amused when Chloe insists that jailed Nicole, who told him to stay away, needs his comfort.
Troy is facing jail after cocaine was found is his car, but he promises EJ to keep quiet if protected inside. His outcry that Arianna, whom he saw whispering with Roman, must be a narc, aimed at Elvis, arouses suspicion, notably from Brady, about her savior's part. Kate fails to appease Stefano's anger at his son's 'treason' and rekindles Philip's bitter attitude by suggesting he shouldn't allow his bride to consort with 'poisonous' Vivian. Voctor is not amused with the latest theory about Carly's daughter and warns Vivian he'll take over unless he gets results fast.
Rafe bitterly complains that Elvis's and even Sami's mistrust of the FBi, including him, caused the ransom note to be cleared off fingerprints except EJ's, but he retorts his people checked it and found nothing. While Carly has nightmares of Vivian executing her to avenge Lawrence, he appears to Vivian to insist on cruel revenge, not simple elimination as Victor demands for Bo's sake.
Elvis is delighted, playing the worried-sick father, while the kidnapping causes a breakup between Sami and Rafe, who moves out after she reproaches him to help his drug-dealing sister, over whether the FBI had to be brought in. Nathan assures Stephanie ho no longer cares about Melanie or her marriage with Philip, nor objects to her meeting them. Daniel assures Melanie, to little avail, that he knows Carly as good and Vivian as dangerously evil. Chloe makes Stephanie promise not to tell Daniel she wants his baby desperately.
Elvis is furious when he finds Arianna, who came to the mansion to thank him for preventing Troy from strangling her, answering his secured phone. Afterard, Anna is reprimanded for having identified herself. Rafe swears he won't rest until Sydney is found and hopes he and Sami may get back together afterward. Victor, after pulling from her that Melanie is Carly's daughter, forbids Vivian to carry trough the planned execution of, after all, Philip's bride. Brady demands that Roman saves and protects Arianna, won't listen and vows to do so himself. Carly wins Melanie's sympathy by confessing that she had and lost a daughter, not who or how.
Chad thanks his father for the Olympic Vancouver trip with friends, but after jealous Mia pretends to the DA to of that party, startled Chad hears it's canceled. Indignant ex Nathan finds Melanie unable to stand his touch long enough for a medical examination of his hand. Vivian confides in amused Gus she plans to take revenge on Carly at Melanie's wedding.
Elvis serves an eviction notice to Stefano, who still assures Kate things will return to normal once Sydney is found, which Rafe prays and vows to do. Stefano tells Kate to make up with Philip, who demands she shares the maternal place at his wedding with Vivian, who, trough Gus, orders from Mr. Lee in Chinatown a lethal wedding gift. Daniel rebukes Carly's meddling in Nathan's private life and finds it's Melanie she's oversensitive about. Roman is not impressed by Anna's improvised excuse and calls her bluff about visiting Sami.
Lucas firmly turns down Chloe's request trough Daniel for playing with his daughter as disruptive. Gus helps Vivian prepare the toxic gift trap after she and Philip's arrival convince the bride not to cancel the wedding on account of her feelings for Nathan. Brady proposes to Arianna. Kate's warning to Philip about Vivian only earns her a warning to shut up or be banned from the wedding.
Nathan wrongly believes to have calmed down Carly by promising he'll pass a message to the wedding, but before she can slip out, Gus intrudes, disguised as orderly, to drug Carly and wheel her out. Stefano retracts his initial refusal to accompany Kate to the wedding, anticipating an enjoyable disaster. Victor promises Philip, who waved Lucas's fraternal warning against precipitously marrying like he did, unconditional support, having accepted his choice of bride out of paternal love. Vivian insures that her poisoned comb gift will be worn, but the bridesmaids prevent her from fixing it yet.
Whiling wedding guests fill the church, Nathan arranges to be rostered in so he doesn't have to attend. Bridesmaid Stephanie doesn't give him the bride's note and pretends he wasn't even interested. So Melanie prepares for the altar, with Vivian's poisoned comb. Gus is overpowered by Carly, who tricks Vivian to come to them and calls the police. Vivian assures her it's too late to save her daughter.