Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of January 17, 2022 on DAYS

Chad testified against E.J., and the judge found E.J. guilty. Jake and Gabi plotted to ally with Johnny, and Johnny made a pass at Gabi. Nancy worried that Craig had cheated on her. Kristen captured Steve. After Kristen told Kayla that Steve was dead, the two women fought over the gun, and it went off. Ava gave Gwen the Sarah mask, and Gwen posed as Sarah. After a tip from Kate, Abigail suspected Sarah was a fake. Paulina talked to Chanel about Allie. Allie told Johnny he was not her brother.
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Kristen told Kayla that Steve was dead, Abigail suspected Sarah was a fake, and Nancy worried that Craig had cheated on her
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the week of January 17, 2022
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Nancy shares marital concerns with Chloe and Brady

Nancy shares marital concerns with Chloe and Brady

Monday, January 17, 2022

by Mike

At the Brady Pub, Chloe and Brady struggled to process what Nancy had just revealed about Craig. "What's not to understand? You heard me! [He's] cheating on me with another woman!" Nancy maintained.

Chloe ordered a cup of tea for Nancy -- then Brady probed for more details. "[Craig's] been staying late at the hospital now for months --" Nancy began to explain. "He's been doing that for as long as I can remember --" Chloe argued. "Not three times a week!" Nancy countered, leaving Chloe speechless again.

"Anyway, at first, I kind of thought maybe he was getting bored with me -- which was hurtful enough -- [but then] he came home from the medical conference in Dallas, [and] I found condoms in his briefcase --" Nancy continued, drawing a cringe from Chloe, who suggested that there might be a perfectly innocent explanation for the seemingly incriminating evidence. "He said they were giving away condoms at the safe-sex seminar -- part of a swag bag or whatever," Nancy admitted, drawing a shrug from Brady, who thought that sounded plausible enough.

"Have you talked to Joy about this?" Chloe wondered. "No -- and I don't want her to know; grad school is hard enough! [And], obviously, Parker's in boarding school, so he has no idea..." Nancy answered. "I won't say anything to them," Chloe promised. "Do you have any other reason to suspect [this]?" Brady interjected. "Well, I hate to admit it, but...I logged on to his credit card account, just to see if there were any suspicious purchases, [and]...it depends on whether you think $500 restaurant bills are normal business expenses..." Nancy grumbled.

Nancy begged to know if Chloe had noticed any changes in Craig's behavior recently. "Honestly, I haven't really talked to him in a few weeks," Chloe responded. "Well, now, that's not right, either!" Nancy declared. "Where is he now?" Chloe wondered. "In Dallas, at another 'conference'!" Nancy spat before spontaneously deciding to fly there and confront Craig. "I think you'd be making a big mistake," Brady advised.

"I've gotta know the truth -- even if I end up in the middle of Craig Wesley Does Dallas!" Nancy insisted. "You should be absolutely certain before doing something rash -- things aren't always what they appear," Brady maintained before telling Nancy about the recent business trip with Chloe that Philip had misinterpreted as a romantic rendezvous. "I get what you're saying," Nancy backpedaled before hinting that Chloe and Brady might not be just friends for much longer -- an idea they both denied.

Nancy eventually headed off to the bathroom to freshen up -- and Chloe recorded a voicemail message for Craig while the coast was clear.

Lucas and Kate entered the courthouse together and made their way to the courtroom in which E.J.'s trial was being held -- all while discussing what was about to happen. "I sound rehearsed," Lucas decided. "Relax -- you're not on trial here," Kate advised. "I might be by the end of the day!" Lucas countered. "I told you -- I made Chad swear that he wouldn't implicate you in the frame-up," Kate reiterated.

"Did I hear someone say 'frame-up'?" Trask challenged Kate and Lucas while emerging from a nearby bathroom. "Do you have a warrant to eavesdrop on our conversation?" Kate wondered. "You were talking freely in the middle of a hallway," Trask responded. "Well, if you have to know, my son and I were discussing E.J.'s insistence that he was framed -- [see], I think it's baseless, really; the act of a desperate man," Kate explained.

Trask agreed with Kate's supposed assessment of the situation then hoped that Lucas' testimony would help the judge reach the same conclusion. "I do wish Sami were joining you in testifying -- [I mean, a deposition's] not nearly as convincing as an in-person testimony would be..." Trask grumbled. "Well, you can't really blame her for not wanting to be in the same room as the guy who kidnapped her, right?" Lucas argued. "Right -- if I were Sami, I would avoid contact at all costs!" Kate stressed before giving Lucas a pointed look -- and receiving a scowl in response.

Meanwhile, in the witness room, Chad watched in disbelief as "E.J." continued kissing Abigail. "What the hell are you doing?" Chad snapped. "Get the hell away from me, you filthy pig -- you son of a bitch!" Abigail spat while shoving and slapping "E.J." -- and Chad resisted the urge to throw in a punch for good measure. "What do you think you're doing, kissing my wife against her will?" Chad repeated. "How do you know it was 'against her will'?" the demonic presence teased as E.J. "What are you insinuating, you freak? It was more than against my will -- it was an attack!" Abigail countered.

Chad warned "E.J." to leave Abigail out of their sibling rivalry. "Not everything is about you, Chad -- you see, the truth is, I could be going away for a lot of years, and I didn't want to do that without feeling Abigail's sweet lips against mine one more time," the demonic presence clarified as E.J. -- and Chad lunged forward in response with a renewed desire to throw a punch, but Abigail intervened out of concern that they might draw the attention of the bailiff who was standing outside the room. "Thanks for the kiss, Abigail -- I'll treasure the memory...always..." the demonic presence whispered as E.J.

"That oughta get Chad back on board -- now he's just dying to send his brother dearest to jail for a very long time..." the demonic presence silently mused after exiting the witness room as E.J. and transforming back into Johnny -- just as Trask assured Lucas and Kate that the trial would be resuming soon. "Was that completely necessary?" Lucas snapped at Kate after Trask walked away. "Was what necessary?" Kate responded. "Give it a break, okay? I saw the way you looked at me! I'm not gonna hurt Sami -- I would never do that!" Lucas insisted.

"Talking about my mother?" the demonic presence called out as Johnny. "Where the hell did you come from?" Kate snapped. "Maybe I've been here all along..." the demonic presence teased as Johnny before wondering if Lucas was taking good care of Sami. "From my experience with Sami, she doesn't need anyone to take care of her," Kate argued. "Still... Everything that poor woman has been through... I can't imagine the terror of being kidnapped -- and then finding out that it was by somebody you loved...allegedly..." the demonic presence countered as Johnny while eyeing Lucas. "Nothing 'alleged' about it," Lucas stammered. "Well, my father says that he's innocent -- and I believe him," the demonic presence explained as Johnny before declaring that it was a relief to know that Sami was in good hands with Lucas.

Meanwhile, inside the courtroom, Belle continued trying to assure E.J. that Chad was on their side. "The man used trumped-up evidence to get me ousted from DiMera!" E.J. protested. "Maybe he realizes he took things too far. [Look, he told me] we would be pleased with the outcome of his testimony, [and] he is still your brother, [so]...despite all the bad blood, I think he's gonna come through for you today," Belle countered. "I appreciate your optimism, Belle...but let's just say Chad has had a change of heart -- would he really [admit to framing me in open court, knowing] he could go to jail for that?" E.J. argued. "He's a fundamentally good guy, [so] I think he'd have a really hard time lying on the stand," Belle responded.

E.J. and Belle stopped talking as "Johnny" joined them in the courtroom. "There you are! I was wondering where you'd gone to!" E.J. declared. "Sorry -- I suddenly became very...thirsty...and I wanted to make sure I got it taken care of before the trial resumed," the demonic presence explained as Johnny.

Meanwhile, back in the witness room, Chad wondered if Abigail was okay. "I'm fine -- I just feel rattled... I was about to knee him in the groin when you came in --" Abigail responded. "I would have liked to have seen that..." Chad grumbled. "I just don't get it -- why would he just come on to me out of the blue like that? [I mean], he's been obsessed with Sami ever since he got to Salem -- [and besides], his future is in your hands, [so] why would he practically attack me when you are getting ready to take the stand?" Abigail continued. "Honestly, I don't know, and I don't care -- [but] prison is too good for that son of a bitch," Chad spat.

Chad and Abigail headed off to the courtroom -- and they both glared at E.J. as Barnes resumed the trial. "What's that about?" E.J. whispered to Belle, who shrugged in response as Barnes summoned Chad back to the witness stand. "You're still under oath -- try not to choke this time. [Now], before your dramatic coughing display, you were sharing details about how the defendant's financial transactions came to light..." Barnes prodded Chad. "A few days before the kidnapping, a transaction was made from a private DiMera account [that] only three executives have access to -- me, Kate Roberts, and my brother -- [so] there is no doubt in my mind that my brother is as guilty as sin...and if I were you, I would lock him up and throw away the key," Chad spat, stunning E.J. and Belle.

"Chad -- I mean, Mr. DiMera -- you just told me --" Belle objected. "I'm sorry -- are you saying that counsel had an ex parte conversation with my witness?" Trask interjected. "No further questions," Belle backpedaled, drawing a smirk of triumph from Trask, who also had no further questions for Chad -- an announcement that prompted Barnes to call for another recess before the start of Lucas' testimony.

"You probably just sent my dad to prison for a decade! How can you call yourself a DiMera, you traitor?" the demonic presence snapped at Chad as Johnny. "Why don't you ask your dad that question, after what he did to my wife --" Chad advised. "What the hell are you talking about?" E.J. wondered. "Oh, don't you play innocent," Chad responded before starting to storm out of the courtroom with Abigail. "See you in ten years...or never -- yeah, 'never' sounds good," Chad called out to E.J. before disappearing from view.

"He acted like I did something awful to him -- to Abigail, actually -- and recently..." E.J. mused. "Good thing that you signed your shares over to me [so] I can protect the company -- which reminds me, I should probably get these documents over to the DiMera lawyers to finalize the power of attorney transfer, [because] the sooner we make this official, the less damage Chad can do," the demonic presence responded as Johnny before rushing off. "I am so sorry I got your hopes up -- [look], I really thought he was going to exonerate you," Belle fretted to E.J.

"So much for Chad clearing E.J.'s name!" Lucas raved to Kate. "But why..." Kate wondered, drawing a shrug of disinterest from Lucas. "Now that that's all over...you can go, [because] I don't want your beady eyes boring into me when I'm testifying," Lucas begged. "Or do you just not want me watching you while you lie up there?" Kate countered. "No, I don't want you to see that," Lucas admitted. "Well, that's fine -- I mostly came to support Chad, anyway!" Kate declared. "That's what I thought..." Lucas grumbled. "You know I love you, no matter how much you mess up," Kate stressed before wishing Lucas luck then rushing off.

Barnes soon resumed the trial -- and Trask called Lucas to the witness stand to confirm that Jason Smith was one of the guards who had been working for Sami's kidnapper. "Did Jason Smith ever state to you that he was hired by my client to kidnap Sami DiMera?" Belle challenged Lucas during cross-examination. "No," Lucas admitted. "[Then], frankly, Mr. Horton, I don't know what you're doing here --" Belle began to argue before withdrawing the statement after Trask objected. "But, since you are here, I'll just ask you this -- how do we know you didn't kidnap Sami DiMera? [I mean], do you have an alibi?" Belle continued -- and Trask objected again, but Barnes allowed the question. "I was with my brother Philip," Lucas responded. "Pretty convenient..." Belle mused, noting that Philip had since gone missing and might even be dead.

"Wait, am I the one on trial in here right now? [Because] Jason Smith named E.J. the kidnapper, [and] there was a paper trail that backed that up --" Lucas argued. "Which you obviously helped my brother plant [because] you kidnapped Samantha -- [and] if you lay a finger on her, I'll kill you!" E.J. snapped, prompting Barnes to end the trial for the day with a promise to ignore that outburst.

Trask and Lucas each gloated about the turn of events before rushing off -- leaving E.J. and Belle alone in the courtroom, struggling to figure out why Chad was no longer on their side. Meanwhile, Kate went to the DiMera mansion to find out what had caused Chad to turn on E.J. at the last minute. "It's almost like he wanted you to send him to prison..." Kate mused after getting the whole story from Chad.

The demonic presence passed through the town square while Jake and Gabi were plotting to convince Johnny to help them take over DiMera Enterprises. The demonic presence interrupted as Johnny and promised to consider Gabi and Jake's proposal. After the demonic presence walked away, Jake observed that "Johnny" had been hitting on Gabi -- and they decided to use that to their advantage.

"Always thought she was hot -- and soon she'll be mine... Doing the devil's handiwork has so many fringe benefits..." the demonic presence mused as Johnny while passing by the Brady Pub.

Kristen makes plans for Steve and Kayla

Kristen makes plans for Steve and Kayla

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

At the Salem Inn, Xander and Gwen lay in bed, breathless after sex. "Are you finally convinced that I'm over Sarah and totally committed to you?" Xander asked. "I might need a bit more convincing," Gwen purred. Xander offered to shower before they started up again. While Xander was in the bathroom, Gwen answered a knock at the door. It was Sarah.

"What are you doing here?" Gwen stammered. "You know what I'm doing here, bitch. I came to take back my man," Sarah said. "Sarah?" Xander called out. A hopeful Xander ran out of the bathroom. Sarah rushed into Xander's arms and kissed him passionately. When Gwen reminded Xander that he had promised that he was committed to Gwen, Xander took off his towel and threw it in Gwen's face.

Gwen woke up in bed alone, breathless from her nightmare. Xander exited the bathroom after his shower, and he asked Gwen what was wrong. Gwen insisted she was fine. "I just had another nasty nightmare," Gwen said. Xander noted that Gwen had called out his name in her sleep. "Do I need to apologize?" Xander joked. Gwen said she had called out Xander's name because he was the only person that knew how to make her feel better.

"So, I was the hero?" Xander asked. "You're always my hero," Gwen said. Xander asked about the dream, but Gwen lied and said she did not remember. When Xander asked what he could do to make Gwen feel better, she told him to lose the towel. As Xander and Gwen started to make love again, there was a knock at the door.

"Don't answer it," Gwen insisted. When the person continued to knock, Xander insisted they should see who was there. Gwen offered to answer the door. It was Abigail. "What do you want?" Gwen asked. Abigail said she was there to talk to Xander. Gwen started to tell Abigail to return the next day, but Xander popped his head over Gwen's shoulder and asked Abigail if she had any news. "I tracked down our missing person," Abigail said.

"You found Sarah?" Gwen asked. "Not yet, but I did find Ned Grainger," Abigail said. "The pilot," Xander explained. Worried, Gwen said, "Sarah didn't disappear. She left." Abigail asked why it mattered. Gwen argued that Sarah had not committed a crime. When Abigail told Xander that she had set up a meeting with Ned, Gwen argued that it was a waste of time. Xander dismissed Gwen's concerns.

As Xander dressed in the bathroom, a desperate Gwen argued, "You want Xander to find Sarah so that he will leave me and go be with her." Abigail rolled her eyes. Abigail stressed that she was looking for Sarah to help Maggie. "[Maggie] asked me as a journalist, and yes, I do believe there is a story there," Abigail said. Gwen argued that Abigail had planted a conspiracy theory in Xander's head.

"It's not a conspiracy theory," Abigail objected. "Really? Are you saying that Sarah was just taken from Salem?" Gwen asked. "What if she was?" Abigail countered. Gwen stressed that Sarah's departure had been her own decision. "Xander has moved on, but you are pulling him back in," Gwen complained. Abigail apologized if the investigation upset Gwen.

"Sarah's disappearance from Salem left people who care about her with a lot of questions," Abigail said. Abigail asked Gwen why Gwen was upset if she was so sure that Sarah had left of her own free will. "She already told Xander she doesn't wanna be with him. Xander's made it very clear that he does wanna be with you, right? Unless you have a reason to doubt that," Abigail said.

"Xander loves me, and there's nothing you or anyone can do to stop that," Gwen said. "I have no interest in changing that," Abigail countered. Upset, Gwen argued that Abigail was still upset with her about Chad. "You claim that you accepted my apology, but you never did. You just stuffed it down, and you waited for your time to get back at me," Gwen said. Abigail called Gwen paranoid. Gwen reminded Abigail that Gwen had fought her whole life "to get what I have." Abigail assured Gwen that she did not want to take anything from Gwen.

"We are just trying to find Sarah," Abigail said. Gwen countered that if Sarah had wanted someone to find her, she would have reached out already. "Assuming she's able to," Abigail noted. "Now who is paranoid?" Gwen said. Gwen asked Abigail to let Gwen have a bit of happiness for once in Gwen's life. Xander exited the bathroom and asked if all was okay. Gwen sniffled back tears.

"Peachy. Right. Why don't you go dash off and find this Ned Grainger person, and then we can finish what we started before we were rudely interrupted by my sister," Gwen purred. Xander smiled at Gwen. "That sounds like a fantastic plan," Xander said. Xander kissed Gwen goodbye. "Nice to see you, Abigail," Gwen said flatly. "Lovely to see you, too," Abigail said, overly cheerful.

Kristen visited Brady at the penthouse. "What are you doing here?" Brady asked. "I'm here to do to you what I did to Philip," Kristen whispered as she caressed Brady's cheek. "So, it was you," Brady said. Brady asked what had happened with Philip. With a grin, Kristen said, "You cut out my heart, Brady. Now I'm going to cut out yours," Kristen said. As Kristen plunged the knife into Brady's chest, Brady awoke from his nightmare.

In Italy, Steve stared out the hotel window at the convent across the street. "If Kristen DiMera is masquerading as one of the sisters, we'll be able to spot her right away. What do you think, Sweetness?" Steve said. Kayla exited the bathroom dressed in her nun's habit. "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned," Kayla said. Kayla told Steve that she had been having impure thoughts, and then she kissed him.

Kayla startled awake from her dream. "How was your nap?" Steve asked. Breathless, Kayla stammered that her lunch had given her "spicy dreams." Kayla asked if there was any news about Kristen. Steve told Kayla that Mother Superior had called and had offered a spot at the convent for Sister Mary Elizabeth. When Steve suggested that Kayla get dressed in her habit, Kayla grew flustered.

After Steve dressed as a priest, he rejoined Kayla. "Oh, dear God," Kayla whispered. Worried, Steve asked Kayla if she was having doubts about undercover work. "No," Kayla said. Steve admitted that he was worried that Kristen could hurt Kayla. "The woman is a wolf in sheep's clothing," Steve said. Kayla sighed.

"I'm not doubting your bravery or your talents. I know what you're capable of. But I also know what Kristen is capable of," Steve said. Kayla noted that after her encounter with the devil, no one on earth scared her, including Kristen. With a nod, Steve asked Kayla to promise to look for evidence of Kristen but not look for Kristen herself.

"What if I run across her?" Kayla asked. "Do not approach. Do not confront her. You get the hell out of there as fast as you can. Preferably without her seeing you," Steve counseled. Kayla promised she would.

At the convent, Mother Superior told Kristen that the convent had offered a room for Sister Mary Elizabeth. Kristen lied and said it would be her pleasure to help prepare space for the new sister. When Kristen returned later, she confirmed that she had made arrangements. Kristen clutched a Bible to her chest, and she noted that she had been reading scripture.

"I promise to move mountains to accommodate our new sister," Kristen said. "I know you will," Mother Superior said. After Mother Superior left the room, Kristen opened her Bible. The Bible was hollowed out with a gun inside.

When Kayla and Steve met up with Mother Superior in her office, Kristen was gone. "I was just telling Father Nichols that knowing our scripture prepares us for any and all of life's challenges," Kayla said. After an amen, Mother Superior asked "Father Nichols" to leave. "Okay, sweet...sweet child of God, please take care of yourself," Steve said to Kayla.

While Mother Superior showed Steve out of the convent, Kayla searched the Mother Superior's desk. "You must have some kind of roster or softball team photo or something," Kayla whispered. As Kayla rooted around, a nun entered the room.

Steve returned to his hotel room across from the convent, and he called Brady to update him on the situation. "Kayla is on the inside. I really hope she'll be okay in there," Steve said. As Steve ended his call, Kristen walked through the open door. "Kayla will be just fine, Father Nichols," Kristen said. Kristen pointed a gun at Steve. "It's time you're given your last rights, Patch," Kristen said.

At Basic Black, Nicole daydreamed about her night on the conference table with Rafe. "Get it together. When are you going to forget about that night?" Nicole muttered. "I know I won't," Rafe said as he walked into the office. Rafe grabbed Nicole and kissed her. Rafe shoved everything off the conference table, and he pushed Nicole back onto it.

"What about Ava?" Nicole said. Rafe noted that he and Nicole thought about one another nonstop. "Why fight it?" Rafe asked. "I guess not," Nicole agreed. Nicole grabbed Rafe and continued to kiss him. Nicole startled awake on the couch in her apartment.

After Nicole dressed and went into work, she stared at the conference table. Brady saw Nicole lost in thought when he arrived. "How long have you been standing there?" Nicole asked. "I said your name three times," Brady noted. Nicole shook her head, and she admitted she had not been thinking about anything important.

"You seem a little flushed. Were you, by any chance, thinking of that time that you and Rafe had sex on that conference table?" Brady asked. Nicole's mouth fell open in surprise. "I don't know what you're talking about," Nicole said. Brady assured Nicole that he was not judging. "Don't be mad at Chloe. She didn't mean to let it slip out," Brady said. Brady apologized for having pushed Chloe to tell him all the details.

"It's really Marlena's fault, anyway," Nicole said. Nicole explained that the devil had resurrected Deimos to terrorize her. "That is not where I thought the story was going," Brady said. Brady told Nicole that he believed her. "I thought I was losing my mind, so I called Rafe. He came over, and he made me feel safe," Nicole explained.

Nicole assured Brady that her night with Rafe had been a one-time thing. "You don't have to explain that to me," Brady said. "I want you to understand that I never meant for this to happen, and it won't ever happen again," Nicole stressed. Brady asked Nicole if she wanted to be with Rafe. Nicole admitted she was unsure. "I had a dream this morning about Rafe," Nicole confessed. Brady said he understood.

"It's hard to let go sometimes. This morning, I had a dream about Kristen," Brady said. "You had a sex dream about Kristen?" Nicole asked. Brady assured Nicole that the dream had not been romantic. "Well, Kristen is a nightmare in real life," Nicole noted. "Yeah, well, she's always been my nightmare," Brady agreed. Brady explained that he would always love Kristen, but he would never get back together with her.

"I'm pretty sure [Kristen] had me framed for Philip's murder. So, that's a dealbreaker in my book," Brady said. "Well, I'm glad to hear it," Nicole said. Brady told Nicole that he had hired Steve to look for Kristen to get answers about Philip. With a nod, Nicole said she hoped that she would never see Kristen again.

"But I would like to see her brought to justice for what she did to me, to you, and to Philip and everyone else in this town!" Nicole yelled. Nicole asked if there were any leads. Brady told Nicole that Steve had a lead in Italy. With a sigh, Brady said he believed he would continue to have nightmares about Kristen until Steve located her.

"Well, hopefully he'll find Philip, too," Nicole said. "Unfortunately, I don't see you not having these dreams about Rafe anytime soon," Brady noted. Brady cautioned Nicole to figure out her feelings for Rafe. When Nicole argued that she had attempted to get past Rafe with E.J., Brady smirked.

"It was a big mistake. One I will not make again," Nicole stressed. "Are you sure you can't just, you know, be with Rafe?" Brady asked. Nicole explained that although she cared about Rafe, she also cared about Ava. "I just have to find a way to get him out of my head," Nicole said.

Ava awoke alone in bed at the Hernandez house. "Rafe?" Ava whispered sleepily. In the doorway stood a life-size version of Duke the teddy bear. "Rafe isn't here. It looks like it is just you and me, pilgrim," Duke said. Duke held up the pair of scissors Ava had used on him, and he threatened to do the same thing to Ava. Ava screamed and jumped out of bed. Ava grabbed a nail file.

"What are you going to do with that?" Duke asked. "I will cut off something much worse than your head," Ava said. Duke grabbed Ava, and she bit him. As Duke held up the scissors, he said, "You'll pay for that." Ava sat bolt upright in bed, awake. The nail file from Ava's dream was clutched in Ava's hand. A surprised Rafe stared at Ava from the doorway.

"Are you okay?" Rafe asked. Ava said she had been having a nightmare. "Must have been a rough one," Rafe said. Rafe told Ava that she had been growling in her sleep. "And you're still clutching a nail file," Rafe added. Ava looked at the nail file in her right hand, poised above her head. With a gasp, Ava lowered her hand and dropped the file on the bedside table.

"I didn't hear you leave this morning," Ava said. "I decided to make a Sweet Bits run," Rafe said. Rafe presented Ava with a cappuccino and a bear claw. "I think I'll just stick with the coffee for now," Ava muttered. Rafe admitted that he had been unable to sleep. "Guilty conscience?" Ava teased. "You're not the only one accusing me of having a guilty conscience," Rafe said. Ava asked what Rafe meant.

Rafe told Ava about the investigation by Internal Affairs. "That's crazy. What could they possibly suspect you of?" Ava asked. Rafe explained that there was an accusation of planted evidence and a frame job by two different people. "You think it's a coincidence?" Ava asked. "Unlikely. No," Rafe said. Rafe noted that someone had likely put them up to the accusations.

"Who would hate you so much that they would go through all the trouble to ruin your life?" Ava asked. Rafe shrugged. Rafe admitted that he had some theories. "You don't think that I did this to you, do you?" Ava asked. Rafe asked Ava why she would believe that. Ava reminded Rafe that he had already accused her of cutting off Duke's head. Rafe assured Ava that he believed her.

"I don't know why I would possibly have any reason to be upset with you or Nicole. You two are the ones I trust most in this world," Ava said. Ava took Rafe's hand, and she asked if he was okay. "I'm going to clear my name," Rafe said. "I know you will," Ava agreed. Ava told Rafe that she would always believe in him. "Thanks for that," Rafe whispered.

"I mean, you believed in me when everyone else questioned my character. When the whole world saw me as a criminal and a thug. You moved me into your house, and you made me feel loved. Nothing is more important to me than loyalty," Ava said. "Me neither," Rafe said. Rafe noted that Ava had not touched her bear claw. "I don't think that is going to satisfy me," Ava whispered. Ava grabbed Rafe and pushed him back onto the bed.

After Rafe and Ava had sex, Ava playfully kept Rafe from getting dressed again. Rafe noted that their romp had been better than ever. "Inspired," Ava said. Before Rafe left, he told Ava that there was a package for her in the kitchen. Reluctantly, Rafe turned to leave. "Rafe? I know you'll find out who is trying to hurt you," Ava said. "I know I will," Rafe agreed. "The truth always has a way of coming out," Ava said. With a nod, Rafe left.

At Basic Black, Nicole worked alone in the office. After another daydream about Rafe and the conference table, Nicole groaned. "I have got to get you out of this office!" Nicole yelled. Nicole tugged at the heavy conference table in an attempt to remove it. "Need a hand?" Rafe asked from the doorway.

While Abigail and Xander waited in the Brady Pub to meet with the pilot, Abigail asked Xander if he was sorry that Steve had been unable to take the case. "I'll admit he was my first choice, but so far, I'm very impressed with my second choice," Xander said. "Well, I haven't cost you a dime," Abigail noted. "That's the best bit," Xander whispered with a grin. As Abigail chuckled, Ned walked into the pub.

After introductions, Abigail showed Ned a picture of Sarah. "Do you remember flying this woman out of Salem?" Abigail asked. "Her name is Sarah Horton," Xander added.

Back at the Salem Inn, a desperate Gwen called Ava and left her a voicemail asking for help. As Gwen paced the room in her bathrobe, there was a knock at the door. Gwen opened the door and found Sarah in the hallway.

Kristen threatens to kill Steve

Kristen threatens to kill Steve

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

by Mike

At the Salem Inn, Gwen stared at Sarah in shock. "How are you here?" Gwen eventually stammered. "I called the front desk and asked for Xander Cook's room number -- they were really quite accommodating!" Sarah cheerfully explained.

"I didn't mean that --" Gwen carefully tried to clarify. "Oh -- you meant...how did I get off the desert island that Kristen DiMera stashed me on when I threatened to tell the cops that she was masquerading as Susan Banks. [Because] you already know [about that] -- that's what Kristen was using to blackmail you into helping her escape," Sarah bitterly translated. "[Well]...I didn't!" Ava triumphantly revealed while shedding the Sarah costume.

Ava explained to Gwen that the Sarah costume had just arrived in the mail as a result of a recent phone conversation with Kristen. Ava advised Gwen to don the Sarah costume and tell Xander to back off. Gwen had doubts about being able to fool Sarah's loved ones, so Ava suggested a test run. Gwen donned the Sarah costume then headed over to the Kiriakis mansion to talk to Maggie.

At the Brady Pub, Abigail and Xander waited anxiously as Grainger stared at a photograph of Sarah. "Definitely not a face you'd ever forget..." Grainger hesitantly declared. "So, you're saying you do remember her!" Xander excitedly translated. "No -- I'm saying she's pretty," Grainger dryly clarified.

Abigail pointedly warned that Grainger was dealing with a highly motivated investigative reporter who also happened to be the wife of DiMera Enterprises' current CEO. "Well, now that I think of it, she does look a little familiar..." Grainger quickly backpedaled. "No one has heard from this woman in nearly a year, so we're gonna need a little more," Abigail tiredly demanded. "She's in trouble -- big trouble -- and we have to help her, [so]...did you fly this woman or not?" Xander impatiently snapped. "Yeah, I did...[but] I can't be more forthcoming [because] I get paid to be discreet... [Of course], I could also get paid to be indiscreet..." Grainger shamelessly responded.

Abigail had concerns about breaking standard journalistic ethics to pay Grainger for information, so Xander headed over to the Kiriakis mansion to ask Maggie for a loan -- and was stunned to find "Sarah" there.

At Basic Black, Rafe entered the CEO's office and wondered why Nicole was trying to move the conference table. "It reminds me of something that I don't want to remember -- something that should have never happened," Nicole explained.

"Speaking of things that shouldn't happen...what are you doing here?" Nicole added. "I don't mean to bother you, [but] something has come up at work -- [and] it involves you," Rafe responded. "Damn it, Rafe -- I would never --" Nicole began to stress after Rafe elaborated. "I don't think that it was you," Rafe assured Nicole.

"I think that it was Ava -- because of us!" Rafe clarified, stunning Nicole, who doubted that Ava knew about their one-night stand. "Although...now that you mention it..." Nicole muttered before telling Rafe about a recent encounter with Ava that had felt somewhat hostile. Ava entered the CEO's office while Rafe was processing Nicole's revelation. Ava made it clear to Nicole and Rafe, via a few passive-aggressive comments, that they were all going to have dinner together later that night -- and that there would be consequences for failing to accommodate the demand.

In Italy, Kayla continued searching a convent for proof that Kristen was hiding there, unaware that the convent's Mother Superior was watching. "Sister, may I ask just what you're doing?" the convent's Mother Superior eventually called out, startling Kayla back into character. "Sister Mary-Elizabeth" claimed to need a Bible -- and reasoned that an office desk seemed like a logical place for the convent's spare Bibles to be stored.

The convent's Mother Superior wondered why "Sister Mary-Elizabeth" had started searching the drawers of the desk for a Bible instead of just taking the one that was sitting in plain view on top of the desk. "My husband always tells me I need to get glasses --" Kayla began to explain. "Husband?" the convent's Mother Superior repeated, startling Kayla back into character again. "Sister Mary-Elizabeth" claimed to hail from a long line of old-fashioned Irish Americans who took the various teachings of the church quite literally, including the one about nuns being "Brides of Christ" -- and that Christ, therefore, was the "husband" who kept advising that it would be wise to get glasses.

The convent's Mother Superior challenged "Sister Mary-Elizabeth" to quote a Bible verse -- but Kayla managed to pass the test. "Thanks, Mom -- all those CCD classes really paid off..." Kayla muttered as the convent's Mother Superior fetched a rosary from the desk -- then locked the drawers before rushing off.

Meanwhile, at a nearby hotel, Kristen kept a gun aimed at Steve while hinting that they were in a familiar situation. "You caught me off guard at Marlena's all those months ago, [and now] I'm just returning the favor," Kristen elaborated.

Kristen teased that Xander should have hired a less conspicuous private investigator, prompting Steve to clarify that someone else had been foolish enough to enlist the services of a one-eyed man. "Don't be cute -- and don't lie to me," Kristen warned. "The 'cute' thing is out of my control...but I'm not lying -- I'm not working for Xander; he did try to hire me, [but] he wanted me to track down Sarah Horton, [so] unless you think that my finding her would lead to you..." Steve responded. "If you were looking for Sarah, there's no way that would lead you to me," Kristen claimed.

Kristen demanded to know who had really hired Steve -- and was stunned to hear Brady identified as the person in question but was even more stunned to hear about the motivation behind the search. "I wouldn't have thought twice about framing Chloe...but if you think I would ever send Brady to prison, then you don't know me at all," Kristen insisted.

"All right, then -- no harm, no foul; I'll report back to Brady that this was a dead end," Steve reasoned. "You're even dumber than I thought you were," Kristen countered.

At the convent, Kayla sent a text message to Steve -- "Just had a close call. Still looking for Kristen." Seconds later, Kayla received a response -- "Glad to hear it. All good on this end." Kayla breathed a sigh of relief -- unaware that Kristen had sent the text message from Steve's cell phone. Kristen, who was wearing an eye patch, cringed while sending a second text message to Kayla -- "Keep me posted, Sweetness" -- as Steve lay motionless on the floor of the hotel room.

Kate and Maggie inadvertently help Abigail solve a mystery

Kate and Maggie inadvertently help Abigail solve a mystery

Thursday, January 20, 2022

by Mike

At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie watched as Xander seized a hug from “Sarah” -- who stiffened then responded with a shove and a smack. Maggie objected to “Sarah's” treatment of Xander, who refused to leave without answers to a few burning questions. “Sarah” claimed to have gone into hiding to get away from a “Neanderthal” who didn't know how to take a hint, but Maggie argued that Xander had made a perfectly reasonable request that deserved a respectful response.

"Sarah” grudgingly agreed to humor Xander, who asked Maggie for some privacy. Maggie gave Xander a nod then started to rush off to let Henderson know that the mansion suddenly had another occupant, but “Sarah” insisted that wasn't necessary. Maggie and Xander were both surprised to learn that “Sarah” was planning to fly back out of Salem later that day. “Sarah” refused to stay any longer -- or share the flight destination with Maggie while Xander was around. Maggie tearfully ordered “Sarah” to stay in touch then seized a hug and exited the living room -- and Xander demanded answers again once the coast was clear.

"Sarah” stuck to the original cover story about having dumped Xander due to what had happened with Mackenzie and Rachel -- and having dumped Rex due to concerns about jumping into another relationship so soon after breaking off an engagement. “Sarah” started to storm out of the mansion after telling Xander to move on with Gwen. “How'd you know I'm with Gwen?” Xander called out, prompting “Sarah” to claim that Maggie had mentioned Gwen earlier. “Sarah” seized the opportunity to test Xander's loyalty, wondering if Maggie was right about things being serious with Gwen. “Yeah, I love her,” Xander answered.

Satisfied, “Sarah” continued storming out of the mansion after again telling Xander to move on with Gwen. Alone in the living room, Xander picked up a framed photograph of Sarah and stared at it wistfully, remembering some of their happier moments.

Kate stormed into the Brady Pub and headed toward the bar while Abigail was awaiting the return of Xander -- and the return of Grainger, who was wandering through the town square, fantasizing about ways to spend the money Xander had promised to hand over in exchange for more information about Sarah's departure from Salem.

Abigail called out a greeting and guessed that something was bothering Kate. “Have you ever been going about your business and suddenly find yourself face to face with two of the people you despise most in the world?” Kate wondered. “Jake and Gabi?” Abigail translated. “Give the woman a big cigar,” Kate confirmed.

"I know how much Jake and Gabi have hurt you, but...I mean, it's all worked out for the best, right? You're with Roman now --” Abigail argued. “And I'm happy,” Kate stressed. “So, all's well that ends well,” Abigail concluded. “Do Hortons always say that?” Kate wondered. “Actually, that was Shakespeare --” Abigail responded. “I know that -- my point is that, obviously, I do not forgive betrayal as easily as you do,” Kate explained.

Eager to change the subject, Kate wondered why Abigail was at the pub alone. When Abigail answered the question, Kate started probing for more details on Rex's behalf, just as curious to know the real story behind Sarah's departure from Salem. Kate found it odd that Sarah had left Salem on a DiMera jet instead of a Kiriakis jet. “Xander did suspect [at one point] that maybe Kristen had something to do with Sarah's decision to leave town, but he dismissed it,” Abigail admitted. “Why would he do that?” Kate sputtered, knowing that Xander was aware of Kristen's history.

Kate started telling Abigail about a personal experience with the costumes in Kristen's bag of tricks -- then stopped talking when Maggie entered the pub. Abigail wondered where Xander was hiding, assuming that Maggie was looking for Grainger. Confused, Maggie probed for more details -- then clarified that Xander had never gotten around to asking for a loan because there was no longer a need to pay Grainger for information about Sarah's departure from Salem.

Abigail and Kate were both stunned to hear that Sarah was back in Salem. “I was just so relieved to see Sarah in the flesh so that I could stop worrying that anything awful had happened to her...but it's not like her visit put me completely at ease -- she's just...I don't know...not herself,” Maggie declared before rushing off.

"Mystery solved -- nothing disastrous happened to Sarah...except she seems like she turned into sort of a bitch,” Kate summarized with a shrug before offering to buy Abigail a drink. “Wine,” Abigail requested, prompting Kate to head to the bar to place the order. While waiting, Abigail thought about everything that Kate and Maggie had said earlier -- then gasped and started to rush off. “Red or white?” Kate called out from the bar -- but Abigail just continued exiting the pub.

While passing through the town square, Jake and Gabi discussed their earlier encounter with Kate. “If you hadn't pulled me off that curb, Kate would have run right through me!” Jake fretted. “Hell hath no fury,” Gabi noted. “I did not 'scorn' her, okay? I just --” Jake protested. “Dumped her,” Gabi summarized, failing to see a difference.

Gabi somewhat teasingly warned Jake to be on guard around Kate in the future, prompting Jake to quite seriously warn Gabi to be on guard around Johnny in the future. Jake admitted to having second thoughts about exploiting Johnny's obvious attraction to Gabi as part of their plan to take over DiMera Enterprises. Gabi dismissively insisted that Johnny wasn't dangerous -- then accused Jake of being unable to handle having a girlfriend who was willing to openly flirt with other men as a means to an end. “Are you saying you're gonna sleep with him to get his vote?” Jake sputtered. “It's called 'leading him on'!” Gabi responded.

"[Now], I'm gonna go to the mansion, talk to Johnny, feel him up --” Gabi decided. “What?” Jake snapped. “Out -- feel him out!” Gabi backpedaled before again assuring Jake that Johnny wasn't dangerous.

At the DiMera mansion, the demonic presence sat alone in the living room, playing a game of chess. “Sorry, Elvis, but the king had to be sacrificed for the greater good -- or, in this case, the greater evil...” the demonic presence explained with a shrug after progressing the game to a checkmate scenario.

Chad eventually entered the living room and greeted “Johnny” while preparing a drink at the bar. “I was just playing some chess against myself -- do you know what happened to Nonno's set?” the demonic presence began as Johnny. “I replaced it with the one that Abigail bought -- it's great, isn't it?” Chad responded. “You don't think that's disrespectful?” the demonic presence protested as Johnny. “It's a game --” Chad argued. “It's part of who he was!” the demonic presence countered as Johnny. “All right, look -- I didn't find out Stefano was my father until I was in college, so I didn't grow up hearing about the whole 'legacy' thing like you did!” Chad snapped.

"Is that why you didn't have any problem selling my father down the river in court?” the demonic presence wondered as Johnny, prompting Chad to explain what had led to that decision. “Abigail was appalled -- she was sick to her stomach --” Chad stressed at the end of the tale. “I'm just remembering that affair they had back when I was a kid -- Mom said they couldn't keep their hands off each other...” the demonic presence interjected as Johnny. “Trust me, I haven't forgotten about that -- yesterday, [though], was all E.J., and it was in that moment that I realized that he has been playing me on every level since the minute he came back here,” Chad maintained.

"I'm sorry I said that about you guys -- I know you guys love each other very much, and I shouldn't have implied that she was fine with what he was doing,” the demonic presence backpedaled as Johnny. “It's fine -- as long as you still don't think that,” Chad responded. “My dad had me thinking that he was the real victim here -- [that] Lucas kidnapped my mom and that you were framing him -- [but] I guess he wasn't just lying to you; sounds like he was doing it to me, too...” the demonic presence mused as Johnny before offering to turn on E.J. and help Chad stay in control of DiMera Enterprises.

"I'm all for alliances, but I don't want to get burned again. [Look], trust has to be earned, and I barely know you, kid -- [plus], the closest you've come to running DiMera is sitting on your dad's lap and playing with the keyboard at his computer,” Chad argued. “I'll prove myself -- you'll see,” the demonic presence countered as Johnny. “I'd better,” Chad warned before exiting the mansion. “Eh, I can't blame you for being cautious, Chad -- you were just about to make a deal with the devil...” the demonic presence joked once the coast was clear.

Later, Gabi entered the mansion -- and found “Johnny” in the living room, dressed in fencing gear and covered with sweat. “What brings you by?” the demonic presence wondered as Johnny while shedding the upper half of the fencing gear. “I haven't been able to stop thinking about our conversation yesterday -- [and] I wanted to talk to you about what our...partnership...might look like,” Gabi explained while eyeing “Johnny's” chest. “I was thinking that it might look something like this,” the demonic presence responded as Johnny before kissing Gabi.

At the courthouse, E.J.'s trial continued with Jason Smith as Trask's next witness. “His testimony should be stricken from the record -- every word of it was a lie!” E.J. insisted after Jason Smith left the courtroom, prompting Barnes to issue a final warning about the potential consequences of such outbursts.

Trask handed Sami's deposition to Barnes. “It's unfortunate that Mrs. DiMera didn't testify in person...” Barnes grumbled. “I would like it entered into the record that defense counsel had no chance to cross-examine,” Belle stressed. “Mrs. DiMera did not feel safe enough to be present, Your Honor -- not with her kidnapper being seated at the defense table --” Trask explained, prompting Belle to object -- and Barnes agreed that such commentary was inappropriate.

"The prosecution rests,” Trask announced. “We request that the case be dismissed for lack of evidence,” Belle declared. “So...you won't be calling any witnesses?” Barnes translated. “That is correct --” Belle began to confirm. “No, it isn't -- I'll be testifying,” E.J. interjected -- and Belle advised against the idea but was ignored.

Belle reluctantly called E.J. to the witness stand and wondered what had happened on the day of Sami's kidnapping. “I confronted Samantha with evidence that she had been cheating on me. She denied it at first, but then she admitted it. I'll admit, I was angry -- I couldn't see past her betrayal -- but she's the mother of my children, [so] no matter what she did to me, I never would have chloroformed her and made her my prisoner; I would never separate her from our children,” E.J. answered.

"Has it slipped your mind that you've already done both of those things to Mrs. DiMera?” Trask challenged E.J. during cross-examination. “I respectfully invoke my rights under the Fifth Amendment,” E.J. stammered. “That is the first smart move you've made all day,” Trask responded before officially ending the cross-examination.

"No matter what may or may not have happened in the distant past, we are talking about the events of August 11th -- on the day in question, did you order that your wife be chloroformed and kidnapped?” Belle prodded E.J. -- but Trask objected that the question had already been asked and answered, and the judge agreed, effectively ending the redirect.

After closing arguments, Barnes ended the trial and headed off to decide on a verdict -- and Trask also left the courtroom after gloating about the turn of events, leaving Belle alone with E.J. “Well, that was a disaster...” E.J. grumbled. “One of your own making -- arrogant jerk...” Belle countered. “I thought if I was a surprise witness, Trask wouldn't have the time to dig up the dirt on me,” E.J. explained. “She has been after you for years [and previously] prosecuted Sami -- she probably knows about every jaywalking ticket you've ever gotten!” Belle noted. “Okay, you've made your point,” E.J. muttered before apologizing and thanking Belle for having at least tried to do damage control.

Trask soon returned and announced that Barnes had already decided on a verdict. “I'm sure you know a fast verdict usually favors the defendant,” Belle assured E.J. -- just as Chad entered the courtroom. “I heard there was a verdict -- [and] decided I wanted to witness your downfall in person,” Chad explained. “You changed your testimony, and I have no idea why --” E.J. snapped -- but Barnes returned before Chad could respond.

"I'm sure you're all surprised at how quickly I came to this decision, but after a review of the testimony I heard, it was clear -- in the matter of People v. Elvis DiMera, I find the defendant guilty as charged,” Barnes declared, prompting Trask to request remand on the grounds that E.J. was a flight risk -- and the judge agreed, despite Belle's objection.

Maggie returned to the Kiriakis mansion and found Xander in the living room. “So, how did it go with Sarah?” Maggie began. “She made it quite clear that she still hates me,” Xander grumbled. “Oh, I'm sorry... Do you at least understand what caused her change of heart?” Maggie wondered. “No -- she said the same thing she said a year ago! I just don't understand it, Maggie -- I was so sure that there was more to the story!” Xander responded.

"Sarah” exited the Salem Inn with some luggage as part of the next phase of the ruse -- and ran into Abigail while passing through the town square. “Sarah” claimed that taking time to talk to Abigail would result in a missed flight. “You're not really Sarah,” Abigail guessed.

Abigail attempts to unmask Sarah

Abigail attempts to unmask Sarah

Friday, January 21, 2022

At Basic Black, Chloe paced the office as she left another voicemail on her father's phone. "[Mom] is convinced you're having an affair, and I can't talk her out of it. So, we need to fix this," Chloe said. As Chloe ended her call, a voice said, "Why call when I can come in person?" Craig said with a smile from the doorway. Elated, Chloe ran into her father's arms.

"I got your message, and I took the first flight out," Craig said. Chloe told Craig about Nancy's suspicions. "Thank you for your concern, and I'm sorry she dragged you into this," Craig said. "It's not your fault. I know you'd never cheat on her," Chloe said. Craig reminded Chloe how Nancy could be when she had an idea in her head.

"All in my head? Is that what you want Chloe to believe?" Nancy said from the doorway. "What do I have to say to convince you that there is no other woman?" Craig asked. After Nancy and Craig traded barbs, Craig threw up his hands in frustration. "I give up!" Craig yelled. Nancy yelled that Craig had turned their good marriage into a cliché.

"You see what I have to deal with?" Craig said to Chloe. Chloe told Nancy that she believed Craig. "Really?" Nancy said. "Nancy Wesley, do you not know how much you mean to me? That there is no other woman in the world for me?" Craig said. Craig suggested that they go to dinner. Nancy wanted to freshen up, so she promised to meet Craig and Chloe at the Bistro. "I'm so happy," Nancy said. Craig kissed his wife, and Nancy ran out. "I knew that you wouldn't cheat on Mom," Chloe said.

In Italy, Kristen rifled through the drawers of Steve's hotel room. Kayla called Steve's phone, but Kristen rejected the call. "Steve can't come to the phone right now," Kristen said. Kayla left a voicemail asking Steve to call her back.

In the Kiriakis living room, Xander drowned his sorrows. Brady walked in. Xander invited Brady to join him, but Brady countered that he was there to pick up Maggie for an A.A. meeting. "Oh, well, I think she is upstairs. I figured she wouldn't mind if I help myself to Uncle Vic's lovely Scotch," Xander said as he poured another glass. Xander asked Brady what he did to cope with his depression.

"I really don't drown my sorrows at all anymore. I kind of allow myself to just experience them. I talk to people I trust about them. I vow to make better choices in the future to avoid having more sorrow, and eventually, things seem to get better," Brady said. "I'm just not as patient as you. For me, eventually isn't soon enough for me. It sounds like an eternity," Xander grumbled. As Brady turned to leave, Xander asked Brady to tell Maggie that he admired her for "not drowning her sorrows, either."

Brady exited the living room, and Xander kicked the table in frustration. Brady returned. "What is wrong?" Brady asked. "I didn't mean for you to hear that. Can't you just treat me like you normally treat me? Just ignore me. Or just treat me like somebody you want to disappear or you wish would leave you alone. Trust me, I've been getting a big dose of that routine," Xander muttered. Brady asked what had happened. Xander told Brady about his conversation with Sarah.

"The only feeling that she has for me is disgust," Xander said. "That sounds pretty brutal," Brady said. Xander admitted that he deserved it. "I'm just a terrible person. I think Sarah maybe finally realized that," Xander whispered. Brady said he knew how much Xander had loved Sarah, and he knew how devoted Sarah had been to Xander. "Maggie would go on and on about it. She was really rooting for the two of you," Brady said. "So, you don't think I got what I deserve?" Xander asked. Brady shrugged. "In this case I don't. I think your feelings for her were genuine, and I know how much you wanted to marry her," Brady said. Brady said he knew what it felt like to have a relationship blow up.

"Now I've got Steve Johnson trying to hunt [Kristen] down," Brady said. Xander was surprised. "Honestly, for a while there, I suspected that she might have had a hand in Sarah's disappearance," Xander said. Xander added that he had hoped Kristen was to blame so that there would be a reason for why Sarah had left him. "Turns out, Sarah left me of her own free will," Xander muttered.

"Sarah" hurried to leave the Salem Inn. "Sarah!" Abigail called out from across the town square. "Sarah" told Abigail that she was late for her flight. "Just answer one question. You're not really Sarah, are you?" Abigail said. "I beg your pardon?" "Sarah" asked. "You're Kristen DiMera," Abigail said. "Are you having another one of your episodes?" "Sarah" asked. Abigail assured "Sarah" that her mental health was fine.

As "Sarah" started to walk away, Abigail accused "Sarah" of having kidnapped the real Sarah. "Then you put on your Sarah mask to make all of Salem believe she left town of her own free will," Abigail said. "You're just going to say that with a straight face? Do you even hear how delusional that sounds?" "Sarah" countered. Abigail argued that Kristen had done the same thing with Kate.

"I would start you on antipsychotics, but I didn't bring my prescription pad. So, I've put up with you for as long as I'm going to," "Sarah" said. Abigail's phone rang. With a grumble, Abigail warned Sarah not to move. When Abigail answered the call, it was Kristen on the phone. "Who is this really?" a suspicious Abigail asked. With a laugh, Kristen said she had a story for Abigail. "I had nothing to do with the disappearance of Philip Kiriakis. And I would never, ever frame Brady Black," Kristen said. Kristen ended the call.

"I could hear who you were talking to. It was Kristen, right? The person you keep insisting I am?" "Sarah" teased. "Sarah" suggested that Abigail should brush up on her reporter skills. As "Sarah" started to walk away, Abigail stepped in front of her. "Sarah" argued that the phone call proved that she was not Kristen. "It was a phone call, not a video chat," Abigail said. Abigail argued that if Kristen could mimic a voice in a mask, she could find someone to mimic Kristen's voice on a phone call.

"That's really reaching, don't you think?" "Sarah" asked. "Who else would have a motive to come to town, dressed as Sarah, just in order to break up with Xander all over again?" Abigail asked. "Sarah" argued that she had returned to town to reassure her mother that she was okay. "But how did you find out? Because nobody knew how to reach Sarah," Abigail countered. "Sarah" argued that there was no story for Abigail's paper.

"The truth is I broke up with somebody that I shouldn't have been with in the first place. That's it. End of story," "Sarah" said. Abigail thought about her conversation with Gwen about Sarah. "You couldn't convince me as yourself, so you're trying to convince me as Sarah," Abigail whispered. Abigail admitted that "Sarah" was not Kristen. "Finally!" "Sarah" said.

"How did you get your hands on the mask, Gwen?" Abigail yelled. "Who am I going to be next? Grandma Alice coming to get her cut of doughnut sales?" "Sarah" asked. Abigail told Gwen that she was onto her. "Sarah" attempted to walk past Abigail, but Abigail grabbed "Sarah" and warned that she would have "Sarah" committed.

"You really want to risk that?" Abigail asked. "You're the one risking a breakdown. Wouldn't be the first time," "Sarah" whispered. Abigail noted that Gwen had been the one to tell her not to look for Sarah. "You are so desperate to keep Xander that you will do anything, right, Gwen?" Abigail asked.

Abigail vowed to prove that Gwen was under the Sarah mask. "Sarah" thought about when Ava had appeared in Gwen's hotel room, dressed as Sarah. "I'm really done with this," "Sarah" said. As "Sarah" attempted to walk away, Abigail grabbed her and demanded to get a closer look at the mask. Abigail pulled at "Sarah," and "Sarah" struggled to get away. "I have figured you out!" Abigail yelled as she clawed at "Sarah's" neck. "What on earth are you doing, Abigail?" Gwen asked. "Sarah" smiled. Abigail turned around and saw Gwen in front of the Salem Inn.

At the convent in Italy, Kayla used a letter opener to break into the Mother Superior's desk. "Why would a Mother Superior need to lock her drawer?" Kayla muttered. "Her cigarettes maybe?" Kristen said as she sauntered into the office. Kristen pointed her gun at Kayla. When Kristen teased Kayla about her new profession, Kayla explained that she was there with Steve in search of Kristen.

"I am afraid that Steve will not be able to bring me in this time," Kristen said. "Where is he?" Kayla asked. With a chuckle, Kristen said, "Curiosity killed the Patch." Kayla refused to believe that Steve was dead. With a cackle, Kristen noted that she had been one step ahead of Steve and Kayla since they had arrived in Italy. Kristen said she had taken care of Steve while Kayla had been searching the convent.

"Who do you think disconnected that phone call to him an hour or so ago?" Kristen asked. "You killed him?" Kayla gasped. Furious, Kayla lunged for the gun. The gun fired.

In the DiMera living room, Gabi told Johnny that she had been thinking about their conversation about a partnership. A shirtless Johnny grabbed Gabi and kissed her. Gabi shoved Johnny away and slapped him. Johnny wiped blood from his mouth. "I was reading your signals loud and clear," Johnny said. "What signals? I am in a loving, committed relationship to your Uncle Jake," Gabi said. Johnny reminded Gabi that the family did not care about Jake.

"The family is making a huge mistake," Gabi growled. Johnny noted that relationships changed. Gabi countered that Johnny might have moved on from his marriage, but she was committed to Jake. "You're with the grease monkey. Doesn't mean you can't have a little fun on the side," Johnny said. Johnny asked Gabi if she was ready to limit her sex life to Jake for the rest of her life.

"I never said I wasn't attracted to you, Johnny," Gabi said. Johnny asked Gabi if she was interested in an open relationship, and Gabi scoffed at the idea. Johnny grabbed Gabi and kissed her again. "You two? Seriously?" Allie said as she walked in. Johnny told Allie that he had been talking business. "Dad signed his shares over to me," Johnny said. "So much for bragging about never turning corporate," Allie said. With a shrug, Johnny argued that it was time to take his rightful place at the family company.

"And you were just coming over here to offer your congratulations?" Allie asked Gabi. With a nod, Gabi announced that she was leaving. "We'll continue this conversation another time," Johnny said. Gabi asked Allie not to tell Jake what Allie had witnessed. "Trust me, you and Jake are way down my list of priorities," Allie said. After Gabi walked out, Allie told Johnny that he was more disgusting than she had thought.

"What do you suppose Will would think about you trying to hook up with Ariana's mom?" Allie asked. "I don't know why he'd care. He obviously wasn't that into her," Johnny noted. As Johnny poured another drink, Allie asked when he had started to drink in the middle of the day. "You could stand to take the edge off, too," Johnny commented.

"Don't you ever get tired, running around, passing judgment on everyone you ever meet?" Johnny asked. "Thank God, Chanel is through with you," Allie muttered. Johnny asked Allie if that was what Allie had wanted. Frustrated, Allie said she had hoped that she had been wrong about Johnny for Chanel's sake. "I always knew that you were a player, but I'm realizing now that you're also a soulless creep," Allie said.

When Allie noted that Chanel had believed that Johnny was "the one," he laughed. "We both know who has the key to Chanel's heart. And it ain't me," Johnny said. Johnny argued that Allie was with Tripp because he was safe. "And while [Tripp] is off healing the sick, [Allie] is off playing kissing games with her BFF Chanel," Johnny said. Johnny added that Allie was a hypocrite because she had raced after Chanel to console her.

"I bet you consoled her right out of her clothes and into bed, didn't you?" Johnny said. "I actually hate you," Allie growled. "Looks like I struck a nerve," Johnny said. Allie told Johnny that he was as delusional as the rest of the DiMeras. "I am in love with Tripp, and Chanel is my best friend," Allie stressed. Allie said she had planned to talk some sense into her brother but that there was no point.

"I'm never going to apologize for what I am. That's not the DiMera way," Johnny said. "You used to have a twin sister. You don't anymore. I have one brother and his name is Will. You're on your own," Allie said. Allie stormed out. Devil Johnny's eyes turned yellow. "Oh, Allie. You don't know the half of it," devil Johnny said.

Chanel returned home to her mother's apartment. "We need to talk about the other night," Paulina said. Chanel told her mother she had been terrified when she had heard about the chandelier incident. "Baby, it's you I'm worried about," Paulina said. Paulina promised to make Johnny pay.

"Now I'm worried," Chanel said. Paulina argued that they could take Johnny to the cleaners, since there was no prenuptial agreement. Chanel ordered Paulina to back off. "I'm a strong independent woman, just like my mama," Chanel said. Chanel told Paulina that she wanted nothing to do with the DiMera fortune. "I should have listened to Horton when she tried to warn me about her brother," Chanel muttered. "I'm glad that you two girls are such good friends," Paulina said. Paulina asked Chanel if Allie had made her feel better.

"I wouldn't have been able to get through that night without her," Chanel admitted. "I already knew that," Paulina said. Paulina confessed that she had seen Chanel in bed with Allie. Chanel stammered that Allie had stayed with her to keep her company. Paulina urged Chanel to tell her the truth. "All we did was cuddle!" Chanel said. Paulina waved at Chanel to stop talking. "When I say that I saw you two together, I mean I saw you together," Paulina said.

"It just happened! And I'm not ashamed!" Chanel blurted out. "I don't want you to be ashamed," Paulina countered. Paulina pointed out that Chanel had slept with twins. "Well, you messed around with Abe after you knew he had been with Aunt Tamara," Chanel countered. Paulina argued that there were decades between Abe's relationships. "You hopped into bed with Allie on the same night that your husband told you that your marriage was over," Paulina said. Paulina asked how long Chanel had been with Allie.

"Horton is in love with Tripp," Chanel said. "You and I know that is not exactly the case. You and Allie, you had a strong connection way before you even laid eyes on Johnny," Paulina said. Chanel argued that she and Allie had only kissed before. "I know you believe that it wasn't planned, but I think you need to take a step back. Search your heart. Come to terms with how you feel about Johnny and Allie," Paulina advised.

"I love Horton as a friend, and I'm physically attracted to her. But I was in love with Johnny. Really in love. And I thought he loved me, too," Chanel said. Chanel said that the man that had dumped her was nothing like the thoughtful man that had courted her. "I just don't even understand what happened," Chanel said through tears. "You're going to get through this, and you're going to find the perfect person to spend the rest of your life with," Paulina said. Paulina hugged her daughter as Chanel cried on her shoulder.

After Chanel wiped away her tears, Paulina announced that she needed to get to the hospital for a follow-up appointment. "You make sure that ankle is healing right. Even if my broken heart never does," Chanel said. After Paulina left, Allie stopped by the apartment. "We need to talk," Allie said.

At the new bar, Gabi sipped a drink as she left a voicemail for Jake to call her back about Johnny. "Apparently, [Johnny] is more of an operator than I thought," Gabi said. "Should my ears be burning?" Johnny asked as Gabi ended her call. Gabi forced a smile.

Recaps for the week of January 24, 2022 (Following Week)

MAKING HEADLINES: SOAP OPERA NEWS, UPDATES, AND HEADLINES

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
Y&R's Kelly Kruger opens up about parenting struggles
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
B&B's Rena Sofer says Quinn is back and "making more havoc"
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
There's ANOTHER twist in the works for B&B's Steffy
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Y&R, OLTL alum Chris McKenna reveals he's married
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Steve Burton rejoins former soap -- sort of
GENERAL HOSPITAL
Y&R's Hunter King heads to Hallmark
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Y&R's Kelly Kruger opens up about parenting struggles
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Y&R writer teases "slow simmer" for Nikki and Diane rivalry
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Y&R's McKenna Grace drops 90s rock-inspired music video
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
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