Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of December 20, 2021 on DAYS

Lucas told Philip that he had kidnapped Sami. Kate and Victor schemed to get Brady released from jail and whisked Philip out of Salem. The devil replaced Jan with Tripp then disguised Jan as Belle. Belle walked in on "Belle" and Shawn in bed together. E.J. forgave Sami. Rafe arrested E.J. for Sami's kidnapping. Lani told Paulina to leave her alone. Johnny and Chanel got married in Italy. John saved the Horton family Christmas from the devil. Jennifer returned to Salem.
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Belle walked in on "Belle" and Shawn in bed together, and the devil torched the Horton Christmas tree
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The devil enlists Jan's help

The devil enlists Jan's help

Monday, December 20, 2021

by Mike

At the Brady Pub, Chloe continued knocking on the door to the upstairs bedroom and calling out to Kate -- who tried to convince Philip to take the interruption as a sign that it was time to stop pretending to be dead. "You can't keep hiding," Kate warned. "I'm not asking for forever -- just for today!" Philip begged. Kate sighed then called out that it wasn't a good time -- but Chloe refused to leave, forcing Philip to hide in a closet.

Philip listened as Chloe urged Kate to reconsider helping Trask railroad Brady. "I care deeply for your son, but --" Chloe stressed during the plea. "Really? Is that why you and Brady had sex on the conference table at Basic Black?" Kate interjected. "Who told you that?" Chloe wondered. "I...had a meeting at Basic Black, and I happened to overhear you discussing the details --" Kate claimed, drawing a groan from Chloe, who insisted that there had been a misunderstanding. "It was Nicole!" Chloe reluctantly elaborated. "Nicole had sex with Brady?" Kate incredulously translated. "With someone else -- it doesn't really matter [who]," Chloe tiredly responded.

"I don't believe it...but you know what I do believe? That you're manipulative -- you're a manipulative little flirt, and a tease, and a liar, and a slut --" Kate spat. "Yeah, okay -- I know what you think of me...[and] I don't really care, 'cause I have zero respect for you, as well... But, for the record, I swear on Parker's life that I never cheated on Philip! [Look], I have made mistakes in the past -- I will admit that -- [and] I will also admit that there was a time I was torn between Brady and Philip...but once I chose your son, I was all in [and] completely committed to our relationship, [and] I never strayed -- not once!" Chloe maintained.

Kate softened and promised to give Chloe's earlier request some thought. Chloe thanked Kate then rushed off -- and Philip stormed out of the closet as soon as the coast was clear. "That lying bitch! It took everything in me not to barge in here and call that whore out on her lies!" Philip spat. "Okay, Philip -- you know I'm not one to take anything that Chloe says for the truth, but...I think she's sincere; [I mean], she swore on her child, [and] a mother doesn't do that unless she's telling the truth," Kate argued. "That woman is shameless -- she'd do anything!" Philip countered. "Maybe you want [to believe that] because otherwise everything -- framing Brady, pretending you're dead --" Kate reasoned. "No -- it can't have all been for nothing!" Philip fretted.

Kate promised to find a way to fix everything -- but Philip didn't think anything needed to be fixed. "Really? So, what are you gonna do -- [just] hide yourself away [and] pretend you're dead for the rest of your life?" Kate wondered. "If it destroys any chance of Chloe and Brady having happiness, it's well worth it," Philip decided. "Nothing is worth throwing your future away! This has gone too far --" Kate protested. "You are one to talk!" Philip noted -- and Kate conceded the point.

Philip maintained that Chloe was having an affair with Brady, but Kate remained convinced that wasn't true. "You're brainwashed -- she has brainwashed you, my own mother! [Well], I will prove it --" Philip stressed. "Stop! Do you hear yourself? This is crazy --" Kate objected. "I am right about this! I know what those two are doing, and I know their plan, [because] it's the same as it was in high school; they ride off into the sunset, and they leave me stuck behind -- the sucker, the loser... Well, not this time -- this time, I win!" Philip insisted.

"[You know], no matter how hard I try, [and] no matter what I do, I lose -- and I keep losing! [I mean], take Belle and Chloe -- I loved them so much, and they both ended up choosing someone else! [And] the children I thought were mine -- I ended up losing them, too! [And] I gave Tyler away -- [you know], I'm such a hypocrite, always complaining about how my father treats me when I'm a stranger to my own son... [And] Dad wasn't wrong to want to disown me -- I almost destroyed everything that he's ever worked for in his entire life..." Philip continued.

"This new beginning with Chloe was supposed to change all that, turn it all around -- I mean, if the most incredible woman on earth chose me, then I'd be worthy of love, [and] that would prove that, once and for all -- but it didn't; it proved the opposite, like I'm worthless, or damaged goods... I'm broken -- in more ways than one..." Philip concluded, patting his prosthetic leg.

Kate offered Philip a hug and a few words of comfort. Philip broke down in Kate's arms -- then accepted the earlier offer of help.

At the police station, Shawn joined Belle in one of the conference rooms and offered a comforting hug, having heard about Brady's arrest. "They just took him down to his cell," Belle reported before changing the subject, curious to know exactly why Shawn had felt comfortable leaving Ciara and Ben alone for a while. "I had a unit take them to a safe house," Shawn clarified.

Chloe arrived while Belle was sharing a theory with Shawn. "Someone went to a lot of trouble to frame my brother -- if it wasn't Kristen, who else would go to such extremes?" Belle repeated for Chloe -- who, like Shawn, found the theory compelling. Chloe told Shawn and Belle about what had happened earlier -- and they all hoped that Kate would have a change of heart.

At the Horton Town Square, Tripp tried to assure Allie that Philip could still be alive. "That's what I'm praying for...but, I mean, if that was true, don't you think that he would have contacted someone by now?" Allie argued -- and Tripp conceded the point with a shrug. "I'm not doing such a good job at cheering you up...but maybe this will help," Tripp declared while handing Allie a box that contained an early Christmas gift.

Allie scoffed while removing a beaded bracelet from the gift box, drawing a groan from Tripp. "Oh, God -- you hate it... I'm sorry -- I thought I saw you eyeing it the other day at Ballistix --" Tripp began. "I was..." Allie interjected before producing an identical gift box. "You're kidding..." Tripp muttered. "For you, dummy," Allie teased as Tripp removed an identical bracelet from the gift box. "I really am a --" Tripp tried to concede with a laugh. "No, Tripp Johnson -- you are just too smart for your own good," Allie raved before assuring Tripp that it was cool that they had basically just recreated a scene from Friends.

"I feel like we should touch wrists and be like...'Wonder Twin powers, activate!'" Tripp admitted to Allie after they donned their respective bracelets. "Johnny and I used to actually do that all the time," Allie recalled. "It's good to hear you laugh," Tripp declared. "Turns out my boyfriend can spread the cheer!" Allie noted.

At the hospital, the demonic presence ended Jan's coma with a comment about needing a star player back in the game. "What happened to me?" Jan, who had been on a ventilator, began with a cough after removing the equipment. "You've been in a coma," the demonic presence responded as Marlena. "Again? How long this time?" Jan sputtered. "About six months," the demonic presence clarified as Marlena. "Oh, man -- I missed the Summer Olympics? [And] they had surfing -- I really wanted to see that..." Jan grumbled before recalling that Philip was to blame for the disappointment. "I wouldn't worry too much about him..." the demonic presence teased as Marlena.

"Brady killed Philip [because of] Chloe Lane -- the most vapid woman on the planet? That hardly seems worth a life sentence..." Jan mused after hearing the whole story. "Enough about Ghoul Girl -- we should talk seriously about your future --" the demonic presence suggested as Marlena. "Don't worry, Dr. Evans -- I've learned my lesson; I'm done causing trouble for your daughter and Shawn," Jan interjected. "Oh? That's too bad -- nobody likes a quitter..." the demonic presence grumbled as Marlena. "Are you saying you want me to cause trouble for them?" Jan translated. "That's why I brought you out of the coma," the demonic presence confirmed as Marlena.

"You woke me up? [But]...why would you want me to go after Belle? You're her mother --" Jan protested. "No, I'm not," the demonic presence clarified. "Dr. Evans, have you taken up smoking? 'Cause your voice suddenly has this Demi Moore thing going on..." Jan observed. "I'm not Dr. Evans -- I've merely taken possession of her body," the demonic presence insisted. "Okay -- you've clearly been smoking...and, apparently, more than just cigarettes..." Jan decided.

"I'm not up for your juvenile jokes -- I need you to start wreaking havoc on Shawn and Belle...and if you don't, I'm just gonna put you back in your coma!" the demonic presence snapped. "I'm not entirely convinced I'm awake..." Jan admitted. "Don't be ridiculous --" the demonic presence protested. "Maybe I'm dreaming... Maybe I'm dead... If I run into Philip, I swear to God --" Jan continued. "Don't use the 'G' word!" the demonic presence warned. "What did you just do with your eyes? They just turned yellow for a moment... Oh, wowza -- you really are Satan!" Jan concluded. "Don't be afraid --" the demonic presence began to respond. "I'm not afraid -- I'm delighted; God...or, rather, 'G'...he clearly isn't on my side, putting me in coma after coma, so it's nice to know that someone has my back, even if it is the Prince of Darkness!" Jan declared.

The demonic presence noted that Jan had a strange way of looking at things -- and Tripp interrupted the conversation just then. "This door is usually locked, so when I saw it open, I thought I should check it out --" Tripp explained. "You seem familiar..." Jan observed. "You killed my brother," Tripp clarified. "Oh, right -- you came to Charlie's door that night... Almost had to kill you, too -- nothing personal..." Jan responded, drawing an awkward laugh from Tripp. "When did you wake up?" Tripp wondered. "Being comatose for months kind of messes with your sense of time, but I'd say...30 minutes or so, give or take?" Jan answered.

Tripp congratulated Jan then tried to rush off -- but the demonic presence magically sealed the door. "Tripp Johnson, you are just too smart for your own good," the demonic presence grumbled. "I get that a lot..." Tripp admitted. "You thought you could fool me, but I realized that you know who I am," the demonic presence declared. "I didn't believe it at first, but...I've come around," Tripp confirmed. "You should have realized it when I sent your brother Charlie to visit you and Allie -- [after all], who else can raise people from the dead?" the demonic presence teased.

Tripp started trying to get through to Marlena, annoying the demonic presence, which attacked with a serving tray. "Couldn't you just have flung him against the wall with your super strength?" Jan noted. "I don't like to show off -- [and] those trays are quite handy," the demonic presence responded.

Steve entered Kayla's office while saying something about dinner plans. "Sweetness!" Steve fretted before kneeling beside Kayla's motionless body and checking for a pulse -- then breathing a sigh of relief and moving on to the matter of trying to get a response. Steve eventually managed to rouse Kayla -- who backed away with a scream of horror. "I swear I'll kill you --" Kayla warned while reaching for a letter opener that had been left out on the desk.

"You have a cut on your head, you just came to -- you're confused --" Steve advised. "You came in here earlier, just like you did now, and then you turned into Marlena, and then you knocked me out --" Kayla recalled. "It's me now -- I'm here now. [Just] look at me [and] see how much I love you. Can you feel it? Even the devil can't fake that," Steve stressed -- and Kayla agreed after some thought.

Kayla apologized to Steve then finished recalling what had happened earlier. "I don't understand -- Marlena said she needed you to make Belle and Shawn suffer, so why did she knock you out and leave you here?" Steve wondered. "I don't know -- she just kept saying that I was the key... My key card -- it's gone!" Kayla responded. "Marlena works here -- doesn't that mean she has a key card?" Steve argued. "Mine is more like a master key -- I have access to all floors and all rooms. Marlena's is limited, especially since we put in the new security protocols -- [see], just a few months ago, we really tightened things up around here [because] we didn't want the rest of the staff taking cues from Dr. Snyder and stealing pills, [or] patients running off and murdering somebody --" Kayla clarified. "That's it -- Marlena wanted your key card so she could get to Jan Spears!" Steve decided.

Steve and Kayla rushed off to Jan's room and were surprised to discover that nothing was amiss there -- but they didn't notice that "Jan" was wearing a beaded bracelet, and they wouldn't have understood its significance, anyway.

While strolling through the town square with the demonic presence, Jan paused to admire the Christmas decorations. "I'm so glad you woke me up in time for Christmas!" Jan raved, annoying the demonic presence. "Not because it's his birthday -- it's just...I like a good sale!" Jan clarified. "Oh, okay... Well, I'm afraid we won't have much time for shopping -- your mission is to get revenge on Shawn and Belle, and what better occasion than Christmas Eve?" the demonic presence declared. "Their wedding anniversary!" Jan noted.

Kate and Victor scheme to protect Philip

Kate and Victor scheme to protect Philip

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Philip hid in Kate's room at the Brady Pub, and he stared at a snow globe. Kate startled Philip, and he dropped the snow globe. Philip apologized. "That's what I've done with my life. And Chloe and Brady's and yours," Philip said. Kate promised to help Philip. When Kate mentioned that she needed to talk to Victor, Philip was unsure. Kate warned Philip not to open the door or leave.

When Kate arrived downstairs in the pub, she sneaked past Lucas, who was at the bar. Sami walked out from the kitchen, and she asked Lucas if he had heard from Roman. "He went to pick up his Santa suit from the cleaners," Lucas said. Sami sighed. "That's right. It's Christmas Eve. It doesn't feel like it, you know?" Sami said. "I know what you mean," Lucas agreed. Sami asked about Philip.

"Rafe said there is still no leads," Lucas confirmed. "I'm so sorry, Lucas," Sami whispered. Lucas asked Sami about Marlena. "I was hoping my dad might have an update. I'm just praying she is okay," Sami said. Lucas reminded Sami that it was the season of miracles. "Here is to hoping we both get what we want this Christmas," Lucas said.

As Sami and Lucas sipped coffee, Lucas confirmed that he had already gotten what he had wanted for Christmas. "What's that?" Sami asked. "You," Lucas said. Sami spit out her coffee. Lucas explained that he was happy that Sami was back in Salem. "I thanked you over and over, as you well know," Sami said. "I just can't get enough of that," Lucas said. Lucas noted that E.J. had not thanked him.

Sami started to talk about her conversation with E.J., but Lucas cut her off. "I'm on my way to check on my mom," Lucas said. Sami asked about Kate, and Lucas explained that Kate had locked herself in her room. "Send her my love," Sami said. "Don't send E.J. mine," Lucas joked. Sami laughed as she walked out of the pub.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor dried his eyes when he saw Kate walk into the living room. "Damn allergies," Victor said. "You don't have to be ashamed to mourn for our son," Kate said. Kate added that there was no need for tears because Philip was alive. "Where the hell is he?" Victor demanded. Kate promised to tell Victor everything if he promised not to tell anyone.

"And he also framed Brady for the murder. But trust me, Victor, he was not in his right mind," Kate said. Victor blamed Chloe. Kate worried aloud that Philip did not believe that life was worth living. "[Philip] needs help," Kate said. "What he needs is a good lawyer," Victor muttered.

"[Philip] is fragile. Just the stress of a trial would be too much. Not to mention a prison sentence," Kate said. Kate suggested that she and Victor help Philip disappear. Victor promised to help Philip, but not at the expense of Brady's freedom. "There has to be a way to make this mess go away for both of them," Kate said.

Sami went to the penthouse, and she asked Belle if Belle had any updates about Marlena. Belle said no. "I have to get this suit over to Brady before his bail hearing," Belle said. "How is he doing?" Sami asked. "Not great," Belle said. When Sami asked about John, Belle said she had no news but that Shawn was with Ben and Ciara at the safehouse. Frustrated, Sami said she did not know if a safehouse would keep them safe.

"Got any other ideas?" Belle asked. "No," Sami admitted. Sami told Belle about her phone conversation with Marlena when they had both been in captivity. "There's just nothing we can do," Sami lamented. Belle agreed. As Belle gathered her things to leave, Sami asked Belle to help Sami save her marriage.

"E.J. only wants to divorce me out of some DiMera pride. I know he still loves me, and I'm going to fight like hell," Sami said. "I can't believe you're thinking of yourself at a time like this," Belle countered. Sami argued that she had gone to the penthouse to get an update on Marlena. "But since there isn't one, why not just ask for a favor for yourself?" Belle countered. "Is it a crime to ask my sister to help me save my marriage?" Sami asked.

Frustrated, Belle reminded Sami that Marlena was still possessed, Philip was missing, and Brady might go to prison for murder. Sami argued that her marriage was not a trivial matter. "We have two kids together! He is the love of my life!" Sami pleaded.

Belle sighed, and she noted that because she worked for DiMera Enterprises, she could not represent Sami. When Sami pleaded with Belle, Belle argued, "You want someone to make E.J. stay married to you." Sami agreed. "I don't take a case I know I can't win," Belle said.

At Lani and Eli's apartment, Lani rolled her eyes as Eli read the card on a bouquet of flowers. "I don't expect you to forgive me, I just want to say that I love you and miss you so much. Merry Christmas, with love, your mama," Eli read. Lani complained that flowers could not change the fact that Paulina had lied to Lani for her entire life.

"Paulina is not just going to go away. You're going to have to face her, talk to her, and deal with this for your own sake," Eli said. Lani asked Eli to watch the twins while she was out. Eli teased Lani that she would owe him but that she would like the payment he had in mind.

At Paulina's apartment, Paulina looked in her locket at the lock of Lani's hair. Someone knocked on the front door. "Come in. It's open," Paulina said half-heartedly. Chanel walked in with bags of gifts.

"Merry Christmas, Mama!" Chanel said. "My baby girl is home," Paulina said as she hugged Chanel. Chanel asked Paulina about Abe. "He says he still loves me, but he doesn't know if he can ever trust me again," Paulina said. "He's not closing the door. That's good," Chanel said. When Chanel asked about Lani, Paulina said she had not spoken to Lani since the aborted wedding. Chanel apologized again.

"It's not your fault. Turns out the devil made you do it," Paulina said. After Paulina updated Chanel on the devil story, Chanel started to talk about her trip. There was a knock at the door. It was Lani. Paulina's face lit up. Chanel apologized to Lani for how she had announced the news at the wedding. "It wasn't your fault," Lani said as she looked at Paulina. Chanel apologized for her past jealousy.

"It was stupid and petty, and I'm over it now. I have something I always wanted -- a sister. And no matter how you feel about me, I am so grateful," Chanel said. "So am I," Lani agreed. Lani told Chanel that she loved her and always would. Paulina smiled as she saw Lani and Chanel hug. "Mama feels the same way about you," Chanel said. Paulina smiled and nodded in agreement. Lani noted that Paulina had said as much in the card with the flowers.

"Is that why you came by?" Paulina asked. Lani noted that the flowers were beautiful, but she planned to give them to someone that "actually wants them." Lani ripped up the card. "Lani!" Chanel said. "Chanel, I know you mean well, but this is between me and Paulina. I want you to stop reaching out to me," Lani grumbled. Paulina wished Lani a merry Christmas, and Lani walked out.

To cheer her mother up, Chanel rooted through her bags to find Paulina's Christmas present. "Johnny must have it," Chanel noted. Paulina stared at the wall in silence. Chanel invited Paulina to join her at lunch with Johnny. "I wouldn't be good company," Paulina said. Chanel told Paulina that she and Johnny wanted their parents to meet. "For me?" Chanel said in a girlish voice. "Fine, let's go," Paulina said.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. gently ribbed Johnny about his lack of communication while he had been out of town. "What did I miss while I was gone?" Johnny asked. E.J. told Johnny that Marlena was possessed by the devil. "You inadvertently tipped off Steve Johnson before you left town. Otherwise, they would have barely made it out [of the crypt] alive," E.J. said. E.J. confirmed everyone was okay.

"No wonder Grandma was so stoked about my movie. Do you think this is going to derail the whole project?" Johnny said. E.J. glowered at Johnny, and Johnny apologized. "That's the last thing that matters right now. Does Mom know all about this, or is she still off the grid?" Johnny asked. E.J. shifted his eyes away.

"There's something else you should know," E.J. said. E.J. told Johnny that someone had kidnapped Sami, but Sami had failed to follow up with the police. "Why?" Johnny asked. "You'd have to ask her," E.J. said. Johnny asked about Sami's health. "I'd guess it was the kidnappers who were a little worse for wear," E.J. joked. Worried, Johnny called Sami.

"Dad just told me what happened. Are you okay?" Johnny asked. Johnny asked to see Sami, and she promised to head over. After Johnny ended his call, E.J. commented that it would give him a chance to serve Sami with divorce papers. "She tore up the last ones," E.J. said. Johnny told E.J. that he was surprised that E.J. still wanted to divorce Sami after he had learned about her ordeal.

"[Sami] cheated on me, Johnny. I've moved on. I'm with Nicole," E.J. confirmed. Johnny chuckled. "Didn't you cheat on Nicole with Mom?" Johnny asked. E.J. said he was eager for Sami to be out of his life. Johnny noted that Chanel planned to join him for lunch, and he asked E.J. to keep things civil with Sami. "Chanel is accustomed to family drama," E.J. joked.

At the penthouse, Belle warned Sami not to antagonize E.J. "I didn't ask you for your advice, counselor," Sami said. Sami warned Belle to be careful, since she had crossed the devil. As Belle rolled her eyes, Sami wished Belle a happy anniversary. Belle's phone rang with a call from Kate.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Kate told Victor that their plan would work. When Belle arrived, Kate told Belle that she and Victor had decided not to have Philip declared legally dead. "Without a body, Trask has no case," Victor said. "And she'll have to drop the charges against Brady," Kate added. Confused, Belle asked why Kate and Victor had changed their minds.

"I realized if I believe Brady was a killer, then I had to believe Philip was dead. And I don't believe that," Kate said. "And I don't want my grandson going to prison for a murder he didn't commit," Victor said. Kate argued that they needed to be patient and pray that Philip turned up alive.

"If it is any consolation, Brady and I are working really hard to piece together what happened that night," Belle said. "I thought that Brady was blackout drunk?" Kate asked. Belle told Kate and Victor that she had looked at the security footage at the pub, and the time when Brady would have been at the pub had been erased. "What do you think that means?" Kate asked. "I think it means he was framed," Belle said. Kate asked Belle about her theory.

"Shawn and I think it was Kristen DiMera," Belle said. "That totally makes sense," Kate said. Belle said she wanted Kate and Victor to know about her research so that they did not believe that Brady was getting away with anything. "[Brady] is innocent," Belle said. Belle reminded Kate and Victor that Kristen's M.O. was to kidnap people, not kill them.

"Tell that to the scar on my chest," Victor grumbled. Kate said she was cautiously optimistic. "I am more hopeful than ever that Philip is out there somewhere, alive," Belle agreed. Kate and Victor signed paperwork, and Belle confirmed that Philip was considered legally alive again. "Trask will have no choice but to drop the charges," Belle confirmed. Victor asked what was next. Belle said she would talk to Trask.

"I'm so thankful that my brother will be free, but you both know how much Philip means to me. I really do hope he'll be okay," Belle said. "So do we," Victor agreed. After Belle left, Kate told Victor that they had done the right thing. "Now we just have to make sure that Philip gets the help he needs," Kate added.

When Sami arrived at the DiMera mansion, she ran into the house, screaming Johnny's name, and into his arms. "I can't believe you're here and Allie's here and your father's here. We're all in Salem together. It's like a Christmas miracle," Sami said. "That hasn't happened since we were little," Johnny agreed. Sami said nothing was better than having her family back together. A smile flashed across E.J.'s face before he returned to frowning.

Johnny asked Sami to forgive him. "I should have realized that something was wrong," Johnny said. Sami hugged Johnny, and she stressed that it was not his fault. "I'm okay, and you're okay, and we're together again," Sami said. Johnny's phone beeped with a message from Chanel.

"Mom, I'm dying for you to meet [Chanel]," Johnny said. While Johnny ran off to arrange for more settings at the table, Sami turned to E.J. "Sounds to me like our son is in love. You remember what that feels like, don't you, E.J.?" Sami asked. As Sami advanced toward E.J. and told him to stop fighting his feelings for her, E.J. shifted in discomfort.

Johnny returned with Chanel and Paulina, and he introduced them. Paulina complimented E.J. on the house, and she asked if the man in the painting was Abe's father-in-law. "The one and only," Sami muttered. "The one who calls you Giovanni," Chanel said with a grin. "She remembers everything," Johnny said as he stared into Chanel's eyes. E.J. coughed.

"Sorry, that happens sometimes. Anyway, Chanel and I have been talking about getting our families together for dinner for some time. But since we're all here, should we tell them now?" Johnny said. "Tell us what?" Paulina asked. Johnny and Chanel confirmed they had had a life-changing visit to Italy.

"Since when are you so romantic?" E.J. asked. "Since our amazing time in Rome, where Chanel and I got married," Johnny announced. As Chanel kissed Johnny, Paulina, E.J., and Sami exchanged worried glances.

Lucas knocked on the door to Kate's room above the pub. "You're not the only one heartbroken over Philip. I am, too," Lucas yelled through the door. Fighting tears, Lucas said that his relationship with Philip had not been perfect, but he missed his little brother.

"Open the door," Lucas pleaded. Philip opened the door, and Lucas stumbled backward. "Philip!" Lucas yelped. Philip pulled Lucas into the room, and he started to apologize. "How long were you going to let everyone think [you were dead]?" Lucas asked. Philip noted that he did not think people would miss him.

"Did you hear what I just said out there?" Lucas asked. "That's why I opened the door. It meant so much to me, but you can't tell anyone I'm alive," Philip said. Lucas agreed, and he asked Philip what he planned to do next. Philip explained that Kate had a plan, and she had gone to talk to Victor. When Lucas noted that Philip had been stressed, Philip argued that he had made a lot of bad choices.

"Being with Chloe was supposed to turn that around. It was supposed to be a whole new beginning, like I told you and mom at the pub that day. I was giving up on the jealousy, the paranoia, the blowing up over nothing," Philip said. Philip told Lucas what he had overheard at Basic Black. "Something inside me just snapped," Philip said. Lucas argued that it had been inevitable, since Chloe had cheated on Philip with Brady.

"Except they weren't. Chloe told my mom that it was all a misunderstanding. She and Brady never slept together," Philip said. When Lucas asked Philip if he believed Chloe, Philip countered that if he loved Chloe, he should trust her. Lucas grimaced. "Not necessarily," Lucas said. Philip argued that even if Chloe had cheated, what he had done had been much worse.

"I let the people I love think I was dead. I set Brady up to go to prison for a murder he didn't commit. I've done so much damage, and now, how do I undo it?" Philip asked. Philip added that his future with Chloe was likely over. Lucas advised Philip not to worry about Chloe. "I will focus on making things right," Philip agreed. After a moment, Philip argued that what was right was that Brady should be with Kristen, and he should be with Chloe.

When Philip mentioned other relationships, Lucas said he understood. "I spent a long time being infatuated with Carrie Brady when the woman I actually loved since high school was," Lucas said. "Sami," Philip finished. Lucas nodded yes. "Looks like I'm in the same boat you are," Lucas said.

Lucas explained he had never learned his lesson about Sami and that she would always choose E.J. "Maybe if you professed that you hated her guts," Philip noted. "I did worse than that," Lucas muttered. When Philip asked Lucas what he had done, Lucas confessed, "I'm the one who kidnapped Sami."

Jan helps the devil set a trap for Shawn and Belle

Jan helps the devil set a trap for Shawn and Belle

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

by Mike

At the DiMera mansion, Johnny and Chanel took turns describing their wedding day as E.J., Sami, and Paulina each listened in stunned silence. "It's not like it was planned or anything --" Johnny insisted. "It just happened --" Chanel declared. "We were walking by the San Carlo of the Four Fountains -- that little church you used to take me to --" Johnny explained. "And it was so beautiful and romantic --" Chanel recalled. "And all of a sudden, I was just...down on a knee, proposing --" Johnny admitted. "And I said yes --" Chanel stressed. "[And turns out], Father Bianchi's still there, [so]...before we knew it, I mean, the Padre was pronouncing us husband and wife!" Johnny concluded.

Chanel and Johnny gazed at each other while waiting for Paulina, Sami, and E.J. to react to the news. "Isn't...anyone...gonna...congratulate us?" Johnny eventually wondered. "Sorry, son -- I, for one, think you've made a terrible mistake," E.J. bluntly announced before suggesting that Chanel had once again married someone with the ulterior motive of financial gain. Sami found E.J.'s theory intriguing, but Chanel found it offensive -- and Johnny and Paulina each found it offensive, too. E.J. stressed that Johnny wasn't in charge of the DiMera fortune. "What's that supposed to mean, Dad -- you threatening to cut me off?" Johnny guessed. "Not if you do the intelligent thing and get an annulment," E.J. responded.

Johnny quickly rejected E.J.'s idea. "You always did think with your...'heart'..." E.J. grumbled, drawing a scoff from Johnny. "Excuse me -- if anyone's made a mistake here, it's my little girl; you see, while your fool of a son [has been] playing auteur and making little movies on his phone, my daughter started her own business from the ground up --" Paulina interjected. "Mama!" Chanel snapped before admitting that E.J. was right to be concerned -- then insisting that the concern wasn't necessary. "Can't just be happy for me, [huh]? That'd be way too much to ask!" Johnny challenged E.J. "It's just that it's so sudden --" Sami reasoned. "Not for us!" Johnny argued.

"Look, I know about Chanel's past and about her mistakes, and she knows about mine -- and it's only made us closer. I have zero doubt that Chanel married me for love, not money -- and we are 100% committed to each other," Johnny declared. "You sure about that?" Paulina countered before pointing out that Chanel had kissed Allie just a few months earlier. "What did you just say?" Sami sputtered. "From the look on your face, I think you heard me," Paulina responded. "Allie and I [have] realized that we love each other as friends -- and that's it. Allie is in love and happy with Tripp, and I am in love and happy with Johnny, [and] I know that she'll be thrilled I'm married to the man I love," Chanel insisted.

"You're both very young, [and] you've known each other a nanosecond, and then you come waltzing in here and announce that you're married, and you expect everyone to cheer... Marriage isn't a game, Johnny -- it's real, and it's for life --" Sami argued. "Right -- like you and Dad, you mean?" Johnny countered.

"I mean, now there is one hell of an example -- between the lying, the cheating, the fighting, the constantly blaming each other for everything that's wrong in your relationship... I mean, with you guys as role models, it's a miracle I even want to get married at all... [By the way], how is your divorce coming? [You know], I guess I should be thanking you guys -- I mean, after watching your marriage over the years, with your ups and downs, I know exactly what kind of marriage I don't want to have. [Now], I was really hoping that you guys could be happy for us...but if you can't, I'm cool with that, too -- and, Dad, if you want to show what a great and powerful man you are by cutting me off, go for it; doesn't matter, because Chanel is my family now, and she's all the family I need. So, if you'll excuse me, it's Christmas Eve, and I would like to spend it with my wife," Johnny added before storming upstairs with Chanel.

"He's defensive -- which means he understands, on some level, that he's made a mistake. At least we're all on the same page here --" E.J. reasoned. "Oh, no -- I am not on the same page; I'm not even in the same book!" Paulina stressed before vowing to apologize to Chanel and Johnny later -- and advising E.J. and Sami to do the same.

After Paulina left, Sami admitted to E.J. that Johnny was right about them -- then vowed to keep fighting to save their marriage. Sami challenged E.J. to produce new divorce papers, eager to rip them up again. "I don't want a divorce, Samantha -- I want you," E.J. announced before ripping up the new divorce papers, leaving Sami speechless.

Upstairs, Chanel raved that Johnny had been on fire earlier -- then insisted that nothing would change between them if E.J. made good on the threat to take away their access to the DiMera fortune. "Now that we've made our big announcement...what do you say we put these back on..." Johnny suggested while producing two rings -- and Chanel agreed with a squeal. After donning their respective rings, Johnny and Chanel started kissing passionately while making their way to their bed.

Belle entered the police station and greeted Shawn. "I missed you last night," Shawn admitted. "How did things go at the safe house?" Belle wondered. "No sign of Marlena -- or, actually, the devil... [Anyway], Ben and Ciara and the baby are safe for now, [and] I've got my best guys guarding the place," Shawn responded before changing the subject, anxious to fill Belle in on what had happened at the hospital earlier. "So...the devil is after us now?" Belle fretted after hearing the whole story. "I'm sorry to frighten you -- I just need you to know so you can keep your eyes open," Shawn explained.

Belle accepted a comforting hug from Shawn -- then announced that, on the bright side, there had been a promising development in Brady's case earlier. "That's great...but...hold on -- I thought that Kate was out for Brady's blood..." Shawn mused after hearing the whole story. "Not anymore... [Anyway], I should go and get the charges dropped against Brady, [but then]...devil or no devil, we will celebrate our anniversary!" Belle responded before giving Shawn a kiss then starting to rush off. "Be careful," Shawn warned. "You, too," Belle countered.

The demonic presence rented a room for Jan at the Salem Inn -- and they continued scheming from there. "We've got a lot to do if we're going to destroy Shawn and Belle's marriage on their first -- and last -- wedding anniversary," the demonic presence declared. "I know how!" Jan bragged before offering to pose as Belle and marry Shawn during a vow renewal ceremony. "[That's basically how] you ended up in your second coma...not to be confused with the last coma -- your third coma -- that I just had to get you out of," the demonic presence noted. "So...I...don't get to marry Shawn?" Jan grumbled. "No -- you get to do the best part; you get to have sex with Shawn!" the demonic presence clarified.

"I love it -- it's perfect! But...Shawn hates me, so how are you gonna make him have sex with me -- mind control? 'Cause I vote a big 'no' on that one -- I want him to do it out of his own free will, you know? I don't want to force him!" Jan argued. "You locked him up in a cage!" the demonic presence countered. "You really do know everything..." Jan muttered. "Which is why you should believe me when I tell you that I can make things happen -- [specifically], I can make Shawn see you...be wooed by you...throw you on the bed...and make mad, passionate love to you," the demonic presence promised.

"I am totally down with the 'mad, passionate love' part...but I still don't get the 'how' part," Jan admitted, prompting the demonic presence to produce a cell phone -- and Shawn, who was still at the police station, soon received a text message from an unknown number. "'Salem Inn, Room 514'... [Well], it could be a trap... Or not... Guess there's only one way to find out..." Shawn muttered before rushing off. "Shawn has the inquiring mind of a detective -- he won't be able to resist," the demonic presence predicted. "You sure he won't take one look at me and arrest me on the spot?" Jan wondered. "He won't -- I promise," the demonic presence responded.

At the Brady Pub, Philip paced around the upstairs bedroom while trying to process what Lucas had just revealed. "You kidnapped Sami? That's crazy!" Philip eventually sputtered. "This coming from a guy who faked his own death... I did what you said to do -- 'go after what you want, reclaim the woman you love, fight dirty if you have to' --" Lucas defensively countered. "So...it's my fault you went off the rails?" Philip incredulously translated. "No, it's not -- I just took your idea, and I ran with it," Lucas sheepishly backpedaled before starting to elaborate.

"I remember that [day]... You were pretty upset -- that's why I walked you home --" Philip recalled during the tale. "Except I didn't stay home -- I went to Gabi's house because I knew Sami was gonna be there to ask Gabi if she could move back into the DiMera mansion... That was like a punch to the gut, man -- I couldn't [handle] Sami and E.J. living under the same roof [again, so] I had to stop it... [Anyway], I knew these two guys from prison -- you know, when I did time back in the day -- [and] they had a cabin in the middle of nowhere, [so I decided to] pay them [to] keep her prisoner for me..." Lucas explained. "For how long? What was the endgame?" Philip wondered. "I didn't have an endgame," Lucas admitted before finishing the tale.

Kate entered the Brady Pub and rushed toward the staircase, but Roman blocked the path. "What the hell's so important that you need to race up those stairs to get to it?" Roman wondered. "Why is this turning into an interrogation?" Kate responded. "Because I'm concerned, Kate! Closing yourself off, bottling up your feelings like this -- it's not good for you, and it's not gonna bring back your son --" Roman explained. "Don't talk about Philip like he's dead -- because he's alive!" Kate interjected before backpedaling. "What changed your mind?" Roman asked after Kate finished clarifying the statement. "I...realized...that wasn't fair to Brady -- [having Philip declared legally dead] -- and, also, it made me feel like I was giving up --" Kate replied as Roman received a text message about a delivery that had just arrived.

Kate encouraged Roman to deal with the delivery -- then rushed off to the upstairs bedroom. "Wonderful..." Kate grumbled after finding Lucas with Philip -- but they insisted that there was no reason to be concerned. "I'm not gonna betray my brother's confidence," Lucas promised. "And I'd never betray yours," Philip responded.

Kate told Philip and Lucas about what had happened with Victor earlier. Lucas rushed off to the police station after receiving a text message from Rafe -- and ran into Belle there. "[Rafe] wanted to talk to me -- it's probably about Philip --" Lucas began. "Actually, no, it's not -- I just met with Trask and Rafe, and he wanted to talk to you about Sami's kidnapping; [see], the Wisconsin State Police found one of the guys who was holding her, [and] they're transporting him here to Salem as we speak, so...hopefully, we can find out who hired him and catch the son of a bitch who kidnapped my sister," Belle interjected. Meanwhile, Kate distracted Roman so Philip could sneak out of the Brady Pub -- and head off to a psychiatric facility via the Titan jet.

Shawn went to the Salem Inn -- and found "Belle" in Room 514.

Jason threatens to expose Lucas as Sami's kidnapper

Jason threatens to expose Lucas as Sami's kidnapper

Thursday, December 23, 2021

by Mike

At the police station, Lucas squirmed while echoing Belle's hope that the man who had just been arrested would identify the mastermind of Sami's kidnapping. "There he is now!" Belle observed -- and Lucas grew even more concerned after seeing that Rafe really did have one of Sami's guards, Jason, in custody.

Rafe gave Belle an opportunity to lash out at Jason, who eyed Lucas the whole time. "You mean you actually missed [Sami]? That woman's a pain in the ass, man! I saved you all a hell of a lot of trouble -- [I mean], the drama, the tantrums, the insults... I did you all a favor!" Jason argued. "You're actually not the first guy to say that..." Lucas muttered.

Rafe made it clear that Trask was willing to cut a deal with Jason in exchange for any information that would help the police identify the mastermind of Sami's kidnapping. "I'm not saying a word without a lawyer," Jason insisted, drawing a sigh from Rafe, who rushed off to file the request -- and Belle followed after advising that it would be best to take the deal, but Lucas stayed behind to argue otherwise. "Got a better offer? [Because] if I'm going down, I'm taking you with me, [so] unless you can think of a better way for us to both walk out of this, I'm giving you up, buddy," Jason challenged Lucas.

At the Salem Inn, Jan welcomed Shawn to Room 514 while posing as Belle. "Happy anniversary, sweetheart," Jan cooed as Belle while modeling for Shawn in a robe. "I thought you were meeting with Trask," Shawn admitted. "Why would you think that?" Jan responded as Belle. "What do you mean? You were supposed to be meeting with her to get the charges against Brady dropped," Shawn elaborated. "Oh, right -- yes!" Jan backpedaled as Belle before claiming to have settled that matter earlier -- then begging Shawn not to say another word about work for the rest of the night.

Jan started making out with Shawn -- and the demonic presence, which had been hiding in the closet, seized the opportunity to sneak out of the hotel room. "Make love to me," Jan begged as Belle -- but Shawn hesitated. "I just had a frightening thought..." Shawn fretted. "Oh, come on -- what could possibly frighten you right now?" Jan protested as Belle. "Not being sure... I don't know who you are -- I mean, I'm just not even sure that you're my wife..." Shawn clarified.

"You texted me from a blocked number --" Shawn noted. "I wanted it to be a surprise!" Jan reasoned as Belle. "[Still]...with everything that's been going on [lately]...I think that I'm gonna keep my pants on tonight," Shawn decided. "I understand...[but] if you really are afraid that I'm not me and that the real Belle is at the police station, then why don't you just call Rafe and find out?" Jan suggested as Belle.

Shawn shrugged then produced a cell phone and dialed Rafe's number. "Is Belle still there at the station?" Shawn wondered. "Not anymore -- we met with Trask, got her to drop the charges against Brady, and then Belle said she wanted to surprise you for... Ugh, I just blew it..." the demonic presence, which was in the commissioner's office at the police station, responded as Rafe while eyeing a tall box that was overflowing with gifts for the hospital's youngest patients.

"Satisfied?" Jan wondered as Belle after Shawn ended the call. "Yes," Shawn confirmed. "Well, Mr. Brady, I'm not -- and I am not letting you leave until I am," Jan stressed as Belle before ripping Shawn's shirt and seizing another kiss.

"Ready to unwrap your present?" Jan suggested as Belle -- but Shawn hesitated again. "With everything that's been going on [lately], I just feel like we shouldn't be doing this -- I mean, I don't know, I just feel like this is selfish..." Shawn fretted. "You know how you should think of it? What does the devil hate more than anything else?" Jan argued as Belle. "Christmas?" Shawn guessed. "Or love -- and I love you more than life itself, and I can't think of a better way to stick it to Ol' Satan than for you to take me to bed and have your way with me," Jan countered as Belle. "You're right -- this is our anniversary, and we should be celebrating!" Shawn responded, prompting Jan to remove the robe and reveal Santa lingerie.

While sneaking around the town square, the demonic presence crossed paths with a man who was wearing a Santa costume and collecting donations for St. Luke's. "$100?" the man observed with a look of shock when the demonic presence handed over some cash. "God needs all the help he can get these days," the demonic presence explained to the man with a shrug before rushing off.

At the police station, Rafe and Belle entered the commissioner's office and discovered that all the gifts for the hospital's youngest patients had somehow gotten damaged.

Later, Rafe rejoined Jason and Lucas. "I thought about it, man, and I want to cut a deal -- I'm gonna tell you who hired me to keep Sami Brady locked up," Jason informed Rafe as Lucas squirmed.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. tried to kiss Sami -- who dodged the attempt. "I don't think this is a good idea," Sami argued. "[So...what], it's not a good idea unless it's your idea?" E.J. countered.

"How many times, after I told you that it was over, did you say you would move heaven and earth to be with me again? And here I am, heart on my sleeve, telling you that I want you [and] agreeing to a reconciliation...and now, all of a sudden, you're not sure? [Seriously], what the hell is the problem?" E.J. snapped. "I don't know what the problem is!" Sami responded.

"Except that I'm scared," Sami whispered. "I think if we asked the devil himself what gives him nightmares, he would say [it's] running afoul of you -- what could you possibly be afraid of?" E.J. protested. "I need to understand what changed, and I need to make sure that change is real," Sami explained. "I can tell you what hasn't changed [instead] -- how I feel about you," E.J. offered. "[No] -- for our relationship to heal, [and] for this to really work, I need you to say that you forgive me for lying about sleeping with Lucas," Sami insisted. "Don't make me say that -- I have my pride!" E.J. fretted. "This isn't about your pride! [Look], I know why it happened, and I swear to you, it will never, ever happen again --" Sami stressed. "Okay -- I forgive you," E.J. conceded -- and Sami was delighted at first but soon remembered that they still had another matter to settle. E.J. assured Sami that what had happened with Nicole had simply been a rebound thing.

"You would never have slept with Nicole if it weren't for... [You know], I swear to you, if I ever get my hands on the son of a bitch that kidnapped me, I will take this right up his --" Sami spat while picking up a nearby nutcracker statue. "Let's put down the weaponry [and] focus on us -- reunited and, speaking for myself, more in love than ever," E.J. advised.

Sami and E.J. started kissing passionately while making their way upstairs -- but someone knocked on the front door just then. "You're under arrest -- for the kidnapping of Sami Brady," Rafe informed E.J. when Sami opened the door.

At the police station, Lucas thanked Jason for having cooperated earlier. Jason conceded that Lucas had devised a brilliant solution to their problem. "Now, neither of us will be ringing in the New Year with prison toilet wine," Jason noted. "Yeah, but somebody else will..." Lucas bragged.

Belle went to the Salem Inn after receiving a phone call from "Shawn" -- and found Shawn and "Belle" rolling around in bed together in Room 514.

At the Horton house, Julie informed Doug that Hope's flight had been grounded due to bad weather. "Where's Rudolph and his shiny nose when you need him..." Doug grumbled -- and, as if on cue, sleigh bells started jingling just then. "Maybe that's him now!" Doug joked -- but Ciara and Ben soon revealed themselves as the true sources of the sound.

"There was no way I was gonna spend Christmas Eve away from the family again this year...[so], it took a lot of convincing, but I finally got Rafe to agree that we could come," Ciara explained. "But the devil is still out there, in Marlena's body, and locks and doors do not stop him... You're sure it's safe for you to be here?" Julie fretted. "Rafe made us promise that we would bring the police that he assigned to guard us, and they are parked right out front," Ben clarified. "[And besides]...I come from a long line of badass, strong women -- [so], there's no way that I'm gonna let the devil come anywhere near my baby or hurt anybody that I love," Ciara stressed.

Ciara and Ben decided to err on the side of caution and skip the annual tree-trimming ceremony -- but they convinced Julie and Doug to let them hang their respective ornaments early. "I never told you this before, but..." Ben began before filling Ciara in on what had happened with their ornaments during the previous year's tree-trimming ceremony. "And just think -- next year, we're gonna be hanging up another ornament for this little one!" Ciara reminded Ben at the end of the tale.

"Before you go...would you mind putting the angel on the top of the tree?" Julie begged Ben, who clearly felt honored to have been selected to perform the task. "Thank you, Ben," Doug called out before Julie, who had been fussing over the tree all day, could criticize the positioning of the tree topper. Doug started singing "Angels We Have Heard on High" -- and Julie, Ciara, and Ben hesitantly agreed to provide backup vocals.

The tree topper started burning during the song -- and then the living room's French doors swung open, and the demonic presence sauntered through the doorway.

The devil attacks the Horton Christmas

The devil attacks the Horton Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2021

In the DiMera living room, Abigail and Chad talked about the presents they had purchased for their kids. "Ah, the mad rush to get gifts for the kids on Christmas Eve! I remember it well," Jack said as he marched into the room. Abigail rushed into Jack's arms. Jack explained, "Luckily, the weather changed, and we were able to catch the first flight out." "We?" Abigail asked. "Merry Christmas!" Jennifer said as she walked into the living room. Abigail screamed with joy and ran into her mother's arms.

"Are you here for good?" Abigail asked. Jennifer said she was almost done settling Laura's estate, but she wanted to come home for Christmas. When Abigail mentioned that it was time to go to the Horton house to hang ornaments, Jennifer squealed in delight.

The devil posed as Shawn and called Belle to tell her to meet him at the Salem Inn. When Belle arrived at the designated room, Shawn was having sex in bed with another Belle. "What the hell is going on here?" Belle yelled. Startled, Shawn looked back and forth at the two Belles. Belle yelled that she was Shawn's wife.

"I don't understand," Shawn whispered. When Shawn looked back at the woman in the bed, she was transformed back into Jan. "Oops," Jan said. Shawn scrambled out of bed. "I swear I thought that was you," Shawn said. "Obviously, but how did this happen?" Belle asked. Shawn told Belle about the original text message, and that "Belle" had answered the door.

"After everything that happened with Kayla and Steve, you didn't think to check this was me before you jumped into bed?" Belle yelled. Shawn told Belle that he had called Rafe. "Spoiler alert! I don't think that was really Rafe on the phone," Jan said. Jan told Belle and Shawn that she had partnered with the devil.

When Belle mentioned that the devil had pulled the same trick to steal Kayla's key card, Jan noted that the devil had used the card to visit her in the hospital. "When we checked on [Jan], she was still in the coma," Shawn said. "Sorry to keep spoiling on the story, but that wasn't me, either," Jan said. "Then who the hell was in the hospital?" Belle asked. Jan shrugged off the question, and she stressed that the important issue was that she had been with Shawn on his anniversary. "You disgust me," Shawn said. Shawn arrested Jan.

At the penthouse, John talked to Steve on the phone about Marlena. "The season for miracles, right? You just have to keep the faith," Steve said. John wished Steve a merry Christmas. "We could use a Christmas miracle right about now," John whispered after he ended the call. Someone knocked on the front door. It was Gabriel.

"I don't even believe this," John whispered. John invited Gabriel inside. "You don't know how good it is to see you," John said. "You didn't think that I would stay away, did you? Not when you are going through such a trying time," Gabriel said. John said he felt helpless and scared. Gabriel reminded John that God was always with him. "I need more," John pleaded. John said only divine intervention could save Marlena.

"Marlena is leaving carnage in her wake wherever she goes. A trail of pain that is pretty easy to follow," Gabriel said. John asked Gabriel where to find Marlena. "If ever there was a time to make an exception, it's now," Gabriel said. After a moment, Gabriel told John that devil Marlena was with Doug and Julie.

"I've got to go to them," John said. Gabriel gave John his St. Benedict medal. "Wearing this represents a prayer to invoke God's blessing through his intercession. It will protect you and the people you love," Gabriel said. Gabriel told John that the medal would give him the strength he needed to drive the devil away.

"You're not coming with me?" John asked. "I'm afraid I can't. This is your battle, but you have defeated this demon before. You are strong enough to do this on your own if you don't lose faith," Gabriel said. John hugged Gabriel and thanked him. "God be with you, my friend," Gabriel said.

At the police station, Shawn shoved Jan into a chair to wait for an open cell. "I have some delicious memories to keep me occupied," Jan said. "Where is my mother?" Belle asked. With a shrug, Jan said she did not know where to find Marlena, and she would not tell anyone if she did. Belle was agitated, but Shawn urged her to calm down. With a grin, Jan asked Shawn if he had enjoyed "Belle's new tricks."

"You crazy bitch," Belle muttered. "The only fun I'm going to have is seeing you locked up for good," Shawn said. Jan argued that the chemistry between her and Shawn had been real. "The image of me having the time of my life with your husband, it is never going to leave you. I'll be in your head forever and always," Jan said. "Get her out of my sight," Belle growled.

After an officer took Jan away, Shawn held his wife's hands. "I never thought that I could be fooled. That I couldn't recognize my own wife. I'm so sorry," Shawn said. Belle sniffled back tears. "Jan was right, though. Getting that image of you two in bed out of my head is going to take a long time. As hurt as I am, I don't blame you. The devil literally made you do it," Belle said. Shawn stressed that he would never willingly betray Belle.

"I know," Belle said. "I hate Jan. She took this special day away from us," Shawn grumbled. Belle noted that Jan had not torn them apart. "Happy Anniversary," Belle said. "Happy Anniversary, my love," Shawn said. Belle and Shawn hugged.

At the hospital, Steve asked Allie when she had last seen Tripp. "Last night. He told me he was working an overnight shift, and he was supposed to come meet me this morning," Allie explained. Allie said she had decided to go to the hospital to check on Tripp when he had not shown up at her apartment. Steve said Tripp had not returned his calls, either. Steve added that Tripp had never clocked out of the hospital to end his shift.

With Kayla's approval, Steve and Allie went into Kayla's office to use her computer. "And you can pull up security footage?" Allie asked. Steve nodded yes. As Steve looked through the files, Allie spotted Tripp's arrival at work. The screen went blank. "The recording is still playing, but there is nothing there. It's like it was erased," Steve said. Steve slowed down the footage and noted that the timestamp was right after Steve had found Kayla unconscious in her office.

"Are you saying that my grandma is the one who erased the tapes?" Allie asked. "Or worse. I think she might have done something to Tripp," Steve murmured. Steve's phone rang with a call from Belle. "Shawn is booking Jan right now," Belle told Steve. Confused, Steve noted that Jan was still in a coma. "You might want to check who is in that bed, because it sure as hell isn't Jan," Belle said.

When Steve and Allie returned to Jan's hospital room, they found Tripp in her bed. Tripp seemed to be in a coma. Allie sat by his side and held his hand. "I'm here with your dad. We're really worried," Allie said. Allie asked Tripp to wake up. "It's Christmas Eve, and we need you. Please come back to us," Allie whispered.

Tripp stirred awake. "Thank God you're all right," Steve said. "How did I end up in here?" Tripp asked. Steve told Tripp not to worry about that. "Let's just hope there is more good news to go around," Steve said.

At the Horton house, Ben placed the angel at the top of the tree. As Doug, Julie, Ciara, and Ben admired the angel on the tree, the angel burst into flames. The patio doors flew open, and devil Marlena walked into the house. "Were all those cop cars outside for little old me?" the devil said. "What did you do to them?" Julie asked. Devil Marlena chuckled and said he had sent them to the North Pole.

"What do you want with us?" Julie cried out. "I was hoping it was time to open presents, because I've come for mine," the devil said. Devil Marlena stared at Ciara. Ben stepped in front of Ciara, and the devil asked Ben if he believed he could stop the devil. Julie used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames on the tree.

"Stronger together! We're all going to stop you," Julie said. The devil smirked. Julie argued that it was the Horton home. "Where goodness and love always lived," Julie said. The devil disagreed. "I always get what I want, and I want that baby," devil Marlena said. "I will fight you with everything in my soul," Ben growled. Devil Marlena said she planned to walk out of the house with Ciara.

"You'll have to kill me first," Ben said. "That can be arranged," the devil countered. Ciara held Ben back. Julie warned the devil that the devil would not leave the house with Ciara and the baby. "I hate this house. It's so full of history and historical do-gooders all trying to save the world from the devil," the devil said. When Doug yelled that they had driven the devil out of him, devil Marlena argued that he had let Doug go.

"I could have killed [Doug] awhile back, and maybe I will do it this time. Right now, the only person in this room I need alive is [Ciara]," devil Marlena said. Julie reminded the devil that she had cast the devil out on Thanksgiving with the power of love. "I'm done chatting," the devil said. Devil Marlena created two torches of fire out of thin air and held them aloft.

"Do you think that your love can put out these flames?" the devil asked. A wind blew into the room, and the flames went out on the torches. "Merry Christmas, everyone. Looks like I got here just in time," John said. Ben told John that the devil had planned to set them all on fire. "We're stronger now. John is with us," Julie said. "I wouldn't count on that. John is not your savior. Ask him about how I nearly choked him to death the other day," devil Marlena said. "And yet I'm still here," John countered. The devil credited Belle with having saved John's life.

Devil Marlena noted that Belle was busy watching her marriage crumble. The devil reignited the torches. John held the St. Benedict medal in his hand and prayed for protection. When John thrust his hand forward, the torches went out. "I've got God on my side, and with his help, I am taking you out," John growled. The devil glanced at the medal, and he noted that Gabriel was not supposed to get involved.

"Neither are you," John said as he continued to hold the medal out as a ward against the devil. The devil dropped the torches to the ground. "I'm still stronger," the devil said. "And with the strength of God, I will not let you hurt the people I love. Forgive me, Doc!" John said. As John thrust his hand forward again, the devil flew across the room. When the devil got back on his feet, John shoved his hand forward again. "Begone!" John yelled. Devil Marlena flew against the wall and crumpled to the floor, unconscious.

After Ben helped John carry Marlena to the car, he returned to comfort Ciara. "Did she wake up?" Doug asked. Ben said no. "Do you think it is safe for John to be alone with that creature?" Julie asked. Ben told Julie that John wanted to take care of Marlena on his own. In tears, Ciara whispered, "She came for our baby." Ben and Julie assured Ciara that she and the baby were safe. Doug and Julie agreed that the power of love would save Marlena.

"On Christmas Eve, we have shown Satan that there are powers greater than the ultimate evil," Doug said. Relieved, Julie said she was excited to have a quiet Christmas. Ciara lamented that the devil had burned the angel topper on the tree.

"The devil himself tried to ruin our holiday, but we're still going to try to have a Horton family Christmas," Julie said. "Did I hear somebody say a Horton family Christmas?" Jennifer asked. Jennifer rushed into the room with Jack, Abigail, Chad, and the kids. "You are really home," Julie said. "I can't stay away from Salem, not on Christmas," Jennifer said.

"Maybe I should go," Ben whispered to Ciara. Ciara reminded Ben that he was her family, and she told him to stay. Abigail and Chad walked over. "I don't want to make a mess of your Christmas," Ben said. "This holiday is about family coming together," Chad said. "We just want to say merry Christmas," Abigail said. Chad agreed. "Merry Christmas," Ben said.

"Where's the angel?" Thomas asked Julie. "The angel got a boo-boo," Julie said. "So, we took her down to give her some rest," Doug added. Julie asked Thomas to help her hang the ornaments. Doug confirmed that Maggie wanted to stay with Victor because of Philip's disappearance. Julie added that Eli and Lani would not be there because the twins were under the weather.

The family hung their ornaments on the tree. "Look around you, my darling. Now try to tell me that Christmas has been ruined," Doug said. Julie squeezed Doug's hand as they watched their family celebrate. "Is it me, or is the tree more beautiful than ever this year?" Julie asked. "I think because it means more after everything we almost lost," Jennifer said. Julie said she wished there was an angel for the top.

"You need an angel?" Jennifer asked. Jennifer picked up a box and handed it to Julie. Inside was a new angel for the tree. "It was in my mother's things. I know that she would want nothing more than for you to have it," Jennifer explained. Ben took the angel and placed it atop the tree.

In a room somewhere in Salem, devil Marlena woke up tied to a bed. "I hope these accommodations are to your liking," John said. The devil glowered at John in the corner.

Recaps for the week of December 27, 2021 (Following Week)
THE LATEST DAYS HEADLINES
Kyle Lowder returns to Days of our Lives
DAYS OF OUR LIVES

MAKING HEADLINES: SOAP OPERA NEWS, UPDATES, AND HEADLINES

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
Vincent Irizarry returns to The Bold and the Beautiful
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
DAYS OF OUR LIVES
Kyle Lowder returns to Days of our Lives
DAYS OF OUR LIVES
GENERAL HOSPITAL
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Y&R alum Jason Canela shares exciting baby news
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Y&R Report Card: 2022 Half-Year Review
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
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