Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of January 3, 2022 on DAYS

Sami left Salem with Lucas. Ava acted offended when Rafe questioned her about Duke. Jennifer had a heart-to-heart with Gwen. Jack buried the hatchet with Xander and Gwen before he left town with Jennifer. Abigail investigated Philip and Sarah's disappearances with Xander's help. Kayla helped Steve look for Kristen. Chad told Kate about his alliance with Lucas. E.J. apologized to Nicole, but she rebuffed him. Susan had a vision that made her violently ill. Paulina threw a wedding reception. Devil Johnny took over and announced at his reception that he did not want to be with Chanel.
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 Devil Johnny announced he did not want to be with Chanel, Chad told Kate about his alliance with Lucas, and Jack and Jennifer left town
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The devil settles into its new identity

The devil settles into its new identity

Monday, January 3, 2022

by Mike

At the town square's bar, Kate and Roman rang in the New Year with a kiss at midnight -- and their party companions, Kayla and Steve, turned to each other to do the same. "Don't worry, Sweetness -- it's still me; not Marlena, and definitely not the devil," Steve stressed, prompting Kayla to recoil with a sigh. "Too soon to joke about it?" Steve deduced. "Kind of!" Kayla confirmed. "Sorry, baby -- come back!" Steve begged, still wanting a kiss -- and Kayla hesitantly complied as Roman and Kate laughed.

Kate eventually admitted that it was nice to be included in the family gathering. "Well, it's no secret that you and I have had our differences...but you make my brother happy, and so I am happy for both of you," Kayla declared before changing the subject, proposing a toast to the hope that Philip was still alive and would be found in the new year. "Speaking of which..." Roman began before trying to hire Steve to investigate Philip's disappearance. "Actually...I'm already on the case," Steve informed Roman as Kate squirmed.

"I got a call from Brady earlier today -- [turns out], Brady and Chloe believe that Kristen framed Brady for Philip's murder, [so] if that's true, and I can track her down, she might have the answers we're looking for," Steve elaborated. "[Well], whatever Kristen was guilty of in the know, generally, her M.O. was not to kill -- she's more into hiding people," Roman assured Kate. "That's true -- and that's why I think that Kristen is holding Philip prisoner somewhere while this thing plays out. [And] I'll do everything I can to bring him home to you," Steve promised Kate.

"You okay?" Roman wondered when Kate didn't immediately respond. "I'm sorry -- it's just a lot to absorb... Do you mind if we just call it a night?" Kate stammered, prompting Roman to say a quick goodbye to Kayla and Steve. "Well, that's great news -- if anybody can find Philip, Steve can!" Roman assured Kate after Steve and Kayla left the bar. "Steve's not going to find Philip," Kate insisted. "You don't know that for sure --" Roman protested. "I do -- [because] I know exactly what happened to Philip...and I know exactly where he is," Kate clarified, stunning Roman.

"Would you have [ever] told me had I not asked Steve to look for Philip?" Roman wondered after Kate elaborated. "I feel so guilty about not telling you -- [but] I just didn't want to burden you [and] force you to lie... [Anyway], you know now, [and] I can't tell you what a relief it is to me, because now we can go into the new year [with] no secrets between us -- none... But, please, I have to ask you not to tell anyone about this," Kate responded. "I will keep your secret...[but] I just wish people who care about Philip could know the truth, too, just for their own peace of mind," Roman fretted. "It's too risky," Kate insisted, and Roman conceded the point.

At the Evans-Black townhouse, John pulled away from Marlena after they rang in the New Year with a kiss at midnight. "This is gonna be our best year ever," John predicted. "[It's] thanks to you [that] we have this year -- and many more to come," Marlena raved -- but John didn't want to take all the credit. "You wouldn't be here without the love of your entire family," John explained before giving Marlena another kiss.

Marlena and John soon received a visit from Kayla and Steve, who had decided to stop by after seeing that lights were on in the townhouse. Marlena seized the opportunity to apologize for having caused trouble for Steve and Kayla while possessed -- and Tripp, as well. Kayla and Steve assured Marlena that they understood -- and that Tripp was fine. "I'll tell you, what really shocked me, more [than anything else], was when..." Kayla blurted out before apologizing then trying to change the subject. "No, that's all right -- you were shocked when...what?" Marlena prodded Kayla. "You kissed me," Kayla clarified before elaborating.

Marlena stammered in response, prompting Kayla to apologize again. "No, it's all right -- it's fine... I just have always thought of myself as enlightened, and... This is a first..." Marlena explained. "For me, too," Kayla stressed. "These two just friends?" Steve whispered to John. "Stop it!" Kayla snapped. "Kayla thinks it's too soon to joke about it," Steve translated. "Well, I'm glad we can talk about it, you know? Just, as adults, talk about what happened, and be open and frank with each other -- and, you know, if it's awkward, we can even make a joke about it... So, to answer your immature and insensitive question, [Steve] -- we're just friends," Marlena responded -- and that made everyone feel comfortable again.

At the Brady Pub, Sami pulled away from Lucas after they rang in the New Year with a kiss at midnight. "So...what are you thinking?" Sami wondered. "That this is gonna be a really great year -- if you meant what you said," Lucas responded. "Every word," Sami insisted.

"[So]'re not kissing me and making big plans because you're frustrated that E.J. kidnapped you...right? I mean, this is about us -- it's about you and me? It's not about payback, or revenge, or the clock striking midnight, or --" Lucas challenged Sami, who interrupted with another kiss.

"Okay, that was a really good answer..." Lucas admitted after Sami pulled away. "But...listen to me, please -- I was 100% in [before, but] you told me you never wanted it to happen again --" Lucas noted. "Yeah, well, I'm all in now, okay?" Sami maintained.

"I just felt guilty [for] cheating on E.J., and it just blinded me to the truth -- [that] you're my soul mate, and you always have been --" Sami reasoned. "I believe that...but do you believe that, or are you gonna go running back to E.J. again, like you always do?" Lucas countered.

"I know this seems out of nowhere, and I know that I can be impulsive...but, Lucas, I promise you -- this time, it's different, okay? [Look], I finally see E.J. for who he really is -- [and] now that I've seen it, I can't unsee it. I mean, he's the kind of man who would kidnap me and throw me in a locked room for months -- [and] I can't love someone who would do that to me!" Sami declared, causing Lucas to start squirming. Sami eventually noticed, but Lucas pretended to be squirming due to impatience, not discomfort -- then seized a kiss to sell the lie.

Sami spontaneously suggested to Lucas that it would be best for them to leave Salem right away and start a new life together somewhere else -- perhaps with Sydney in Europe, or with Will, Sonny, and Arianna in Phoenix. "I don't care where we are, Lucas, as long as I'm with you," Sami stressed. "As long as we're not here -- [where] E.J. [is] -- you mean," Lucas translated. "Well, yes, fine -- [after all], he's out on bail, and when he finds out that we're together, he could come after you..." Sami reasoned before again observing that it seemed like something was bothering Lucas.

"If this is gonna work, we have to be honest with each other," Sami warned. "There's something you need to know --" Lucas informed Sami -- but Roman and Kate approached before anything else could be said. Kate and Roman were both surprised to learn that Sami and Lucas were back together again -- and were planning to leave Salem the following day. "Kate, I hope you can be happy for us --" Sami began. "If Lucas is happy," Kate agreed -- and Roman also congratulated Sami and Lucas.

At the DiMera mansion, Tripp and Allie finished ringing in the New Year with a kiss at midnight -- then they turned to Chanel. "Happy New Year?" Tripp offered. "At least for you guys, it's happy..." Chanel responded. "I thought Johnny was gonna be down in time to toast with us," Allie admitted. "That's what he said...but, obviously, he's not here, so whatever's keeping him must be more important than his first kiss on New Year's [Day] with his wife..." Chanel grumbled.

Allie felt responsible for Johnny's absence, guessing that it had something to do with their recent argument, but Chanel thought that matter had been settled earlier. "[Then] maybe it's just that he's still not feeling well," Tripp suggested. "Yeah -- it could be that he's sicker than he let on," Chanel agreed before rushing off to check on Johnny.

Tripp and Allie decided not to follow, preferring to make out again instead -- this time without an audience. "This is the best New Year's I've had in a really, really long time -- maybe ever!" Allie raved to Tripp, who returned the sentiment before they picked up where they had left off at midnight.

Upstairs, the demonic presence continued primping in front of a wall-mounted mirror in Johnny and Chanel's bedroom. "Oh, Marlena -- I can't wait to see the look on your face when you find out I haven't gone anywhere...and I can promise you, as well as anyone else who thought I was gone for good, it's gonna be a hell of a new year!" the demonic presence teased.

The demonic presence cackled while recalling how it had moved from Marlena to Johnny during the exorcism at the Evans-Black townhouse and had then watched from a corner of the master bedroom as everyone else reached the conclusion that the ritual had been a complete success. "That sanctimonious family and all their drivel about love -- well, they may have driven me out of Marlena, but her grandson is all mine now, and he and I will pick up right where Marlena and I left off!" the demonic presence bragged.

Chanel soon entered the bedroom, prompting the demonic presence to hide its glowing yellow eyes then turn away from the mirror. "I was afraid that you still weren't feeling well --" Chanel began. "No, I'm totally fine now -- it just took me a while to get dressed," the demonic presence explained as Johnny, showing off its wardrobe. "That suit is fire!" Chanel declared.

"But, Johnny, you missed the midnight toast -- and our kiss!" Chanel grumbled. "It's that late already? I'm sorry -- I must have lost track of time... But nothing says that you and I can't have our New Year's moment right now..." the demonic presence responded as Johnny before kissing Chanel passionately -- then trying to take things further. Chanel pulled away and reminded Johnny that Allie and Tripp were downstairs. "Oh, yeah... Right... Sorry -- I must have forgot..." the demonic presence muttered as Johnny. "Are you sure you're okay?" Chanel wondered. "Yeah -- fine," the demonic presence insisted as Johnny.

Allie and Tripp were still making out in the living room -- and debating whether to rush off to the Walker apartment so they could take things further -- when Chanel returned, with "Johnny" close behind. During a round of toasts, Tripp and Allie wondered if Chanel planned to officially adopt Johnny's surname. "I do love being Mrs. DiMera..." Chanel admitted. "Yeah, but it's such a hassle to change --" the demonic presence warned as Johnny. "Not for a woman in love!" Chanel insisted. "Well, whatever you decide...I'm still gonna call you 'DuPree' -- because 'DiMera' just doesn't have the same ring," Allie decided.

"I don't care what anybody calls long as I can call [her] 'wife'..." the demonic presence stressed as Johnny before kissing Chanel -- then staggering backward. "You still seem a little off..." Chanel noted. "Busy few weeks -- I'm just tired," the demonic presence reasoned as Johnny, stifling a yawn. "Are you sure? I can check you out --" Tripp offered. "No, it's fine -- [seriously], a little sleep's all I need...especially with my beautiful wife next to me," the demonic presence maintained as Johnny while eyeing Chanel -- and Allie and Tripp took that as their cue to leave.

Later, Tripp and Allie made plans for the new year while lying in bed together at the Walker apartment. Meanwhile, the demonic presence seized another kiss from Chanel at the DiMera mansion -- then staggered backward again. "If you won't get checked out, then the sooner we get you tucked in, the better," Chanel advised. "Go on up -- I'll be there in a second," the demonic presence responded as Johnny.

Once the coast was clear, the demonic presence raised a glass of Champagne to Stefano's portrait. "Felice Anno Nuovo, Nonno -- and I promise you, your little Giovanni is going to make you very proud this year..." the demonic presence declared with a grin as the flames in the fireplace below the portrait suddenly rose several feet higher.

Jack and Jennifer say goodbye

Jack and Jennifer say goodbye

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Gwen dreamed that Xander discovered that she had known about Sarah's kidnapping. Xander grabbed Gwen by the shoulders and shook her. "I know where Sarah is. She's been there for months, and you knew about it all along," Xander growled. "I can explain!" Gwen pleaded. Xander argued that Gwen could not explain why she had allowed someone to terrorize Sarah.

"You also knew that Sarah never betrayed me with Rex. It was all that lunatic Kristen who orchestrated that, and she told you all about that. Didn't she?" Xander asked. Gwen whimpered a yes. When Gwen argued that Kristen had threatened her and that Gwen had been afraid to lose Xander, he scoffed.

"I thought you loved me, too," Gwen said. "That was before I knew who you were. What you were. My God, no wonder your own father doesn't want anything to do with you," Xander grumbled. Xander ordered Gwen to move out while he went to find Sarah. "Don't leave me!" Gwen screamed. Xander woke Gwen from her nightmare. Relieved, Gwen hugged Xander tightly.

"You were dreaming you were begging someone not to leave you. Were you talking to me?" Xander asked. Gwen said she had been dreaming about when she had been a child. "All I have to do is just wake up next to you, and I know that all of that is in the past," Gwen said. Xander pulled Gwen close to reassure her. Then Xander told her that he planned to hire Steve to find Sarah.

Nicole walked into the Basic Black office, and she was shocked to find the decapitated body of Duke on her desk. "What the hell?" Nicole murmured.

At the Hernandez house, Ava grumbled to herself about Rafe. "How long have you been making a fool out of me?" Ava muttered. Rafe entered the room, and he asked Ava if she was upset about something. Ava lied and said they were out of espresso.

"It's just that the look on your face looked more intense than 'I don't like this coffee.' Are you sure it isn't something else?" Rafe asked. "Don't you know by now that I overreact to most things?" Ava countered. Ava asked Rafe if he wanted to go out with Gabi and Jake. Taken aback, Rafe asked Ava if she was volunteering to spend time with his sister.

"It's the holidays. We're supposed to spend time with family," Ava explained. Rafe laughed. Ava suggested that they also invite Allie, Tripp, Nicole, and Holly. "Actually, I was hoping that you and I could spend time together. Alone for once," Rafe said. "Sounds wonderful," Ava said. Nicole called, and Rafe ignored it. Ava noted that Nicole would not call if it was not important. Reluctantly, Rafe answered the phone. Nicole asked Rafe to meet her at Basic Black.

"She says it's an emergency," Rafe told Ava. "Then you better go," Ava said. Rafe kissed Ava goodbye, and he left. Ava threw her coffee mug across the room, and it shattered. As Ava cleaned up the mess, she mockingly imitated Nicole complaining about her decapitated teddy bear. "And in other news, Rafe goes flying to her side! I wonder if he'll be able to find a way to comfort her. Bet they are on the conference table as we speak," Ava grumbled.

When Rafe arrived at Basic Black, Nicole showed him the stuffed bear. "This is sick. Who the hell would do such a thing?" Rafe asked. Nicole argued that Sami was to blame. "Who else hates me this much?" Nicole asked. Rafe called Allie, and she told him that Sami had left town with Lucas. Nicole remained adamant, so Rafe promised to follow up with Sami.

"Thanks for coming by," Nicole said. "That's it?" Rafe asked. Nicole told Rafe that she needed to work and that Rafe should be with Ava. Rafe wished Nicole a happy New Year, and he left. "This new year is off to a hell of a start," Nicole whispered as she cradled Duke's head. As Nicole sat down to work, she thought about her night with Rafe. "Focus, Walker," Nicole chastised herself.

As Rafe walked through the town square, he thought about his night of passion with Nicole at Basic Black. "What are you doing, man? You're with Ava," Rafe whispered. As Rafe turned the corner, he ran into Ava. Ava asked about Nicole, and Rafe told her about Duke. "You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?" Rafe asked.

Abigail visited Maggie at the Kiriakis mansion to talk to her about an article about Philip's disappearance. "I just wanted to give you and Victor a heads-up," Abigail said. Abigail promised to update Maggie and Victor about any sensitive news before the article was published.

"While you're out trying to find out what happened to Philip, would you help me find Sarah?" Maggie asked. Maggie told Abigail all she knew about Sarah's exit out of Salem. Maggie also confirmed that Shawn said the police could not get involved because Sarah had left town of her own free will.

"I'm beyond worried. I'm just very frustrated that there is something very wrong. So, if you and your paper could help me try to find Sarah," Maggie said. Abigail promised to help. "When was the last time that you actually did hear from Sarah?" Abigail asked. Maggie showed Abigail the texts from her daughter. Abigail offered to obtain Sarah's phone records. With a sigh, Maggie expressed her concern about Victor and Philip.

"I hope I have a little of your strength," Abigail said. "Really?" Maggie asked. "Yeah. I'm running the whole paper now," Abigail said. Maggie asked about Jack. "He and my mom have other plans," Abigail said. "Listen, if you don't have time to look for Sarah," Maggie started. Abigail stressed that she would make time to find Philip and Sarah.

Abigail said she planned to start her search with Xander, since he had been unhappy with Sarah. "Xander is the one that came to me. He is very worried about Sarah, but he is with someone else," Maggie said. With a smirk, Abigail said that she knew Xander was with Gwen. "Any port in a storm," Abigail joked. Maggie noted that Xander was serious about Gwen. "God help him," Abigail countered.

After some phone calls to Melissa, Nathan, and Melanie, Maggie confirmed that no one in the family had heard from Sarah. "We're going to find her, Aunt Maggie. I promise," Abigail said. Maggie told Abigail to send her regards to Jack and Jennifer, and Abigail left. Maggie picked up a photo album. "Mickey, bring our girl home," Maggie whispered.

At Steve and Kayla's apartment, Steve informed Kayla that he was off to track down Kristen. Kayla noted that Kristen had an unorthodox way to show her love, but Kayla did not believe that Kristen would frame Brady. "Maybe she has some twisted reason that we're not aware of," Steve said.

Before Steve and Kayla could continue their conversation, Jack and Jennifer rang the doorbell. Steve explained that he was on his way out of town for work. "That's a coincidence, because we're leaving, too," Jack said. Jennifer explained that she had discovered a small newspaper in Boston, dedicated to local news.

"Apparently, it is going to go under if we don't take it over," Jennifer explained. Jennifer said that she and Jack planned to leave the paper and staff the same but beef up the online presence to keep it going. "Small newspapers are challenged all over the country, so we just figured let Abigail take care of the Spectator, and we'll have a new mission," Jack explained. "So, you're moving?" Kayla asked. Jennifer said that the plan was to return to Salem once the paper was back on its feet.

"Well, I'll miss you so much, but I'm impressed, as always, with what you are doing," Kayla said. Xander knocked on the door, and Jack answered it. "How did you know I was here?" Jack asked. Xander explained that he was there to talk to Steve. When Jennifer noted that she and Jack needed to leave, Xander asked about their travel plans.

"Well, we bought a newspaper in Boston, and we'll be there for a while," Jack explained. "Leaving town? Does Gwen know?" Xander asked. Xander offered to tell Gwen the news on Jack's behalf. Jack said no.

"I really do hope things work out for you," Jack said. "He really does mean it. Gwen has not made it easy for Jack to have a relationship with her. He's not the villain here," Jennifer added. Xander agreed, and he shook Jack's hand. "Do have a nice life. I'll never forget that you were my mate when I really needed one," Xander said. Jack hugged Xander. Emotional, Jennifer and Jack hugged Steve and Kayla goodbye, too.

After Jack and Jennifer left, Xander apologized and offered to return later. "You're here already. Tell me what the hell you want," Steve said. "I want you to help me find Sarah," Xander explained. Xander sat down with Kayla and Steve, and he told Steve what he knew about Sarah's exit from Salem and about Rex.

"Does Maggie know about this?" Kayla asked. "I told her," Xander admitted. Xander explained that he and Maggie wanted to know that Sarah was safe. Steve asked if it was possible that Sarah had wanted to move on from her relationship with Xander. "That sudden? On the day we were supposed to be married?" Xander asked. "It happens," Steve said. Xander said he was concerned that something was very wrong.

"I'm on another case. I'm on my way out of town. Maybe you should talk to my partner," Steve suggested. "John? After everything he has been through with Marlena?" Kayla asked. With a shrug, Xander said he was too worried to back off. Xander called John, but John refused to take a case until Marlena was feeling better. "Guess I'll have to find Sarah by myself," Xander said.

After Xander left, Kayla wheeled out a suitcase. "John can't be your backup, so I will be," Kayla explained. "I'm going after Kristen. I don't want you anywhere near that psycho," Steve stressed. Kayla reminded Steve that she had helped him on several occasions. After a few choice words by Kayla, Steve asked her to join him.

At the Horton house, Jennifer told Jack that she was grateful that Jack had cleared the air with Xander. "[ But Gwen] is your daughter. You have to say goodbye to her," Jennifer said. "I can't believe that you're worried about Gwen," Jack countered. Jennifer noted that she was concerned about Jack. "Don't leave like this. It will tear you up inside," Jennifer advised. Jennifer encouraged Jack to call Gwen.

Xander went to the Kiriakis mansion to update Maggie about his conversation with Steve. "I did find someone to help. Abigail is going to look into it," Maggie said. Maggie argued that Abigail was "tenacious just like her folks." Xander told Maggie that he had spoken to Jack and Jennifer. "They're leaving town," Xander said. "How was it seeing Jack?" Maggie asked. Xander noted that he and Jack had buried the hatchet. "But when I tried to get him to talk to Gwen, it looks like I'll have to be the one to tell her that he is gone," Xander said.

After a moment, Xander wondered aloud if Abigail would want to work with him to track down Sarah because of his relationship with Gwen. "Abigail is totally professional, and she can control her personal feelings," Maggie said. "Unlike Gwen, right?" Xander countered. "You said it. I didn't. Besides, Abigail has already said she needs to talk to you," Maggie noted.

Gwen knocked on the door of the Hernandez house. "What are you doing here? We can't be seen together," Ava said. Gwen pleaded for help. When Gwen asked if they were alone, Ava explained that Rafe was "with his bitch of a sidepiece."

"He's having an affair?" Gwen asked. "[Nicole] called him to show him the dead body that I left in her office," Ava said. After Ava told Gwen about the teddy bear, she asked Gwen what was wrong. Gwen explained that Xander was focused on locating Sarah. Ava assured Gwen that Kristen would have made sure that no one could find Sarah.

"[Kristen] is not going to double-cross us," Ava added. Ava told Gwen not to worry. "Except for the fact that Xander now wants to hire Steve to help find her," Gwen said. "Okay, you do have to worry," Ava admitted. Ava noted that if Steve located Sarah without Kristen's help, Steve would not discover that Gwen had known the truth about Sarah.

"So, Xander won't kill me. He'll just ride off into the sunset with [Sarah]," Gwen said. "You don't know that. [Xander] could choose you," Ava said. Gwen was skeptical. "What's so special about [Sarah], anyway?" Ava asked. Gwen noted that Sarah was a good person, unlike her. Ava advised Gwen not to bother with a man who was too stupid to appreciate her.

"Are we talking about Xander now or Rafe?" Gwen countered. "Both," Ava confirmed. Gwen's phone beeped with a text, and she gasped. "It's my father. He wants to talk to me. He wants to see me," Gwen said. Gwen thanked Ava for her help. "Sorry about Rafe," Gwen added. After Gwen walked out, Ava said, "Not as sorry as he is gonna be." Ava thought about when she had cut the head off of Duke. "That's the least that those two deserve," Ava muttered.

At the Horton house, Gwen met up with Jack. "So, what do you want?" Gwen asked. "To tell you I love you," Jack said. Gwen started to cry. "I'm sorry, that's not what I expected. That can't be true. That can't be true, not after what I've done," Gwen whispered. Jack noted that Gwen was his daughter, and he could not stop loving her. Jack stepped forward and hugged Gwen, as she sobbed with relief.

"Return of the prodigal daughter," Abigail muttered as she walked into the room. Gwen pulled away from Jack. "We were just saying goodbye," Gwen said. "Don't let me interrupt you," Abigail said. Abigail reiterated that she would not stand in the way of Jack and Gwen having a relationship. "Thank you," Gwen said. Abigail said that she believed people could change.

"I hope that someday, you and I will be better able to understand each other," Abigail added. "I hope so, too," Gwen said. "And I hope that, as well," Jennifer said as she entered the room. Jack agreed. When Jack asked Abigail about Maggie, Abigail explained that in addition to the story about Philip, she also planned to investigate Sarah's disappearance.

Kate accuses Chad of framing E.J.

Kate accuses Chad of framing E.J.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

by Mike

Xander and Rex bumped into each other outside the Brady Pub -- and when Rex tried to apologize for having been partially responsible for the collision, Xander dismissed the concern then offered to pay for a round of beers. "Why would you want to buy me a beer?" Rex wondered. "Well, the last time you and I ran into each other, we didn't get to finish our conversation," Xander reasoned.

Rex reluctantly agreed to humor Xander -- and after they claimed a table inside the pub and ordered beers, they resumed their recent discussion about the erratic behavior they had each witnessed when they had last interacted with Sarah. "This whole situation is..." Xander eventually tried to summarize. "Bizarre?" Rex offered. "Right? Especially when you factor in the whole 'Kristen/Susan' bit..." Xander responded.

Rex listened in stunned silence as Xander elaborated. "[Kristen's] creative -- I'll give her that... You know, the DiMeras have this secret deserted island that they use to get rid of people permanently, [and] Kristen was planning on shipping my mother off there [at one point]..." Rex informed Xander afterward. "What, she thought Kate's family wouldn't notice that she was gone?" Xander sputtered. "Oh, no, she had that covered -- [see], she had this mask that made her look exactly like my mom..." Rex clarified before telling Xander the rest of the story.

Xander eventually realized that Rex was about to leave Salem again -- and would be returning to Chicago, having fulfilled all obligations to Doctors Without Borders. Rex and Xander each promised to let the other know if they ever found out anything else about Sarah. "Thank you for making the time to talk to me -- wasn't that bad, right?" Xander declared. "Beer makes you easier to take," Rex responded.

At the Horton house, Abigail finished telling Jennifer, Jack, and Gwen about Maggie's fear that something was wrong with Sarah. "So, that is why Xander stopped by Steve and Kayla's when we were there," Jennifer realized. "[But] Steve had just agreed to take another case, so I assume he's not gonna be able to help find Sarah," Jack noted. "Then I guess it's up to me to find her," Abigail declared. "Why on earth would you do that?" Gwen protested.

Backpedaling, Gwen clarified that it just seemed like that was a job for a private investigator, not a reporter -- and Abigail conceded the point. "[But] Sarah's my cousin, [and] I promised Aunt Maggie --" Abigail explained. "Oh, please -- that is not what this is about, and you know it; you are just trying to get back at me!" Gwen snapped.

Abigail tried to deny the accusation, but Gwen continued lashing out. "You are always trying to undermine me -- you are always trying to keep me from the people that I love! You first did it with our father, and now you are doing it with Xander -- and I will be damned if I let you succeed!" Gwen spat. "I swear to you, I am only looking into Sarah's disappearance because I'm genuinely worried about her," Abigail insisted.

Gwen didn't respond, prompting Abigail to say a quick goodbye to Jack and Jennifer then rush off. "What's really going on here? Why are you so afraid that you're gonna lose Xander?" Jack challenged Gwen once the coast was clear. "It's just that...I have never, ever loved anyone the way that I love Xander -- [and] he told me how much he loved Sarah, [so] if she were to come back into the picture --" Gwen fretted. "Sarah dumped Xander on the morning of their wedding -- [and] that's not the sort of thing you can just forget, [so] why don't you just calm down and believe that everything's gonna work out just fine, [because] you have nothing to worry about," Jack advised.

Gwen forced a smile then apologized to Jack and Jennifer for the earlier outburst -- and promised to stay out of Abigail's way in the future. Gwen and Jack said goodbye to each other with a hug -- and Gwen was delighted to receive permission to start referring to Jack as "Dad" again. Meanwhile, at the DiMera mansion, Abigail received a visit from Xander, who offered to help with the investigation into Sarah's disappearance.

Nicole was at Basic Black, thanking the beheaded teddy bear for having always been around in times of need, when E.J. entered the CEO's office. "Ugh -- what are you doing here?" Nicole grumbled. "I thought we needed to talk," E.J. explained. "Well, now is not a good time -- I'm mourning the death of a friend," Nicole declared. "You're...mourning...a stuffed animal?" E.J. teased. "At least he had sentimental value!" Nicole countered. "Clearly -- [because] I tossed him months ago, [and] you...what, fished him out?" E.J. responded. "Yeah, I fished him out -- and who the hell are you to throw something out that belongs to me? [You know], as it turns out, the one who should have been tossed is you!" Nicole spat.

E.J. couldn't help laughing when Nicole accused Sami of having beheaded the teddy bear. "Who else would do something so loony? I'm telling you, that woman is starting to scare the hell out of me! [Now], if you don't want to take me seriously, fine -- but don't come crying to me when you find a horse's head in your bed some night..." Nicole argued. "All right -- if you really think Samantha did this, I'll just ask soon as we're on speaking terms again..." E.J. offered.

"Well, that won't be for a while..." Nicole warned before delighting in letting E.J. know that Sami had left town -- to start a new life with Lucas. "It's insane [that] Samantha went back to Lucas -- he was the one who had her kidnapped!" E.J. protested. "So, in your version of events, Lucas kidnapped Sami, [and then] Chad phonied up evidence to make you look guiltier -- oh, that is some conspiracy theory..." Nicole mused. "I'm telling you, I'm innocent!" E.J. insisted.

"I don't care," Nicole countered before trying to kick E.J. out. E.J. refused to leave without first apologizing to Nicole for what had happened on New Year's Eve. "I know why you kept your mouth shut about Sami [forgiving you] -- just in case she dumped you [again...which] she did. And now you've come crawling back to me. Well, I am sorry to disappoint you, because I sure as hell will not be your consolation prize!" Nicole snapped.

E.J. begged for another chance with Nicole. "You're the one I truly want --" E.J. claimed. "Do you know how many times I have heard that? Oh, sure -- you want me right now...but, ultimately, you will choose Sami. Eric wanted me...but, ultimately, he chooses God. And Rafe wants me, too...[but], in the end, he's choosing Ava. Do you know how sick and tired I am of men wanting it both ways? When is someone gonna put me first?" Nicole fretted before storming off.

At the Horton Town Square, Ava laughed off Rafe's accusation. "Let me get this straight -- somebody cut the head off of that bear that you and Nicole pass back and forth...and you think it was me? [Come on] -- why would I do a thing like that to something that means so much to you and Nicole?" Ava wondered. "[Because of] what he represents -- [you know], my friendship with Nicole," Rafe reasoned.

"You said that you were going to Basic Black the other day to see Nicole -- [which gives you] means, opportunity --" Rafe explained. "But no motive -- [I mean], Nicole has been a really good friend to me, and you are the man that I love, [so] I would never do anything to hurt either one of you, and I know that neither one of you would do anything to hurt me... [You know], I am offended that you would think that I would do something so...deranged!" Ava countered.

"I'm sorry -- [and], for whatever it's worth, Nicole thinks it's Sami that did it, and she's probably right," Rafe responded. "Now that you mention it, I did see a bottled blonde getting onto the elevator as I was leaving -- I didn't get a close look, but I suppose it could have been Sami..." Ava claimed. Rafe wanted to check the surveillance footage, but Ava laughed off the idea of making such a big deal about such a trivial matter. Rafe conceded the point then stepped aside -- and returned a short time later with a cake as a way of apologizing to Ava. After fantasizing about smashing the cake on Rafe's face, Ava instead accepted the peace offering -- just as Nicole approached. Ava glared at Nicole while hugging Rafe.

At DiMera Enterprises, Kate entered the CEO's office and watched as Chad propped both feet up on the desk then leaned back in the desk chair with a sigh of contentment. Kate reminded Chad that the company had seen more than its fair share of leadership changes over the years. "I'd advise you not to be too cocky," Kate warned. "E.J. was the one that was cocky," Chad argued.

"I'm not gonna feel guilty for enjoying his downfall -- he brought it on himself," Chad declared. "So, you think that he arranged for Sami's kidnapping," Kate translated. "Sure looks that way, based on the evidence," Chad reasoned. "Evidence you found in the company ledgers and promptly brought to Shin," Kate noted. "I would've been negligent if I hadn't -- E.J. was using company funds to pay for a personal vendetta," Chad stressed.

"[Which] just seems so incredibly stupid...and, you know, easily traceable... [And when you] add that to the fact that the discovery was so conveniently timed..." Kate mused. "Are you accusing me of cooking the books to get E.J.?" Chad sputtered. "E.J.'s a lot of things, but he's very rarely careless, and I find it very hard to believe that he would leave a paper trail for you to follow," Kate admitted.

"It's not like the payments were in a file labeled 'Samantha's Kidnapping' -- [I mean], there was a fair amount of digging that was involved," Chad insisted. "I see... Well, I mean, that makes sense, you know...but I don't believe it, so why don't you just tell me the truth -- you planted the evidence!" Kate countered. "After everything E.J. has done, I would be completely justified in planting the evidence against him -- but I didn't!" Chad responded.

"This is a very dangerous game that you're playing, because if E.J. can prove what you've done --" Kate warned. "He can't, because I didn't --" Chad maintained. "Swear on your father's grave that you're telling me the truth," Kate demanded -- and Chad hesitated then admitted defeat. "The evidence was planted...but guess what -- it wasn't by me; it was by Lucas!" Chad revealed.

Kate listened in stunned silence as Chad elaborated. "[But] why would Lucas go through all the trouble of framing E.J.? I mean, they'd pressed charges against E.J. already for the kidnapping --" Kate argued. "He was charged, but I don't think he's guilty -- [see], I'm pretty sure that the kidnapper was Lucas; [I mean], he basically admitted it," Chad clarified. "Why?" Kate sputtered. "Love makes you do really crazy stuff," Chad explained.

Chad apologized for having just given Kate another reason to worry. "One son went missing, and then the other one kidnapped his ex-wife -- it must be a very hard time for you," Chad acknowledged. "It is a hard time for me -- because this means I've failed two sons!" Kate fretted. "Well, I mean, I'm not gonna tell anybody, so the truth never has to come out," Chad stressed. "Yeah, well, maybe it should," Kate countered.

"[If] Roman finds out that I let Sami leave town with her kidnapper, he's never gonna forgive me --" Kate predicted. "You're gonna choose your own happiness over your own son?" Chad translated. "That's not fair at all -- I'm thinking of Lucas, too! [Look], he might need professional help -- [I mean, to] send E.J. to prison for something he didn't do --" Kate reasoned. "[Lucas] didn't seem unbalanced at all when I talked to him -- [and he] finally has everything that he's wanted for so long, [so] if you take that away from him, he is never gonna forgive you...[and], more importantly, you're probably gonna be sending him to prison... [Look], the best thing you can do for Lucas is just pretend we never had this conversation," Chad advised.

"I don't think I can keep quiet about this," Kate maintained -- and E.J. entered the CEO's office before Chad could respond. "Keep quiet about what? I'd be very interested to know..." E.J. challenged Kate and Chad.

Abigail and Xander decide to work together to locate Sarah

Abigail and Xander decide to work together to locate Sarah

Thursday, January 6, 2022

by Mike

At the DiMera mansion, Abigail asked Xander a bunch of questions about Sarah's disappearance -- then tried to end their conversation with a promise to share the results of the investigation before they were made available to the public via the Spectator. "Oh, no -- I want to help you find her! [I mean], I want to be more than a source -- I want to do whatever I can to bring Sarah home!" Xander offered. "I just don't think that's a very good idea, given the circumstances --" Abigail protested. "Look, if you're talking about me and your dad, it's fine -- we're pals again!" Xander revealed. "I'm talking about you and my sister," Abigail clarified before explaining what had happened earlier.

"You're not the one that Gwen's upset with," Xander insisted. "Sure felt like I was..." Abigail argued. "No, it's me -- she's not happy that I'm trying to figure out what happened to Sarah, even though I keep telling her that it's over between me and Sarah [and] that I just want to know if Sarah's all right [because] Maggie already lost one daughter this last year..." Xander explained.

Abigail shrugged then accepted Xander's earlier offer of help. "I could use someone doing the legwork -- I do have a daily paper to get out..." Abigail reasoned before telling Xander that their next order of business was to figure out how Sarah, whose vehicle was still at the Kiriakis mansion, had departed from Salem. Xander knew that Sarah had frequent-flyer accounts with three different airlines -- and also knew the username and password for each account -- but a quick search revealed that none of those accounts had been used since before their canceled wedding.

Abigail suggested to Xander that Sarah could have chartered a private plane instead. "But that just doesn't sound like Sarah --" Abigail acknowledged. "I agree -- but like I said [before], she was another person that day..." Xander responded. "If Sarah did charter a private plane, that's going to make her harder to find -- [and] maybe that's what she wanted," Abigail mused. "You know, that airfield where Uncle Vic keeps the company jet -- there's a bunch of private hangars there..." Xander noted. "DiMera uses the same airfield," Abigail stressed. Xander and Abigail decided to split up and question various people who might be able to shed light on things that happened at the airfield.

At the Horton house, Gwen tried to rush off after saying goodbye to Jack -- but Jennifer objected, wanting to extend an olive branch. "I'm so glad that you and Jack worked things out -- he loves all three of his children so much, and I know how much it means to him to have you in his life -- [and] I know that it might not be easy, but I was just hoping that maybe you could stay on good terms with Abigail, [too...and, you know, maybe that] would be easier if you and I got to know one another; I have been gone so long, settling my mother's estate, [that] we never really got to work through what my mother did to you all those years ago [and] what happened in your room the day she died --" Jennifer explained.

"Okay, I get it -- all this 'getting to know you' business is just you setting me up [because] you want to know if I killed your mom," Gwen decided. "I didn't mean to put you on the defensive -- that was not my intention," Jennifer insisted. "The police questioned me that day -- I told them everything that happened," Gwen stressed. "Yes -- but you never told me," Jennifer countered.

"All right... The truth is that I was in quite a state when I discovered that your mother had paid off my mother to disappear -- that decision completely changed the course of my life... So, I was quite displeased when Laura showed up at my door, [and] we did argue quite a bit... But Laura getting hurt -- getting killed -- that was an accident, I swear!" Gwen maintained.

"Your silence speaks volumes," Gwen grumbled when Jennifer didn't immediately respond. "It's hard to hear about the end of my mother's life, [so] I needed just a minute...[but] I do believe you," Jennifer declared before making it clear that Gwen would always be treated as part of the family in the future. Gwen thanked Jennifer then rushed off.

Once the coast was clear, Jennifer admitted to Jack that Gwen and Laura were the only two people who knew what had really happened during their conversation at the Salem Inn. "I just have to trust that Gwen isn't hiding something," Jennifer conceded with a shrug before rushing off to Julie's Place with Jack so they could say goodbye to Doug and Julie.

At DiMera Enterprises, Chad squirmed as Kate admitted that they had been talking about Lucas before E.J.'s arrival. "I already know [that] Lucas and Samantha left town together," E.J. grumbled before trying to convince Kate that Lucas was the true mastermind of Sami's kidnapping -- and that Chad was taking advantage of the situation to gain sole control of DiMera Enterprises.

Kate chose to side with Chad, prompting E.J. to storm off while vowing to make both of them pay for their respective betrayals. As soon as the coast was clear, Chad thanked Kate, who admitted to having been tempted to tell E.J. the truth. "But then I thought about what E.J. would do if he found out that you and Lucas conspired to frame him," Kate explained. "You did the right thing," Chad declared. "I don't know about that...but I do know one thing -- [that] somewhere out there in the universe, Stefano DiMera is looking down on you and saying, 'That's my boy!'" Kate countered before rushing off.

Kate ran into Jennifer and Jack outside Julie's Place -- and Jennifer couldn't resist the urge to declare that Jack and Kate's fling had been so insignificant that it didn't deserve a second thought.

At the Horton Town Square, Chanel exited Sweet Bits and locked the bakery's front door -- then found Paulina sitting on a nearby bench, holding a gift box. "Oh, please tell me that is not for me!" Chanel began. "I can't get my little girl a wedding present?" Paulina responded. "We are gonna need a storage bin for all the presents you've already given us!" Chanel fretted. "I'm not that bad --" Paulina argued. "37, Mama -- I wrote 'em all down!" Chanel countered. "You can't count 'china service for twelve' as twelve presents!" Paulina objected before informing Chanel that the latest gift was a soup tureen.

Chanel made it clear that every gift was appreciated -- but also made it clear that Paulina had bought more than enough already and could stop at any time. "Johnny and I are just glad to have your support," Chanel stressed. "Oh, I'm going to give you more than 'support'..." Paulina teased. "What are you talking about?" Chanel nervously wondered. "I'm talking about a good, old-fashioned wedding bash!" Paulina excitedly clarified.

Chanel tried to talk Paulina out of the idea -- then backed down after being subjected to a guilt trip about the fact that family and friends had been deprived of the opportunity to attend the wedding ceremony. "We can do it tonight," Paulina decided. "Tonight?" Chanel sputtered. "No time like the present," Paulina reasoned before starting to make a guest list -- prompting Chanel to reveal that Sami and Lucas wouldn't be able to attend the event because they had just left town together, having reunited after E.J.'s arrest for Sami's kidnapping. "I still don't understand your hubby's family tree..." Paulina muttered. "Well, my in-laws aren't the only dysfunctional family in Salem..." Chanel teased. "I'm gonna ignore that remark," Paulina countered before changing the subject, vowing to convince E.J. to attend the event so the groom's family would be represented.

At the Evans-Black townhouse, John fussed over Marlena, who eventually insisted that the excessive displays of concern weren't necessary. "I appreciate [it, but] this nightmare is behind us now," Marlena assured John as someone knocked on the front door. "The devil is not coming back -- I promise you, we're done with all that," Marlena added, convincing John to fight the instinct to view their visitor as a potential threat. John stepped aside so Marlena could open the front door -- then breathed a sigh of relief after getting a good look at their visitor.

"To what do we owe the pleasure?" Marlena wondered. "I had to see how you were doing," the demonic presence responded as Johnny. "See, [Doc] -- it's not just me; everyone wants to make sure that you're all right," John stressed. "I understand -- [but, Johnny], if you start waiting on me hand and foot, you're outta here!" Marlena jokingly warned before hesitantly recalling that Johnny had last visited the townhouse on Christmas Day. "And that wasn't exactly a 'fun' day..." the demonic presence noted as Johnny. "That's a fact -- but it's a new year, so that horrible ordeal is behind us now," John declared.

"Are you all right?" Marlena prodded "Johnny" after waiting a few seconds for a response to John's comment. "Yeah, I'm fine, Grandma -- I've just been a little off since I got back from Italy; probably just jet lag," the demonic presence answered as Johnny. "Recovering shouldn't take that long --" Marlena started to object -- but John changed the subject just then, recalling that Johnny had taken a girlfriend to Italy. "Chanel is not my girlfriend anymore -- she's my wife!" the demonic presence bragged as Johnny while revealing a wedding ring.

John and Marlena were both surprised by the seemingly sudden development -- but were also both quick to congratulate "Johnny" and offer their support. "Thank you [both] for being so great about this -- [I mean], my parents didn't exactly have the same reaction..." the demonic presence grumbled as Johnny before elaborating.

"[Anyway], I hope [Mom] and Lucas stay gone long enough for her to cool off... Still gotta deal with Dad, [of course, but] after what he did to my mom, I could care less what he thinks..." the demonic presence concluded as Johnny. "You think he kidnapped Sami," Marlena translated. "You don't?" the demonic presence responded as Johnny. "Well, I would say it looks bad..." Marlena admitted. "Because he did it!" the demonic presence stressed as Johnny. "Johnny, you know that he's gonna go to prison if he's found guilty --" John warned. "Good -- Chanel and I don't have to face him across the breakfast table [then]!" the demonic presence declared as Johnny.

"I don't want anything to do with him -- or his money; [in fact], I'm giving back everything he sunk into the movie --" the demonic presence added as Johnny. "You're not still thinking about making that movie, are you?" John sputtered. "No -- there's no way I would make it now," the demonic presence promised as Johnny before starting to backpedal, as if that wasn't what it had meant to say. "I did have a deal with the studio to distribute it... But I'll just tell them I'm shelving the project, [and] I'll just find another story to tell, [because] the demonic possession story is dead and buried," the demonic presence maintained as Johnny while looking somewhat conflicted.

"I just hate to see you have to give up on your dreams..." Marlena fretted. "Grandma, come on -- I told you that I would not make that movie without your blessing, and when you gave it to me, you weren't exactly you..." the demonic presence reasoned as Johnny before somewhat reluctantly rushing off. "He just didn't seem quite like himself today..." Marlena informed John once the coast was clear.

At the DiMera mansion, the demonic presence lashed out at Johnny. "Stop fighting me, Johnny -- you and I have so much to do together! Give in to me, and I will make you a star! That's what you want, isn't it? This is gonna be so much fun!" the demonic presence advised as Johnny listened in shock -- and Chanel entered their bedroom just then and wondered if something was wrong.

"I'm fine," the demonic presence insisted as Johnny. "I hope you mean it, because my mom has decided to throw us a wedding reception -- tonight," Chanel revealed. "I'm feeling much better -- [and] I think that a party in our honor sounds like all the fun in the world," the demonic presence declared as Johnny.

A revelation ruins the wedding reception

A revelation ruins the wedding reception

Friday, January 7, 2022

Eli rubbed Lani's feet as they sat on the couch in their apartment and talked about work. There was a knock at the door, and Eli reluctantly answered it. "I hope this isn't a bad time," Paulina said. With a sigh, Lani explained that she and Eli wanted a quiet evening alone. Paulina explained that she was throwing a wedding reception for Chanel.

"It would mean the world to Chanel if you could attend. It would mean the world to me, too," Paulina said. Lani explained that with her work schedule, she only had a few hours a day with the twins. "You wouldn't be gone that long," Paulina said. Lani said no. "We appreciate the invite, but Lani has had a tough day, so we got to sit this one out," Eli added. Paulina stammered that she understood and that they would schedule a family dinner.

"Sounds great. Please give Chanel our love," Eli said as he opened the door. After Paulina left, Lani reminded Eli not to be too nice to Paulina. "You give her an inch, she takes a mile," Lani said. In the hallway outside the apartment, Paulina wiped the tears from her eyes. Inside the apartment, Eli asked Lani what the harm would be in attending a family get-together.

"Don't you get it? That's not how she operates. You say yes to her once, then next thing you know, it is every week," Lani complained. Lani pointed out how Paulina had barreled into the apartment. "She has no respect for boundaries or what we want. It's all about what she wants," Lani said. "Right now, it is all about Chanel," Eli countered. When Lani complained that Paulina had bought all the items on the wedding registry, Eli noted that the best gift for Chanel was to be there for her.

"I want to be with the kids," Lani said. Eli noted that the kids were asleep, and he would stay with them so that Lani could go to the reception. Lani scowled. "I know that you are angry with your mother," Eli started. "Don't call her that!" Lani interjected. Eli reminded Lani that Chanel had not done anything wrong, and she would be hurt if Lani did not attend the party. With a groan, Lani told Eli that he was right, and she thanked him.

At the penthouse, Marlena relaxed at home while John was out at a poker game. Marlena answered a knock at the door. "Out, demon! Begone from Marlena Evans once and for all!" Susan shouted as she held out a cross. Susan splashed Marlena with holy water. "I appreciate your concern, but it's Marlena. The devil is gone," Marlena said. Susan told Marlena that she wanted to believe her, but she had been fooled before.

"I need to vanquish evil!" Susan yelped as she splashed more water on Marlena. "All you're doing is vanquishing my makeup," Marlena quipped. Marlena invited Susan inside the penthouse. After a moment, Susan said she believed that Marlena was not the devil. "After all you've been through, I can understand you being afraid," Marlena said. Marlena apologized. Susan said she knew that the devil was to blame.

"You know the reason he wanted you to be Kristen was so that you could seduce John," Marlena said. Susan said that there had been no chance that she could have seduced John because he was committed to Marlena. "I know. Even in my darkest hour, I never stopped believing in him. I never stopped believing in our love," Marlena said. Susan mentioned the wedding reception at the DiMera mansion. "Since you're Johnny's grandma, too, we should go together," Susan said. Marlena declined.

"You're not the only person that I hurt when I wasn't myself. I actually destroyed Paulina's wedding, and I don't think she would want me to be there to celebrate her daughter's wedding," Marlena explained.

At the DiMera mansion, Anna gasped with delight when she saw that the living room was full of decorations. "They are throwing a party to welcome us home from Europe," Anna said. Tony pointed out that the sign said congratulations, and Anna shrugged. E.J. walked in and welcomed Tony and Anna home. Tony asked about the decorations.

"It's a wedding reception for my son and his wife," E.J. explained. "Who is the lucky girl?" Tony asked. "She is a gold digger, actually. And I predict my son will have to pay a small fortune to get rid of this one," E.J. complained. "You need to stop being so cynical," Anna said. Tony advised E.J. not to alienate his son.

"Why don't you just put on a happy face and give these kids your blessing?" Tony asked. "Even if I think it's a match made in hell?" E.J. countered. Tony argued that E.J. was overreacting. With a sneer, E.J. called Chanel a con artist. "Hang on here a minute, E.J. Tony has met Chanel, and he thinks she is a lovely woman," Anna said. Tony argued that his appraisal did not matter.

"Johnny is obviously in love with [Chanel]. Made a commitment to her. I'm at least willing to give her a chance," Tony said. E.J. argued that it was a costly risk. "Not everyone is after the DiMera fortune," Anna said. E.J. told Anna that Chanel had married Xander for money. With a shrug, Tony reminded E.J. that they did not know the whole story.

"Doesn't she now have her own successful business? And from what I've heard, she's already an heiress," Tony said. "Yes, but it is new money," E.J. said. E.J. pointed at the decorations and scoffed at Paulina's taste. Paulina walked in and needled E.J. about his comments. Anna introduced herself and Tony to Paulina.

"We are so over the moon that your daughter and our nephew found each other. Can't wait to meet your Chanel. I've heard such nice things about her," Anna said. Frustrated, E.J. asked Tony to help him with the Champagne. Once E.J. and Tony were out of the room, Anna advised Paulina to ignore E.J.'s moodiness. Paulina noted that E.J. was not thrilled about the wedding. Anna countered that E.J.'s grumpiness was more attributable to the loss of his job. "Don't listen to a word he said about your taste. I think these decorations are fabulous," Anna said.

Upstairs, Chanel curled up in bed, and she called Allie at her apartment. Chanel invited Allie and Tripp over for the wedding reception. "I meant to call you earlier, but Johnny has been distracting me," Chanel said with a giggle. Johnny exited the bathroom. "You ready for another round?" Johnny asked. Chanel ended her call with Allie, and she beckoned Johnny back to bed.

"I feel like I could go forever," Johnny purred. "Just this morning, you were completely wiped out, and now, it's like you're unstoppable," Chanel said. Johnny thought about when he had seen the devil's eyes reflected in the mirror. As the smile fell from Johnny's face, Chanel asked Johnny if he was okay. With a shake of his head, Johnny said he had been thinking about his love for Chanel. Chanel reminded Johnny that they needed to get ready for the party. Johnny grabbed Chanel, and they made love again.

After, Johnny told Chanel that he was excited for the party so that everyone could see how much he loved her. "They think we moved way too fast," Chanel said. "I don't care. I know we made the right decision," Johnny said. "[The party shows] that we could not be more excited about the incredible life that we're going to build together as husband and wife," Johnny said. "Let's get ready to go see our families," Chanel said.

At Nicole's apartment, Allie told Tripp about the wedding reception. "Sounds really fun, but I am on call tonight," Tripp said. Tripp said he could go to the party, but he would have to leave if the hospital called him in. Allie told Tripp that she felt bad about how she had reacted to Johnny and Chanel's marriage announcement. "I said some really hurtful things," Allie whispered.

"You were caught off guard. And from what you told me about Johnny's past, you had good reason to be worried," Tripp said. Allie said that she believed that Johnny was truly in love for the first time in his life. "Just like I'm really in love with you," Allie said. After a shared shower, Allie and Tripp dressed for the party. Before Tripp and Allie could leave the apartment, the hospital called and asked Tripp to head into work. "Hopefully this won't take too long, and we can meet up at the party," Tripp said.

When Allie arrived at the DiMera mansion, Chanel answered the door and complimented Allie's appearance. "And you just take my breath away," Allie said. Allie and Chanel hugged. "I'm really glad you're here," Chanel said. "Me, too," Allie agreed.

In the living room, Tony poured Champagne while E.J. told him that he had not invited Chad and Abigail to the party. "This is a party," Tony said. "Not one I wanted to have," E.J. grumbled. Across the room, Paulina and Anna squealed as Chanel and Allie walked into the room. Paulina introduced Chanel to Anna. Anna complimented the women.

"It's like the moment you walked in, I thought, holy moly, these two have something special going on. I don't know how else to say it, but you just look so right together," Anna said. Paulina agreed. "They're best friends and now sisters-in-law," Paulina said.

Upstairs, devil Johnny stared at his reflection in the mirror. "If you'd just stop fighting me, Johnny, we could set this whole town on fire," devil Johnny said. "This can't be happening," Johnny whispered. The devil yelled at Johnny to give in to him.

At the penthouse, Susan convulsed on the couch. "Are you all right?" Marlena asked. Susan threw up on Marlena's shoes and carpet. Marlena wanted to take Susan to the hospital, but Susan insisted on going to the party. "I will call E.J. and let him know what is going on," Marlena said. Susan begged Marlena not to tell E.J. that she was going to the hospital. With a nod, Marlena called E.J. and told him that Susan had an upset stomach.

"Did he buy it?" Susan asked. "He bought it. And now? We're going to go to the hospital," Marlena said. At the hospital, Tripp examined Susan while Marlena held her hand. Susan admitted that she had had a vision that morning. "Is that unusual?" Tripp asked. "I have them all the time, but this one, it was completely different," Susan said. Susan said the vision had been so powerful that it had made her sick.

At the DiMera mansion, Paulina told Chanel that Lani had declined to attend the party. "Lani doesn't want to come because she doesn't want to be around me. She loves you," Paulina said. "Sorry I'm late," Lani said as she walked in. Lani congratulated Chanel on her marriage. E.J. announced that Susan would not be at the party, and he noted that Johnny was the only one not there yet.

"Here's Johnny!" Johnny said as he walked in. Allie made a snide comment about Johnny's entrance, and Chanel agreed that his entrance had been a little over the top. "I'm worried that you're running on fumes," Chanel whispered to Johnny. Johnny thanked Paulina for the party. "You call me Mama. Mama Price. We're family now," Paulina said.

E.J. made a speech to toast the newlyweds. "Relationships between fathers and sons aren't always easy. Especially in the DiMera family. We are a passionate lot," E.J. said. E.J. noted that he did not often agree with Johnny's choices, but he respected Johnny as an adult. "Always know that I will always love you with all my heart, and I want nothing more than for you to be happy. And it is also clear that you, Chanel, make my son very happy. Welcome to the family," E.J. said. The room toasted the couple. E.J. ceded the floor to Paulina.

"I am most proud of my family. And all I've ever wanted was for my daughters to be happy, and it looks like, thank God, they are now," Paulina said. Paulina playfully warned Johnny not to hurt Chanel -- or else he would have to answer to her. "I'm scared!" Johnny joked. The next to toast was Allie. Allie apologized for her initial, unsupportive response to Johnny and Chanel's announcement.

"I'm here to apologize again, publicly, and to let you all know how overjoyed I am that my brother and my best friend have found true love with each other. And I'm so lucky to have both of them in my life. Johnny and Chanel, I hope that you are happy together forever," Allie said. Lani toasted the couple next.

"I am so honored to celebrate you tonight, and I couldn't be happier to have you as a sister. And, of course, I am very happy to have Johnny as a brother," Lani said. "I'm lucky to have such a hot sister-in-law," Johnny joked. Chanel slapped Johnny's shoulder as she chuckled. Chanel thanked everyone for their support. "And I appreciate Johnny's father for letting us know that he respects our decision, even though he doesn't agree with it. And Mama, thank you for this amazing party, and for all your love and support," Chanel said. Chanel ended her speech with a toast to Johnny. "To Johnny," everyone said. Johnny kissed his bride.

"Now it is my turn. And I'd like to start by paying homage to my Nonno," Johnny said. Johnny talked about Stefano's influence on him. "I thought he was the greatest, but then as I got older, I realized that some people thought he was a terrible person," Johnny said. Johnny added that Stefano had taught him to go after what he wanted in life.

"It's taken me awhile to figure out what I want, but I finally have. And Chanel, I've come to realize it's not you," Johnny said. "What?" Chanel stammered. "I'm sorry, Chanel. I don't want to be married to you anymore," Johnny said.

Recaps for the week of January 10, 2022 (Following Week)


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