Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of November 14, 2022 on DAYS

Nicole told Rafe she wanted to be with Eric. Eric told Jada about his feelings for Nicole. Jada learned she was pregnant. Chad convinced Gwen not to publish a story about Sloan's file yet. Chanel told Allie about the woman she had killed. Sloan revealed that she was the daughter of Chanel's victim. Sonny cheered up Leo. Alex and Stephanie kissed. Stefan fought with Gabi. Wendy wore a wire with Rolf. Rolf knocked out Wendy and Johnny. Steve and Kayla freed Tripp. Justin looked for Bonnie in the shed. Charlie urged Ava to kill Susan.
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Chanel told Allie about the woman she had killed. E.J. agreed to pay the ransom. Jada learned she was pregnant. Wendy's plan to trick Rolf failed.
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Jada's pregnancy complicates Eric and Nicole's reunion

Jada's pregnancy complicates Eric and Nicole's reunion

Monday, November 14, 2022

by Mike

Jada and Eric, still with Sarah in an examination room at the hospital, struggled to process the news they had just received. "But...we use birth control," Jada eventually protested. "Birth control isn't 100% effective," Sarah gently countered.

Sarah curiously observed that neither Eric nor Jada seemed happy about the development. "I'm so sorry -- that is none of my business," Sarah quickly backpedaled before starting to rush off so Jada and Eric could discuss the matter privately.

Eric hadn't been saying much, so Jada stopped Sarah and wondered how often the hospital saw false positives on pregnancy tests. "They are very accurate...but I would be happy to run it for you again -- just let me know," Sarah answered.

Jada and Eric stared at each other while waiting for Sarah to finish exiting the room. "I don't know where to start -- or even what to say..." Eric began once the coast was clear. "Me, neither... If only this were a happy surprise..." Jada grumbled.

Eric started to respond, but Jada forged ahead, complaining that unhappy surprises seemed to be the theme of the day. "I saw you about an hour ago, Eric -- kissing your ex-wife," Jada elaborated. "I was planning on telling you," Eric stressed.

Jada admitted that Nicole's unresolved feelings for Eric had always been quite obvious then added that it was a surprise to learn that they weren't one-sided. Jada sighed then ordered Eric to leave. "But we haven't even talked about --" Eric objected. "I don't know what I'm going to do about this pregnancy, but don't worry about it, Eric -- it's not your problem," Jada snapped. "If you're trying to give me an easy way out, I don't want it," Eric insisted.

Jada softened a bit and promised Eric that they could discuss the matter further some other day. Eric nodded then apologized to Jada and exited the room. Jada waited until Eric was gone then broke down.

Rafe started lashing out at Nicole while they were alone together in one of the break rooms. "Now you want to be with Eric? When I asked you that a few hours ago, you adamantly denied --" Rafe snapped. "I know," Nicole whispered.

Nicole told Rafe about what had happened earlier that night. "When I accepted your proposal, I wanted, more than anything, to be your wife...but...that was before I knew Eric left the priesthood," Nicole confessed, drawing a scoff from Rafe.

Rafe translated that, in other words, Nicole was saying that their marriage had been a farce from the very beginning. Nicole didn't like Rafe's description but admitted that it was accurate. Rafe sighed then ordered Nicole to leave. Nicole stayed put, desperate to convince Rafe that the love in their marriage hadn't been one-sided.

"I don't blame you for hating me, or if you want to cut me out of your life forever...but I want you to know that when I said my vows to you, I meant every word, and I wanted them to be the last vows --" Nicole stressed. "Oh, come on -- as if..." Rafe interjected, silencing Nicole. "Since when have wedding vows ever meant anything to you?" Rafe continued. "Marriage is just a game to you," Rafe concluded.

Nicole protested that Rafe's argument was not just unfair but also untrue. "I think that Victor and Lucas would disagree," Rafe countered. "E.J. would disagree twice," Rafe continued. "You even cheated on Eric -- the love of your life -- with Xander, of all people!" Rafe continued. "You are who you are," Rafe concluded with a shrug.

Nicole removed her wedding rings and handed them to Rafe. "I should never have accepted your ring...or your love -- I didn't deserve it, and I didn't deserve you... You deserve someone who's worthy of you, and it's not me -- I did everything wrong in this marriage, and you did everything right," Nicole declared. "Except that I wasn't Eric," Rafe grumbled.

Nicole rushed off in tears, and Rafe stormed off in another direction a few seconds later, leaving behind the rings. Nicole ran into Eric at the nurses' station and seized a hug while fretting that the conversation with Rafe had been awful.

Nicole eventually asked Eric for an update on Jada's condition. "Jada's pregnant," Eric stammered, stunning Nicole.

Xander recorded an urgent voicemail message for Ava then entered the Brady Pub in search of a stiff drink and saw that Gwen was sitting alone at one of the tables and was fiddling with a tablet computer. Gwen observed that Xander seemed to be having a bad day. Xander countered that Gwen seemed to be doing some online shopping. "I'm working, actually -- today was my first day at the Spectator," Gwen clarified.

Gwen made a joke about having started on a slow news day, but the humor was lost on Xander, who was surprised to learn that Chanel had been arrested for murder in front of a crowd of reporters and voters during Paulina's victory speech. "I've been busy -- it was my first day at work, too," Xander explained to Gwen, who continued fiddling with a tablet computer while listening to the cover story about a startup company known as Rednax.

Gwen waited until Xander was finished then confessed to having been scouring the Internet for proof that the company actually existed. Xander reasoned that the company was simply too new to have any sort of online presence yet, but Gwen didn't buy that excuse. Gwen guessed that Xander had failed to find work but didn't want to admit that to anyone and was therefore going to be hiding out in various parts of town for eight hours every business day for the foreseeable future to create the illusion of someone who had a full-time job. "You think you're so damn clever, Gwen, but you couldn't be further off base -- I am working; the problem is...the job that I took is just a wee bit...illegal," Xander revealed.

Gwen groaned after Xander shared the rest of the story. "Well, at least I know where she went now, after I turned her down," Gwen mused before starting to elaborate that Xander wasn't the first person Ava had tried to send after E.J.

Xander stopped Gwen when Sarah entered the pub. "Didn't expect to see you here," Sarah admitted to Xander. "Or you..." Sarah snapped at Gwen.

Xander and Gwen took turns assuring Sarah that it was just a coincidence that they had bumped into each other that night. Gwen soon started making cryptic comments about the true nature of Xander's new job, but Sarah received a phone call from someone at the hospital before anything particularly incriminating was revealed.

Gwen waited until the coast was clear then apologized for having seized the opportunity to make Xander sweat a bit. "Despite everything that's happened, I still care about you, Xander...and as much as I would just love to bust you and Sarah up, I don't have it in me to hurt you like that," Gwen stressed, drawing a sigh of relief from Xander.

Sarah soon returned and wondered if Xander wanted to head over to Julie's Place for dinner. Xander agreed then started to follow Sarah out of the pub. "Call me if you'd like to talk," Gwen encouraged Xander before adding, for Sarah's benefit, that the offer was in reference to an earlier conversation about featuring Rednax in a future edition of the Spectator. Xander forced a smile and thanked Gwen then insisted that the company wasn't looking for any publicity at that time.

Steve stiffened while accepting a hug from Ava then pulled away after realizing that Kayla had just entered the Brady-Johnson townhouse. "I thought you were working late," Steve admitted. "Obviously," Kayla responded. "Steve was just comforting me," Ava explained. "It's okay, Ava -- I am not threatened," Kayla stressed.

Kayla pointed out that Ava was supposed to be living with Tripp and Joey in Seattle because of some sort of situation with E.J. that had made Salem a dangerous place to live. "E.J. doesn't get to tell me what to do or where to go," Ava declared before trying to change the subject, prompting Steve to insist that Kayla needed to know the whole story.

Ava shrugged then rushed off to take care of something, saddling Steve with the task of telling Kayla that E.J. had kidnapped Tripp earlier that night. "Oh, that son of a bitch -- I'll kill him!" Kayla spat at the end of the tale before starting to storm off, prompting Steve to object that they couldn't risk confronting E.J. while Tripp's life was on the line.

Kayla conceded the point then advised Steve that it seemed like Ava had left out some crucial details about the series of events that had led to E.J.'s drastic decision to kidnap Tripp. "I'm sure Ava's holding something back, but she didn't admit it," Steve responded. "Well, we can deal with that later -- right now, Tripp comes first," Kayla declared.

Kayla insisted on accompanying Steve to Seattle to search for Tripp. "Who came to the rescue in Hong Kong when somebody I know was brainwashed?" Kayla challenged Steve. "I am not gonna stay behind while my stepson is in grave danger -- I love that boy with all my heart, and if you are walking into danger to save his life, I am going to be there to have your back," Kayla added, forcing Steve to admit defeat. "We'll tell Joe and Stephanie everything after we rescue Tripp," Steve recommended while rushing out of the townhouse a short time later, and Kayla followed while agreeing that it would be best to just pretend that they were out of town on vacation until then.

Tony started pacing around the living room of the DiMera mansion after E.J. admitted to having kidnapped Tripp as a way of rescuing Susan without having to pay even a single dollar of Ava's ransom demand. "Are you nearly done? You've about worn out that carpet," E.J. eventually wondered between sips of a celebratory drink. "Well, we can certainly afford to replace it now!" Tony angrily responded while continuing to pace.

E.J. removed one of the kings from the chess table while assuring Tony that everything was going to be just fine. "I have Ava's son -- that's checkmate, and soon, she will realize this, and then it will all be over," E.J. confidently bragged. "So, tell me -- how have the negotiations been since you sent Ava that photo of Tripp being held at gunpoint? Has she bombarded you with calls? A flurry of texts?" Tony pointedly countered.

E.J. insisted that it wasn't unusual for an opponent to take some time to admit defeat in an effort to appear tough, but Tony argued that they were dealing with an unpredictable foe whose top priority might not be family. "I know you think you have the winning move here, but it's possible that what you've done just brought you that much closer to losing your mother," Tony warned. "Swallow your pride and just wire the funds!" Tony advised.

E.J. phoned Ava in the hope of proving that Tony's concerns were unwarranted. "It's not in your best interest to ignore me," E.J. stressed when Ava sent the call to voicemail. "Fine -- I won't," Ava called out to E.J. from the foyer of the mansion. "Oh, you are gonna wish you had just paid up, you miserable son of a bitch," Ava promised E.J. with a scowl while storming into the living room. "You have met your match," Ava concluded, getting right in E.J.'s face.

E.J. started hurling insults at Ava. "Watch it, E.J. -- if you piss me off, I'm gonna have to call my associate and tell him to put a bullet in your mother's head," Ava teased, prompting E.J. to lunge forward in anger.

Tony stopped E.J.'s attempt to strangle Ava. "You're lucky that my brother was here -- otherwise, you would have wound up in the crypt, next to your fake husband," E.J. snapped while Ava was recovering from the attack.

E.J. ordered Ava to leave. "Okay...but I'd start getting my money together if I were you -- I'm running out of patience," Ava warned E.J. before starting to exit the mansion. "Worse comes to worst, I can always send you a lock of Susan's hair so you have something to remember her by," Ava added before disappearing from view, prompting E.J. to release a scream of anger and throw a glass at the front door.

Tony started to say something, but E.J. interrupted to argue that it wasn't a good time for a lecture. "I'm trying to help you face reality, damn it -- don't you understand that? She's unbalanced -- pay her off before something happens!" Tony countered.

Sloan reveals her client

Sloan reveals her client

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Stephanie worked out of her parents' apartment, and she made calls to the press on Paulina's behalf. When Chad arrived, he showed Stephanie an article in the Intruder. Stephanie admitted that she had attempted to kill the story, but the paper had declined. When Stephanie lamented that the readers would believe the lies written in the story, Chad said he understood.

"I was a target before. I still have the scars from the hatchet job," Chad said. Chad noted that the writer of the story about Chanel sounded like he had a personal vendetta against Chanel and Paulina. "Until we know the full story, let's stop focusing on the little details, fact or fiction. Right now, our only job is to take care of Paulina and her family," Stephanie said. Stephanie asked Chad for his input on how to spin the story.

Chad and Stephanie paced the living room until Stephanie had an idea. "From what I've read and heard, [Trask] was determined to put Paulina's daughter Lani behind bars for the rest of her life. And would therefore be deeply disappointed, if not infuriated, that that did not happen," Stephanie said. "Because Paulina forced her hand. Made her cut a deal," Chad said. Stephanie suggested that they argue that Trask was after Chanel because Trask had been frustrated by how Lani's case had fizzled.

"How do we get this story about a D.A. with an axe to grind to a media outlet that doesn't do hatchet jobs?" Stephanie asked. Chad told Stephanie that the Spectator had hired Gwen as their new reporter. "Do you think Gwen Rizczech will do you a favor?" Stephanie asked. Chad admitted he was not sure.

Gwen stood outside the closed bakery, and she groaned. "How am I supposed to do a cover story on this when I can't even get a comment from anybody?" Gwen said. Sonny walked into the square, and Gwen asked him for a comment about Allie's knowledge of Chanel's actions. Sonny shoved Gwen's phone out of his face.

"Since when are you working for the Spectator?" Sonny asked. "I'm asking the questions, thank you. So, when did your husband find out that his sister was dating a murderer?" Gwen asked. Sonny growled that he had no comment. "You have some nerve accusing anyone of anything," Sonny muttered as he walked away. Sloan entered the square, and she sauntered over to Gwen.

"Maybe he won't answer your questions, but I will," Sloan said. "Why would I believe a single word that came out of your mouth?" Gwen countered. Sloan explained that she had valuable insight into the case. Gwen asked Sloan how the state bar would feel about how Sloan had convinced Leo to lie to the police. Sloan ignored the question. Gwen reminded Sloan that her actions had led to Gwen's arrest. With an eyeroll, Sloan said that there was no proof that she had been aware of Leo's intentions.

Disgusted, Gwen started to walk away, but Sloan admitted that she had given the evidence against Chanel to Trask. "So, first you try to railroad me, and now you're going after the governor-elect's daughter," Gwen said. Sloan offered to send a copy of the file to Gwen so that she could decide whether to believe the evidence or not. "What's your angle here?" Gwen asked. Sloan said that she believed the public deserved to know the truth.

At Allie's apartment, Allie left a voicemail for Rafe that begged him to help her see Chanel. There was a knock at the door. It was Alex. "I heard about Chanel. Thought maybe you could use a friend," Alex said. Overwhelmed, Allie hugged Alex. "They won't let me see her," Allie said. Allie told Alex that she had been unable to explain to Henry why Chanel had not been able to do her goodnight puppet show for Henry. "[Henry] likes [Chanel's] funny voices better," Allie whispered as she picked up one of the puppets. Alex asked Allie if she had slept, and Allie said no.

"I don't even know what this is about. How could this happen? Chanel, arrested for murder? And they're saying that they have all this evidence. God knows where they got that from," Allie said. Alex averted his eyes, and he admitted that he knew about the evidence. "Where did [Sloan get the evidence]? Allie asked. Alex said he did not know the source of the file, and that he was no longer friends with Sloan.

"It turns out [Sloan was] blackmailing Chanel's mother for some mystery client. Not that I even had a clue about that when I stole the file of evidence from her apartment," Alex said. Allie thanked Alex, but he noted that that was not the end of the story. "Sloan somehow got the file back. She gave it to the D.A.," Alex said. Alex muttered that if he had known what had been in the file, he would have burned it.

"You didn't know. You were just trying to help," Allie said. "And then I ended up causing a colossal mess," Alex said. Allie's phone beeped with a message from Rafe. "He says I can go see Chanel," Allie said. Alex offered to watch Henry so that Allie could go to the station. "Whatever I can do to help," Alex said.

After Allie left, Alex finger-painted with Henry. While Henry moved on to blocks, Stephanie stopped by. "I didn't expect to see you here," Stephanie said. Alex explained that he had offered to babysit Henry so that Allie could visit Chanel. Stephanie told Alex that she had wanted to check on Allie and offer her advice about the press.

"I'm just here to help however I can," Stephanie said. "That makes two of us," Alex said. Henry started to cry. As Alex comforted Henry, Stephanie watched him and smiled. "Maybe I'm needed here after all," Stephanie said. To calm Henry, Alex and Stephanie put on a puppet show, complete with funny voices. Henry watched raptly.

After Henry drifted off to sleep in his room, Alex returned to the living room to talk to Stephanie. "Our date last night didn't really end the way a date is supposed to," Stephanie said. When Alex asked how the date should have ended, Stephanie suggested a kiss.

Gwen returned to the Horton house, and she looked at Sloan's email. "More lies from the desk of Sloan Petersen. I swear to God if I get a virus from opening this attachment, I'm going to bloody kill her," Gwen muttered. Gwen gasped as she looked at the file. Chad walked in, and he told Gwen that he had a big story for her.

"Not as big as the story that I just landed," Gwen said. Chad told Gwen that his scoop for her was that Trask had targeted Paulina's family over an old grudge. As Gwen continued to stare at her phone, Chad clapped his hands to get her attention. Chad advised Gwen to stop wasting time on her phone with social media or a game and listen to him. Gwen explained that she had been researching a news story that the governor-elect had covered up a crime.

"I happen to be in possession of a copy of the evidence against Chanel and her mother," Gwen said. "How did you get that?" Chad asked. Gwen told Chad that Sloan had given her and Trask a copy of the file. "And while Trask is gonna take it to the court, I'm gonna take it to the presses," Gwen said. Chad argued that Gwen needed multiple reliable sources for any story.

"You can't print it until you can verify it," Chad said. "I think the documents that Sloan sent seem legitimate. So, if they're good enough for Trask," Gwen said with a shrug. "I'm begging you, don't publish this," Chad said. Gwen asked for a reason. "Your dad. He trusted you. He gave you this chance," Chad said. Chad told Gwen that he knew that Gwen wanted to be a better person because of what Gwen had done to help Jennifer.

"Keep that going. Use the chance that [Jack] gave you for good. Don't do Trask's dirty work," Chad said. Chad reminded Gwen that Sloan could not be trusted. "Which side do you want to be on?" Chad asked. After a moment, Gwen agreed not to publish the file until she could verify the contents. "Off the record, I hope it's not [true]," Gwen said. Chad asked why. With a grin, Gwen said she preferred to write a story that trashed Sloan and Trask.

In Paulina's office, she yelled at Belle on the phone about her inability to visit with her daughter. "I'm the governor-elect. What's [Trask] going to do, arrest me?" Paulina said. At the police station, Belle assured Paulina over the phone that she understood Paulina's frustration. "But as your daughter's attorney, I have to ask you to just stay away, okay?" Belle said.

In the interrogation room, Chanel sat handcuffed to the table. Trask walked in with a big smile on her face. "I thought after a long night in lockup, you might be ready to have a little chat with me," Trask said. Trask asked Chanel if she was ready to confess to murder. Belle entered the room, and she demanded an explanation. "You know damn well you can't question my client without me present," Belle said. Trask lied and said she had been checking on Chanel.

Trask asked Belle if she had reviewed the provided evidence. Belle said she had. "And that's exactly why I'm here to insist that you drop all of these charges," Belle said. Trask refused. Belle noted that Trask did not have jurisdiction, because the death had taken place in the United Kingdom. Trask countered that she had permission from Scotland Yard to question Chanel about the incident. Belle laughed.

"We'll see. At the arraignment," Belle said. Belle told Trask that Chanel would not answer any questions. With a smirk, Trask noted that if Chanel refused to talk, she would have Shawn escort Paulina to the station for questioning. "What do you want with my mama?" Chanel asked. Trask argued that Paulina was an accomplice after the fact. "I think the good people of this state should know who they elected as their governor," Trask added. Worried, Chanel offered to answer Trask's questions.

"I will not let my mother pay for something I did," Chanel said. "Is that an admission of guilt, Ms. Dupree?" Trask asked. "You do not answer that," Belle warned. Trask showed Chanel a photo, and she asked about the woman in it. "Martha Bedford," Chanel said. Trask showed an incident report to Chanel, and she asked her to identify Chanel's signature on the report. Chanel shifted uncomfortably, and she whispered, "Yes."

"So, you admit you were the one who murdered Martha Bedford?" Trask asked. "Don't say another word," Belle told Chanel. Trask reiterated that she could question Paulina. "You could bring in her mother, her grandmother, the pope, or the Easter Bunny. This interview is over!" Belle said.

"I don't want my mother involved!" Chanel yelled. Belle quietly urged Chanel not to say another word. Trask asked Belle to step outside for a chat. In the bullpen, Trask warned Belle that she would detain Paulina if she needed to do it. "Oh, please, if you were going to, you would have done that already," Belle said. Allie walked in, and she demanded to see Chanel. Trask objected, but Allie provided written authorization from Rafe. Belle reminded Trask that Rafe reported to the mayor, not Trask. Allie rushed into the interrogation room to see Chanel.

"The mayor? You mean Mr. Paulina Price If he thinks he can sweep all of this under the rug, too, then he's in for a rude awakening," Trask said. When Belle accused Trask of allowing her emotions to direct her casework, Trask countered that she had incontrovertible evidence that Chanel had committed murder. "You know damn well that no evidence is incontrovertible," Belle argued. Trask told Belle that both Chanel and Paulina would go to prison.

In the interrogation room, Allie hugged Chanel. "I'm so sorry for what you must be going through," Chanel said. "Forget about me. You're the one who's in here. You're the one who is being falsely accused," Allie countered. Allie held Chanel's hand, and she told Chanel that Henry missed her. After a moment, Allie told Chanel that she did not believe that Chanel was capable of murder. "I'm sorry, but you're wrong. I did kill someone," Chanel said.

At Paulina's office, a chipper Leo walked in with Paulina's schedule, her call log, her favorite coffee, and a small cake. "You're fired," Paulina said. When Leo protested that he had diverted the press downstairs on Paulina's behalf, Paulina said she did not care. "You're the vulture I need to get rid of! Because you're the reason that my daughter was arrested for murder," Paulina yelled. Leo asked to explain, but Paulina said that she had already heard what had happened from Stephanie.

Leo argued that he had accidentally given access to the safe to Sloan when he had gone in there to retrieve the advance Paulina had promised him. "I didn't want to interrupt the newly elected governor of this great state. So, I opened up the safe, and I took the advance from petty cash. Not a penny more. You can check," Leo said. Leo added that he'd had no idea that the file had been in the safe, and he had not seen Sloan steal the file.

"I know you probably want to kill me right about now," Leo said. "Don't give me any ideas," Paulina countered. Paulina reminded Leo that she had not given him the okay to open her safe. When Paulina argued that Leo's actions had caused Chanel's arrest, Leo noted that Chanel was innocent. "I understand exactly what your daughter is going through. I, too, have been falsely accused, and it's traumatic. It's horrible. I still have nightmares about it," Leo said.

"Except Chanel isn't being falsely accused, is she? She's guilty as sin," Sloan said as she walked into the room. "You tricked me! I turned my back for one second, counting the money to pay you back, and you pluck a personal file from Paulina's safe? That's theft!" Leo said. Leo urged Paulina to call the police. Sloan pointed out that Leo had said his back had been turned.

"So, how can you testify as a witness?" Sloan asked. Leo argued that he would tell the police that he had witnessed Sloan reach into the safe. Paulina told Leo to leave, and he reluctantly agreed. "But you have not seen the last of me, Petersen," Leo said. Leo told Sloan that she would be sorry that she had messed with him.

After Leo left, Sloan told Paulina that her power and money had not been able to save either of her daughters. "Two daughters, two crimes, and two cover-ups. So, now it's only a matter of time before you're slapped with handcuffs and led away in disgrace," Sloan said. Confused, Paulina asked Sloan why she still wanted revenge.

"When you gave that file to the D.A., you lost all your leverage. Your client must be thrilled. You cost that dirty blackmailer a ton of money," Paulina said. Sloan smiled. "This was never about the money," Sloan said. Sloan explained that she wanted payback. Confused, Paulina demanded to know about Sloan's client. "There is no client. The person who wants payback is me," Sloan said.

Outside the pub, Leo sat on a bench and stared into space. "Leo? Are you okay?" Sonny asked. "Far from it. I am utterly miserable. Console me? Please?" Leo said. Sonny pointed to the bag in his hand, and he noted that he was out shopping for his daughter. "You're such a good daddy. I wish I had an adorable daddy buying me gifts," Leo said with a sigh. Leo asked if he could sit with Sonny for a few minutes. Sonny hesitated.

"Unlike me, you have a life. You have a job, a husband, child, family, and friends. Why would you want to squander time trying to cheer up a schlimazel like me?" Leo said. With a sigh, Sonny sat down next to Leo, and he asked what had happened. "Aside from hating myself for being the most annoying person on the planet by all accounts, my new career is over," Leo said. Leo told Sonny what had happened.

"It's not like you actually gave Petersen the file," Sonny noted. "Of course not! The last person I would ever be in cahoots with is that miserable skank. It was an accident," Leo stressed. Leo said that Paulina had not given him a chance to explain. Sonny told Leo that Paulina could reconsider. "Even though it wasn't on purpose, it's still my fault," Leo said. Leo complained that he had been making positive changes in his life before Sloan had stolen the file.

"On the bright side, you didn't mean to hurt anyone," Sonny pointed out. Leo nodded in agreement. "I guess I'm so used to crossing lines, I don't even see them when they're right in front of me," Leo said. Leo grumbled that he had blown up his life. "I'm sorry," Sonny said. Sonny asked Leo to join him for breakfast in the pub. "You look like you could use a friend," Sonny said. "Are we friends now?" Leo asked. "Let's just start with breakfast," Sonny said.

Chanel confesses to Allie

Chanel confesses to Allie

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

by Mike

Johnny and Wendy each breathed a sigh of relief once they were finally alone together in a hotel room in Jakarta's downtown district after a 36-hour journey. Johnny placed a duffel bag on the room's only bed while Wendy was complaining that flying on a private jet was supposed to be a way of saving time. Johnny teased Wendy with the breaking news that even a private jet was no match for a monsoon.

Wendy conceded the point then shoved aside Johnny's duffel bag and flopped down on the bed. Johnny nervously protested that Wendy needed to be much more careful with the duffel bag in the future because it contained a bunch of really expensive film equipment. Wendy dismissively argued that Johnny should have just left the film equipment at home. "Look, I've never been to Indonesia before, and as a filmmaker, I want to document my experience," Johnny reasoned while moving the duffel bag to a safer location. "Okay, listen up, Scorsese -- we're not here to make a movie," Wendy countered before apologizing then blaming the outburst on jet lag and fear.

Wendy explained that the fear stemmed from knowing that the trip to Jakarta was probably going to lead to confirmation that Li had done something "truly reprehensible" to Stefan, prompting Johnny to admit that it was easy to forget that not everyone had grown up in a family that had a long history of doing things that could be described that way. Johnny tried to console Wendy with a reminder that Li's apparent motivation of love seemed better than E.J.'s apparent motivation of power. "Or force of habit -- the DiMeras have been taking over people's brains for generations. It's kind of like handing down the family recipe for pasta fagioli," Johnny added, amusing Wendy.

Wendy joked that Johnny had a creepy way of trying to be sweet. Johnny thanked Wendy with a hint of sarcasm then started undressing while stepping into the bathroom to take a shower. Johnny emerged from the bathroom a short time later, dripping wet and wearing only a towel, and began to share a shower thought with Wendy. "That you should stop shaving your chest hair?" Wendy teasingly guessed. "I don't shave my chest hair -- I just don't grow any," Johnny defensively responded.

Wendy stifled a laugh while Johnny was clarifying that the shower thought had actually been about Rolf. "I don't think there's any way that he would have ever agreed to come here if my dad and your brother didn't set him up with some kind of lab -- a high-tech one," Johnny elaborated before heading back to the bathroom to get dressed, giving Wendy time to start testing the theory.

Johnny soon returned again and pointed out that a lab would require a lot of power. Wendy agreed then managed to locate the lab with the help of electricity bills in the DiMera Enterprises records. Wendy started to rush off to have a conversation with Rolf, planning to pretend to be Li's liaison, but Johnny objected that a recording of the conversation would be needed for proof. Wendy assumed that a cell phone's recording app would suffice, but Johnny insisted that an actual recording device would be better. "I guess the film equipment came in handy, after all," Wendy admitted with an awkward laugh while Johnny was attaching the recording device to her stomach. "Am I making you nervous?" Johnny wondered while locking eyes with Wendy.

Gabi entered DiMera Enterprises and found Stefan in the CEO's office. "What are you doing in my chair?" Gabi snapped. "It's not your chair," Stefan countered.

Gabi sighed then rephrased the question, wondering why E.J. wasn't sitting in the chair. "E.J. is out of the office today, attending to a personal matter," Stefan answered.

Gabi grumbled that E.J.'s absence was making it difficult for other people to attend to their own personal matters. "I want my company back," Gabi demanded. "Your company?" Stefan protested. "Gabi Chic," Gabi clarified.

Stefan insisted that Gabi Chic, like DiMera Enterprises, no longer belonged to Gabi. "You should have done a better job of retaining the rights," Stefan teased. "You have Basic Black -- why on earth would you need another fashion house?" Gabi argued. "Because Gabi Chic makes us lots of money, and DiMeras like companies that make us lots of money," Stefan explained.

Gabi muttered the phrase "arrogant son of a bitch" in Spanish, prompting Stefan to ask for help converting the phrase "there's nothing you can do to change my mind" to Spanish. Gabi decided that slapping Stefan would be the best way to respond to the question. Stefan managed to grab Gabi's wrist in time to stop the slap. Gabi locked eyes with Stefan while trying to pull away.

Li entered the office just then and challenged Gabi and Stefan to explain what was going on. Stefan released Gabi then joked that Li had walked in on a Spanish lesson. Gabi begged Li to tell Stefan that DiMera Enterprises was no longer the right place for Gabi Chic. Li promised to talk to E.J. about the matter later, but Stefan maintained that Gabi would never get the company back.

Li changed the subject, asking if Stefan knew where Wendy was hiding. Stefan reported that Wendy was working remotely that day, and Gabi translated that Li would therefore need to check the Horton apartment because Allie had a new roommate.

Li rushed off, but Gabi stayed behind to wait for some wedding invitations to be printed, ignoring Stefan's objections. Gabi bent down to search a desk drawer for some notes on the wedding invitations, and Stefan tried not to stare but eventually got flustered. Stefan started to drag Gabi out of the office, and they locked eyes again.

Alex, still babysitting Henry at the Horton apartment, gave Stephanie a tender kiss but decided not to do anything else while there was a risk of a child bursting back into the living room at any moment.

Stephanie apologized for having been suspicious of Alex when they had first met. Alex understood why Stephanie had been on guard after being ghosted in a previous relationship. Alex admitted to having ghosted women in the past then explained to Stephanie that Anjelica had given up on love after losing Justin to Adrienne and had settled for a string of meaningless flings in an effort to avoid further heartache. "I guess I kind of followed her lead," Alex reasoned before adding that meeting Stephanie had changed everything.

Li arrived just then and wondered if Wendy was around. Stephanie listened to voicemail messages while Alex was telling Li that Allie had mentioned earlier that Wendy was out of town. Li thanked Alex for the information then rushed off. Stephanie gave Alex a goodbye kiss, made plans for another date, then followed Li out of the apartment, having received a voicemail message from Chad about what had happened with Gwen earlier.

Li phoned someone while passing through the town square, hoping that the person would be able to track down Wendy. "She logged in from where?" Li sputtered.

Kate headed over to the Horton house after receiving a copy of The New Bride's Cookbook from Chad as a wedding gift. "It was between that and What to Expect on Your Wedding Night," Chad explained to Kate with a shrug.

Kate thanked Chad with a hint of sarcasm then wondered how things were going with Stephanie. "I don't want to hold Stephanie back when I can't promise anything," Chad admitted before telling Kate about Stephanie's interest in Alex. "There you go again -- always having to be fair, always having to do the right thing... I don't even know why I like you!" Kate teased before advising Chad not to give up on love forever.

Chanel, still alone with Allie in one of the conference rooms at the police station, took a deep breath then started to explain that something had happened years earlier. "I was gonna tell you a couple of weeks ago, but I couldn't -- I didn't want you to know... But now everyone is going to know..." Chanel fretted.

Chanel told Allie that the incident had occurred in London. "I was still in college -- 'university' -- and it was my senior year, and...I had an affair with one of my professors," Chanel admitted before elaborating that the man -- Dr. Nathan Bedford -- had initially seemed to simply be interested in helping a struggling student get through a course on Charles Dickens' novels. "We were reading Bleak House, and he took me to the rooftop of the English department 'cause he wanted to show me some of the locations from the book," Chanel continued before recalling the romantic scene. "He pointed out to where Chancery was, and I leaned over to try to see it, and I got scared, and he pulled me back, and...he kissed me," Chanel concluded.

Allie started to describe the professor's actions as an abuse of power then apologized and urged Chanel to tell the rest of the story. Chanel explained that the professor had been an aspiring writer in search of a muse and had claimed to be in a loveless and toxic marriage that had produced children but had reached its breaking point once the empty-nest years had arrived. Chanel recalled that the affair had been going on for nearly one whole semester when the professor had sent a text message to arrange another meeting on the rooftop of the English department. "Only...when I got wasn't him," Chanel fretted before detailing the ensuing argument that the professor's wife had turned into a physical altercation right near the rooftop's edge.

Allie was surprised to learn that Chanel had confessed everything to the campus police that day. Allie wondered why the case had never gone to trial, prompting Chanel to clarify that Paulina had convinced the school that it might not be able to survive the scandal of the professor's role in the whole saga. Allie insisted that Chanel had shoved the professor's wife away in self-defense and was also a victim. Chanel grumbled that the professor had resigned and disappeared without ever making contact again. "The guilt... I kept pushing it down, trying to deny it -- that's why I was in the party scene when we met..." Chanel revealed before telling Allie that it was finally time to pay for what had happened.

Sloan, still alone with Paulina at Team Price headquarters, revealed that making an easy fortune had never been the true purpose of the blackmail scheme. "I wanted to make you suffer," Sloan explained, confusing Paulina.

Sloan scoffed then admitted that it wasn't a complete surprise that Paulina had made too many enemies over the years to recognize all of them. "Oh... I didn't see it before -- maybe because I never met her -- but I've seen her picture, and now...I can see a slight resemblance..." Paulina observed. "People always did say I had her eyes," Sloan confirmed.

Paulina summarized that Sloan was Martha Bedford's daughter. "My mother was the strongest, smartest woman I've ever known -- she was the reason I became a lawyer; I always wanted to be just like her... I was actually in law school when I got the call... They said she'd killed herself," Sloan explained before adding that Nathan had started drinking heavily afterward and had made a deathbed confession a couple years earlier but had only revealed that Martha hadn't really committed suicide.

Sloan, who had started digging into the matter after Nathan's death, admitted to having been plotting revenge for nearly a year and having simply been waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Paulina declared that Sloan resembled Martha in more ways than one. Sloan was happy to hear that, but Paulina didn't mean it as a compliment. "You have metaphorically lured me to the rooftop, and you're talking smack and threatening me, thinking you've got me in your clutches," Paulina summarized. "My daughter and I are very much alike -- someone charges me, I shove back hard -- so you might want to think about where you might land," Paulina concluded.

Sloan scoffed then insisted that Paulina and Chanel were both going to pay for what had happened. "Sorry I never met your folks -- sound like a fun couple!" Paulina called out while Sloan was storming off.

Wendy tries to trick Rolf

Wendy tries to trick Rolf

Thursday, November 17, 2022

by Mike

Rafe entered the Brady Pub while Eric was debating whether to reach out to Jada. "Nicole's laptop -- figured she'd need it for work," Rafe explained while shoving a carrying case at Eric. "I don't want to hear it," Rafe snapped when Eric tried to apologize for everything. "I'll send the rest of her things over," Rafe assured Eric before starting to storm off. "Nicole's not here -- I haven't seen her since yesterday," Eric revealed, stopping Rafe.

Rafe scoffed then conceded that it would probably take Eric a bit more time to finish kicking Jada out and moving Nicole in. "Or am I missing something?" Rafe wondered. "Yeah, you're missing something -- Jada's pregnant," Eric clarified. "So, you knocked her up, knowing that you were in love with another woman?" Rafe summarized with a shake of the head before asking if Eric was still planning to dump Jada and get back together with Nicole.

Jada entered the pub before Eric could answer Rafe's question. "I'm just here to get my stuff," Jada informed Eric before starting to head upstairs. "Where are you gonna go?" Eric called out, stopping Jada. "I don't know -- maybe the Salem Inn...or maybe Steve and Kayla can help me find a place," Jada responded with a shrug before continuing to walk away from Eric.

Rafe offered to help Jada. "You can't be lifting heavy boxes," Rafe advised. "You told him?" Jada snapped at Eric. "Where the hell do you get off talking about my body to my boss?" Jada continued. "Trying to explain why you're not riding off into the sunset with his wife? Well, don't let me stop you -- you can have Nicole, because I want nothing to do with you ever again!" Jada concluded.

Rafe reclaimed Nicole's carrying case then rushed off so Jada and Eric could talk privately, but only one of them was interested in talking at all. "We have separate rooms, and you've paid your rent through the end of the month -- don't feel like you have to rush out," Eric called out while Jada was trying again to head upstairs. "Okay -- I guess I can take some time to think things through," Jada backpedaled.

Eric apologized for having gotten involved with Jada while still in love with Nicole. "I thought we were always safe..." Eric tried to explain before sighing then acknowledging that it wasn't right to blame the situation on Jada's birth control pills.

Eric promised to support whatever decision Jada made about the pregnancy. "I'm kind of surprised, since you were a priest, that you're," Jada admitted. "I left the priesthood twice, so I'm not gonna be dogmatic," Eric reasoned.

Eric confided in Jada about having always wanted a child then insisted that wasn't meant to be a guilt trip. "I'm only telling you this so you know -- if you do decide to carry the baby, you can count on my support, financially and any other way you want. I'll be there 100% for this baby -- and for you, if you want me to be," Eric stressed. "And where does that leave you and Nicole?" Jada wondered.

Brady wrapped up a meeting with Alex at Titan then headed over to Basic Black and found Nicole in the CEO's office. Nicole groaned when Brady reported that Alex wanted to do yet another photoshoot.

Brady studied Nicole's outfit with a hint of confusion. "I was here all night," Nicole confirmed before getting Brady up to speed on everything that had happened the previous day.

Brady tried to offer a few words of comfort, but Nicole didn't feel worthy of the support. "I'm getting exactly what I deserve," Nicole explained to Brady with a shrug.

Nicole reminded Brady that Eric had always wanted a child. "I'm sure he's gonna do the...'right' thing...and stay with Jada," Nicole grumbled.

Brady tried to point out that modern families took many different forms, but Nicole argued that children had a way of keeping people together. Nicole added that even Brady had recently dumped Chloe and reunited with Kristen for the sake of a child. Nicole continued that even E.J. had a history of staying in a relationship just for the sake of a child. "And he is hardly a man of honor and duty, whereas we both know that Eric believes in the old-fashioned, traditional definition of family," Nicole concluded. "As if that's what we grew up with..." Brady sarcastically muttered. "Well, maybe that's what he's always dreamed of -- and he's never been so close to having it as he is now," Nicole reasoned.

Brady stressed that Nicole was the love of Eric's life. "I know you've spent a lot of your life thinking that you don't really deserve happiness, but you are wrong -- you do, and so does Eric, and my hope is that the two of you can find that happiness together," Brady declared, earning a hug from Nicole, who raved about having the best friend anyone could ever hope to find.

Rafe arrived while Nicole was still hugging Brady. "Just heard about Jada's news -- guess that really throws a wrench in your plans with Eric... But clearly, you've already moved on," Rafe observed while dropping Nicole's carrying case on the desk.

Nicole pulled away from Brady and tried to provide an explanation, but Rafe wasn't interested in finding out what was really going on. "Keep your options open -- just don't ever come crawling back to me," Rafe advised Nicole.

Stefan maintained a firm grip on Gabi's arms during their standoff at DiMera Enterprises, keeping them just inches apart from each other. "I hate you!" Stefan spat while glaring at Gabi. "I hate you more!" Gabi countered, returning Stefan's glare.

Chloe entered the CEO's office just then, prompting Stefan to release Gabi and take a few steps back. Gabi was surprised to learn that Chloe had received a promotion several days earlier and that Li, not Stefan, was responsible. "Maybe Li told you, and you forgot?" Stefan suggested. "No, I don't forget things -- especially not ridiculous, horrifying things," Gabi insisted. "Then maybe your fiancé's keeping secrets from you," Stefan teased.

Gabi laughed off the theory then bragged to Stefan and Chloe that Li was an open and honest mate. Gabi received a text message just then and seized the opportunity to change the subject, showing Chloe and Stefan an image of a wedding invitation then sending a printing company confirmation that the design was correct. "You're getting married New Year's Eve?" Stefan sputtered. "I mean, what could be better -- the whole world throwing a party for us..." Gabi reasoned.

Gabi sensed that Stefan was upset. Stefan denied being upset then clarified that Gabi was actually sensing shock. "It's just...I don't know why you're getting married so soon, okay? You are a bells-and-whistles type of person, and that takes time! Then again, 'impetuous' is your middle name -- you always followed your every whim..." Stefan elaborated. "This is no 'whim'!" Gabi protested. "Just weeks ago, you stood in front of me and told me you loved me!" Stefan countered.

Stefan accused Gabi of wanting to get married to another man right away as a form of revenge. "I was engaged to Li way before you magically rose from the dead," Gabi reminded Stefan.

Gabi pointed out that Stefan had previously claimed to be in favor of them both moving on with other people. Stefan insisted that was still the case then complained that Gabi should have just chosen a different day to get married. "That's an important day for me -- the first time I stepped foot in Salem, it was New Year's Eve," Stefan explained. "I know -- unfortunately, I was there the day that Vivian unleashed you onto this town. Think of all the pain and suffering we could have all been spared if you'd just stayed where you came from!" Gabi spat. "Don't you think you're being just a little bit harsh?" Chloe interjected, annoying Gabi.

Chloe argued that Gabi and Stefan no longer had a reason to bicker with each other all the time because they had each moved on with someone else. "You moved on? With who? With her?" Gabi challenged Stefan. "You work very fast, don't you? I mean, you've been broken up with Brady for...what, like, five minutes?" Gabi snapped at Chloe.

Gabi predicted that Stefan would soon decide to marry Chloe on Christmas Day as a way of stealing the spotlight from the New Year's Eve wedding. Gabi promised to send Stefan and Chloe a set of steak knives as a wedding gift. "Thought she'd never leave," Stefan grumbled after Gabi stormed off. "You seemed very eager to throw...whatever this thing is that we have going her face," Chloe observed. "I wanted her to see that I am very happy with you and that you are the only woman for me," Stefan reasoned.

Johnny, still alone with Wendy in their hotel room in Jakarta, wondered why there was suddenly tension in the air. "It's...your hands -- they're freezing," Wendy claimed. "It's, like, 100 degrees in here," Johnny objected.

Johnny finished attaching a recording device to Wendy's stomach then apologized. "I made you uncomfortable," Johnny guessed. "No, it's not you -- it's...what we're about to do," Wendy backpedaled.

Johnny translated that things had just gotten awkward because of a case of cold feet instead of a case of cold hands. Wendy stuck to that story but still seemed to be flustered for more obvious reasons. Johnny wondered if Wendy wanted to abort the mission. Wendy scoffed then assured Johnny that they weren't just going to leave empty-handed after a 36-hour journey. "I...will...get my nerves under control," Wendy promised. "I've got faith in you," Johnny stressed.

Wendy locked eyes with Johnny but received a phone call from Li before anything else could happen. "Let it go to voicemail," Johnny advised. "I can't -- Li knows that I'm surgically attached to my phone," Wendy fretted before producing the device and noticing that Li had also called a few other times during the past 36 hours. "Does he usually call you several times a day? Controlling big brother much?" Johnny wondered. "Maybe there's a work emergency," Wendy suggested. "Or maybe he's onto us...which means there's not any time to waste -- we need to go find Rolf," Johnny countered before starting to rush off to the lab, and Wendy followed after sending the call to voicemail.

Rolf's cell phone was in silent mode when Li called to warn that Wendy was in Jakarta. Kristen passed through Horton Town Square while Li was recording an urgent voicemail message for Rolf. "Problem?" Kristen assumed. "A big one," Li confirmed.

Li fretted to Kristen that Wendy was up to something. "She said she was working remotely today, and she tried to make it look as though she was logging in from Salem, but our IT department was able to pierce the VPN she created and pin down her actual location," Li elaborated before informing Kristen that Wendy was in Jakarta and that there was only one explanation that made any sense.

Kristen didn't share Li's concern. "If I'm found out, no one's going to care. You see, it's one of the advantages of my reputation -- everyone expects me to be underhanded and devious," Kristen explained before noting that the stakes were higher for Li.

Gabi approached while Kristen was commenting on what Li stood to lose if Wendy figured out the truth. Gabi wondered what was going on, prompting Li to claim that Kristen had been asking for a job. "She got upset when I said I couldn't help her -- not without E.J.'s approval. I am only second in command, after all," Li added with a shrug, and Kristen played along.

Gabi waited until Kristen was gone then demanded the truth from Li. "You made it seem like getting Gabi Chic back to me was very doable. Why did you tell me you had the power to help me?" Gabi snapped. "Completely different situations," Li argued.

Gabi seemed to accept Li's answer after some thought. Gabi changed the subject, wondering if Li had managed to find Wendy yet. Li claimed to have caught Wendy playing hooky. Gabi found it odd that Wendy was being so careless with a dream job.

Johnny and Wendy eventually reached Rolf's lab in Jakarta. "Bet you never thought you'd be using your fancy film equipment for something like this," Wendy mused. "You'd be surprised -- when I was a kid, I wanted to be an FBI agent," Johnny replied.

Johnny reminded Wendy to use their secret phrase -- "black belt" -- at the first sign of trouble. Wendy nodded then knocked on the lab door while Johnny was ducking out of view. Seconds later, Rolf opened the door and gave Wendy a look of confusion. Wendy sidestepped Rolf and entered the lab while getting the introductions out of the way. "Ah, the technology wunderkind -- your reputation precedes you," Rolf declared. "Likewise," Wendy stressed.

Wendy claimed to be acting as Li's liaison to make sure that Rolf was happy with the new lab. Rolf had no complaints about the lab itself but admitted to Wendy that it would be nice to have a fresh supply of fruit flies because a recent event had wiped out the previous batch. Wendy promised to fulfill Rolf's request as soon as possible.

Rolf wondered why Li had never bothered to mention that Wendy would be checking in. Wendy suggested that Rolf had probably just missed Li's email. "He was determined to give you a royal welcome -- after all, he's extremely grateful for everything you've done for him," Wendy revealed. "You mean my years of faithful service to DiMera Enterprises," Rolf translated. "There's that, of well as, you know, the way you brainwashed Stefan DiMera to fall out of love with Gabi so he could have her for himself," Wendy clarified. "Eh, it was nothing -- I was happy to help," Rolf insisted.

Johnny, still monitoring the situation from outside the lab, celebrated the victory then hoped that Wendy would also be able to get Rolf to confirm that E.J. had been involved in the brainwashing scheme. "A few weeks ago, Li and E.J. were mortal enemies, and now..." Wendy began to prod Rolf while casually moving around the lab.

Johnny winced and removed an earbud when Wendy's recording device suddenly picked up some sort of interference that created a loud screech. Johnny continued listening to Wendy's conversation with Rolf after the noise stopped. "I'm registering a sudden electromagnetic interference," Rolf observed while picking up a hidden radio-frequency detector that Wendy had just approached. "Don't you come near me, old man -- I have a third-degree black belt... What are you doing with that syringe?" Wendy yelled at Rolf while Johnny was desperately trying to get into the lab through a locked door.

Johnny eventually managed to kick open the door, but Rolf was gone by then, and Wendy was lying on the floor. Rolf sneaked back into the lab with another syringe while Johnny was checking Wendy's motionless body for a pulse. Rolf plunged the needle of the new syringe into Johnny's neck. Johnny turned to confront Rolf then collapsed.

Steve tracks down Tripp

Steve tracks down Tripp

Friday, November 18, 2022

Alex sat on the Kiriakis living room couch, and he grinned at a photo of Stephanie on his phone. "I don't think I've seen a smile like that since twelve-year-old Alex discovered the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover," Justin joked as he walked into the room. Alex jumped to his feet to greet his father. Justin told Alex that the twins "sent their love," and he asked if Alex's smile was about a woman.

"Not just any woman. Dad, I shared my first kiss with the woman of my dreams," Alex said. "I can't wait to hear about it, but first, I need to track down my dream girl. Where's Bonnie?" Justin asked. Alex explained that Bonnie had unexpectedly gone to see Mimi. With a shake of his head, Justin noted that it was not like Bonnie not to tell him about her travel plans. Justin called Bonnie's phone and left a voicemail.

"If something was wrong, she would tell you," Alex assured Justin. With a nervous chuckle, Justin noted that Bonnie probably had been shopping for her granddaughter. Alex continued to talk about Stephanie, but Justin was distracted. "Sorry. I just can't stop thinking about Bonnie," Justin admitted. Worried, Justin called Mimi. Mimi confirmed that Bonnie was not with her.

"I'm sure your mother is just fine. We probably just got our wires crossed," Justin assured Mimi. After Justin ended the call, he told Alex that Mimi had not talked to Bonnie in days. Alex said he was positive that Maggie had said that Bonnie had gone to Chicago. Justin went upstairs to speak with Maggie.

In the Kiriakis garden shed, Bonnie screamed for help while Susan sat quietly with a gag in her mouth. Clown-disguised Xander entered with food to feed his captives. "You'll be out of here soon enough. Until then, you need to eat something," Xander said. "Why would I eat anything you gave me?" Bonnie shouted. When Xander noted that he had no reason to poison Bonnie, she countered that he had no reason to have dressed like a clown. Xander warned Bonnie that she would not be released until E.J. paid Susan's ransom.

"What's taking so long?" Bonnie asked. Xander promised to release Bonnie and Susan unharmed as soon as E.J. paid the ransom. "You better hope so, because my husband is due back today," Bonnie said. Bonnie warned Xander that Justin would make Xander sorry. After Xander left, Bonnie thought about how E.J. had been a cheapskate. "Doesn't he even care about his mama?" Bonnie thought. Susan answered telepathically.

"Of course, he cares about his mama," Susan thought back. Bonnie appeared taken aback as Susan conversed telepathically with her. Susan chastised Bonnie for having spoken ill of her son. "Stop getting inside my brain," Bonnie thought. Bonnie asked Susan telepathically if she was scared. Susan answered that she was certain her son would save them. Bonnie wondered when Justin would return home. As Susan continued to talk to Bonnie telepathically, Bonnie begged Susan to stop communicating with her.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. stared at his phone, and he wondered aloud why Ava had not called him. "You realize that this could have been resolved by now if you had simply paid the ransom," Tony said. E.J. scoffed at the idea. "We cannot negotiate with terrorists," E.J. argued. "But haven't you become one by kidnapping the woman's son?" Tony countered. E.J. stressed that he had needed to show Ava how far he would go. Tony noted that E.J.'s position had led to a standoff.

"I admit I overestimated Ava's humanity," E.J. said. When E.J. wondered aloud what kind of woman would gamble with her son's life, Tony responded, "A woman who is up against a man who is willing to gamble with his mother's [life]." Tony poured E.J. a drink to calm him. "I'm concerned you are allowing your pride and stubbornness to influence your decision-making," Tony said. E.J. disagreed.

"That woman made our family a target," E.J. complained. Tony asked E.J. to release Tripp. "I'd be giving up all my leverage over Ava. Is that what you would have me do?" E.J. asked. Anna walked in, and she misinterpreted the conversation between the brothers. Anna promised E.J. that she had no plans to get revenge on Susan for having broken Anna's crystal heart sculpture.

"My heart aches no more," Anna said. Anna pulled a replica of her crystal heart sculpture out from behind her back. "Susan is safe," Anna said. "No, she isn't, Anna," Tony said. Tony told Anna that Ava had kidnapped Susan. When Tony muttered that E.J. was to blame, Anna asked Tony why he wanted to berate his brother. Tony told Ava that E.J. had kidnapped Tripp in retaliation for Susan's kidnapping.

"E.J., why would you want to hurt a decent, wonderful, sexy man like that?" Anna asked. "What has sexy got to do with anything?" Tony exclaimed. E.J. promised he had not hurt Tripp. Anna put her hands on her hips to show her displeasure. "I only went after [Tripp] to even the stakes," E.J. said. "Spoken like a true DiMera," Anna countered. Tony argued that E.J. had made the situation worse, and he asked E.J. to let Tripp go.

In the DiMera crypt, a nervous Ava wondered aloud why Steve had not called her. "Maybe he hasn't found anything yet, and there's nothing to report," Charlie said. With a smirk, Charlie suggested that the rescue had "gone south." Charlie reminded Ava that no matter what had happened to Tripp, she would always have him. Ava paced and stared at her phone.

"Steve will come through. I trust him," Ava said. Charlie laughed. Charlie reminded Ava that Steve had consistently put his family ahead of Ava. "I'm the only one that you have ever been able to count on. Not Tripp, not Jake DiMera, and sure as hell not Steve Johnson," Charlie said. Ava yelled at Charlie to go away. Xander entered the crypt.

"Who are you talking to?" Xander asked. Ava lied and said she had yelled at a rat. "Who is watching Susan?" Ava asked. Xander noted that Susan was fine, and he asked about the ransom. "It's day two, what's taking so long?" Xander asked. "He's got my kid, okay?" Ava said. Ava explained what had happened.

"We have to let Susan go before someone gets hurt," Xander said. Ava argued that she could not risk Tripp's life by releasing her leverage on him. When Ava reminded Xander that he would not get paid if there was no ransom, Xander yelled that he did not want anyone's blood on his hands.

"Since when did you grow a conscience?" Ava asked. "Since Sarah. Since I married someone who believes in me. It's bad enough I kidnapped Susan for you," Xander said. Ava assured Xander that no one would die. "I've got a plan in motion to rescue Tripp," Ava said. Xander was unsure, but Ava ordered him to return to Susan and wait for Ava's call.

"You don't know what you're asking of me," Xander muttered. "How hard is it to babysit one woman?" Ava said. Xander told Ava what had happened with Bonnie. "You colossal idiot! How could you let this happen?" Ava yelled. Defensive, Xander asked Ava why she had not safeguarded her son. Ava asked Xander why he had held Susan captive on his family's estate.

"No one ever goes in that shed," Xander said bitterly. "Apparently that's not true," Ava said. Xander argued that his only other alternative had been the DiMera crypt. "At least it's private," Ava said. Xander argued that a DiMera family member could have entered the crypt. "Not to mention all the ghosts, if you believe that sort of thing," Xander said. Ava averted her eyes.

After a deep breath, Ava admitted that both she and Xander had made mistakes. "This new complication could actually work in our favor," Ava said. "How?" Xander asked. Ava argued that they could ransom Bonnie with Victor. "I couldn't do that to my cousin Justin. He's been good to me, and in my family, that makes him kind of a unicorn," Xander said. A look of disgust crossed Ava's face.

"I should be hearing from my associates about rescuing Tripp very soon," Ava said. Xander asked about Ava's associates. Annoyed, Ava ordered Xander to return to the shed and make sure no one else stumbled onto the captives. When Xander returned to the Kiriakis shed, he stopped outside to check Bonnie's voicemail. Xander listened to Justin's message. "I'm sorry, mate. Never meant for you or Bonnie to get caught up in Ava's mess. Hopefully this will be over soon," Xander whispered. Xander pulled his clown mask on, and he entered the shed.

At the DiMera crypt, Charlie asked Ava if she was worried if E.J.'s men had killed Tripp. "Don't say that," Ava growled. Charlie argued that it was cleaner for E.J. to kill Tripp and dump his body in Puget Sound. "Shut up!" Ava screamed. Ava said she believed that Steve would save Tripp. Charlie asked Ava to be realistic.

Outside a club called the Serpent's Den, Steve donned sunglasses before he entered. Inside the bar, Steve showed a photo of Tripp to the bartender. The bartender said he did not recognize the man in the photo. "Someone snatched this kid from his apartment. We have reason to believe that whoever took him frequents this establishment," Steve explained. "Are you a cop?" the bartender asked. Steve said no. When the bartender asked Steve why he was interested in the kid, Steve said his boss was interested. Kayla walked in disguised in a fur coat, a leopard print dress, and a brown wig.

"The Vitalis run Philly, and I run the Vitalis," Kayla said. Steve introduced Kayla as Ava Vitali. "This kid in the picture here? That's my son. And I want him back safe and sound, or somebody's heading for a slumber party down with the fish in Lake Washington," Kayla said. Steve told the bartender that the kidnapper had left a matchbox from the bar at the scene of the crime. The bartender reiterated that a large variety of people frequented the bar.

"With all due respect, Miss Vitali, but if you're familiar with our rep, then you would understand I can't give you any answers," the bartender said. As the bartender rounded the bar to attend to customers, Steve grabbed him and pinned his face against the bar. "Now that I have your undivided attention, tell me where I can find my son. Or my friend here is gonna make you cry for your mommy," Kayla said.

In a hotel room, Tripp sat tied to a chair with a gag in his mouth. Tripp's kidnapper sat on the bed, and he complained about the selection on the TV. Steve kicked in the door, and he knocked out the kidnapper. Kayla untied Tripp, and he assured them that he was okay. Kayla suggested that they take Tripp to the hospital. Tripp said he was fine. Steve tied up the kidnapper then slapped him until he woke up.

"Tell me why E.J. DiMera hired you to kidnap my son," Steve said. "I got nothing to say to you," the kidnapper said. Kayla told the kidnapper that the police were on the way. Steve called Ava, and he handed the phone to Tripp. Tripp told Ava that he was safe.

In the crypt, Ava breathed a sigh of relief, and Charlie rolled his eyes at her. Ava called E.J., and she told him that Tripp was free. "You're bluffing," E.J. said. Ava sent E.J. photographic proof that Tripp was safe. "I want my mother," E.J. said. Ava demanded 30 million dollars. E.J. huffed with annoyance, then he agreed to pay the ransom.

"But I want to know that my mother is alive and well," E.J. said. Ava offered to send a photo, but E.J. demanded to see Susan in person. "If I don't see my mother's face, you don't get anything," E.J. said. Ava agreed to send E.J. a location. "If you try and double-cross me again, it will be Susan who will pay," Ava said.

In the Seattle motel room, the police took the kidnapper away. Steve asked Tripp if the kidnapper had talked about E.J. "What is this all about?" Tripp asked. Tripp noted that E.J. had forced Ava to leave Salem. "Why would he need to kidnap me?" Tripp asked. "Ava said it was because she defied him and came back to town," Steve explained. "It's not like [Ava] has any power. Why would [E.J.] care so much?" Tripp wondered aloud. Tripp noted that the kidnapper had appeared to be waiting for something.

"I'm the last person to make excuses for E.J. DiMera, but he's no dummy. And I'm sure he had a pretty good reason to do something this extreme," Kayla said. "I'll bet you any money Ava did something to provoke him," Steve countered.

After Justin talked to Maggie about Bonnie, he returned to the Kiriakis living room. "Why would Bonnie send that text if she wasn't really going to see her daughter?" Alex asked. "I don't like this," Justin said. Justin explained that Maggie had last seen Bonnie on her way to the gardening shed to pick up lanterns for the dinner.

"And nobody has seen her since?" Alex asked. Justin shrugged. "Let's go," Justin said. Justin and Alex headed out to the gardening shed. When Justin and Alex entered the shed, their mouths fell open. "What the?" Alex said.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. paced the living room nervously. "You're doing the right thing," Anna said. "At the end of the day, it's just money," Tony added. E.J. scowled at his brother. "Do you really think that this is over between me and Ava? That she'll just take her money and leave for good?" E.J. asked. "Why wouldn't she?" Anna said. E.J. argued that Ava was mentally ill.

In the DiMera crypt, Ava told Charlie that she was set for life. "What more could I have asked for?" Ava said. Charlie argued that the money was not enough to punish E.J. for what he had done to Ava. "What are you saying, Charlie?" Ava asked. "If you really want to make E.J. pay, we should kill Susan Banks," Charlie said.

Recaps for the week of November 21, 2022 (Following Week)


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