Steve is stunned to come face to face with a presumeddead Ava, and he and Tripp grapple with the fact that she’s alive. “Ava’s motherly instinct, because she has been yearning for Tripp all her life, is to go to him,” explains her portrayer, Tamara Braun. “That’s all she wants, is to see him and hold him in her arms. I think she had two loves of her life and both were taken from her by her father, and they were Patch and Tripp.”

Before Steve can give Kayla a heads-up, she returns home to find Ava there. “Well, she can’t believe it, obviously,” previews Mary Beth Evans (Kayla). “They have their confrontation but then Kayla realizes that if Ava isn’t dead, then her beloved Joey should be able to get out of prison, and she’s excited about that. But Ava was and is just a problem for them, in a ‘What’s next?’ kind of way. But the overwhelming feeling for Kayla is that she believes Joey can get out of prison.”

Ava offers a deal: She won’t press new attempted murder charges against Joey if Kayla agrees to drop the kidnapping charges against her. “Ava did all of those terrible things to Kayla, and so she doesn’t want Kayla to file charges against that, so if Kayla drops that, Ava will help Joey,” details Evans. “And even though people may say to Kayla, ‘I can’t believe you would drop the charges against her,’ Kayla would do anything for her son. There’s no question for her: Ava is dangerous and Kayla can’t stand her, but she wants her son out of prison and she’s always wanted that.”

Kayla agrees to the deal, then Steve and Kayla visit their son in the hopes of getting him sprung, which marks the reappearance of Joey’s portrayer, James Lastovic. “After he left, I would always say to anyone who was around, ‘Shouldn’t Kayla and Steve go to see Joey in prison?’ ” Evans shares. “I mean, he’s their son, so I always tried to keep that going. For me, it was great to see him and easy to be emotional with him, and Kayla loves her kids and to see him and to have this prospect of him getting out, it’s just too fabulous.”

Coming together for their son briefly mitigates the friction between Steve and Kayla over Tripp. “They both love Joey to death, so that’s a common thing for them, where the Tripp situation is separating them,” notes Evans. “They get a small reprieve to love up Joey and then they’re back at the Tripp problem. So, they’re still in the mix about it. This is a divide, but they are a family and true love usually prevails for them.”