Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of August 16, 2021 on DAYS

Ciara ended her engagement to Theo. Xander lied to Jack to cover for Gwen. Olivia convinced Paulina not to tell Lani the truth. "Sami" texted her family that she needed time alone. Rafe comforted Nicole, and Ava was jealous. Johnny arrived in Salem, flirted with Chanel, and refused to work for E.J. Chad declined to help E.J. Claire decided to work for Theo in South Africa. Claire and Ciara reconciled as friends. Nicole cautioned E.J. not to hide his pain. Eric sent Nicole divorce papers. Ben and Ciara remarried.
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Ciara ended her engagement to Theo and remarried Ben, and Olivia convinced Paulina not to tell Lani the truth
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the week of August 16, 2021
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August 9, 2021
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August 23, 2021
Theo learns that Ciara's memories have returned Theo learns that Ciara's memories have returned

Monday, August 16, 2021

by Mike

At the Horton house, Gwen listened in stunned silence as Xander continued making a false confession to Jack. "Snyder was my business partner, [not Gwen's] -- he figured out a way to nick drugs from the hospital, and I handled distribution [to make money while I was between jobs]. The one who was dealing was me, not Gwen. [And] the envelopes I gave her were sealed, [so she] didn't know that she was delivering drugs [for me -- I just] told her they were documents for a business deal," Xander claimed, adding more information every time Gwen tried to contradict -- or Jack tried to challenge -- what was being said.

"You get your things, and you get the hell out of here -- you disgust me!" Jack spat before storming off to another room, leaving Xander alone with Gwen, who demanded an explanation for what had just happened. "Jack wanted to know why you went along with Snyder on the drug deal, and I knew you couldn't explain that to him without admitting that Snyder was blackmailing you -- and then Jack would want to know what [Snyder] had on you, [but] if Jack ever finds out that you lied about Abigail being responsible for your miscarriage --" Xander reasoned. "He wouldn't want any part of me," Gwen fretted.

"I [still] don't understand, though -- why did you cover for me?" Gwen wondered. "Well, it's better for me to lose a friend than for you to lose a father," Xander explained. "You were doing this to help me?" Gwen translated. "I'm only doing it to help Jack -- I've never had a friend like him," Xander backpedaled.

Eli entered the Brady Pub while Lani was telling Abe that Paulina's supposed lead on Ben and Ciara's whereabouts was probably just going to send Shawn and Theo on a wild goose chase. "[Actually]...Shawn radioed in -- he and Theo are at a cabin in the woods, [and there's] a limo parked in front of it [that] has the same plates as the one that Ben rented. [So], they're probably rescuing Ciara right now," Eli reported. "Thanks to Paulina," Abe stressed. "Great -- she wins again," Lani grumbled.

At the cabin, Shawn kept a gun pointed at Ben as Theo tried to comfort Ciara with a hug. Ciara gently pulled away from Theo then assured Shawn that Ben wasn't going to cause any trouble. Shawn lowered the gun then stepped out of the cabin to send out an update on the situation, leaving Ciara and Ben alone with Theo.

Theo started lashing out at Ben, but Ciara quickly intervened. "This cabin -- it's where Ben took me after I spun out on my motorcycle, and it's where he and I got to know each other...[and he] did take me here against my will, and I was furious [at first, but] the reason why I didn't come home last night was because Ben fell [and] hurt his ankle, [so] he couldn't move around on his own --" Ciara began to explain. "Oh, my heart bleeds!" Theo dismissively interjected. "And being here -- Theo, it brought my memory back," Ciara concluded.

"He must have...brainwashed you or something!" Theo protested -- and Shawn returned before Ciara or Ben could respond to the accusation. "You have to arrest him -- get him away from your sister!" Theo urged Shawn, prompting Ciara to again declare that Ben wasn't a threat. "Theo, I am not brainwashed, [okay]? Ben brought me here because he wanted to help me -- he knew that I would be happier once I got my memory back," Ciara firmly clarified. " love him, not me," Theo sadly translated.

Ciara led Theo out of the cabin so they could finish their conversation without an audience, leaving Ben alone with Shawn. "Look, I know how much you love my sister, okay? But what if your plan didn't work out, [and] Ciara were catatonic right now [from fright]? Oh, and by the way, Claire and Allie, they spent the last night in jail -- [see], there were two police officers and a mayor at that wedding that didn't happen, [and] the girls confessed to helping you trick Ciara, which means that they're aiding and abetting a kidnapping, [so] the D.A. charged them, and I had to arrest my own daughter and my cousin! So...let's just say that yesterday wasn't exactly a good day, Ben -- not at all," Shawn snapped at Ben, who apologized profusely -- for what had happened to Allie and Claire, at least.

"I never told them to keep quiet -- I honestly expected that they were the ones that gave me up, [and] that's how you found us... [Look], those charges have to be dropped -- this whole thing was my idea; I talked them into helping me, [and] I take full responsibility for this," Ben stressed. "But, to be honest with you, man...I'd do it all over again, because it worked -- she remembers how much she loves me now!" Ben added. "I heard..." Shawn muttered. "Hey -- she belongs with me," Ben insisted, sensing that Shawn wasn't happy about the development. "She agrees with you [on that]..." Shawn grumbled. "And so do I..." Shawn clarified after making Ben sweat a bit longer. "[But] it's just sad that a good guy like Theo had to get torn to shreds in the process," Shawn fretted.

Meanwhile, Theo incredulously demanded to know how Ciara could actually love the Necktie Killer, of all people. "I love the person he was before he got sick...and the man he became after he got better," Ciara explained. "[And] I love you, too --" Ciara added. "Just not the same way, right?" Theo bitterly concluded.

"What did he even do to make you remember?" Theo wondered. "He gave me a fortune cookie," Ciara responded. "That's all it took?" Theo grumbled. "Marlena told him that small things could trigger big memories," Ciara clarified.

"Theo, you are the last person in this world that I would ever want to hurt -- and I really, really wish it didn't have to be this way --" Ciara stressed. "I guess I knew that you'd remember someday -- I just thought that I could make you love me enough that it wouldn't matter," Theo admitted. "I'm so sorry," Ciara whispered.

Theo reluctantly accepted Ciara's engagement ring. "You're gonna find a woman who loves you the way that you deserve to be loved --" Ciara predicted. "Right now, I can't imagine loving anyone other than you," Theo fretted.

"Tell Shawn I'm gonna meet him in the car," Theo requested before starting to rush off. "Can I at least give you a hug?" Ciara begged. "Maybe someday...but not now," Theo insisted before continuing to retreat to Shawn's vehicle.

Ciara reentered the cabin with a sigh and relayed Theo's message to Shawn. "Don't just drop him off anywhere, no matter what he says -- take him to Abe's or Lani's," Ciara said to Shawn, who nodded in response. "So, in regards to yesterday...I'm gonna assume that you're not pressing charges, right?" Shawn said to Ciara, who nodded in response. "I wasn't really kidnapped -- it was more of an intervention," Ciara reasoned with a wink.

"Claire and Allie -- what's gonna happen to them?" Ben wondered. "Well, considering Ciara was never kidnapped, the charges will be dropped --" Shawn answered. "What are you talking about?" Ciara interjected. "I'll let Ben explain," Shawn decided before saying goodbye then rushing off to check on Theo, leaving Ben alone with Ciara.

"What about your ankle?" Ciara protested after getting a passionate kiss from Ben. "What ankle?" Ben countered before starting to undress Ciara.

Shawn drove Theo to the Brady Pub, where Abe was waiting. "I always knew it could turn out like this, but..." Theo fretted to Abe after Shawn left. "You were hoping against hope that it wouldn't," Abe concluded for Theo with a sigh. "You tried to warn me -- you tried to talk me into calling it off -- but I just didn't listen; it was like I was blind and deaf... If I'm hurting now, I did it to myself," Theo admitted. "You took a leap of faith -- you gave your whole heart to someone -- and that is never a mistake," Abe insisted. "Even if that person doesn't love you back?" Theo countered. "Even then," Abe maintained.

"You know, when your mother died, I began to learn about something called 'the tincture of time' --" Abe began to add. "I don't even know what a 'tincture' is," Theo grumbled, drawing a chuckle from Abe. "It's a remedy -- [in other words], the passage of time began to make my pain bearable," Abe clarified. "You are going to find true love someday -- and you will know the minute it happens," Abe predicted. "And what am I supposed to do until then?" Theo wondered. "Lean on me and Lani -- I mean, that's what families are supposed to be for; we're there to help when things get really, really bad," Abe advised, prompting Theo to seize a hug then break down.

At the Horton house, Xander finished packing then apologized to Jack and Gwen. "You'll both be better off without me in the mix," Xander declared before rushing off.

"When I tell Julie that I kicked Xander out of this house, she's gonna dance a jig... [You know], I really thought he'd developed a decent side, but I was wrong -- he uses everyone he meets; he can't stop himself," Jack mused. "Let's just hope that this whole sordid business is just over," Gwen responded with a forced smile while thinking about a kiss that had been shared with Xander. "Yeah, let's hope...but actions do tend to have consequences..." Jack stressed.

Meanwhile, at the town square, Xander ran into Shawn while en route to the Salem Inn. "What do you know -- just the guy I was looking for..." Shawn began before placing Xander under arrest.

At the Price-Grant apartment, Lani wrapped up a phone conversation with Abe then informed Eli that Theo had just lost Ciara to Ben. "I really hope that Carver and Jules don't ever have to go through anything like this," Lani fretted to Eli. "Gotta send them out into the world [eventually]," Eli warned Lani, who conceded the point.

"I read them the Madeline book [earlier] --" Eli started to add, drawing a scoff from Lani -- who explained, when questioned about the reaction, that the book caused mixed emotions. "Being a young girl and finding out that my favorite aunt was not who she pretended to be -- [you know], I have tried to figure out who she is [ever since that day, but] I can't; I just do not know who she really is," Lani admitted to Eli with a shake of the head at the end of the tale.

At the Price condominium, Paulina stared at a visitor in shock. "Are you gonna take this bag and invite your mama in...or do I have to stand out here like some vagrant?" Olivia Price snapped at Paulina. "Do I have a choice?" Paulina wondered. "No, I don't suppose you do," Olivia responded, prompting Paulina to step aside with a sigh.

"I just got this place -- I didn't think you knew the address --" Paulina admitted. "I got it from your assistant," Olivia explained. "Mary? She told you where I went? You know, one thing I don't like about her is her big mouth --" Paulina grumbled. "I think Mary is a very fine person -- she was so kind and helpful to me, [and] she even booked my plane ticket...first class!" Olivia stressed. "Oh? I'll bet you I know who paid for your seat..." Paulina muttered. "What?" Olivia responded. "I said that I didn't know that you were well enough to travel," Paulina claimed. "I'm not -- but I had to get here anyway, after I talked to your sister," Olivia declared.

Paulina prepared a glass of iced tea as Olivia looked around the condominium. "Fancy," Olivia observed after taking the glass from Paulina. "I'm glad you like the place --" Paulina responded. "Did I say I liked it?" Olivia protested before taking a sip of the iced tea then pushing the glass aside with a cringe of disgust and guessing that Paulina had added a whole bowl of sugar to the beverage. "Don't drink it, then -- nobody's pointing a gun to your head... You know, in fact, you can just turn yourself around and get on a first-class plane right back all the way to Miami --" Paulina snapped. "I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what you're doing here," Olivia warned.

Paulina feigned ignorance, but Olivia didn't buy the act. "Your sister is furious with you -- and I don't blame her! She wants you far away from Lani -- and so do I --" Olivia declared. "Did you come all the way here just to give me the same old lectures?" Paulina interjected. "You made a promise to Tamara a long time ago -- and you broke that promise, [so now] I'm here to stop you before you break anything else!" Olivia clarified.

"Get yourself packed and move on back home -- you had no business coming to this town in the first place!" Olivia snapped. "You can't tell me where to go and not to go -- I had every right to come here; Lani's babies were being christened --" Paulina argued. "It was not your place!" Olivia maintained. "Then whose place was it -- Tammy's? Funny -- I don't remember seeing her at the christening --" Paulina countered. "She was on tour -- and you know it!" Olivia pointed out. "Glad she got her priorities straight..." Paulina grumbled. "That's not fair!" Olivia objected. "What about what happened to me, Mama -- is that fair?" Paulina wondered. "We're not talking about that now --" Olivia insisted.

"Well, maybe we should -- [because, you see], I have some things to say, too, so let's just lay it all out here on the table --" Paulina suggested. "We wouldn't have anything to talk about if you had just kept your promise!" Olivia declared. "A promise I wish I never made!" Paulina fretted. "But you did -- you promised your sister you'd stay away from her daughter --" Olivia noted. " and I both know, Mama, [that] Lani isn't really Tammy's daughter -- she's mine!" Paulina countered while fighting back tears.

Olivia urges Paulina not to tell Lani the truth Olivia urges Paulina not to tell Lani the truth

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Outside the Hernandez home, Gabi gave Jake a pep talk on the phone before his job interview. As Gabi ended the call, she accidentally dropped her bag on the welcome mat. Mixed in with the debris from Gabi's purse was Sami's gold necklace. Gabi went inside, held up the necklace, and asked Ava if she had dropped it outside.

"It isn't stolen, is it?" Gabi teased. Ava said the necklace was not hers. Gabi suggested that the necklace belonged to Rafe's secret girlfriend. Ava groaned. "I have your brother's full attention," Ava said. Gabi stared at the necklace.

"Maybe it belongs to one of Jake's secret girlfriends?" Ava joked. Gabi noted that Jake had no interest in a "sleazy sidepiece." Ava took a closer look at the necklace, and she suggested that it belonged to Kate. "What if he is sneaking around with [Kate] behind your back?" Ava asked. "Jake and I are solid," Gabi said. When Ava shrugged, Gabi said that she believed the necklace belonged to someone that Rafe liked.

"Somebody like Nicole," Gabi said. "Nicole and Rafe are friends," Ava countered. Gabi noted that Rafe had always had a soft spot for Nicole. "I get this feeling that she is like the one that got away," Gabi said. Gabi put on the necklace.

"So, you're just going to keep it?" Ava asked. "I didn't think you'd be offended considering your line of work," Gabi shot back. Ava reminded Gabi that she had gone straight. When Gabi said she thought that Ava would have taken out her competition, Ava assured Gabi that Nicole was not interested in any man. Gabi told Ava that she did not think even Ava believed that.

In the interrogation room at the police station, Lucas told Allie about his affair with Sami. "So, how did E.J. find out?" Allie asked. Lucas told Allie about the letter and about Philip's part. "Why [did] Uncle Philip think he was doing you a favor by wrecking Mom and E.J.'s marriage?" Allie said. With a shrug, Lucas mumbled that Philip had thought that E.J. would dump Sami.

"Are you saying you want to get back with her?" Allie asked. "I'm not saying anything, all right? Your mother blames me for E.J. reading the letter, and that's it. She wants to rebuild her marriage. So, it doesn't matter how I feel about her," Lucas said. Lucas' phone beeped with a message from Belle, who reported that the charges were dropped. A thrilled Allie leaped to her feet, and she announced she was on her way to pick up Henry. "About you and Mom. I'm sorry," Allie said. "Me, too," Lucas agreed.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. set fire to Kristen's letter in the fireplace. "Unlike the Phoenix, my marriage to Samantha will not be rising from the ashes," E.J. said. As E.J. sat down at the desk to sip Stefano's favorite drink, Chad walked in with signed contracts from his New York trip. When Chad suggested they celebrate over dinner, a dour E.J. declined.

"What, you have plans with Sami? You two are practically honeymooners, but she can come as long as you keep the puppy dog eyes to a minimum," Chad joked. "That backstabbing bitch is gone, and she isn't coming back," E.J. said. Chad rolled his eyes. After E.J. told Chad about Sami's affair, Chad noted, "Sami and Lucas? I thought they were over years ago?"

"Apparently not," E.J. said. "I'm sorry. I know you're angry, but maybe once you cool down, you will be able to find it in your heart to forgive her," Chad said. "The way you're hoping Abigail will forgive you?" E.J. countered. Chad said he did not want to excuse his or Sami's betrayals. "I just think that my marriage and yours are worth fighting for," Chad explained.

"I'm not sure Samantha would agree. You see, before she left, she insisted she was going to ask Gabi to let her back in the house. Swore up and down that she wouldn't allow me to push her away. She never came back," E.J. said. Confused, Chad noted that Sami was not the type of person to give up. "Maybe she went crawling back to Lucas," E.J. muttered. When E.J. said he did not care, Chad said that he did not believe E.J.

With a sigh, E.J. apologized for taking his anger out on Chad. E.J. added that Chad's affair had extenuating circumstances. "You don't think there are any with Sami?" Chad asked. "As far as I know, all it took for Lucas was to offer her a shoulder to cry on," E.J. said. Chad asked E.J. if he thought it was strange that Sami had walked away without a fight. "I'm tired of trying to work that woman out," E.J. grumbled. E.J. told Chad that he planned to take Stefano's direction and focus on work.

"You're talking about a man who was singularly obsessed with Sami's mother for decades," Chad said. "But he never let the business falter. Which is why I'm turning my full attention to my role as CEO of DiMera," E.J. said. "Co-CEO," Chad corrected. E.J. nodded in agreement. Chad asked E.J. to talk about work over dinner, and E.J. agreed.

After Chad walked out, E.J. looked at Stefano's portrait. "Father, you were right about Samantha. In love and in business, sometimes you have to cut your losses. Even if it means cutting some throats," E.J. said. When E.J. turned around, he saw Allie with the stroller in the doorway. "I didn't hear you come in," E.J. said.

"Well, you were talking to the picture of your dad," Allie countered. E.J. asked Allie if she had heard what he said, and she said no. "It's a tad embarrassing," E.J. said. "You miss him. I get it," Allie said. E.J. told Allie that he had heard about her incident with the police, and she confirmed that the charges had been dropped.

"It appears Ben and Ciara are finally going to get that happily ever after," E.J. said. "Yeah. Though it sounds like you and my mom may not," Allie said. Allie told E.J. that she had talked to Lucas. "Are you sure it's over?" Allie asked. "I'm sure. There's no coming back from this," E.J. said. Allie said that she knew how selfish Sami was, but she also knew how much Sami loved E.J.

"She dragged me and my siblings all over the world, looking for you when everyone else thought that you were dead," Allie said. "And I'm very grateful for that, and I always will be. But things have changed," E.J. said. Allie asked E.J. if he was open to giving Sami another chance. "How can your mother make her case when she isn't even around," E.J. said. Confused, Allie asked where Sami had gone.

"The last time I saw her, she was vowing to do whatever it took to change my mind. She was on her way to ask Gabi if she could stay in this house," E.J. explained. "And she just never came back? That doesn't make any sense," Allie said. With a shrug, E.J. noted that Sami rarely made sense.

After Allie left the DiMera mansion, she went to visit Gabi to ask her about Sami. "[Sami] didn't come over here last night to talk to you about staying at the DiMera mansion?" Allie asked. Gabi said no. "Have you spoken to E.J. about that?" Gabi countered. "E.J. has no idea where she is," Allie said. In the DiMera living room, E.J. poured another glass of liquor. The secret panel to the tunnels opened, and E.J. turned to see who was there.

In Nicole's bedroom, Nicole curled up in bed and cried. When Nicole noticed the ring on her finger, she removed it. "Goodbye, Eric. I have to find a way to let you go. Even if it kills me," Nicole whispered. As Nicole started to sob, Rafe said her name. Nicole looked up. Rafe was standing in the doorway to her bedroom. Rafe pulled a chair up to the side of the bed, and he pulled Duke out from behind his back.

"How did you know that this is exactly what I needed today?" Nicole asked. "I'm a detective, remember?" Rafe said. Rafe said he had found the bear at Basic Black when he had gone to see Nicole, but she had not been there. "I just couldn't face the day today," Nicole admitted. "I get it," Rafe whispered. Rafe explained that Holly had let him in, and then she had returned to her book.

"I'm glad that [Holly] is immersed in something. I'm trying so hard to keep it together in front of her, but she is a smart little girl," Nicole said as she sniffled. "It's okay to be sad," Rafe whispered. Nicole said she did not want her daughter to worry about her. "I want to be there for her. And how can a mother hide from her kid the fact that she is heartbroken?" Nicole said. As Nicole started to sob again, Rafe climbed onto the bed next to Nicole, and he held her in his arms to comfort her.

After Nicole dried her eyes, she apologized to Rafe. "I'm right where I want to be," Rafe assured Nicole. Nicole admitted that she had dealt with her pain by involving herself in other people's business. "That's why you went so hard after Sami," Rafe said. "You figured it out, huh?" Nicole said.

"I pretended for so long that [me and Eric] could make it work, but I can't keep fooling myself. I mean, we're so different. We want different things. This was bound to fail," Nicole admitted. Nicole added that she had planned a future with Eric, and she did not know what to do next. "You'll figure it out," Rafe assured Nicole. Rafe counseled Nicole to remember that she was a great businesswoman, friend, and mother.

"None of those things have anything to do with Eric or any man who would be lucky enough to be by your side," Rafe said. "Thank you for saying that," Nicole said. Rafe told Nicole that she had nowhere to go but up, and he urged her to get out of bed. Nicole slowly stood up.

While Nicole was in the bathroom, Ava called Rafe's phone. Ava asked Rafe if he would be home soon, and he said no. "I'm actually at Nicole's," Rafe admitted. Rafe explained that he had stopped by to check on Nicole. Ava offered to deliver dinner. "I don't think she wants anyone making a fuss. I got this," Rafe said. Rafe asked Ava to save him some leftovers, and he abruptly ended the call.

In the Hernandez kitchen, Ava dumped her tray full of manicotti in the trash. Gabi walked in and asked about Rafe. As Ava stewed in her chair, Gabi teased her about Rafe's affections. "Don't feel bad. I mean I'm sure it was fun for a little while, but you can't be too surprised when a guy like my brother has already lost his taste for you," Gabi said. Gabi argued that it was only a matter of time before Nicole had Rafe eating out of her hand.

At Nicole's apartment, Rafe gave Nicole a bowl of macaroni and cheese, and he urged her to eat. "I'm not hungry," Nicole said. Rafe said that Holly had done most of the cooking. "Playing my mom guilt? That is low, commissioner," Nicole joked. With a grin, Nicole took a bite. "This is actually pretty good," Nicole said. Nicole offered Rafe a bite, and he took the bowl. With a laugh, Nicole swatted at Rafe to give her the meal back.

In the Price living room, Lani told Eli that she did not know her Aunt Paulina. "There is just something about the way she acts around me that just never quite added up," Lani said. "What do you think it is?" Eli asked. Lani said she did not want to waste any more time looking for an answer.

After a quick call to check on Theo, Lani told Eli that Theo was doing well. "[Theo] is not one bit angry or bitter," Lani said. "Maybe you should follow his example," Eli suggested. Lani asked Eli why Paulina deserved forgiveness. "Do it for yourself," Eli said. Eli told Lani that he wanted Lani to find peace.

"It's not like I want to be mad at her. I guess I can try to forgive her, but I need some questions answered," Lani said. Lani told Eli that she needed to know why Paulina had repeatedly doted on her and abandoned her throughout Lani's life. Eli encouraged Lani to demand answers so that she could move on with her life.

In Paulina's apartment, Paulina's mother, Olivia, attempted to convince Paulina to leave Salem, but Paulina refused. "We wouldn't have anything to talk about if you had just kept your promise," Olivia said. "It's a promise I never should have made!" Paulina snapped. Olivia reminded Paulina that she had promised to stay away from Tamara's daughter.

"Except you and I both know Lani isn't really Tammy's daughter, Momma. She's mine," Paulina said. Olivia warned Paulina to retract her statement. "Lani may have grown up thinking I was just her Aunt Paulina, but I'm not. I'm her mother," Paulina said. When Olivia remained silent, Paulina asked her if Olivia planned to act like she had no memory of Lani's birth.

"I remember it very well," Olivia confirmed. Paulina talked about the birth, and how she had fallen in love with her daughter at first sight. "Giving my daughter to my big sister, that was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my whole life," Paulina said. "But you didn't have any choice. None of us did," Olivia said. When Olivia mentioned the father, Paulina noted that Ray had not always been a horrible person.

"[Ray] was just hiding it. And when he finally showed his true colors, you started to hide it, too. Denying that he was abusing you, but I saw the bruises. I heard you crying," Olivia said. "I was so ashamed. He just kept getting more possessive, more violent. I honestly thought he was gonna kill me," Paulina said. Olivia said she had been relieved when Paulina had told her and Tamara the truth.

"I knew that if Ray found out about that pregnancy that he would never let me go. Take that baby or worse," Paulina stressed. "I knew that Lani would be safe with your sister," Olivia said. "And Tammy, she agreed to raise Lani as her own, but only if it was all or nothing. Lani was hers and hers alone," Paulina said. Olivia argued that the truth would have confused Lani and endangered her life.

"I know it wasn't easy for Tammy, how that child upended her life," Paulina said. "We all made sacrifices. You promised never to tell Lani and to keep your distance," Olivia countered. Paulina cried out that she had missed her daughter and could not stay away. "Not being in her life, it was killing me," Paulina said. "I couldn't let you take her [to Paris]," Olivia said. Paulina lamented that she had been forced to stand up Lani.

"That image has never left me. Poor little girl. Just thinking I'd abandoned her," Paulina said. Olivia blamed Paulina for the heartbreak, because Paulina had planned the trip behind Tamara's back. "You missed your daughter, but she could only have one mom," Olivia said. Olivia stressed that Tamara was Lani's mother "in every way that counted."

"But you kept trying to make it about you. Even after we agreed, you're still doing it," Olivia complained. "You think I never should have come to Salem?" Paulina asked. Olivia told Paulina that she should have left town after the christening. "I wanted to be around those babies. They're my grandchildren," Paulina said. Olivia told Paulina that she was sympathetic to Paulina's situation, but the truth would hurt Lani too much. There was a knock at the door.

"Auntie P? Are you in there?" Lani yelled through the door. Olivia advised Paulina not to answer the door. "So, you want me to leave my daughter hanging, just like I did years ago?" Paulina asked. "It's not the same thing," Olivia countered. With a shake of her head, Paulina answered the door. A look of shock passed across Lani's face when she saw Olivia, and she rushed to hug her.

"I thought you weren't well," Lani said. "I'm feeling better, and you know how stubborn I am. I had to come see my Paulina and get a couple of things straight," Olivia said. Paulina asked about Theo. Lani said that Ciara had left Theo for Ben. Lani added that Theo would be fine. Paulina asked Lani why she was there.

"I came to offer you my forgiveness," Lani said. Lani told Paulina that she forgave her for everything. "That's very gracious of you," Olivia said. Lani explained that Eli had convinced her that she should let go of her anger. "You've been disappointing me my whole life," Lani said. "I'll never stop trying to make it up to you. I'll do whatever it takes," Paulina said. Lani asked Paulina to promise never to lie to her again.

"I am willing to let go of the past and start fresh, but we need a clean slate," Lani said. "You can count on your Aunt Paulina to be honest with you," Olivia said. Paulina shifted uncomfortably. "Lani, I have something I need to tell you," Paulina said.

Johnny DiMera returns to Salem Johnny DiMera returns to Salem

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

by Mike

At the Price condominium, Paulina started to confess to being Lani's biological mother -- but Olivia quickly interrupted, complaining about being parched and famished. "What I [really] am is madder than a hornet in a Coke can!" Olivia snapped at Paulina after Lani rushed off to the kitchen. "I have to be honest with that child -- I owe her the truth!" Paulina argued. "The hell you do!" Olivia countered.

"You're doing this for yourself -- [and] it may make you feel better to let her know you're her mama, but she will be losing the only mother she's ever known!" Olivia added -- and Paulina didn't get a chance to respond because Lani returned just then with a fresh glass of iced tea and a plate of fruit. "So, what did you need to tell me, Aunt Paulina?" Lani wondered, prompting Olivia to give Paulina a warning scowl.

"I just wanted to say I...promise you I'll never, ever lie to you again -- and if I do...may God strike my mama dead," Paulina declared while returning Olivia's scowl, drawing an awkward laugh from Lani. "Dad told me why money and being in control is so important to you --" Lani revealed. "He told you about Ray?" Paulina translated. "That's all in the past," Olivia quickly interjected before chasing Lani off with a complaint about being exhausted, sensing that Paulina was thinking about confessing again. "How long are you staying?" Lani wondered. "Depends..." Olivia answered. "On...?" Lani prodded Olivia. "How long I have to keep my eye on this one," Olivia clarified while scowling at Paulina again.

"Satisfied?" Paulina snapped at Olivia once the coast was clear. "With this tea? No! With you keeping your mouth shut? Absolutely!" Olivia responded before telling Paulina to quit sulking. "Do you know what it feels like?" Paulina fretted. "You're doing the right thing, honey -- if you told Lani the truth, she'd not only be losing her mother; she'd be losing her father, too!" Olivia stressed. "I imagine she wouldn't be too pleased with me [then]," Paulina conceded. "He wouldn't be too pleased with you, either! Listen, baby -- I love you, but it's best to let sleeping dogs lie," Olivia advised -- and Paulina nodded in response, seemingly convinced.

Lani returned to the Price-Grant apartment -- and found Eli there with Abe, who had stopped by to offer an update on Theo's state of mind. "[He's] struggling, and I'm sure he will be for a while...but he knows he has his family," Abe informed Lani before changing the subject, having heard from Eli that a reconciliation might be in the works. "You guys know how much family means to me, [so]..." Lani stressed before assuring Eli and Abe that the reconciliation had indeed occurred.

Allie picked up Henry at the Brady Pub then headed over to the hospital in search of Tripp, who was delighted to get such a pleasant surprise. "I just got off a shift, [so] I was about to head down to the police station -- when did you get released?" Tripp began after greeting Allie with a hug. "Just a little while ago -- you're my first stop... Well, actually, I had to pick up Henry [first] --" Allie tried to respond. "I don't care what stop I was, okay? I've been going nuts, thinking about you locked up in that jail cell, [and] now you're here!" Tripp stressed before giving Allie a kiss.

Allie and Tripp eventually pulled away from each other -- and realized that Chanel was watching from a nearby elevator. "I seem to have a knack for interrupting you guys," Chanel apologetically acknowledged before offering to treat Allie and Tripp to dinner. "Celebrate you being a free woman, [Allie, and] sign the documents for the bakery?" Chanel reasoned. "I wish I could, but I actually have to go to my Grandma Marlena's -- I'm really worried about my mom, and I think I need her help... [Anyway], if you have the documents, I can sign them now," Allie answered.

Chanel and Tripp stared at each other awkwardly and exchanged forced smiles while waiting for Allie to finish signing the paperwork at the nearby nurses' station. Allie eventually returned and handed the paperwork back to Chanel then rushed off to the Evans-Black townhouse with Henry and Tripp -- the only two people who had been invited to tag along.

Marlena entered the Evans-Black townhouse while John was wrapping up a phone conversation with Belle. "I'm gonna give you the good news first," John warned Marlena after ending the call. "Oh, that's wonderful!" Marlena raved after John first revealed that the charges against Claire and Allie had been dropped -- then added that Ciara had regained all lost memories and had reunited with Ben.

"There's some bad news?" Marlena assumed, prompting John to forge ahead. "[And, apparently, Isabella found out because she just] had a business meeting with E.J., and he couldn't stop venting about Samantha's infidelity," John explained at the end of the tale, drawing a sigh from Marlena. "I wonder why we haven't heard from her..." Marlena mused, and John shrugged in response.

John and Marlena were both delighted when Allie arrived with Henry and Tripp a short time later -- but they were all disturbed to realize that none of them had seen or heard from Sami recently. "I know that [she] wanted to fight to get E.J. back, but could she have just changed her mind and took off to cool down?" Tripp suggested, prompting the others to take turns explaining that giving up wasn't really in Sami's nature. "Isabella said that E.J. was furious -- and he has never been one to let people cross him and get away with it..." John noted. "You think E.J. could have done something to hurt Mom," Allie translated.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. watched in disbelief as Johnny emerged from the secret tunnels. "This is a surprise -- a wonderful one!" E.J. raved before giving Johnny a hug.

"What are you doing here -- and why are you coming out of the wall?" E.J. asked after pulling away from Johnny. "The front door was locked," Johnny replied with a shrug. "There is a doorbell," E.J. stressed. "Yeah...but then I figured, 'Why pass up a chance to use the tunnels -- my favorite part of the house?'" Johnny countered before tossing E.J. a rubber ball that had just been rescued from the secret tunnels.

"Digging up the lost treasures of your past still haven't told me what you're doing here in Salem," E.J. pointed out. "Does a son need a reason to visit his parents?" Johnny argued, forcing E.J. to warn that Johnny might have to settle for seeing just one parent while in town. "This can't be easy to hear," E.J. guessed at the end of the tale. "It isn' and Mom, you got [a] 'love that spans the ages' kind of thing, so...why isn't she here, banging down the door, making a scene, reminding you of that...[and] where is she? [I mean], you really have no idea?" Johnny responded. "Nor do I give a damn," E.J. spat. "That's harsh..." Johnny muttered. "It is," E.J. conceded before apologizing for the comment and promising to refrain from saying such things around Johnny in the future.

"[Besides], we should be celebrating your return, [anyway -- so] how about having a drink with your old man?" E.J. suggested, and Johnny agreed. "None of that crap for me, though -- I'm a single-malt man these days," Johnny declared, giving E.J.'s glass of Strega a cringe of disgust then reaching for a decanter of whiskey.

"So, tell me...what have you been up to?" E.J. prodded Johnny. "Well...I'm actually looking for investors," Johnny informed E.J. "That sounds enterprising!" E.J. raved before curiously probing for more details. "[I'm making a] movie -- and I'm giving you first crack at it," Johnny excitedly announced.

"You're...looking for investors for...a movie," E.J. dismissively repeated. "Yeah..." Johnny defensively confirmed. "I didn't know you were interested in filmmaking," E.J. incredulously admitted. "Well, I've been hitting up a lot of art house theaters over the last couple of years and just binging all these cool film revivals -- you know, the real classics, like Fellini, Godard, Truffaut... Have you ever seen or 400 Blows?" Johnny passionately responded. "Can't say that I have," E.J. uninterestedly conceded. "They're incredible -- life-changing! Anyway, I was really inspired by what I saw, [so] I made a couple shorts on my phone --" Johnny sincerely explained. "," E.J. mockingly interjected. "Yes..." Johnny defensively confirmed again.

"And, Dad, I think I might be really good at it; I mean, obviously, I have a long way to go, I'm sure -- I'm still a novice -- but it feels like I'm meant to be doing this, like I have something to contribute... So, what do you say -- do you want to invest in your son's future?" Johnny proudly concluded. "Why don't you come work for me instead?" E.J. patronizingly offered.

"This great company is your legacy, son -- and with me back at the helm, we can turn DiMera into a true family business again! Do you know how proud your nonno would be if he were here -- to not only have his son back where he belongs, but his grandson, too? Oh, how your nonno loved you -- his little Giovanni --" E.J. wistfully declared. "Yeah, well, I'm not 'little Giovanni' anymore -- and if you think I'm gonna suit up and punch the clock every day --" Johnny tiredly protested.

"Oh, it's so much more than that --" E.J. insisted. "Not to me! Look, I get how DiMera is so important to you, and how passionate you are about it...but that's how I feel about making movies!" Johnny countered. "Fooling around on your phone -- that's 'making movies'?" E.J. objected. "It's not 'fooling around'! And I resent that you said that -- legitimate directors make movies on their phones --" Johnny stressed. "I don't know how 'legitimate' they are if I've never heard of them!" E.J. argued.

"Were these people you met while bumming around in Europe? I'm sure you found no shortage of dilettantes willing to sponge off their parents' money, but no way in hell is any son of mine going to waste his time on something so frivolous!" E.J. spat. "It's not 'frivolous'!" Johnny maintained.

"This movie is important to me -- not that I expect you to care; you never have cared about what I wanted or needed. This is all about your ego -- turning me into somebody who has to defer to you to make you feel more powerful. Well, to hell with that! I don't need your money -- I'll just ask Mom!" Johnny challenged E.J. "Good luck finding her!" E.J. challenged Johnny. E.J. disgustedly turned away from Johnny, who scoffed then gulped down the whiskey and stormed out of the mansion without saying another word.

John entered the living room a few minutes later, while E.J. was still fuming. "Harold let me in," John explained. "I'm not really in the mood --" E.J. tried to stress, but John forged ahead, expressing concerns about Sami's sudden disappearance. "I can understand why she wouldn't contact you...but none of us?" John concluded. "So...what, you think I killed her [and] buried her corpse in the tunnels?" E.J. translated. "I'm just trying to figure out where the hell Sami can be --" John reasoned. "No, what you're doing is accusing me of withholding information from you -- or worse, suggesting that I went ballistic and did something terrible to her. Well, that is not the case!" E.J. insisted before ordering John to leave -- then gulping down a shot of Strega and hurling the empty glass at the fireplace once the coast was clear.

At the Evans-Black townhouse, Tripp tried to comfort Allie in the living room while Marlena was putting Henry down for a nap in one of the bedrooms. "I think it's too soon to be worrying about your mom," Tripp reasoned, echoing advice that Marlena had given Allie just before Henry had started fussing a few minutes earlier. "But, Tripp, she didn't even come to the police station when I got arrested -- you know, to yell at Rafe and tick everyone off until they just let me go to shut her up -- [and] it's so not like her!" Allie argued.

Tripp eventually convinced Allie to think positive thoughts about the matter for the time being -- and then they started making dinner plans as a distraction. "Do you think we should have gotten dinner with Chanel?" Allie wondered. "I...think...she understood why we couldn't," Tripp answered. "She said she did..." Allie conceded.

"[But] she looked...I don't know, like, sad...[and] I don't want her to think I was blowing her off," Allie fretted. "I'm sure she was disappointed -- even though you've been very clear that you don't like her like that, she still probably isn't over her feelings yet," Tripp guessed. "Right... Which, you know, makes everything weird -- for me, especially; I just always feel like I'm gonna say something or do something and give her the wrong idea..." Allie admitted. "[That] there might be something between you," Tripp concluded. "Yeah, that's what I meant..." Allie responded.

"I just wish it was like the old days, you know?" Allie summarized. "You'll get there again. And who knows -- maybe Chanel will meet someone; I mean, doesn't everybody say the best way to get over somebody is to meet somebody new?" Tripp reasoned, drawing a smile from Allie.

Marlena soon rejoined Allie and Tripp and reported that Henry was sleeping soundly -- just as John arrived. "Did you believe him?" Tripp wondered after John finished explaining what had happened at the DiMera mansion. "Tough to tell with E.J., kid," John responded. "That still doesn't explain why she hasn't texted, why there's no calls --" Allie noted.

As if on cue, Allie and Marlena each received the same text message from Sami just then. "I'm sure everyone knows what's happened between E.J. and me. I appreciate your concern, but I'm not up to answering your calls and texts. As much as I want to fight for my marriage, I've realized it'd only make things worse. The best thing for me right now is to be alone to figure things out. If you don't hear from me for a while, please understand. I love you. Sami," Marlena read aloud.

"Well, guess that kinda solves it..." John declared. "I guess so..." Allie conceded. "At least we know she's safe..." Marlena mused. Tripp watched and listened closely, apparently noticing that each of Sami's loved ones seemed to find the duplicate text messages suspicious. Meanwhile, at the DiMera mansion, E.J. pocketed a cell phone then glanced at Stefano's portrait. "Now that that's settled...tell me, Father, what are we going to do about Giovanni?" E.J. grumbled.

Johnny stormed into Julie's Place and claimed a chair at the bar while impatiently calling out for a bartender. "God, who do I have to sleep with to get a drink around here?" Johnny grumbled before suddenly noticing Chanel at the other end of the bar. "Don't look at me!" Chanel protested.

"Bad day?" Chanel guessed. "You could say that," Johnny confirmed before observing that it seemed like Chanel had also had a bad day. "You could say that," Chanel confirmed before agreeing to let Johnny move to a closer chair. "So, what happened to you that's so awful that you're yelling for a drink?" Chanel wondered. "Eh, fight with my old man -- money," Johnny explained. "Been there, done that -- with my mom," Chanel admitted. "Sounds like we got something in common!" Johnny flirtatiously summarized, and Chanel smiled in response.

Johnny eventually got an opportunity to order a shot of whiskey and a glass of beer -- and was quick to gulp down the former then start working on the latter as soon as they were delivered. "All better now?" Chanel, who had already ordered a martini at some point, wondered. "It's a start," Johnny answered.

"So, you want to tell me about your bad day?" Johnny suggested. "Not really..." Chanel responded. "Well, whatever it is, it looks like you just lost your best friend," Johnny mused. "Well, not exactly -- I just kind of had a relationship end before it really started," Chanel clarified. "Ah. That's terrible," Johnny declared.

"But, to make it all about me...does that mean you're single, or...?" Johnny added. "Wow -- you cut right to the chase, don't you?" Chanel realized with a laugh. "Well...beautiful girl sitting next to me -- why waste time, you know? Meteor could strike tomorrow -- we'd all be ashes..." Johnny explained with a shrug. "Does that line usually work for you?" Chanel wondered. "About 90% of the time," Johnny confirmed. "Hmm. Guess I'm the other 10%," Chanel bragged. "And that is why I now have new respect for you," Johnny stressed.

"Can I at least buy you a drink?" Johnny offered. "Why not," Chanel decided, prompting Johnny to summon the bartender again and hand over a credit card -- only to have it returned a short time later with a report that it had been declined. "Wow -- that is embarrassing..." Johnny stammered. "Hey, at least they didn't cut your card up in front of you and an audience -- now, that is embarrassing!" Chanel responded. "Sounds like you have experience!" Johnny mused. "My mom," Chanel explained. "Right? Yeah, my dad -- you know, it's just him trying to flex his muscles and show me who's boss; I turned down his offer to work for the family company, [so] the son of a bitch cuts me off," Johnny grumbled. "Well, it's all good -- I got this --" Chanel insisted while producing some cash. "No, I can't let you do that --" Johnny protested. "I don't think you have much of a choice," Chanel countered, and Johnny conceded the point.

Johnny thanked Chanel for understanding. "Can I at least have your name so I know who I'm indebted to?" Johnny requested, and Chanel agreed. "Nice to meet you, Chanel... I'm named after my grandfather John, but my other grandfather used to call me Giovanni," Johnny said while shaking Chanel's hand. "I'll put it in your phone so you don't forget," Johnny offered while reaching for Chanel's cell phone. "Giovanni is not exactly easy to forget," Chanel assured Johnny with a smile, perhaps referring to the person more so than the name. "I hope not," Johnny declared while gazing at Chanel.

Claire tries to work things out with Theo Claire tries to work things out with Theo

Thursday, August 19, 2021

by Mike

At the cabin, Ciara decided to make a confession to Ben. "Since we've been apart, I know you haven't been with anyone else, but I obviously have, [so]...I guess I'm just assuming that you're wondering if Theo and I slept together," Ciara began. "I mean, I'd be lying to you if I told you I wasn't curious...but I didn't want to ask you; I felt like that wasn't really my business --" Ben responded. "Okay, well, I'm gonna make it your business --" Ciara announced, drawing a groan of discomfort from Ben. "Because I think you should know..." Ciara continued as Ben braced for bad news. "Theo and I did not sleep together," Ciara concluded, stunning Ben.

"Really?" Ben wondered. "Yeah -- we were gonna wait to do that until after the wedding...but now I'm thinking maybe that was my old self telling my new self that I'm not ready to sleep with anyone but you," Ciara responded. "I admit, that is a relief!" Ben declared. "I'm relieved, too -- I'm glad that I waited, 'cause you waited for me; you were faithful, even when I left you for another man, and even when you thought that I was dead," Ciara acknowledged. "Actually..." Ben awkwardly began to clarify, drawing a scoff from Ciara.

"I'm sorry," Ben stressed at the end of the confession. "You have nothing to be sorry for," Ciara conceded after a few seconds of silence. "I don't want you to blame Claire, either -- she has always had our back, she was on our side, she's really been an amazing friend to the both of us..." Ben argued. "Yeah...and I have been a terrible one -- I mean, she called me a stone-cold bitch, and she's right; I was horrible to her!" Ciara fretted before suddenly getting the urge to immediately return to Salem and make things right with Claire.

Ben reminded Ciara that they were stranded at the cabin. "We really should have thought [things through] a lot better before we let Shawn leave us here," Ben admitted, and Ciara agreed. "[Look], you are a mechanic, [and] I am Bo Brady's daughter, so...I'm thinking that, between the two of us, we can get that [limousine] engine going in no time," Ciara decided. "You're not wrong -- we can fix anything together," Ben raved.

Theo headed over to the Brady Pub after getting a text message from Claire. "I asked you here today to say that I am so sorry that you were hurt by what happened at your wedding --" Claire began, drawing a scoff from Theo. "Look, I [did it] for Ben and for Ciara...[but], if I am being completely honest with you, I also selfishly did it for me, Theo -- I was desperate for Ciara to remember the rest of her life, including the part where she didn't hate me anymore --" Claire continued, prompting Theo to bitterly praise the accomplishment. "There is nothing that I can say or do that will make this easier for you," Claire concluded, and Theo nodded in agreement.

Claire sighed then started to walk away from Theo. "To give you some did try to warn me," Theo conceded, stopping Claire. "And I do know that if Ciara didn't remember her life with Ben now, it just would have happened later, [so] I was bound to get hurt at some point [either way] -- I know that now; maybe I always did," Theo acknowledged. "[And] I know that the last thing you wanted to do was hurt me," Theo concluded.

Claire thanked Theo for understanding. "I'll be okay," Theo declared. "Have you given any thought to what you want to do next?" Claire wondered. "Actually, I have to hop back on the first flight to South Africa -- because it's not enough that my personal life is crashing and burning; work's also a mess... [See], our social media expert quit yesterday -- three days before the launch of our new services -- and now I have no idea how I'm gonna find a replacement for him in time," Theo grumbled. "How about me?" Claire offered. "You want to come work for me and J.J. in South Africa?" Theo incredulously summarized. "I think everyone in our friend group would agree that I have been a 'social media expert' since before I could talk," Claire matter-of-factly reasoned. "Your ability to attract an audience is unparalleled..." Theo conceded before warning Claire that they would have to leave Salem later that day.

At the Walker apartment, Allie and Tripp awoke to the sound of an alarm that was blaring on Allie's cell phone. "Aren't you gonna turn that off?" Tripp groggily prodded Allie from one side of the bed -- and Allie, who had just had a dream that had started the same way, nervously glanced at the other side of the bed because Chanel had been on that side in the dream and had volunteered to be the one who silenced the alarm.

"What's wrong?" Tripp wondered after Allie finally silenced the alarm. "Nothing -- I just...thought Henry would be up before the alarm, so I kind of set it to the last possible minute, and now I'm a little late..." Allie responded. "Worried about Chanel?" Tripp guessed. "I just feel like I ditched her last night, and I don't want her to think I'm doing that again," Allie explained. "I get that," Tripp stressed.

"Better get moving, then -- and I have to actually head out, too; Kayla's assigning me a new know, since Snyder..." Tripp added. "Went swimming with the fishes," Allie concluded before changing the subject, offering Tripp the first shot at the shower. "Well, as long as Henry's sleeping in...why don't we take advantage of the chance to save time and water?" Tripp flirtatiously suggested. "So environmentally conscious!" Allie teasingly raved. "Oh, yes -- always... But that's not exactly my motivation," Tripp admitted. "Me, neither," Allie responded before jumping out of bed and racing off to the shower, with Tripp close behind.

At the DiMera mansion, Johnny sent a slightly revealing shirtless selfie to Chanel, along with a caption: "Buon Giorno, Bella!" Chanel, who was waiting for Allie at the town square, wrote back, "Cosa Fai?" Johnny sent Chanel a much more revealing shirtless selfie in response, along with a caption: "Just chillin' in bed...e tu?" Chanel studied the second picture appreciatively for a few seconds then wrote back, "Do I see SpongeBob on your boxers?" Johnny laughed then responded, "HA! Not wearing boxers. YOU?" Chanel wrote back, "No boxers here, either." Johnny responded, "LOL! NO! I meant you never told me what you're up to. Nice Italian, BTW." Chanel wrote back, "Anche tu."

Chanel took a photograph of a lipstick-stained coffee cup then sent the image to Johnny, along with a caption: "This is what I'm up to RN." Johnny responded, "WOW! A little thirsty??" Chanel wrote back, "Hey, I'm not the one sending shirtless selfies from bed. I'd say you're the thirsty one, G." Johnny responded, "Speaking of thirst, I owe you your fave drink after last night." Chanel wrote back, "So, this IS a thirst, literally???" Johnny responded, "Only if it's working!"

Chanel spotted Allie and Henry at the other end of the town square then wrote back to Johnny, "My BFF's here, gotta go." Johnny responded, "Playing hard to get?" Chanel wrote back, "No, business over pleasure... BYEEEEEEEE!!" Allie arrived at Chanel's table just then, with Henry in tow, and apologized for being late. "Oh, no worries at all, girl -- besides, I was keeping busy in the meantime..." Chanel coyly assured Allie.

Johnny grinned then set aside the cell phone. Meanwhile, E.J. prepared a cup of coffee at the living room bar then glanced at Stefano's portrait. "I've slept on it, Father, and I've decided -- it's going to take a little ingenuity, but I'm going to bring Giovanni around to the way we do things. He'll soon learn to accept that I'm the one in charge here," E.J. declared.

"Better not be talking about me," Chad warned while joining E.J. in the living room. "I was talking about Johnny -- [you see], my prodigal son has come home, [and] he spent the night in the bedroom recently vacated by our brother and our lovely landlord --" E.J. began to clarify. "I just had a video chat with him, like, a week ago -- he didn't say he was coming home!" Chad protested. "I suspect he thought the element of surprise would work in his favor --" E.J. started to elaborate. "Why? What did he want?" Chad wondered. "What does every child want from his parents?" E.J. teased. "Love and affection," Chad answered, drawing a scoff from E.J. "Money!" E.J. grumbled.

"Thomas' requests are a little bit simpler -- right now, he just wants the new Trainman film," Chad responded. "Which costs money, of course! [And just] wait until he becomes an adult and wants to make his own!" E.J. complained. "Johnny wants to be a filmmaker?" Chad translated. "He's convinced it's his 'calling'!" E.J. mockingly explained. "Right... Well, what'd you tell him?" Chad wondered. "'No' -- unequivocally!" E.J. shamelessly admitted.

"You and I are trying to build back the family business, our legacy -- I don't have spare cash to be throwing around on youthful idylls!" E.J. reasoned. "And how did he react?" Chad wondered. "Not well, of course...especially since he has a gift for persuading people -- winning them over -- and therefore expects everyone to support him in whatever the hell his latest obsession is... [But, you know], I've honed my defense mechanisms over the years, [so] I no longer fall prey to his gift," E.J. answered.

"[But] he also has another gift -- being market savvy -- which is why I know he would make an outstanding addition to the company --" E.J. stressed. "Well, then, what's the problem? Offer him a job," Chad interjected. "I did -- last night -- [but] he wasn't interested, [so he] stormed out -- insulted, outraged... But then, what did I expect, right? He's never interested in any idea that comes from me --" E.J. grumbled. "See, now, that's a parental phenomenon that I'm familiar with," Chad declared.

"I've always been the mere annoying father [or] absentee father, depending on the year...[but] Johnny has enormous respect for you, [so]...perhaps you could be the one to persuade him," E.J. suggested. "Yeah, maybe I could... What's in it for me?" Chad responded. "We're family, Chad -- why does there have to be something in it for you?" E.J. protested, drawing a scoff from Chad.

"Look, E.J., it's pretty obvious that you're trying to consolidate power so your children will inherit the CEO mantle when we're gone -- [and] why would I be on board with that? [Especially since], back when you wanted nothing to do with the company, I was the one maintaining the family legacy so that one day, if they chose to, Thomas and Charlotte would take over," Chad reasoned. "They're still children who watch a [film] called Trainman!" E.J. dismissively argued. "And they'll be adults in the blink of an eye, so if you want Johnny to have 15 years of seniority on them, then I am going to need some concessions to protect my interests," Chad firmly countered.

Johnny entered the living room, freshly showered and fully dressed, before E.J. could respond to Chad's demand. "Sup?" Johnny began after giving Chad a hug and giving E.J. a glare. "You have a hug for your old man?" E.J. requested. "No, I'm good," Johnny insisted before changing the subject, wondering if Chad had heard about what E.J. had done the previous night.

"[For starters], he refused to help me get my career off the ground --" Johnny started to summarize. "'Film auteur' is not a 'career'!" E.J. declared. "You know, when Will went off to Hollywood to become a screenwriter, everybody was talking about how talented he was, and what a great opportunity this was for him --" Johnny pointed out. "That's not a great argument, since I recall being told Will crashed and burned in Hollywood and subsequently cheated on his husband...but what Will did was different, [anyway] --" E.J. countered. "Why, because I'm not talented?" Johnny guessed. "Because you're my son!" E.J. answered.

"Oh -- and you want me to follow in your footsteps," Johnny concluded before rejecting the idea with a cringe. "Where is this anger coming from, Johnny?" E.J. wondered. "Well, let's see... Part of it's coming from the fact that you canceled all my credit cards without telling me so that you could gain leverage over me and force my hand," Johnny revealed, finishing the earlier summary of the offenses E.J. had committed the previous night. "You were overspending," E.J. explained. "So, tell me that, [then] -- I mean, give me a chance, at least, to defend myself --" Johnny advised. "I was going to --" E.J. claimed. "No, it's too late [now] -- 'cause I actually already was with somebody last night...and my card got declined...[and] I was mortified, needless to say," Johnny grumbled.

"My apologies, then -- but if you don't want to be 'mortified' [again], you could earn your own keep; I'm offering you an opportunity that most young people could only dream of --" E.J. stressed. "Okay, Dad, I'm gonna tell you this one more time -- and maybe this time you'll actually listen? I. Do. Not. Want. To. Work. For. You!" Johnny maintained.

"Well, about Chad?" E.J. suggested. "As much as I am sure Johnny would be a huge asset at DiMera...I think that Johnny should be able to make his own decisions, follow his passion --" Chad, who had been listening to the father-son argument with obvious amusement, declared. "Thank you, Uncle Chad -- [and], you know, I was thinking...DiMera could make a killing by opening up a media production division! [Seriously], there is so much talent in the Chicago metro area and so few first-class facilities -- not to mention, you guys could handle your own advertising, which would save you tons in the end --" Johnny excitedly responded. "I can tell that you've put a lot of thought into that..." Chad diplomatically acknowledged while smirking at E.J.

"And your old man here did say you had a keen business sense [earlier] --" Chad continued. "Did he?" Johnny wondered, surprised. "That is not at all what I had in mind..." E.J. insisted, annoyed. "I think Johnny's idea is worth considering. Don't you?" Chad challenged E.J. "I just finished saying we don't have money to spend on frivolous --" E.J. reminded Chad. "It's not 'frivolous'!" Johnny maintained. "It is! And the answer, again, is no!" E.J. countered.

"I know what this is [really] about -- you're pissed that Mom cheated on you, so you're taking it out on me!" Johnny decided. "That is not true --" E.J. halfheartedly objected. "Whatever," Johnny skeptically responded.

"Doesn't matter -- I'll find somebody else to support my dreams. Hell, I'll do it myself -- I'll do odd jobs; drive a taxi, mow people's lawns, whatever it takes to pursue my passion --" Johnny vowed. "Passion #369? How high are we going to --" E.J. dismissively protested. "No, don't you dare belittle my talent and my drive! I'm gonna make it, Dad -- [but] if there's one thing I will never do, it's work for DiMera!" Johnny firmly countered.

"Thank you [again], Uncle Chad, for treating me with some respect," Johnny added before storming out of the mansion -- and E.J. started lashing out at Chad as soon as the coast was clear. "We hadn't come to terms on what's in it for me [yet]," Chad shamelessly reasoned. "[So], to hell with family loyalty, then?" E.J. incredulously summarized. "Do I have to remind you that, just weeks ago, you solicited my support to oust our brother -- then tried to screw me over by installing yourself as sole CEO?" Chad countered. "A misunderstanding that I thought we worked through!" E.J. insisted. "And we have -- [but] just don't try it again, big brother," Chad warned.

At the hospital, Tripp rushed into Kayla's office and apologized for being late. "Hung up at Allie's?" Kayla guessed. "Your father and I couldn't help but notice that you didn't come home last night -- and, well, I know you weren't working the night shift, so..." Kayla explained while Tripp was trying to stammer out a response. "How red is my face right now?" Tripp wondered. "Just a little," Kayla answered.

"I am so happy that things are going well," Kayla declared. "Me, too...[except]...there's only one problem -- [see], I think I'm falling in love with her," Tripp admitted. "Why is that a 'problem'?" Kayla protested. "I guess because I fell so hard and so fast -- and what if she doesn't feel the same way?" Tripp explained. "Do you have reason to believe that she doesn't? [I mean], you did say before that you thought that maybe there could be someone else...but then you also told me that you thought it was nothing. [So], are you worried that this person that's close to Allie is somehow gonna come between the two of you?" Kayla wondered. "Not really," Tripp responded.

"[But] it complicates things [because] I really want to tell Allie how I feel...but I don't want it to seem like I'm 'staking my claim' or something -- especially after what she's been through with Charlie -- [so]...I should just wait, right?" Tripp added. "I think that you should follow your instincts -- I think that you are a smart and sensitive man, and I think that you're gonna know when the time is right. [And, look], love is always a risk...but if you don't put your heart out there, you will never know," Kayla advised. "Maybe I should just flip a coin and leave it up to fate," Tripp mused with a nervous laugh.

During their business meeting in the town square, Chanel bragged to Allie about having met a guy the previous night. Allie begged to see the guy's shirtless selfies, but Chanel and Johnny had been communicating via some sort of messaging app in which all correspondence self-destructed after a period of time, so the images were no longer available. "You know it's taboo to screenshot," Chanel stressed, and Allie conceded the point.

"At least tell me his name -- maybe I know him. [In fact], I'm a Horton and a Brady, [so even] if I don't know him, someone [else] in my family probably does," Allie declared -- but Paulina summoned Chanel to the bank via text message just then so they could file some paperwork for the bakery. "Yo, Allie Cat!" Johnny called out to Allie seconds after Chanel disappeared from view -- and the siblings greeted each other with a hug.

Theo went to the DiMera mansion to say goodbye to Chad, who offered a comforting hug after learning that Ciara was back with Ben. Claire went to the Brady house to talk to Shawn and Belle about the possibility of moving to South Africa with Theo -- but found Ciara there instead. Ben spotted Ciara's wedding rings while alone in the Weston apartment -- then grinned as if having just gotten an idea.

Ben proposes to Ciara Ben proposes to Ciara

Friday, August 20, 2021

Belle visited Nicole at Basic Black to talk about a legal issue. "I'm here on behalf of my brother," Belle said. Nicole's face fell. "Your divorce," Belle confirmed. "Well, that was fast," Nicole whispered. Belle explained that Eric did not want to draw out the divorce. Nicole confirmed that she would not contest it. Belle handed Nicole the divorce papers, and she told Nicole to run them past her lawyer.

"I don't have a lawyer. I've been just trying to block this whole thing out," Nicole said. "Divorce is a painful process," Belle agreed. With a sigh, Nicole said she understood if Belle hated her for having hurt Eric. "I'm the last person that should be judging anyone's marriage. Eric did say that he feels responsible, too," Belle said. "Let's not forget about the other person who bears some responsibility in all this. Your sister," Nicole said bitterly. With a nod, Belle said she had suspected that Sami had been involved with Xander's confession.

"But, hey, you got her back, right?" Belle said. Nicole sighed. Belle noted that Sami had probably gotten what she'd deserved. "Payback is a bitch," Belle said. "And so is Samantha," E.J. said as he walked into the office. "I love my sister, but there is a reason everyone calls her hurricane Sami," Belle said. Belle added that for once, Sami had not asked Belle for help cleaning up a mess.

"Equally surprisingly, she texted me and said she was leaving town because she needed time alone," Belle said. "Well, here's hoping she stays away for a good long while. Forever works for me," E.J. said. Belle's eyes went wide as she metaphorically bit her tongue. Nicole promised to return the paperwork to Belle, and Belle left.

"What sort of paperwork?" E.J. asked. "None of your business," Nicole said. When E.J. reminded Nicole that he was CEO of her parent company, Nicole stressed that the papers were a personal matter. "My marriage was a farce. Thanks to you, I've ended it. And I'm very grateful," E.J. said. "That must have been painful," Nicole said.

"Not at all! And perhaps it sounds callous, but looking on the bright side, I feel rather liberated from living under the delusion that my wife still loves me. Had you not given me that letter, I'd have continued on being the clueless cuckold, and Samantha would have taken her dirty little secret to the grave," E.J. said. E.J. noted that he was happy to be rid of Sami.

"That's a crock, and you know it," Nicole said. E.J. scowled. Nicole reminded E.J. that he had done the same thing to her when they had been married. "Did what exactly?" E.J. asked. "Hid how you really feel," Nicole said. "[Sami's affair] was a repeated betrayal with a man who has never stopped lusting after her, never stopped insinuating himself into her life," E.J. countered. E.J. growled that he would never let Sami make a fool of him again.

"Is that still hiding how I really feel?" E.J. asked. "Of course, you're angry, but underneath that anger is pain," Nicole said. E.J. laughed. Nicole argued that E.J. was worried that if people knew he was in pain, they would see it as weakness. "I spent the last several years suffering and never trying to hide it," E.J. countered. Nicole sighed in exasperation. "I am talking about emotional suffering. And you always hid that behind your rage," Nicole said. Nicole urged E.J. to face his pain so that it did not eat him alive.

"As I told Chad, the subject of my now defunct marriage is closed," E.J. said. E.J. added that he wanted to focus on work, and he told Nicole that Johnny was in town. "I asked him to come work for me, and he asked me for money," E.J. said. "For what?" Nicole asked. E.J. told Nicole about Johnny's plan to make a film, and he suggested that Nicole talk to Johnny.

"Me?" Nicole asked with surprise. "You were his stepmother. He was always fond of you. Just tell him this is a wonderful place to work," E.J. said. "Please tell me you are not trying to pimp me out to your son," Nicole growled. "I just thought you'd have better luck with Johnny than I've had," E.J. stressed. Nicole said she had no interest in getting between E.J. and his son.

"If you keep telling your son not to pursue his dream, he will defy you and go after it with a vengeance," Nicole advised. E.J. groaned and remarked that he should have known not to ask Nicole. "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself," E.J. muttered.

When Claire returned home to talk to her parents about her decision to move to South Africa, she found Ciara in the living room instead. "My dad told me that you got your memory back," Claire said. Ciara said yes. Claire refused to apologize for having helped Ben kidnap Ciara.

"I truly believe that you and Ben are meant to be together. But what I am sorry for is that he took you to that cabin. That would have been really traumatic for you, so if you hate me," Claire said. "No! I don't hate you at all," Ciara interrupted. Ciara explained that without Claire, she might not have remembered how much she loved Ben. Claire told Ciara that she understood why Ciara had resisted.

"You were scared," Claire said. "You spent a night in jail so that Ben could have alone time with me. That was amazing. That is so generous and so brave," Ciara said. Claire admitted that her actions had been selfish because she had wanted Ciara to remember their friendship.

"I do. I know how much I love Ben, and I know how much I love you," Ciara said. A relieved Claire smiled with tears in her eyes. Ciara apologized for how she had treated Claire. "It's not your fault. You were stuck in the past," Claire said. Ciara told Claire that she remembered their friendship. "I want us to be best friends again, Claire. I want us to be close like we used to be," Ciara said. Thrilled, Claire hugged Ciara. Shawn walked in and chuckled.

"Well, it's about time," Shawn said. When Shawn suggested they celebrate over lunch, Ciara explained that she needed to meet up with Ben. Ciara told Claire and Shawn that she loved them, and she left. "It seems like everything is back to normal again," Shawn said. "Not exactly," Claire countered. Before Claire could tell Shawn her travel plans, Belle walked in.

"What's going on?" Belle asked. "Seems like Claire has something she wants to tell us," Shawn said. Claire told Belle and Shawn about her plans to work for Theo. "I don't understand. You and Ciara just became friends again," Shawn said. "They did?" Belle asked. Shawn told Belle about Ciara and Claire's hug.

"Is there any way you can do the job remotely?" Shawn asked. Claire explained that would not be possible. "This could be a great opportunity; it's just a lot to take in," Belle admitted. "We know how much you care about Theo. We know how bad you feel that he was hurt, but Claire, are you sure you're not doing this out of guilt?" Shawn asked.

"It's time for me to commit to something that I really care about. And for once, I don't mean a guy or a stupid beauty contest. This is a real job," Claire said. "Halfway around the world," Belle added. Claire reminded Belle that she had moved halfway around the world for work. Belle nodded yes. "Are you really ready?" Belle asked. Claire said that she was no longer scared to be on her own.

"I feel confident. And making peace with Ciara, it's given me even more courage," Claire said. Belle and Shawn told Claire that they supported her and believed in her. "We're going to miss you," Shawn said as he hugged Claire.

Ben hobbled around on crutches in his apartment, and he retrieved Ciara's ring from the desk drawer. "Let's do this," Ben whispered as he pocketed the ring. Ben made his way over to the penthouse to talk to Marlena. "What'd you do? Bust up your knee?" John asked. Ben explained that Ciara had injured him "right before she got her memory back." John and Marlena cheered.

"Belle called last night with the good news," John said. "I don't think I've ever seen you quite so happy," Marlena commented. "We did it, Dr. Evans. I got her back," Ben said. When Ciara arrived, she thanked Marlena for her support of Ben. Ciara cautioned Ben that he should go home to rest his ankle. "One thing I have to do first," Ben said. Ben set his crutches aside, and he carefully got down on one knee.

"I know the last time I did this, I said it was going to be the only time. But I thank God that I get to do it again," Ben said. Ben pulled Ciara's ring out of his pocket, and he presented it to her. "Will you marry me?" Ben asked. Ciara gave an enthusiastic yes. As the happy couple kissed in celebration, Ben told Ciara that Marlena had offered to remarry them. When Ciara asked about a date, Ben asked Marlena if she would marry them immediately.

"We do want it right now, right?" Ben asked. "We definitely do," Ciara agreed. John agreed to be the witness. "Let's get this show on the road!" John said cheerfully. Before the wedding could start, Belle, Shawn, and Claire stopped by so that Claire could say goodbye to her grandparents. "Ben and I have some amazing news," Ciara said. "So do I," Claire said. Claire announced that she had decided to work for Theo and J.J. in South Africa.

"Why didn't you tell me this when I saw you earlier?" Ciara asked. "I was just so happy that you and Ben were back together and that we were friends again that I didn't want to ruin the moment," Claire admitted. Claire told John and Marlena goodbye. "I am going to miss you all so much, but I know that this is the right choice for me," Claire said. Shawn agreed it was a good thing. "What am I going to do without my little Claire bear?" John joked.

Ciara asked Claire to take care of Theo for her. "I feel horrible for hurting him, and it would be really good for him to have an amazing friend like you around," Ciara said. "Of course," Claire agreed. With a smile, Ciara asked if Claire would be her maid of honor. When Claire noted that she did not know when she could return to Salem, Ciara explained that she and Ben were about to get married.

In the square, Allie reunited with her brother Johnny. Johnny introduced himself to baby Henry. "He got my good looks," Johnny joked. When Allie asked Johnny if he planned to take credit for all her son's good qualities, Johnny said, "We both know he didn't get them from his dad." The smile fell away from Allie's face. Johnny took Allie's hands in his.

"I am so sorry for what that bastard did to you," Johnny said. Johnny apologized when he saw the look on Allie's face. "It's just painful to be reminded of how Henry was, how he came to be," Allie stammered. Allie noted that she needed to make peace with the past, because Henry would learn the truth eventually. "I want you to know how proud I am of you for being such a great mom, for how you've worked to move past what happened to you," Johnny said. "That means a lot," Allie said.

Allie shook off the tears, and she asked Johnny about his life. Johnny told Allie about his plan to find investors for his independent film -- and E.J.'s hatred of it. "I figured I'd ask mom and see if she wants to back me, but it looks like I just missed her," Johnny said. Allie told Johnny that she had attempted to remind E.J. of how much Sami loved E.J., and how E.J. had shut Allie down. "Thank you for trying," Johnny said. When Johnny asked about Sami, Allie said she had been worried when Sami had disappeared, but Sami had sent a text. "I guess she just needed to get out of town for a little," Allie said. When Johnny noted that he would call Sami, Allie told him not to bother.

"[Sami] said she needed some alone time," Allie said. "Mom?" Johnny asked. Allie agreed that it did not sound like their mother, but she understood the impulse to be alone. After Johnny told Allie about E.J.'s efforts to make him work for the company, Allie reminded Johnny that he was as stubborn as his father. "There is no way [E.J.] can make you do something you don't want to do," Allie said. Allie changed the subject to Johnny's love life.

"Is there anyone special?" Allie asked. "I did just meet someone that I'm definitely interested in getting to know better," Johnny admitted. Before Johnny could give Allie details, her phone rang. "Oh, it's Ben Weston," Allie said. "The Necktie Killer?" Johnny yelled. Allie assured Johnny that Ben was no longer a killer. "He strangled our brother," Johnny objected. "Just chill," Allie said calmly.

When Allie answered the phone call, it was Ciara. "I had to call you from Ben's phone, because you still have mine," Ciara said. Allie apologized for her part in the kidnapping. "Things all turned out for the best," Ciara said. Ciara asked Allie if she could stop by the penthouse with Ciara's phone.

"Please tell me you're not going to see Ben Weston," Johnny said. Allie explained that she needed to meet up with Ciara. Allie asked to talk with Johnny later to talk about his new girl. "I need to let her know that she is in big trouble," Allie joked.

After Allie left, Johnny noticed the sign for the bakery. "What the heck is a sweet bit?" Johnny wondered aloud. "Hey! Don't knock it till you've tried it," Chanel said as she walked up. Johnny smiled. Chanel told Johnny that the bakery was her business. "I would love to sample some of your sweet bits," Johnny said. "I'm sure you would!" Chanel countered. Chanel suggested that they have lunch together instead.

When Allie arrived at the penthouse with Henry, she remarked that it looked like a family reunion. "It's actually more like a wedding," Ciara said with a grin. Allie gasped. Ben thanked Claire and Allie for their help. "Ciara and I wouldn't be together right now if the two of you hadn't gone out on a limb to help me the way you did," Ben said. "[Thank you] from the bottom of both our hearts," Ciara said. "It just feels like everything is the way it is supposed to be," Allie said.

The wedding commenced. "Do you think maybe we can just --" Ben said. "Get on with it?" Marlena interrupted. Everyone laughed. "I actually remember everything we said to each other last time, and I don't think we need to say it again. I remember saying our life would not be perfect. Man, that was an understatement," Ciara said.

"When people are as connected as we are, heart, body, mind, and soul, you really can get through anything. And you knew that. You never gave up on me," Ciara said. "I never will," Ben countered. Ben said he had been shattered by Ciara's death, but he had felt her love and known she would return to him. "We are together, and I am completely healed," Ben said. "Except for your ankle," Ciara joked.

Marlena read the vows, and Ciara and Ben said their I do's and exchanged their rings. "With this ring, I thee wed," Ben said. "With this ring, I thee wed," Ciara said. "It is my great pleasure to pronounce that you are husband and wife," Marlena said. Ben grabbed Ciara, and they kissed.

Recaps for the week of August 23, 2021 (Following Week)


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