Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of January 9, 2023 on DAYS

Alex turned off Stephanie's phone. Chad did not reach Stephanie in time for her to say goodbye to Kayla. Eric held Kristen at gunpoint. Brady kicked Kristen out. Gabi rejected Li. Johnny told Stefan that he had talked to Rolf in Jakarta. Brady told Chloe the truth about their breakup. Chloe admitted that she had feelings for Stefan. Stefan told Gabi that he did not want to be with her. Rolf disappeared. Family and friends mourned Kate and Kayla's deaths. Lucas told Rex that Philip was alive. Sloan sued Chanel. Stephanie dumped Alex. Will overheard Leo talking to Sloan.
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Family and friends mourned Kate and Kayla's deaths. Eric held Kristen at gunpoint. Gabi rejected Li. Rolf disappeared. Stephanie dumped Alex. Will overheard Leo talking to Sloan.
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Alex thwarts Chad's efforts to warn Stephanie about Kayla

Alex thwarts Chad's efforts to warn Stephanie about Kayla

Monday, January 9, 2023

by Mike

John, alone with Marlena in their bedroom at the Evans-Black townhouse, reported that Brady was searching for the orchid with the help of some Black Patch employees. "Is there any thought that maybe Kristen is lying about the orchid being stolen?" Marlena wondered. "You know, Doc, as a general rule, I don't put anything past Kristen...but I think she's on the level this time," John responded.

John theorized that "the maniac who put this whole thing in motion" had the orchid, prompting Marlena to recommend paying the suspect a visit.

Chad continued phoning from the hospital while Stephanie was with Alex at the Kiriakis mansion. "This guy is relentless!" Alex grumbled while waiting for Stephanie to finish freshening up. "Sorry, buddy -- not tonight," Alex muttered before turning off Stephanie's cell phone.

Rex volunteered to spread the news about Kate's death so Roman wouldn't have to take on that burden. "I wish I hadn't wasted so much time wanting you from afar," Roman fretted while alone with Kate's lifeless body. "I am so sorry that I waited so long to tell you how I felt," Roman continued with a sigh. "And I am so sorry that I couldn't protect you from Orpheus and Kristen. I hope that they just suffer in hell forever for what they did to you," Roman concluded before breaking down.

Steve rushed off to check on Kate and Roman at Kayla's request but ran into Rex and Chad on the way and overheard them discussing the tragedy that had just occurred. Steve hugged Rex and offered a few words of comfort then turned to Chad and repeated the process.

Steve was disappointed to learn that Chad had not yet managed to get in touch with Stephanie. "I need her here!" Steve stressed. "I'll go find her," Chad promised. "Do you even know where she is?" Steve wondered. "I think I have an idea, yeah...so don't worry -- I'll get her here," Chad responded before rushing off to the Bistro then panicking after discovering that the restaurant was closed.

Steve resumed the journey to Kate's room and comforted Roman with a hug. "Kate and I had our differences, but I know one thing we had in common was our love and respect for you, and I know how good you two were for each other, and I know how happy she made you," Steve assured Roman. "I hope I made her happy, too," Roman confessed before following Steve out of the room.

Steve led Roman to Kayla's room then headed off to a waiting area to try to contact Joey and Tripp. "Losing Kate -- I know how much you loved her --" Kayla fretted. "She made it easy," Roman insisted. "Not always," Kayla argued, managing to draw a laugh from Roman, who conceded the point. "You're gonna beat this, Kay -- I just lost my wife, and I'll be damned if I lose my baby sister, too," Roman stressed, and Kayla played along but seemed quite skeptical.

Lucas entered one of Statesville's lounges and saw that Orpheus was reading The Art of War at a table near the pay phone. "Don't leave on my account," Orpheus begged while Lucas was walking back out of the lounge. "Was that your lovely mother I saw here earlier?" Orpheus continued after Lucas returned. "Kate was sure looking well," Orpheus concluded, drawing a scoff from Lucas. "No thanks to you," Lucas reminded Orpheus, who feigned ignorance.

Lucas refused to buy Orpheus' innocent act. "You better be glad they found that serum in time to save my mom and her friends," Lucas snapped. "And what was the drunken black sheep of the Horton family gonna do if they hadn't -- pee on my shoes like the pathetic wino you are?" Orpheus countered. "Screw you!" Lucas yelled, drawing the attention of a guard. "Relax -- I'm just having a bit of fun with Bill Horton's bastard," Orpheus assured the guard with a wink.

Lucas lunged at Orpheus, but John entered the lounge just then and intervened. "What are you doing here?" Lucas wondered. "Isn't it obvious? He came to see his ex-son-in-law, the boozehound who kidnapped his stepdaughter. You know, John, I get that you're applying for sainthood, but I gotta figure the man upstairs would cut you some slack if you let the village idiot rot in here," Orpheus interjected. "Milo, I'm not here for Lucas -- I'm here for you," John clarified.

Lucas rushed over to the pay phone after John elaborated, and Orpheus claimed to be hearing the information for the first time. "I guess Christmas came late around here...because you, John Black, are definitely the bearer of good tidings!" Orpheus raved while Lucas was having a phone conversation with Rex. "I'm gonna kill you, just like you killed my mother!" Lucas spat at Orpheus after ending the call.

John intervened again then rushed off after offering Lucas condolences and advising that it would be best to stay away from Orpheus in the future. Orpheus followed John out of the lounge then returned a short time later and tried to apologize to Lucas for what had happened earlier. "Save it, all right? I don't need your sympathy! I know all about you -- I know what a monster you really are --" Lucas snapped. "Would a 'monster' bring you this?" Orpheus objected before producing a bottle of whiskey. "I know all too well the pain of losing a loved one. Just thought this might take the edge off. Consider it...a bereavement gift," Orpheus explained before exiting the lounge again, leaving behind the bottle of whiskey.

Eric served Marlena some soup from the Brady Pub while they were waiting for John to return from Statesville. "You took Kristen's daughter, and we all know how volatile she can be when she's provoked -- I'm wondering if you've thought about that," Marlena challenged Eric. "I should have -- especially since you have more experience dealing with psychopaths than anyone in this town," Eric admitted, drawing a nod from Marlena, who advised against "playing with fire" in the future.

Marlena soon changed the subject, wanting to know what else had been happening in Eric's life lately. "Since the love of my life convinced the mother of my unborn child to have an abortion," Eric translated before acknowledging that wasn't really a fair summary of the situation. "Yet, somehow, you're blaming Nicole," Marlena noted. "I just wish she hadn't gotten involved," Eric explained. "Oh, darling, I know how much you want to have a family, and I know that you will have -- I promise you -- but I just don't want what's happening with these two women in your life to harden that beautiful golden heart of yours," Marlena stressed.

Steve returned to Kayla's hospital room after managing to get in touch with Joey and Tripp. "Okay, Joey, you first. I'm so proud of the man that you've become. You were the gift that God gave your father and me when he brought us back together all those years ago. I just love you with all my heart. And Tripp, I may not have given birth to you, but I love you in every way a woman could love her baby boy, and I am so proud of all your accomplishments. I just love all my three precious children a thousand lifetimes, and I...will see you later, okay? Be good to yourselves and to each other, okay? And your dad, your wonderful dad -- look after him, okay? Goodbye, my darlings," Kayla declared before ending the call.

Kayla was ready to "sleep" immediately after the phone conversation, but Steve protested that it wasn't time for that yet. "You have to wait for Stephanie," Steve explained. "I can't -- I have to go to my pop and my mom and Bo --" Kayla maintained. "Sweetness, please, don't leave us!" Steve begged.

Chad entered the Kiriakis mansion and rushed up to Alex's bedroom in search of Stephanie then apologized for the interruption after seeing that they were naked in bed together. "Henderson let me in -- Stephanie, I've been calling you, and you're not answering your phone --" Chad explained. "I didn't get any calls," Stephanie revealed. "We were a little busy doing something," Alex stressed.

Alex softened and started squirming after finding out why Chad had been so desperate to get in touch with Stephanie. "I just wish I could have reached Stephanie sooner," Chad fretted to Alex after Stephanie rushed off to the bathroom to get dressed.

Chad waited outside for Stephanie and Alex, and they all headed off to the hospital together. Chad directed Stephanie to Kayla's room then trudged off to Kate's room. "I love you, Kate, and I'll miss you more than you could ever know," Chad declared.

John rejoined Marlena and Eric at the townhouse and reported that Kate had died earlier. Eric stepped outside to contact Roman while John was comforting Marlena with a hug. Eric returned a short time later and announced that Kayla was also dead.

Stephanie stared at Kayla's lifeless body in disbelief while accepting a hug from Steve. "She tried so hard to hold on for you," Steve revealed. "She asked for me, didn't she?" Stephanie guessed. "She asked for you...and Joe and Tripp -- all her babies," Steve confirmed. "But I wasn't here -- I didn't get to say goodbye, I didn't get to tell her how much I loved her --" Stephanie fretted. "She knows," Steve insisted.

Alex, who had been eavesdropping, returned to the nurses' station and found Chad waiting there. "She was too late," Alex numbly summarized. "I can't believe her phone got turned off. She never got to say goodbye. Damn," Chad mused before walking away with a shake of the head, drawing a gulp of guilt from Alex.

 A desperate Eric holds Kristen at gunpoint

A desperate Eric holds Kristen at gunpoint

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

E.J. delivered breakfast to Nicole in her room. "I have some sad news, and I wanted to break it to you myself," E.J. said. After E.J. told Nicole about Kate and Kayla's deaths, Nicole shook her head in disbelief. "What about Marlena?" Nicole asked. "She's very ill, but she's still holding on," E.J. said. "Poor Eric," Nicole whispered. With a shake of her head, Nicole worried aloud that Eric would fall apart.

Nicole blamed herself for Eric's spiral. "I just want to be there for him. And I'm sure I am the last person he wants to see," Nicole said. "I'm afraid you might be right about that," E.J. agreed.

When Nicole argued that she was not hard enough on herself, E.J. stressed that she was a good person. Nicole grabbed a button off the nightstand. With a smirk, Nicole explained that it was from when she had ripped his shirt on New Year's Eve. E.J. chuckled.

"I know that it seems crazy that I am not ready to move on from Eric, especially when he hates my guts," Nicole admitted. "You know what feels right. I won't press you," E.J. said. As Nicole sipped her coffee, she made a face. Nicole explained that her New Year's resolution had been to quit caffeine. E.J. promised to add decaf coffee to the shopping list. "No offense, but I'm thinking I'm going to give up men instead," Nicole said.

In the DiMera living room, Johnny ended his call with Allie as Stefan returned home. Stefan complained about flight delays, then he grinned as he talked about Chloe. "So, you had a good time?" Johnny asked. "Ah. You know about Gabi," Stefan said. Johnny explained that he had driven Gabi to the airport.

"She found you?" Johnny asked. "She found me. Told me everything," Stefan said. Confused, Johnny asked Stefan why he did not appear upset. Stefan noted that Gabi had changed her story about what Rolf had said to her.

"How am I supposed to know which story to believe?" Stefan said. After a moment, Johnny groaned. Johnny told Stefan that Rolf had admitted the truth to him. "Wendy overheard her brother having a conversation about Rolf and you. She got worried that he might have gotten in over his head somehow. So, she and I..." Johnny said with a shrug. As Johnny paused, Stefan sighed loudly.

"Jakarta," Stefan said. Johnny confessed they had taken the jet to Jakarta to track down Rolf. "We were on a mission," Johnny said. Johnny explained that Wendy had tricked Rolf into admitting the truth, but then Rolf had attempted to dose them with a drug to forget the conversation. "Just like he did to Gabi when she confronted him right before he fled Salem," Johnny said.

"That's why [Gabi] was convinced [Rolf] was innocent," Stefan said. "And when the drug wore off, she blew up her whole wedding, exposed the truth, got on a plane to Miami to find you to tell you everything," Johnny said. With a nod of understanding, Stefan asked why Johnny had not told him about Jakarta sooner. Johnny thought about when E.J. had pleaded with him not to tell Stefan.

"What are you not telling me?" Stefan asked. E.J. walked into the room. Johnny explained that he and Stefan had been talking about what Rolf had done. "I kept quiet because of someone I care about," Johnny said. E.J. warned Johnny with a look not to implicate him. "Wendy," Johnny said. Johnny explained that Li had begged his sister not to expose him, and Johnny had agreed to keep quiet for Wendy's sake.

"And that's the whole story?" Stefan asked. "That's the whole story," Johnny said. Johnny apologized. "One would hope that family loyalty would trump your burgeoning relationship with Wendy, but hey, what's done is done, right, kid?" Stefan said. With a sigh, Stefan walked out of the house. E.J. thanked Johnny.

"It's one thing for Stefan to believe that you were involved in the cover-up, but I'm his brother and his boss," E.J. said. Johnny shrugged. "I kept the secret this long. No reason to let it out now," Johnny said. Johnny told E.J. that Stefan had not appeared angry with Rolf. "Maybe that will change with time," Johnny said. Before E.J. could respond, Allie called Johnny's phone to tell him about Kristen's orchid shenanigans.

"[The orchid] was down in the secret passages for months. And now that it's needed to make a serum for Grandma, it's missing," Johnny said. "Kristen, what the hell have you done?" E.J. muttered. Johnny explained that Kristen had sworn that she did not know who had taken the orchid. E.J. suggested that they talk to Rolf. "I need to go see Rafe right now," Johnny said as he walked out.

At the Bistro, Li sat at a table and composed a message on his phone for Gabi. Chloe walked into the square. "You're back," Li said. As Li started to ask about Gabi, Chloe warned him to stop talking. "I'm not really interested in answering your questions, but you damn well better answer mine," Chloe said. Chloe told Li that she had been there when Gabi had told Stefan everything.

"You knew you couldn't compete. You played God, Li. With Stefan's life. With Gabi's life. The woman that you claim to love," Chloe said. "I do love Gabi very much," Li said. Chloe told Li that Gabi hated him. "Why did you drag me into this?" Chloe asked. Li asked Chloe who would have benefitted from breaking up Chloe and Brady.

"Are you saying that Kristen had a hand in this?" Chloe asked. "Well, I'm not saying anything. But you happen to draw your own conclusions," Li said. Furious, Chloe yelled, "You cannot screw around with people's lives and then not own up to it when you're caught!" As Chloe turned to walk away, Li reminded her that she worked for him. "I quit," Chloe said.

In the Hernandez kitchen, Rafe was cleaning when Gabi returned home. Rafe saw the sad look on Gabi's face. "Oh, no," Rafe said. Gabi rushed into her brother's arms and wept. When Gabi calmed, she told Rafe what had happened in Miami. "[Stefan] didn't even believe me," Gabi said. Gabi argued that her only chance to convince Stefan was to locate Rolf.

"I did have to release [Kristen and Li] from custody," Rafe said. Rafe swore that he would not let Kristen and Li get away with their crimes. With a sigh, Gabi noted that she had been a fool to trust Li. "Now I'm actually married to the creep," Gabi said. Rafe advised Gabi not to give up on Stefan.

"You know me better than that. I will never, ever give up on the man I love," Gabi promised. "That's what I like to hear," Rafe said. With a hug goodbye, Rafe left for work. As Gabi cleaned the kitchen, Li knocked on the door. "I have nothing to say to you," Gabi said. Li stopped Gabi from closing the door. "Please, just hear me out," Li begged.

"Why should I when all you've done is lie to me? You knew Stefan was alive, and you didn't tell me anything," Gabi argued. "There was nothing to be done. He had no heart. And all I had was a vague promise from a mad scientist," Li said. Li explained that Stefan's preservation had been a business decision.

"You chose business over me," Gabi argued. Li asked to put the situation in context, but Gabi countered that there was no way to make Li's actions forgivable. "What was the business reason for you trying to pull the plug? Could you please put that in context for me?" Gabi asked. Before Li could respond, Gabi recounted what Rolf had told her.

"And then [Rolf] drugged me. Which I'm sure you knew about, didn't you?" Gabi asked. "Gabi, I was desperate. I was deeply in love with you. I didn't want to lose you," Li said. "Well, now, because you are a lying bastard with zero integrity, you have lost me forever," Gabi said. Li admitted that he had made a mistake, and Gabi scoffed at him.

"Are you that deluded that you think you're just going to say, 'whoops, I made a mistake' and then all is forgiven?" Gabi asked. "You know damn well what it is like to cross the line when it comes to love. You and I are the same. We're not afraid to take drastic measures when something's truly worth the risk. And you were worth it. Stefan's not like us. He gave up on you. And that's something that I will never do," Li argued. Gabi shook her head in disbelief.

"[Stefan] didn't give up, Li. He was brainwashed by you," Gabi noted. Li argued that if Stefan had loved Gabi enough, Stefan could not have been brainwashed. "Stefan never loved you the way I do, and he never will," Li said. Li argued that Gabi understood what Li had done, because she would have done the same thing for someone that she loved.

"We're the same. We belong together, and you know it," Li stressed. Li reached out his hand to Gabi. "Are you kidding me? You think I'm supposed to say no harm, no foul and bygones and all that?" Gabi asked. Li stammered that he did not expect that.

"Get out!" Gabi screamed. When Li continued to stand in the doorway, Gabi grabbed leftover food in the kitchen, and she threw it at Li. Li slowly walked out. Gabi continued to clean the kitchen. Stefan knocked on the door.

Kristen returned to the penthouse to retrieve Rachel's forgotten lunchbox. Eric walked in, and he glowered at Kristen. "I just came from seeing my father," Eric said. "How is he doing?" Kristen asked. "How is he doing? His wife just died, and so did his sister. My mother, she could be next," Eric said. Eric pulled out a gun and pointed it at Kristen.

"Or maybe you'll beat her to it," Eric said. "Eric, you're not a murderer," Kristen said. Eric was shaking with fury as he ordered Kristen to turn over the orchid. Kristen stressed that she had told that truth about the stolen orchid. Eric argued that Kristen had always been a liar. "Not to mention a murderer and rapist. You must be loving this," Eric said. When Kristen said no, Eric yelled at her to shut up. Eric argued that the disappearance of the orchid had been too convenient to be a coincidence.

"You planned all this!" Eric said. Eric ordered Kristen to take him to the orchid. As Eric pushed the gun to Kristen's forehead, Brady returned home. "What the hell are you doing?" Brady asked. Brady stressed that Kristen did not know where to find the orchid.

"Why do you do everything she says? Or believe anything she says?" Eric asked. "[Kristen] swore on our daughter's life. She has no reason to lie," Brady said. Eric disagreed. Brady reminded Eric that Marlena needed her family. "We are running out of time. Give me the gun," Brady pleaded. Reluctantly, Eric handed the gun to Brady.

"I'm not playing your games anymore," Eric told Kristen. Eric walked out. Kristen breathed a sigh of relief and thanked Brady. "I didn't do it for you. I did it for my brother," Brady said. Brady ordered Kristen to move out. "You want me to go?" Kristen asked. Brady reminded Kristen that she had only moved into the penthouse because she had blackmailed Brady.

"Now two women are dead, and a third may not make it. And you lost the only thing that could save [Marlena's] life, so yeah, I want you out," Brady said. When Kristen asked about Rachel, Brady argued that Rachel would be fine. "And she will eventually understand why you cannot be a part of her life," Brady said. Brady argued that the person that would not be fine was Marlena.

"And I don't want my dad coming through that door, seeing your face, as a widower," Brady said. "But I have nowhere else to go," Kristen pleaded. "That's not my problem!" Brady screamed. While Kristen packed in her bedroom, Brady talked to Theresa on the phone about the death of her aunt. As Brady ended his call, Kristen appeared with her bags.

"You don't need to do this. Rachel is going to need her mother more than ever," Kristen said. "Right, because she might lose her grandmother because of you," Brady said. With a shake of his head, Brady admitted that he was disappointed that he had allowed Kristen to blackmail him for so long. "I was really worried that if I confided in someone, that you would let them die. And here we are. It happened, anyway," Brady said. Brady lamented that he had not pushed Kristen harder from the start.

"I don't want you to blame yourself for this," Kristen said. "I don't, Kristen. I blame you," Brady said. With tears in her eyes, Kristen asked Brady to tell Rachel that she loved her. "Goodbye, Kristen," Brady said.

After Chloe returned to her room at the Salem Inn, Nicole visited. "I'm assuming you heard about that disaster in Miami?" Chloe said as she hugged Nicole. Nicole admitted that she had not talked to Stefan. "I'm so sorry. I really am. I mean, after what happened at Gabi's wedding, I just felt that she should know where Stefan was," Nicole said. Chloe said she understood. "I just wish someone would have told her sooner," Chloe said. Chloe explained that she had slept with Stefan in Miami.

"I didn't think I was ready. But then I just thought, I deserve to be happy, and I deserve to feel good," Chloe said. Nicole agreed. Chloe told Nicole that when she and Stefan had been lying in bed, Gabi had burst into the room. "I just feel so stupid. The only reason Stefan wanted me was because Rolf had engineered those feelings," Chloe said. Nicole disagreed. Chloe admitted that she had trouble believing that Stefan's feelings for her were genuine.

"Obviously, we all thought it was strange when Stefan started showing up at my door with flowers and wooing me," Chloe admitted. "Especially when we all thought he was dead," Nicole said. Chloe noted that when Stefan had returned, she had been in love with Brady. "Then Brady walked out on me, and he went back to Kristen," Chloe said. "And then there was Stefan," Nicole said. Chloe nodded yes.

"Lying there next to [Stefan] in Miami, for the first time in a long time, I stopped hurting. And I was happy, even just that moment. And then Gabi comes crashing in, and she ruins that, too," Chloe said. "I'm here for you," Nicole said. Chloe changed the subject to Nicole. Nicole informed Chloe that she had spent a fairly platonic New Year's Eve with E.J.

"And Eric?" Chloe asked. "He's sleeping with Sloan Petersen," Nicole muttered. "What?" Chloe yelped. Nicole explained that she and Eric had not been speaking to one another. "I just wish I could reach out to him with everything that's going on with his family," Nicole said. Confused, Chloe asked Nicole what she meant. "You just got back, you haven't heard," Nicole said. Before Nicole could explain about the orchid, there was a knock at the door. It was Brady.

"What are you doing here?" Chloe asked. "Can I talk to you? Alone, if possible," Brady said as he looked over at Nicole. Nicole jumped to her feet, and she told Chloe to call her. After Nicole walked out, Chloe asked Brady what he wanted. "I wanted to tell you the reason why I broke up with you. It had nothing to do with Rachel. Kristen had forced me to do it," Brady said.

At the police station, Rafe ended a phone call as Eric marched into the station. "DiMeras are nothing but liars who cover up the truth, and they don't tell you what you need to know until people you love are going to die," Eric grumbled. Rafe told Eric that he wished he could help.

"You can arrest Kristen right now," Eric demanded. "Kristen claims she doesn't know who could have stolen the orchid," Rafe said. Eric argued that Kristen was lying. When Rafe said he could not arrest Kristen, Eric yelled that he knew Rafe blamed him for the death of Rafe's marriage.

"I'm sorry. I really am. But don't let my mother suffer because you're angry with me," Eric said. "I understand that you are worried about your mother, and not just worried. You are desperate to save her. And I feel terrible for what you are going through. But please, no more playing amateur detective. Next time, you come to me," Rafe said. Rafe promised to follow every lead, and he asked Eric to stop wasting his time. Eric stormed out.

When Johnny arrived at the police station, he made a beeline for Rafe. Johnny told Rafe that Rolf might be able to make more of the serum for Marlena. "I know where he is," Johnny said.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. was in the living room when Kristen sauntered into the room with her bags. "What the hell are you doing here?" E.J. asked. "I'm coming home," Kristen said.

In the square, Nicole exited the Salem Inn, and she saw Eric crossing the square. Eric glared at Nicole.

Brady tells Chloe the truth about their breakup

Brady tells Chloe the truth about their breakup

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

by Mike

Johnny, still with Rafe at the police station, revealed that Rolf was hiding out at a secret lab in Jakarta that Li had provided. "I've got contacts in the state department over there," Rafe stressed while Johnny was providing the address.

Stefan entered the Hernandez house and started telling Gabi about what had just happened at the DiMera mansion. "Does that mean that you believe me now?" Gabi wondered at the end of the tale. "I do," Stefan confirmed.

Gabi couldn't believe that Wendy had known about the brainwashing scheme for months and had never said anything. "She hated what Li did but couldn't bring herself to betray him," Stefan explained. "So, she betrayed me instead," Gabi grumbled.

Gabi soon changed the subject, preferring to focus on celebrating Stefan's apparent change of heart. "I know in my head that I used to love you...but as I stand here and I look at you, I only feel terrible for how much you've been suffering -- I don't feel any attraction toward you," Stefan clarified, disappointing Gabi. "Do you want to be with Chloe, somebody that someone else forced you to love...or do you want to be with the person that you chose to love?" Gabi challenged Stefan.

Li headed over to the Horton apartment in search of Wendy, desperate for an ally who might be able to put Gabi in a more forgiving mood. "Come on -- this is a lost cause --" Wendy argued. "The hell it is!" Li countered.

Johnny arrived while Li was still trying to enlist Wendy's help. Wendy started to offer Johnny condolences and a hug, but Li interrupted to argue that there were more pressing matters to address at that moment. Wendy explained why Li was being so inconsiderate, prompting Johnny to warn that something had just happened at the DiMera mansion that would probably lead to further complications. "All the more reason for Wendy to get over there and talk to Gabi before Stefan does!" Li snapped at Johnny before again begging Wendy for help. "I'll call you," Wendy promised Johnny with a sigh before rushing off -- and Li started lashing out as soon as the coast was clear.

Li guessed that E.J.'s name had somehow never been mentioned during Johnny's earlier confession to Stefan. "It's nice to see you DiMeras all stick together," Li grumbled. "Like you said, DiMeras stick together -- so, I'm hoping that Gabi makes it explicitly clear to Wendy that she's not going to take you back because she loves Stefan and always will," Johnny responded. "Look, I'm not excusing what my dad did, okay? But he's not the one who had Rolf dig around in Stefan's brain," Johnny continued. "And listen -- while we're having this little heart-to-heart, let me just say...you sending Wendy over there to talk to Gabi, that's weak," Johnny concluded before storming off.

Gabi was still trying to get through to Stefan when Wendy arrived at the Hernandez house. "I thought we were friends, Wendy -- almost sisters!" Gabi snapped. "We were!" Wendy insisted.

Wendy apologized for having betrayed Gabi. "It's not something I'm proud of," Wendy declared before changing the subject, ready to plead Li's case. "Save your breath," Gabi advised before slamming the front door in Wendy's face.

Wendy returned to the Horton apartment and told Li about what had just happened. "It is time to face reality and accept that she never wants to be with you again," Wendy advised, drawing a scream of frustration and a shake of the head from Li.

Kristen, still with E.J. at the DiMera mansion, admitted to having just been kicked out of the Evans-Black townhouse. "Not surprising, considering what you did," E.J. responded. "What, exactly, have you heard?" Kristen wondered.

E.J. reminded Kristen of the other side of Johnny's family tree. "So, I suppose you could say I know everything...which is why I don't want you living in this house," E.J. stressed. "I need a place where I can regroup and figure out my next move on winning Brady back," Kristen maintained. "Here's an idea -- maybe you could have Rolf fiddle around in Brady's brain so he falls back in love with you," E.J. recommended. "If I could find Rolf --" Kristen began to agree. "It was a joke," E.J. interjected. "Hilarious. Can we just stick to the subject at hand? Can I stay? Or do I need to go find Stefan and tell him how you betrayed him?" Kristen countered.

E.J. argued that the DiMera who had teamed up with Li to orchestrate Stefan's brainwashing was a bigger traitor than the one who had simply chosen to keep quiet about it after the fact, but Kristen claimed to be the only DiMera who had rights to the moral high ground. "We did it for true love. You kept it secret to hold on to power," Kristen explained before again threatening to reveal E.J.'s secret.

Rafe joined E.J. and Kristen in the living room just then and wondered what was being discussed. "Harold let me in," Rafe clarified. "I'll be sure to have a word with him about that," E.J. vowed, shouting so Harold could hear the threat.

Kristen claimed to have been pondering the orchid's whereabouts, but Rafe wasn't convinced, so E.J. admitted that a family matter had been the true topic of conversation. "Speaking of family...I thought you might want to know that your family doctor is about to be arrested in Jakarta," Rafe revealed. "Li was the one who stashed away the good doctor -- we had nothing to do with that," E.J. insisted. "Oh? Well, thank you for the clarification! And since you're being so cooperative, I'm sure you won't mind if I have a forensics team come search the secret rooms and the tunnels for leads," Rafe countered. "Why do we still call it a 'secret' room when everyone knows about it?" Kristen whispered to E.J., who shrugged in response.

E.J. granted Rafe full access to the tunnels. "We want the orchid found just as much as you do. Johnny has already lost one grandmother, and I will do everything I can to make sure he doesn't lose another," E.J. declared. "Fantastic! I'm also gonna need to review the security tapes for...the past week, to start," Rafe requested. "We have nothing to hide," E.J. maintained.

Rafe gave E.J. a nod of skepticism then warned Kristen that Eric had already started demanding justice. "I don't have the facts to back up an arrest...yet...but I'm sure as soon as I get my hands on Dr. Rolf, I can get him to flip on you and Li and anybody else who might be involved," Rafe teased before exiting the mansion -- and the forensics team entered a short time later. "Are they going to find anything?" Kristen wondered. "Unlikely," E.J. answered. "Well, then, it's a good thing you welcomed them in!" Kristen continued with a wink. "The next big question is...are you gonna do the same for your sister?" Kristen concluded. "As if you've given me a choice," E.J. grumbled.

Brady, still with Chloe at the Salem Inn, explained everything that had been happening behind the scenes since the previous fall. "I wish I would have known all of this before I...slept with Stefan," Chloe fretted at the end of the tale. "That hurts...but it's not your fault -- I put you in this position," Brady acknowledged. "He helped me heal, and we got close...and I would have never slept with him if my feelings for him weren't strong and real," Chloe stressed.

Brady reached out to comfort Chloe, who pulled away while fighting back tears. "I know I can't just ask you to flip a switch and go back to where things were before," Brady conceded with a sigh. "I'll give you all the time you need, and I'll wait for as long as I have to," Brady continued. "I love you -- and when you are done figuring this whole thing out, I hope you will come to realize that you love me, too," Brady concluded before sighing again then exiting the hotel room.

Eric, still with Nicole at the town square, accepted condolences then tried to rush off. "This is just so much more important than what's going on between us, so...could you just talk to me, please?" Nicole protested, stopping Eric.

Eric softened a bit and started telling Nicole about Kristen's blackmail scheme. "If only one good thing comes of this, Brady will be free now -- to be with the person he loves, the one he belongs to," Eric concluded before locking eyes with Nicole.

Eric soon changed the subject, fretting to Nicole that the kidnapping scheme should have been planned and executed much sooner. Nicole couldn't believe that was the only thing Eric regretted about the ruse. "Why do you have a problem with that?" Eric wondered. "Why don't you have a problem with it?" Nicole countered.

Nicole argued that, for starters, it had been irresponsible of Eric to leave Sloan, of all people, in charge of a child. Eric didn't want to pass judgment on the choices Sloan had made in life, so Nicole was quick to wonder why only select people were given that courtesy. "Do you know how cruel it is to blame me over and over again for Jada's choice? It is unfair!" Nicole snapped. "You know damn well you helped her make that choice!" Eric responded.

Nicole released a groan of frustration then shrugged off Eric's comment after a moment of thought. "You know what? I no longer care if you agree or disagree, or if you think I'm the one who deprived you of your dreams of being a father, so how 'bout this -- how 'bout we don't discuss it anymore!" Nicole yelled. "Works great for me!" Eric agreed. "Oh, great -- now, this sinner is gonna go pray for your mother! And you know what? While I'm at it, I'm gonna go pray for you, too!" Nicole spat before storming off with a shake of the head while muttering that Eric's behavior was "unbelievable" lately.

Gabi entered the police station with Stefan and begged Rafe to track down Rolf. "Stefan's agreed to have the mad doctor undo whatever it is he did -- and after that, we'll see where that leaves us," Gabi explained. "Johnny thinks he knows where --" Stefan began to advise Rafe. "Yeah, well...I'm sorry, but I got some bad news -- I just got off the phone with the Jakarta police, and they raided Rolf's lab, but...he wasn't there," Rafe revealed.

Sonny advises Alex to be honest with Stephanie

Sonny advises Alex to be honest with Stephanie

Thursday, January 12, 2023

by Mike

Lucas was in one of Statesville's lounges, tightly clutching a bottle of whiskey in one hand and longingly stroking its unbroken cap with the other, when Rex entered and called out a greeting.

Lucas discreetly pocketed the bottle of whiskey then nervously approached Rex, who seized a hug then pulled away when a guard objected to the physical contact. "Come on, cut us a break -- our mom just died --" Lucas tried to explain, prompting the guard to interrupt with a reminder of previous warnings and a threat about the potential consequences of testing the limits of a prison official's patience.

Lucas translated for Rex once the coast was clear, admitting to having "attacked" Orpheus after finding out about Kate's death. Lucas also decided to reveal Orpheus' so-called peace offering but was quick to assure Rex that the bottle of whiskey had not yet been opened. "Why not just get rid of it?" Rex wondered. "Because it sucks in here!" Lucas explained. "And I can only imagine how much you want to dull the pain...but, Lucas, this is denial!" Rex declared. "I will try my best -- I will try to stay strong," Lucas promised. "If not for you, do it for Mom," Rex advised before reaching for the bottle, which Lucas relinquished after some thought.

Lucas soon changed the subject, wondering if Rex had managed to get in touch with any of their siblings yet. "I spoke with Austin yesterday, and he's trying to get in touch with Billie, but she's on an assignment somewhere -- oh, and I spoke with Cassie, so that's everyone --" Rex answered. "Not everybody," Lucas interjected before explaining that Philip was hiding out in a mental institution and needed to be updated. "Doesn't surprise me -- this is vintage Mom," Rex mused after Lucas revealed that sequestering Philip had been Kate's idea. "Even when the chips were down, she was always looking out for her kids," Lucas raved, and Rex agreed with a nod.

The guard soon interrupted to order Lucas and Rex to wrap up their conversation. "You tell your buddy Orpheus to stop pushing booze on my brother -- or I will talk to your warden, and I will have you fired," Rex, who had noticed that the guard was only a stickler about certain rules, warned while exiting the lounge. "Kate Roberts' kids stick together," Rex explained before giving Lucas a wink then continuing to walk away.

Abe and Paulina entered the Brady Pub while Roman was asking a customer -- "Katie" -- for ways to spice up the menu.

Paulina and Abe took turns offering Roman condolences and a hug then made it clear that they would be happy to take on some responsibilities -- like the burden of executing funeral arrangements -- to make the upcoming phases of the grieving process a bit more bearable. Roman thanked Abe and Paulina then clarified that Steve was handling Kayla's funeral arrangements.

Paulina and Abe exchanged looks of confusion, prompting Roman to gesture to the menu adviser -- an urn -- and explain that Kate's wishes had already been granted. "I always thought it was strange -- you know, Anna carrying around that urn with Tony's ashes and talking to it like he was still here -- but I kind of get it now," Roman admitted. "Well, whatever helps, buddy," Abe declared. "Except...I'm not sure it is helping," Roman countered before confessing that the tragic turn of events just didn't feel real yet. "You're in denial -- losing your wife and your sister, it's too much," Paulina reasoned. "Way too much," Roman agreed.

Chad headed over to the Brady-Johnson townhouse to check on Stephanie and deliver a card that Thomas and Charlotte had made.

Chad offered Stephanie condolences and a hug. "The hardest thing about it right now is just that I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to her. Joey and Tripp, they got to talk to her on the phone, and they're all the way in Seattle!" Stephanie fretted. "If only I had gotten to the hospital just a little bit sooner -- I could have held her in my arms one last time, and I could have told her how much I loved her and what a great mom she was!" Stephanie continued. "And what's driving me crazy is that you were kind enough to try to call me -- multiple times -- and I never even heard the damn phone ring!" Stephanie concluded.

Chad assumed that Stephanie's cell phone had simply been off at the time of each call. "That's the only possible explanation -- it's just...I don't remember doing it," Stephanie grumbled. "I must have turned it off when I was with Alex," Stephanie continued. "But, Chad, I hardly ever turn my phone off, so for it to be off just when I needed it most in my entire life to be reachable?" Stephanie concluded with a shake of the head before breaking down in Chad's arms.

Stephanie soon started to say something else then decided not to bother Chad with any further musings about the matter. Chad understood why Stephanie was having trouble letting it go. "When Abby died, I kept thinking that, you know, if I just hadn't taken the kids to see a movie...or, you know, if we had gone to Boston that night...then things would be different," Chad revealed. "It took me a long time to realize that it wasn't my fault. There was no way that I could have known what was gonna happen. No one ever knows," Chad continued. "Marlena told me that thinking that you could change the outcome is just a way to feel like you still have some control," Chad concluded.

Stephanie nodded and thanked Chad for the words of comfort. Chad soon rushed off, prompting Stephanie to go back to pondering the mystery of the missed calls.

Alex joined Sonny in the study of the Kiriakis mansion and reported that Justin was "pretty broken up" about Kayla's death. "I can't believe that this wonderful woman is gone just because, you know, some evil bastard wanted to get...I don't know, 'even' or something!" Sonny grumbled. "Was Will able to get a flight back?" Alex wondered. "Yeah, he nabbed the first seat on standby," Sonny confirmed. "Good -- so, then, he'll be here soon," Alex assumed. "Let's hope -- I mean, he already missed saying goodbye to his Grandma Kate, and we're all hoping that his Grandma Marlena is gonna pull through, but...if, God forbid, she doesn't...I'm just hoping he gets back in time to say goodbye to her," Sonny fretted.

Alex prepared a glass of whiskey while muttering that Will wasn't the only one who had never gotten to say goodbye to a loved one. "Stephanie came over here last night with me, and we slept together for the first time...then Chad showed up and told her that her mother was dying. It's my fault that she didn't get there in time," Alex explained to Sonny before gulping down the alcohol. "Come on -- it's not --" Sonny tried to assure Alex. "Chad was trying to reach her, and I turned her phone off," Alex clarified, stunning Sonny. "I didn't want him to be interrupting us again!" Alex continued before telling Sonny about the other interruptions. "He is the definition of 'a third wheel'!" Alex concluded, annoying Sonny.

Alex acknowledged that Chad was Sonny's best friend. "Damn, man -- if I could go back in time, I would give anything not to have turned that damn phone off," Alex fretted. "Tell Stephanie the truth," Sonny advised. "Are you kidding me? She'll hate me! And besides, it's not like it's gonna change anything now, anyway --" Alex protested. "It's not gonna change what happened last night, but it can change what happens from now on. I mean, do you really want to start your relationship with this huge secret hanging over your head?" Sonny reasoned. "That's the whole point -- we just started! If I tell her this, that's it -- we're done!" Alex explained. "If you don't, what kind of relationship are you gonna have?" Sonny countered.

Alex prepared another glass of whiskey then continued drinking after stressing that turning off Stephanie's cell phone had seemed harmless enough at the time. "I wasn't trying to hurt her, Sonny -- I just made a mistake," Alex summarized. "I know, but this 'mistake' is eating you up inside, and the longer that you keep her in the dark, the longer you're gonna be haunted by it -- and what if she figures the truth out on her own?" Sonny responded. "How could she --" Alex tried to object. "I don't know, but it's sure as hell possible -- and then she'll know that you didn't just turn off her phone, but you lied about it, too! So, wouldn't it be better if she just found out the truth from you?" Sonny answered.

Jada headed over to the hospital and found Steve in Kayla's office. "I hope I'm not bothering you -- Steph told me that you were here," Jada explained. "I had to come here and sign some papers so they could release Kayla's body to the funeral home. And then I just wandered in here," Steve responded. "I had a feeling that this was where I'd find you," Jada whispered before offering Steve condolences and a hug.

Steve broke down in Jada's arms but soon recovered and asked for an update on the search for the orchid. Jada admitted that the flower had not yet been found then assured Steve that the investigation was going to continue.

Jada soon headed over to the Brady Pub to pick up some takeout food and offer Roman condolences. Abe was still at the restaurant but rushed off to the hospital in search of Steve after a conversation with Jada.

Steve put on a brave face at first but eventually broke down in Abe's arms. Steve later grieved in private after discovering a pressed yellow rose at the center of Kayla's thickest medical tome.

Rex headed over to the Brady Pub to check on Roman and follow up on the information Lucas had shared earlier. Roman apologized for the secrecy then told Rex where to find Philip.

Sonny ran into Chad while passing through the town square, and they each seized the opportunity to offer condolences to the other. "I just saw Steph," Chad began to update Sonny, who squirmed during a retelling of the mystery of the missed calls.

Alex headed over to the Brady-Johnson townhouse in search of Stephanie. "Last night, when I went to the bathroom to change...did you turn my phone off?" Stephanie wondered after accepting a hug and a kiss from Alex.

Stephanie ends her relationship with Alex

Stephanie ends her relationship with Alex

Friday, January 13, 2023

In the Kiriakis living room, Leo called Gwen at the Horton house to ask her if she had reconsidered her decision not to cooperate with the police. "I will not help send [Xander] to prison," Gwen said. "Better him than us," Leo countered. As Leo reminded Gwen to "look out for number one," Will walked into the Kiriakis living room.

"Well, you sure as hell abide by that, don't you?" Will asked. Leo hurriedly ended his call. "I hope you're not upset with Sonny for letting me crash here a little while longer," Leo said. "Upset? You mean just because I can't stand the sight of you?" Will countered. When Will called Sonny naÔve, Leo argued that Sonny was a big-hearted friend.

"You don't have to explain my husband's motivations to me, Leo. I know he's a good guy. Unfortunately, that also makes him an easy target for guys like you," Will said. Will referred to Leo's call, and Leo explained that the call had been a job interview for a sales job. "I don't have time for this," Will muttered. Will asked Leo to tell Sonny that he would be at the hospital.

After Allie put Henry to bed, she joined Chanel on the couch in their living room. "I'm sorry for everything you're going through," Chanel said. "I just can't believe that they're gone, you know? And now I have to worry about my Grandma Marlena? I can't lose her, too," Allie said. As Chanel comforted Allie, Allie told her that she was grateful to have Chanel by her side. Chanel counseled Allie not to give up hope.

"Your grandmother is strong and brave, and she has battled Satan twice and lived to tell the tale," Chanel said. Allie noted that Kate and Kayla had been strong and brave, too. Chanel offered to watch Henry while Allie went to the hospital. Allie kissed Chanel goodbye and left. There was a knock at the door.

Confused, Chanel said, "Did you forget your key?" At the door was Sloan. "No, but you forgot to ask who was at the door," Sloan said. Chanel attempted to close the door, but Sloan pushed past her and walked into the apartment. "This is a bad time, okay? I'm dealing with a family crisis right now," Chanel said. "You mean like the crisis that you put my family in when you seduced my father and killed my mother?" Sloan shot back. Frustrated, Chanel sighed deeply.

"I realize that it is pointless for me to keep trying to explain this to you, but your mother's death was an accident. I feel horrible for what happened to her and to your father -- and to you, for that matter," Chanel said. "It is pointless to keep telling me that," Sloan said. Chanel reminded Sloan that the British courts had dismissed the case. "Don't you think it's time that we both get on with our lives?" Chanel asked. Sloan scoffed at the idea.

"I made a promise to make you pay for what you did to my family, and now I'm going to do exactly that," Sloan said. Sloan reached into her purse. Panicked, Chanel pleaded with Sloan to stop. Sloan pulled an envelope out of her purse. "What did you think? I had a weapon? I'm not the one here with homicidal tendencies," Sloan said. The envelope contained legal papers for a civil suit. "You're suing me for wrongful death?" Chanel asked. Sloan named Paulina as a co-defendant.

"Your mother's death was an accident!" Chanel said. "Do you know how tired I am of hearing you say that? Just, this lie that you keep repeating over and over again, making it sound like you are the victim here. I may not have my day in criminal court, but I can still make you bitches pay," Sloan said. Sloan told Chanel that she planned to destroy Paulina's empire.

After Sloan left, Chanel asked Paulina to meet her at Allie's apartment. "What's wrong?" Paulina asked when she arrived. Chanel told Paulina about her conversation with Sloan. Paulina reviewed the legal documents that Sloan had served to Chanel. "When you have as much money as I do, frivolous lawsuits come with the territory. But my attorneys, they will make mincemeat of Sloan Petersen," Paulina said.

In the square, Sonny told Chad that Stephanie should not blame herself for missing her chance to say goodbye to Kayla. "It wasn't her fault," Sonny said. "I tried telling her that, but she won't stop beating herself up for turning off her phone," Chad said. Sonny sighed. "Stephanie wasn't the one who turned off her phone," Sonny admitted. Chad asked Sonny why he was sure that Stephanie had not turned off her phone.

"Just trust me on this, all right?" Sonny said. "We're supposed to be best friends. What are you not telling me?" Chad asked. After a moment, Sonny admitted that Alex had turned off the phone. When Chad asked why, Sonny explained that Alex had not wanted to be interrupted by Chad. Chad was furious.

"So, your brother can't handle my friendship with Stephanie, so she doesn't get to see her mom before she died?" Chad yelled. "He feels terrible about it," Sonny said. "He should feel terrible about it!" Chad argued. Chad complained that Stephanie was in agony because she had blamed herself for missing Chad's calls. When Sonny stressed that Alex had not known why Chad had called, Chad screamed that it was not Alex's place to turn off Stephanie's phone.

"And now, I have to be the one to break her heart," Chad said. As Chad turned to leave, Sonny stopped him. "Alex is already telling Stephanie himself," Sonny said. "Let me guess. You had to convince your brother to come clean," Chad said. Sonny admitted that he had suggested that Alex tell the truth but that Alex had agreed. "[Alex] messed up, and he wants to make amends," Sonny said.

"[Alex should have grown a conscience before] he robbed Stephanie of being able to say goodbye to her dying mother!" Chad countered. Sonny said he was not proud of his brother's actions, but he knew that Alex had a good heart. Chad argued that there was no way for Alex to make up for what he had done. "You're right," Sonny whispered. Chad told Sonny that he spent too much time looking at the best in people.

"Is that a bad trait? You know what, call me naÔve, but I happen to think that's a great attribute," Sonny said. "But there has to be exceptions. Some people are irredeemable," Chad argued. Sonny countered that he did not think it was good to believe that everyone was devious and incapable of change. "I don't think it is more honorable to mistrust everyone. I think it is sure as hell more self-protective," Chad countered. Chad warned Sonny that someone like Leo would only let Sonny down, because Sonny was too trusting.

"I choose to give people like Leo and Alex the benefit of the doubt because we could all use a little redemption from time to time. You know, even me, even you," Sonny said. With a nod yes, Chad noted that although everyone needed redemption once in a while, what Alex had done was not worthy of it. "I doubt Stephanie is going to be as forgiving as you are," Chad said.

At the Johnson residence, Stephanie asked Alex, "Are you the reason I didn't get to say goodbye to my mother?" Alex admitted he had turned off her phone. Stephanie seethed with anger. "You better explain yourself -- and fast," Stephanie growled. Alex explained that when Stephanie had gone into the bathroom, Stephanie's phone had rung with a call from Chad. "I didn't know why he was calling," Alex said. "Why does it matter, Alex? It was none of your damn business!" Stephanie countered. Alex agreed.

"And that's why I'm so sorry," Alex said. "Well, sorry doesn't cut it. How dare you police my phone calls?" Stephanie said. Alex explained that he had done it because Chad had repeatedly interrupted them in the past. "I assumed incorrectly that it would be okay for it to wait this time," Alex said. Stephanie reminded Alex that it had not been Alex's decision to make.

"Because you had the audacity, the gall, to make it, anyway, I didn't find out my mom was dying until it was too late to say goodbye to her. You robbed me of that, and I will never forgive you for it," Stephanie said. Alex said he understood. "I just wanted to be alone with you," Alex whispered. "You got your wish. So, instead of being with my mother while she was dying, instead of being able to tell her that I loved her, you and I were having sex. Do you have any idea how disgusted that makes me feel?" Stephanie asked. Alex nodded yes.

"And that is why I would do anything to go back in time and change what I did," Alex said. "You can't, and now my mother is gone. And so are any feelings that I had for you. I never want to see you again," Stephanie said. When Alex did not move, Stephanie again ordered him to leave. "You don't mean that," Alex said. "Don't tell me what I mean! See, this has been the problem from day one. You only hear what you want to," Stephanie said. When Alex said he was there to confess to his mistake, Stephanie warned him not to trivialize his actions.

"You purposely turned off my phone because you're envious of my friendship with Chad. Your pathetic insecurities are why I couldn't be with my mother when she needed me the most. And you know the worst part? If I hadn't figured it out, you were never going to tell me, were you?" Stephanie said. Alex stressed, "I came here today to tell you the truth myself." With tears in his eyes, Alex admitted that he had never regretted anything more in his life.

"So what? You want me to feel sorry for you?" Stephanie asked. "I'm just doing my best to be honest. I came here today on my own accord to not only tell you the truth, but to tell you that I'm sorry for what I did and I'm sorry about your mom," Alex said. With disgust, Stephanie told Alex, "I know what kind of man you are." Alex begged Stephanie not to throw away their relationship.

"I didn't throw it away, Alex. You did. When you invaded my privacy, when you disrespected and lied to me," Stephanie said. Alex reiterated that he regretted his actions and that he had only wanted to have a romantic evening alone with Stephanie. "Instead, I made this stupid, thoughtless mistake, which I have learned from, and I swear to God, to you, I will never do anything like that again," Alex said. Stephanie was unmoved.

"There is nothing you can do. Every time I look at you, all I see is my mother lying in that hospital room, cold and dead," Stephanie said. Alex reached out to Stephanie, and she moved away from him as she sniffled back tears.

"I'm sorry for robbing you of your last moments with your mom, but I will spend the rest of my life trying to make up for it if you let me," Alex said. Stephanie argued that Alex would not make it up to her if he had an eternity to do it. "The least you can do is respect my wishes. Go!" Stephanie said. Stephanie opened the front door. After a moment, Alex reluctantly walked out. Stephanie broke down in tears.

At the hospital, Allie and Will hugged one another. "Have you talked to Mom?" Will asked. "She said that she is doing everything she possibly can to get here," Allie said. Allie told Will that there was no update on Marlena's condition. "It's not looking pretty," Allie said. Will wanted to see Marlena, but Allie explained that they needed to wait their turn. Allie asked about Sonny. With a shrug, Will said Leo had been the only one at the house.

"[Leo] is like a parasite that leeched onto Sonny's goodwill," Will complained. Will argued that Leo had not changed, and Allie agreed. "There is no good in Leo. He does not deserve Sonny's forgiveness, and he sure as hell doesn't deserve his friendship," Will said.

When Julie arrived at the hospital, Allie and Will greeted her. "What's Marlena's condition now?" Julie asked. "It's not looking great," Will said. In tears, Julie said she was very sorry to hear about Kate and Kayla. Julie noted that she was there to deliver sandwiches to everyone at the prayer vigil for Marlena. Julie gasped. "I forgot my rosary," Julie whispered. Will left to retrieve Julie's rosary for her.

After Julie delivered the sandwiches to the vigil at the hospital chapel, she returned to the waiting area to sit with Allie. Julie asked about Chanel. "[Chanel] has really been my rock. Even though she's also been dealing with her own family drama," Allie said. Allie explained that though the criminal case was over, she was concerned that Sloan would cause more trouble.

At the Horton house, Leo met up with Gwen. Leo explained that Will had interrupted their earlier conversation. "He didn't overhear our conversation, did he?" Gwen asked. "Part of it," Leo admitted. Leo told Gwen that he had covered his tracks. Gwen reiterated her decision not to talk to the police, and Leo reminded her that the police already knew that Gwen had been involved.

"Yes, but [the police] don't have a shred of proof linking me to any crimes," Gwen said. "Not yet, but they will not stop digging until they find something that leads them right to me," Leo said. Gwen nodded. "You're just trying to save your own hide!" Gwen shouted. Leo argued that he did not want him or Gwen to suffer for Xander's decision to kidnap people. "I'm sorry, Matty. I can't turn my back on Xander," Gwen said. Leo asked Gwen if she was prepared for Jack to turn his back on her.

"That won't happen," Gwen said. "When Jack finds out you helped Xander, he will disown you. Maybe permanently this time. You have worked so hard to regain his trust," Leo stressed. Leo asked Gwen to meet with a lawyer before she made a decision. When Gwen agreed, Leo called Sloan. Sloan was less than pleased to meet with Gwen and Leo after her last legal interaction with them. When Sloan grumbled that Gwen had failed to print a story on the death of Sloan's mother, Gwen pointed out that the police had dismissed the charges.

"Just because [Chanel and Paulina] managed to skirt justice doesn't make them innocent," Sloan said. Sloan asked Leo why he had summoned her to the Horton house. "We need legal advice," Leo said. Gwen asked about lawyer-client confidentiality. "Another crime Ms. Risczech wants to sweep under the rug," Sloan muttered. Sloan asked for a retainer.

Once Gwen paid Sloan, she and Leo told Sloan what they had done to help Xander. "What are our options?" Gwen asked. Sloan recounted the list of crimes, and she laughed. "You are pretty much screwed," Sloan said. Sloan explained that unlike Leo's murder charge, he had helped commit crimes this time.

"And if anyone can get us off, it's you. Look, I know we've only worked together once before, but I have to say, you are quite the impressive lady litigator," Leo said. Sloan told Leo that she appreciated the flattery but that the best she could do was to cut a deal for Leo and Gwen to testify against Xander. "I told you we should turn on him," Leo whispered to Gwen. Gwen refused.

"It doesn't matter what either of you say. I am not selling Xander out. So, if there's nothing more, I'm going," Gwen said. Gwen walked out of the living room. Leo offered to testify against Xander without Gwen. "I'll say [Xander] was the one who hired me to wear the padded clown suit, not Gwen," Leo said. Sloan warned Leo that he should not lie, but she would not object. When Leo asked to testify anonymously, Sloan laughed. "I'm pretty sure [Gwen will] find out," Sloan said. Leo said he was not worried about Gwen.

"What's the point of having the anonymous testimony?" Sloan asked. As Leo explained that Sonny was his friend, Will entered the house to retrieve Julie's rosary. From the foyer, Will listened to Leo talk to Sloan. "[Sonny] believed in me when nobody else would. Sonny thinks I've changed. I can't have him knowing that I was involved in something like this," Leo said.

Recaps for the week of January 16, 2023 (Following Week)
THE LATEST DAYS HEADLINES
DAYS and Y&R alum Lamon Archey is engaged
DAYS OF OUR LIVES

MAKING HEADLINES: SOAP OPERA NEWS, UPDATES, AND HEADLINES

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
Real life to meet ''reel life'' on The Bold and the Beautiful
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
Alley Mills hops from B&B to GH
GENERAL HOSPITAL
DAYS OF OUR LIVES
DAYS and Y&R alum Lamon Archey is engaged
DAYS OF OUR LIVES
GENERAL HOSPITAL
GH alum Annie Wersching has died at age 45
GENERAL HOSPITAL
Sonya Eddy, GH's Epiphany Johnson, has died
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THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Y&R alum Shemar Moore reveals he's a first-time dad
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
DAYS, Y&R star Quinn Redeker dead at 86
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
The Young and the Restless' Michael Mealor is engaged!
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Eric Braeden recuperating following surgery
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
INTERVIEW: Y&R's Lauralee Bell on her holiday traditions
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
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