Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of January 16, 2023 on DAYS

Bonnie urged Sarah to give Xander a second chance. Will overheard Leo confess to a crime. Sonny kicked Leo out. Gwen counseled Xander to fight. Sarah caught Xander with Gwen. Chad consoled Stephanie. Johnny stopped Steve from strangling Kristen. Steve secretly recorded Kristen's confession. Li relocated Rolf. Brady stopped Gabi from asking Marlena for help. Stefan was disgusted by Gabi's selfishness. Brady kissed Chloe. Johnny agreed to testify against Kristen. Kristen attempted to kidnap Rachel. Police arrested Kristen. E.J. confessed to Stefan. Marlena died in John's arms.
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Sonny kicked Leo out. Sarah caught Xander with Gwen. Steve secretly recorded Kristen's confession. Marlena died in John's arms.
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Will gives Sonny proof that Leo hasn't changed

Will gives Sonny proof that Leo hasn't changed

Monday, January 16, 2023

by Mike

Sarah ran into Justin and Bonnie outside the Brady Pub and agreed to join them for dinner. "But I'm afraid I won't be much company -- I'm kind of wiped out," Sarah warned while following Bonnie and Justin inside the restaurant.

Justin and Bonnie each expressed understanding that Sarah, like many other members of the hospital staff, had been working around the clock to try to prevent Marlena from suffering the same fate that had already befallen both Kate and Kayla in recent days. "Any luck?" Justin wondered. "No, unfortunately -- I mean, without that orchid, we can't do much -- but we are gonna keep trying," Sarah responded. "Well, we're all praying for her," Bonnie stressed.

Sarah soon changed the subject, requesting Justin's legal services. "I want to divorce Xander," Sarah explained. "I'll do it pro bono -- hell, I'll even pay you for the privilege of putting that clown through the wringer!" Justin agreed.

Sarah declined Justin's offer with a laugh then observed that Bonnie seemed to have something to say. "I honestly think you should give Xander a second chance," Bonnie declared. "Now that I've had a chance to process everything -- and now that I don't see clowns everywhere that I look -- I realize I've been a hypocrite where Xander's concerned," Bonnie continued. "What I did to Adrienne -- it was every bit as terrible," Bonnie concluded.

Sarah argued that Xander's actions were much worse because they had led to Susan's death, but Bonnie countered that Ava was responsible for that tragedy. "Maybe it's, like, a delayed Stockholm syndrome --" Sarah whispered to Justin. "I know what that is -- I saw a documentary -- and, believe me, this is not that," Bonnie interjected. "My wife has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know...and, while I personally believe that she may be a little too charitable in this case, she may have a point," Justin admitted to Sarah. "I am not condoning what he did, but I can understand the position he was in, because I've been there, too -- stuck doing something you don't want to do but unable to see a way out," Bonnie reasoned.

Bonnie encouraged Sarah to look into couples therapy first, and Justin agreed that there was no need to rush straight toward the last resort of divorce. Sarah stared at Justin and Bonnie in disbelief, struggling to process the turn of events.

Gwen headed over to the roach-infested motel in search of Xander. "You don't happen to have any libation on you, do you?" Xander guessed after greeting Gwen with a mixture of delight and disappointment. "Sorry -- I'm afraid not," Gwen confirmed while entering Xander's room. "I ordered more booze to be delivered...but the liquor store must be walking it here from Scotland!" Xander shouted in the apparent direction of the establishment before following Gwen into the room while adding that life was quite unfair. "Are you just absolutely sloshed?" Gwen wondered as Xander began double-checking the room for alcohol reserves. "Course not," Xander assured Gwen before gasping at the discovery of a half-full bottle of whiskey.

Gwen wondered why Xander had trashed the room and gone through multiple bottles of alcohol. "Sarah's divorcing me, I'm heading back to the slammer --" Xander began to explain, prompting Gwen to interrupt with a promise to prevent the latter fate.

Xander declared Gwen "daft" for having refused to cut a deal with the police. Xander appreciated Gwen's loyalty but assumed that it would need to be rewarded at some point. Xander somewhat suggestively offered to go ahead and settle the debt, and Gwen seemed a bit tempted but ultimately refused to take the bait. Gwen dragged Xander into the bathroom while explaining that they were going to first wash away the stench of "booze and defeat" that was in the air then brainstorm ways to save a marriage. Xander and Gwen emerged from the bathroom a short time later, each dripping wet and still fully clothed. Xander handed Gwen a clean shirt then started undressing. Gwen watched Xander for a few seconds before returning to the bathroom.

Xander was wearing only a pair of boxer briefs when Gwen emerged from the bathroom again. "These trouser holes keep moving about," Xander complained to Gwen while struggling to step into a pair of jeans -- and someone knocked on the motel room door just then. "Finally -- it's the liquor store!" Xander raved. "You've had too much to drink -- I'm just gonna tell 'em to get lost," Gwen insisted.

Gwen opened the motel room door, still only half dressed, and found Sarah standing on the other side of it. "I knew coming here was a huge mistake," Sarah grumbled. "This is not what you think --" Gwen tried to clarify. "Let me explain --" Xander began to beg. "You two disgust me!" Sarah spat before storming off -- and Xander tried to follow but tripped over the jeans that still weren't on properly.

Sonny entered the Kiriakis mansion and found Alex in the study. "How'd things go with Stephanie?" Sonny wondered. "It's over, bro -- I just lost the best thing that has ever happened to me," Alex responded.

Alex, who had already consumed two glasses of whiskey, continued drinking while giving Sonny more details. "She just suffered a major loss, but give her time -- I mean, once she's had a chance to process all of this --" Sonny tried to reason at the end of the tale. "She's still gonna hate me," Alex predicted with a sigh.

Chad rushed back to the Brady-Johnson townhouse after receiving a phone call from Stephanie. "Sorry for making you come back over here -- it's just...I needed to talk to someone, and you were the first person who came to mind," Stephanie explained before starting to tell Chad that the mystery of the missed calls had been solved. "Sonny told me -- only because he knew that Alex was gonna come over here and confess," Chad interjected before letting Stephanie finish venting.

Chad halfheartedly defended Alex at the end of Stephanie's tale, conceding that it was only natural for a person to want to spend time with a significant other without having to worry about the possibility of interruptions. "If you had called about anything but my mom, I would have told you I was busy, but Alex didn't trust me to do that, so he took that choice away from me, and so I missed my last chance to say goodbye to my mom before she died -- and that would have meant everything to me, Chad, and to her...and now, because of Alex, it's too late!" Stephanie countered before breaking down in Chad's arms.

Chad eventually offered to cook spaghetti and meatballs for Stephanie as comfort food. "Kate taught me how to make this," Chad explained after finishing the meal. "I didn't get a chance to say this before, but I'm so sorry for your loss -- I know Kate was like a mother to you," Stephanie responded. "Yeah, she was -- I think she actually probably understood me more than my own parents did," Chad confirmed with a sigh.

Stephanie searched the refrigerator for a dessert to go with Chad's meal and was stunned to see an apple pie on one of the shelves. "Steph, I made this for you since you missed out on Christmas. Love, Mom," Stephanie read aloud from the attached note before breaking down in Chad's arms again -- then recovering and proposing a toast to Kayla and Kate.

Leo continued strategizing with Sloan in the living room of the Horton house, unaware that Will was eavesdropping from the foyer. "Sonny's wet-blanket husband is already doing his damnedest to convince him that I am a terrible person who can't be trusted," Leo grumbled. "That little bitch Wilhelmina would eat this up if the truth came out -- and even worse, I would lose Sonny's friendship for good," Leo continued. "So, you're on board with representing me, right?" Leo concluded.

Sloan agreed to help but warned that it would be difficult to sweep Leo's crime under the rug. "Xander is the one who kidnapped Sonny's stepmom -- all I did was help him cover it up afterwards!" Leo objected. "That's still a crime," Sloan countered. "Damn it, I never should have agreed to dress up as that stupid clown -- and especially not for the pittance that Gwen paid me," Leo fretted. "Little late for regrets, Leo. I still can't believe that you were able to fool Bonnie Lockhart into thinking that you were the clown that kidnapped her -- I mean, that must have been one hell of a bodysuit," Sloan responded.

Will's cell phone vibrated just then to announce the arrival of a text message from Allie, who wanted to know if Julie's rosary had been found yet. Will tiptoed upstairs and retrieved the item then sneaked out of the house and headed back to the hospital.

Sloan, meanwhile, informed Leo that it wasn't possible to testify against someone with the benefit of total anonymity. "Xander has the legal right to know who his accuser is," Sloan explained. "Who came up with that idiotic rule?" Leo sputtered. "It's the Sixth Amendment," Sloan clarified. "What if I wear a veil -- a really thick one, so nobody could see my features -- and I could change my voice?" Leo wondered. "You really think that's gonna work? 'Cause I think Xander's gonna know exactly who you are," Sloan responded before adding that there were no laws in place to prevent Leo's identity from being leaked to the public at any point.

Leo refused to do anything that could potentially get back to Sonny. "You really have it bad for him," Sloan translated. "That is ridiculous -- he's not even my type!" Leo protested. "He's totally my type!" Leo continued after some thought. "I've been denying it to myself," Leo concluded with a sigh. "Isn't he married?" Sloan recalled. "Yes...but they've hit a rough patch -- all on their own, by the way; nothing to do with me -- and they live in separate cities," Leo explained before summarizing that it wouldn't take much for such a marriage to blow up -- and that even if that never happened, just having Sonny as a friend was still important.

Sonny headed over to the hospital and found Will near the nurses' station. "I saw your bags at the house, and I figured you must have come here," Sonny explained while greeting Will with a hug. "I'm so glad to see you," Will raved.

Sonny wondered if Will had gotten to see Marlena yet. "No, not yet -- they're only letting in two people at a time -- but hopefully I'll be able to get in soon," Will answered. "I'm so sorry again about Kate," Sonny stressed. "Thanks," Will whispered.

Sonny asked if Will had gotten to spend time with any other family members yet. "Yeah, they're in the chapel, praying -- I just came from dropping off Julie's rosary," Will responded. "Okay, well, do you want to go back and join them?" Sonny offered.

Will sighed then informed Sonny that they needed to talk about Leo first. "Is it okay if I leave you here for a little bit?" Sonny wondered at the end of the tale, drawing a nod from Will. "Tell Leo that 'Wilhelmina' says 'hello' -- also, 'good riddance'...'go to hell'...and 'screw you'!" Will requested. "I'll pass it along," Sonny promised before giving Will a kiss then rushing off.

Sloan entered Small Bar and greeted Alex then wondered where Stephanie was hiding. Alex drained a glass of whiskey then started to explain Stephanie's absence, but Sloan interrupted to take credit for their relationship. Alex conceded that stealing blackmail material from Sloan had been the move that had won Stephanie's heart. Alex sighed then admitted to Sloan that Stephanie's heart had since been lost. "And that, to state the obvious, is because I am a total jerk -- egotistical, selfish, dishonest, misogynistic, arrogant. To put it nice and short, I screwed up," Alex elaborated. "I knew it -- 'monogamy equals monotony,' as you used to always say! So, tell me -- how long was it before you got bored and strayed?" Sloan responded.

Alex sighed again then told Sloan the real story. "Do you think there's any chance that I could fix this?" Alex wondered at the end of the tale. "No, not a chance -- when my mom died, I would have given anything to have had one last chance to say goodbye to her, and if some guy got in the way of me doing that...I mean, I'd hate him for the rest of my life," Sloan answered. "Yeah, that's what I thought," Alex grumbled before ordering another stiff drink.

Sloan was surprised to see that Alex was so upset about a breakup. "The only woman I ever had feelings for never wants to see me again," Alex explained. "See, this is why 'no strings attached' is always the way to go," Sloan advised.

Sonny entered the Kiriakis mansion and found Leo in the study. "Maybe a veil and a hat -- what does Sloan know about my skills of disguise?" Leo muttered before sensing Sonny's presence.

Leo wondered if Sonny wanted to share a dinner that Cook was about to prepare. "I'm not gonna be here for long -- and neither are you," Sonny responded before kicking Leo out of the mansion. "It was Wilhelmina, wasn't it? She was going on and on again about what a menace I am -- what a pathetic loser -- and told you to throw me out 'cause she doesn't want me anywhere near you," Leo assumed. "No, I don't want you anywhere near me," Sonny clarified, getting right in Leo's face.

Sonny began to explain that Leo's secret was out. Leo interrupted to deny Sonny's accusation. "Knock it off, Leo -- Will overheard you talking to Sloan, and he told me everything!" Sonny elaborated. "Oh, that nosy little twerp -- was he stalking me?" Leo grumbled. "How could you hurt my family like this, after everything that I've done for you?" Sonny snapped. "I'm sorry -- I needed the money, and at the time, it seemed like a harmless prank --" Leo reasoned, further angering Sonny.

Leo begged Sonny for another chance. "No, I'm not making that mistake again, Leo. I vouched for you -- I got in a huge fight with my husband because I insisted that you had changed, that you were, like, this better person --" Sonny responded. "I'm becoming a better person -- I'm doing that for you!" Leo insisted. "No, Will was right -- you're still just a despicable, selfish con artist, and that's what you'll always be," Sonny countered.

Leo tried to object, but Sonny forged ahead. "You want to know what the craziest part is? I actually started to think that you and I were friends," Sonny muttered. "We were -- we are --" Leo agreed. "Leo, you are not my friend -- you are nothing to me. Now, get out of this house, before I have you thrown out," Sonny spat before storming off to another room and slamming its door shut.

Leo sighed then trudged off to pack, and once the coast was clear, Sonny returned to the study and phoned Will to offer a recap of what had just happened and a promise to return to the hospital as soon as possible. "Take your time -- getting him out of our lives is the top priority," Will assured Sonny. "You were right about him -- I should have listened to you," Sonny conceded. "No, I'm just sorry that he hurt you again," Will responded. "I love you," Sonny stressed, and Will returned the sentiment before ending the call.

Leo soon returned and wondered if Sonny was going to talk to the police. "I don't know -- I haven't decided yet," Sonny answered. "I really did care about you. Your friendship meant -- means -- everything to me," Leo declared. "Come on -- you were just playing me the entire time," Sonny countered. "I wasn't -- the bond we had, it was real," Leo maintained before insisting that, deep down, Sonny had to know that was true.

Sonny didn't respond, so Leo sighed then apologized for everything and exited the mansion.

Steve strangles Kristen

Steve strangles Kristen

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

At the hospital, Brady was sitting in the waiting area when Gabi arrived. "I need to see Marlena. Now," Gabi said. "Marlena is in critical condition. Visitation is strictly limited," Brady said. Gabi told Brady that Stefan had agreed to roll back the brainwashing and that she believed only Marlena could help.

"Are you out of your freaking mind?" Brady said. Brady argued that Stefan was not a priority. Gabi argued that there was no harm in asking Marlena for help, but Brady refused to give Gabi access.

"[Marlena] is hanging on by a thread. She needs every ounce of energy she can possibly muster just to stay conscious," Brady barked. Gabi reminded Brady that Stefan had been programmed to love Chloe. "You are unbelievable," Brady muttered. With a shrug, Gabi noted that Brady appeared not to love Chloe anymore. Brady stressed that he still loved Chloe. Chloe exited the elevator, and she locked eyes with Brady.

"What's going on?" Chloe asked. "Nothing important. At least not to Brady," Gabi said. Confused, Chloe asked about Marlena's health. "It's good that someone is here for the right reasons," Brady said. "Am I missing something?" Chloe asked. Brady explained that Gabi had asked for help with Stefan.

"Chloe, just a heads-up. Stefan wants to be deprogrammed, and I will make it happen. So, it's not a question of if he walks away from you, but when," Gabi said. "You're awfully confident," Chloe noted. "True love always wins," Gabi said. After Gabi left, Brady told Chloe about Gabi's request. "I shot [Gabi] down. That's why she was nastier than usual," Brady said. With a shrug, Chloe noted, "She has a reason to be nastier to me than usual, since I'm with the love of her life."

"It's hard to forget," Brady whispered. Chloe apologized. Brady waved dismissively. "I know that you're going through a lot right now, too, so I wanted to check on you," Chloe admitted. Brady started to ask Chloe if she had changed her mind about him, but he stopped himself. "I'm not gonna push," Brady said.

"I do care, but thanks to Kristen, I thought it was over between us," Chloe reminded Brady. "Don't you understand the last thing in the world I wanted was to break up with you?" Brady countered. With tears in her eyes, Chloe said she understood Brady's point of view.

"I was struggling to figure out how the man that claims that he loves me, and that I love with all my heart, would just abandon me. And then Stefan came along. He gave me a chance to let it all go," Chloe said. Chloe stressed that she was confused about her feelings. Brady kissed Chloe. After a moment, Chloe pulled away, and Brady apologized. "Don't apologize. It wasn't wrong, but it wasn't right, either," Chloe said. Upset, Chloe rushed off.

Li paced his room at the Salem Inn as he talked to his father on the phone. "The police can't prove that I was working with Dr. Rolf," Li said. Li assured his father that he would remain second in command at DiMera Enterprises. Stefan knocked on the door, so Li ended his call.

"I'm glad you're here. We've a lot to discuss," Li said. Li told Stefan that he understood that Stefan was angry. Stefan punched Li, and Li fell to the ground. "I guess I deserve that. Although, violence doesn't seem like your style," Li said. "It's not," Stefan admitted. Stefan dumped ice from the bucket onto a napkin, and he handed the napkin to Li.

"I'm not going to hit you again, although it is tempting. It's not every day you find out you were brainwashed," Stefan said. "If you tell anyone I said this, I will deny, deny, deny. But I am sorry. I know it's no excuse, but I was desperate," Li said. Stefan agreed that love could make people do crazy things.

"In your case, it wasn't just brainwashing. It was attempted murder," Stefan said. "You know," Li said. Stefan glowered, then he yelled, "You're damn right I know!" After a moment, Li admitted he had pulled the plug.

"Lucky for both of us that your sister showed up when she did," Li confessed. Li argued that he had not been in his right mind. "I know what I did was reprehensible, but it was a moment of madness. I'm not a murderer," Li said. Li told Stefan that he regretted what he had done. "I wish there was something I could do to make it up to you," Li said. "There is. Marlena Evans is in the hospital, dying of a terrible disease. And I need to reverse what was done to me. And there's one person who can do both," Stefan said. Stefan asked Li to find Rolf.

"I have no idea where Rolf is. Maybe you should ask your sister," Li said. Stefan reminded Li that Li, not Kristen, had installed Rolf in a lab in Jakarta. "It makes sense that you would move him when things got hot," Stefan argued. "I was as surprised as anyone to learn he'd taken off," Li said. With a smirk, Stefan noted that Rolf's disappearance had to have been a relief to Li.

"I don't know where he is," Li reiterated. "And you're not in contact with him?" Stefan asked. Li argued that Rolf had to have gotten spooked and run. "If I knew anything, anything at all, I'd tell you. But I don't," Li said. Stefan warned Li that if Li had lied about Rolf, Stefan would do worse than punch Li.

As Stefan walked to the door, he notified Li that he was fired. "E.J. is the only one who can fire me," Li said. "Nothing is more important to E.J. DiMera than family," Stefan said. After Stefan left, Li muttered, "Nothing more important than covering his own ass." Li called Rolf.

"I'm on a burner phone. No one is going to trace this call to your new location," Li assured Rolf. Li warned Rolf that Stefan suspected that Li had helped Rolf relocate. "If anyone shows up and starts asking questions, you've never heard of me," Li said.

After Li's call to Rolf, he called E.J. "[Stefan] thinks you're going to fire me because of what I did to him. But we both know that's not going to happen, right?" Li asked. Li promised to keep quiet about E.J.'s part in the brainwashing, and E.J. agreed to keep Li on at the company.

At the Johnson townhouse, Stephanie stared at the note her mother had left her with the pie. Joey and Tripp arrived, and Stephanie hugged her brothers. "I'm so glad you're both here. Papa really needs us now," Stephanie said. "Where is he?" Tripp asked. Stephanie explained that Steve had gone for a walk. Stephanie worried aloud about their father's mental state.

"While [Dad's] out, I need to go see my mom. I'm all she has left, and I can't turn my back on her," Tripp said. "Of course," Stephanie said. After Tripp left, Joey saw the note from Kayla that Stephanie had been clutching before his arrival. Stephanie explained that Kayla had written the note the day that she had died.

"Those are her last words to me," Stephanie said. "What do you mean?" Joey asked. Stephanie told Joey what had happened with Alex and the phone. "I could have been with Mom. I could have comforted her. I could have been holding her hand, telling her how much I love her," Stephanie said. Stephanie plucked at her bracelet, and she noted that Kayla had given it to her when Kayla had been dying from the virus the first time.

"I told her I'd give it back to her as soon as she got better. But I didn't. How much more thoughtless could I be?" Stephanie whispered. Stephanie lamented that she had taken her mother's health for granted. "It's not your fault you weren't there. It's Alex's," Joey said. "I never should have gotten involved with him," Stephanie said. Joey admitted that he was surprised that Stephanie had dated Alex.

"I wasn't [ready]. And I had told Alex numerous times that I wasn't interested in him," Stephanie said. Joey asked what had changed. "[Alex] was just so damned persistent," Stephanie admitted. Joey asked if Stephanie's relationship with Alex had been serious. Stephanie said yes.

"It feels wrong to even talk about it," Stephanie said. "It's probably because the person you normally talk to about these kinds of things is gone," Joey counseled. Stephanie nodded yes. "Not to judge Dad, but he wasn't always there. Mom was constant," Joey added. With tears in her eyes, Stephanie noted that the family needed to learn how to live without Kayla.

As Stefan exited the Salem Inn, he saw Gabi in the square. "Were you visiting Chloe?" Gabi asked. Stefan admitted that he had talked to Li about locating Rolf. "So, you're still on board with getting the brainwashing reversed?" Gabi said. "I am. Although, your husband was no help," Stefan said. Gabi reminded Stefan that they made a great team.

"I think I need to reiterate something, because it doesn't seem to be sinking in. I love Chloe. She's the woman I want to be with. Whether or not we find Rolf, it's not gonna change," Stefan said. "We'll see," Gabi said. Gabi informed Stefan that she had gone to the hospital to talk to Marlena, but Brady had stopped her.

"I mean, I was only trying to ask her if she would deprogram you. And I know she'll say yes, and then we could be together," Gabi said. A look of horror crossed Stefan's face. "What the hell is wrong with you? The woman is dying, and you want her to reprogram my brain so we can reconcile? How could you be so heartless?" Stefan yelled. Gabi asked Stefan why he was angry. "What you did is disgusting," Stefan said. Gabi blamed Stefan's programming for his anger.

"You imposed on a critically ill woman for your own stupid and selfish reasons," Stefan argued. Gabi argued that Marlena was their only option. "She's dying!" Stefan said. "Which is why I wanted to move quickly!" Gabi yelped. Stefan groaned with frustration. "I did this for you," Gabi said.

"As always, the only person you were thinking about is Gabi Hernandez. You did this for you," Stefan said. "You said this was what you wanted," Gabi argued. Stefan called Gabi an entitled child. "How do you think we're going to access your real feelings?" Gabi asked. "You mean my feelings for you, right? Because let's be honest. That's all you care about," Stefan said. "I care about us!" Gabi stressed. Gabi argued that the love she had shared with Stefan had been more powerful than anything she had ever felt in her life.

"I thought that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. And then our future was ripped apart because a bullet landed in your chest. But now, we have a second chance. We have a miracle. We just have to get in touch with how you really feel. Nothing should get in the way of making that happen," Gabi argued. "How could you be so damn selfish, huh? And cruel? I'm starting to think that Li did me a favor when he brainwashed me because he got me away from a bitch like you!" Stefan yelled. Li exited the hotel, and he warned Stefan to leave Gabi alone.

Wendy ran into Johnny at the pub. Johnny explained that he had been at the hospital all night, but he had dropped by the pub to check on his grandfather. Wendy asked if Johnny was okay, and he nodded yes.

"I can't stop thinking about my Grandma Marlena," Johnny said. Wendy told Johnny to have faith that Marlena would survive. Johnny asked Wendy how her talk with Gabi had gone. "Stefan got there before I did," Wendy said. Wendy explained that Gabi had thrown her out. "At least you tried," Johnny said. "Like I told Li, he and Gabi getting back together, it's not going to happen," Wendy said.

After Wendy picked up her food, she ran into Tripp on her way out of the pub. "I'm so sorry about your stepmother," Wendy said. "I just wish I'd been here," Tripp said. Tripp asked about Wendy, and she confirmed that the rumors about her brother were true. Wendy asked about Steve. Tripp admitted he had not seen Steve yet. "Thought I'd see Roman and pay my respects," Tripp said. Wendy confirmed Roman was upstairs.

"This is the saddest trip to Salem ever. From here, I'm going to Bayview to see my mom," Tripp said. Wendy offered to go with Tripp. With a smile, Tripp declined Wendy's offer. "They might not even let me in. They said it would depend on the state that she's in when I get there," Tripp explained. Tripp admitted that his mother had done terrible things, but he could not abandon her.

"I know what you mean. People will definitely judge me for standing by my brother's side after what he did. But I can't desert him, you know? I'm pretty much all he has left," Wendy said. Tripp asked if he could help. "This is Li's mess. And I'm pretty sure if there was any way he could clean it up, he would," Wendy said.

At the DiMera mansion, Steve knocked on the door. Kristen attempted to close the door in Steve's face, but he blocked her. Steve chased Kristen into the living room, and he grabbed her by the shoulders. "It's time for you to answer for what you did to Kayla," Steve said. "You don't want to do this. I feel for you, I really do. And I am so sorry for Kayla," Kristen said.

"Sorry won't bring my wife back. You knew those women would need boosters to survive, and you said nothing. You selfish, pathetic psycho!" Steve growled. Steve argued that Kristen had wasted precious time while she had blackmailed a man that did not love her. "But you didn't care, did you?' Steve said. "I did care!" Kristen objected. Unfazed, Steve yelled that Kristen only cared about herself.

"If you weren't so cold-blooded and deranged, do you know Marlena would be home right now? Kate would be alive. My wife would be alive. You took away the love of my life. The mother of my children. And now you need to pay," Steve said. Kristen backed away. Steve asked Kristen why she had not delivered the orchid sooner.

"I'll tell you why. Because you would have lost your leverage over Brady. Spiteful bitch," Steve growled. Steve accused Kristen of lying about the stolen orchid. "I want you to think about your family, your future, knowing it's about to slip away," Steve said. Steve grabbed Kristen by the wrists.

"Please, Steve!" Kristen cried out. Steve pushed Kristen into a chair, then he wrapped his hands around her throat. Kristen gasped for air. "How do you think Kayla felt when she took her last breath?" Steve yelled as he shook Kristen. "Stop!" Johnny yelled. Johnny pulled Steve off of Kristen. As Steve seethed, Johnny urged Steve to leave. Johnny asked Kristen if she was okay.

"She deserved it," Steve said. Johnny ordered Steve to leave. "Why are you defending her after what she did?" Steve asked. "Now," Johnny said. Steve smirked. "You go ahead and take care of the monster who killed your Aunt Kayla and Kate. Don't you forget, your grandmother might be next," Steve said. Johnny nodded yes. After Steve left, Kristen thanked Johnny for having saved her life.

"I did it for Steve," Johnny said. "Your uncle just tried to murder me!" Kristen yelped. Johnny told Kristen that she was fine. "So, you're okay with what he did?" Kristen asked. "[Steve] is the only parent his kids have left, thanks to you," Johnny said. Johnny added that Kristen's actions had destroyed his Grandpa Roman and endangered the life of his grandmother Marlena.

"Given all the damage you've done to my family, I really don't give a damn if someone damages you," Johnny said. "I didn't want to hurt anyone!" Kristen objected. Kristen admitted that she had kept the orchid hidden even though she'd known the women would need booster shots. "But I wasn't gonna withhold it if they got sick. I swear to you, I never wanted those women dead," Kristen said. "Maybe not. But that's what happened," Johnny said.

When Steve returned to the townhouse, Joey greeted him. "I'm so glad you're here," Steve said. Steve asked about Tripp. "He had to run out. Steph, too. They'll be back in a bit," Joey said. Joey asked Steve about his walk. "I went to see Kristen," Steve admitted. Worried, Joey asked what Steve had done. "I almost killed her," Steve said. Steve explained that he had caused the distraction in order to plant a bug in the house. "I'm gonna give Rafe everything he needs to make sure that witch goes down for murder," Steve said. Steve played the recording of the confession Kristen made to Johnny after Steve had left the house.

At the hospital, Johnny asked Brady about Marlena. "There's no change," Brady said. Brady asked Johnny if he had gotten any rest. "There was a bit of a situation at my place," Johnny said. Johnny told Brady that he had stopped Steve from strangling Kristen. "Can't say I blame him," Brady said. "I sure don't," Johnny agreed. At the DiMera mansion, Kristen rubbed her neck as the doorbell rang. "I guess it's [Harold's] day off," Kristen muttered. Kristen opened the door and saw Chloe on the porch.

Steve gives Rafe the recording of Kristen's confession

Steve gives Rafe the recording of Kristen's confession

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

by Mike

Stefan continued lashing out at Gabi after Li joined them in the town square. "You're nothing but a cold, bottom-feeding snake who only gives a damn about yourself --" Stefan spat at Gabi, earning a punch from Li.

Gabi was surprised to learn that wasn't the first time that an encounter between Stefan and Li had gotten violent that day. "Guess we're even," Stefan declared. "This isn't about what you did to me -- this is about what you did to Gabi," Li clarified. "What I did to Gabi? Suddenly you're the hero of this story? What, you come riding to her rescue because I said a couple of mean things? You -- who lied to her, who rewired my brain so that I would hate her? And, you know, the funny thing is, you probably didn't need to do any of that, because considering who Gabi is, I probably would have ended up hating her on my own!" Stefan argued before storming off while adding that Li and Gabi deserved each other.

Li insisted that Stefan's assessment of Gabi's character was wrong. Li wondered why Stefan was upset, prompting Gabi to share the whole story. Li couldn't believe that Stefan was unable to see Gabi's point of view.

Gabi scoffed and refused to fall for Li's sweet talk. "He's treating me this way because of what you did to him!" Gabi reminded Li before starting to storm off.

Li grabbed Gabi's arm while begging for another chance. Gabi smacked Li's hand away then noticed that it had gotten injured earlier. Gabi rushed off to the nearby Salem Inn to fetch some ice, drawing a grin from Li.

Gabi soon returned with a bucket of ice and upended it over Li's head. "You thought I was gonna help you?" Gabi challenged Li, who just shook off the ice with a laugh and chose to see the move as a promising development. "The thing I've been the most afraid of isn't that you're angry at me -- it was that you didn't care anymore," Li explained before declaring that what had just happened was proof that apathy wasn't going to be an issue for Gabi, who stormed off with a scoff and a shake of the head.

Rafe entered the police station just as Jada ended a phone conversation with an Indonesian official. "They've searched every inch of Rolf's secret lab and every DiMera property in the region, but he's in the wind," Jada informed Rafe. "The guy's a mastermind at disappearing," Rafe explained to Jada with a sigh.

Rafe started fretting to Jada about needing Rolf's help to take down Li -- and Steve burst into the police station just then and offered a way to take down another criminal in the meantime. "This constitutes an illegal search," Rafe reminded Steve after listening to Kristen's confession. "Isn't a recording considered admissible in this state if one of the parties gives consent?" Steve countered. "Johnny was aware that you planted the bug?" Jada translated. "It's possible --" Steve tried to argue. "No, it does not work that way -- I can't falsify evidence!" Rafe objected before also refusing to try other shady tactics, like intimidating Kristen with the recording or appealing to Trask's penchant for bending the rules.

Brady, still with Johnny at the hospital, admitted to feeling disgusted about having once loved Kristen. "How the hell am I supposed to face Roman and Steve?" Brady fretted. "Kristen is the reason that they lost their wives," Johnny stressed.

Brady thanked Johnny for the support then headed off to the chapel in search of John. "Did something happen to Doc?" John wondered. "No, there's no change -- I just wanted to check up on you," Brady responded. "I'm not good, kid -- I can't believe that I'm losing her," John admitted after failing to fool Brady with a brave face. "It's my fault," Brady declared before starting to apologize for having kept John in the dark about Kristen's blackmail scheme. "You are the reason Doc, Kate, and Kayla survived the first time -- you sacrificed your happiness for them," John interjected before laughing off the earlier prediction of impending doom and assuring Brady that everything was actually going to be okay. "I love her like my mom," Brady fretted.

Johnny ran into Allie in one of the break rooms. "How's Grandma?" Johnny wondered. "The same. Will and Eric are in there with her now. I didn't want to leave the room, but she's only allowed two visitors at a time," Allie responded.

Allie broke down in Johnny's arms while fretting about the apparent hopelessness of the situation. "I keep thinking about how many times Grandma Marlena helped me -- saved me, really. Like when I started to remember what happened in London -- I mean, there is no way that I could have gotten through remembering what Charlie did to me if it wasn't for her," Allie declared after recovering. "I spent all that time trying to make that movie about Grandma's life, but I picked the wrong thing to focus on," Johnny admitted with a sigh. "I'm so grateful that Grandma Kate and I were on good terms at the end, you know? I was so upset with her for keeping quiet about my dad kidnapping Mom," Allie noted before breaking down in Johnny's arms again.

Johnny rushed off to the police station after receiving a phone call from Rafe. "Technically, this recording is inadmissible in a court of law -- it was made without either person's consent --" Rafe began to explain after getting Johnny up to speed on the matter. "Assuming you didn't know about the bug --" Steve tried to hint. "No one is asking you to lie," Rafe stressed while glaring at Steve. "You heard Kristen say these things directly -- that means it's not hearsay," Jada, who had thought of the loophole, clarified. "What we need is a sworn statement from you that you had a conversation with Kristen about the orchid and that this is the conversation," Rafe requested. "Of course," Johnny agreed at once, drawing a nod of gratitude from Steve.

Chloe barged into the DiMera mansion before Kristen could slam the front door shut. "You know, maybe you could put this in a strongly worded email instead --" Kristen tried to suggest. "It's so much better saying it to your face," Chloe insisted.

Chloe started lashing out at Kristen for having brainwashed one person and endangered three other people just to steal Brady away from a romantic rival. "I have no idea what you're talking about," Kristen claimed with a shrug at the end of Chloe's lecture. "You do not get to gaslight me -- you do not get to upend my entire life and cause death and destruction and then pretend like it never happened," Chloe warned Kristen before grabbing a fire poker.

Chloe advanced toward Kristen with the fire poker while demanding the truth. "We both know that you're not gonna kill --" Kristen argued with a laugh. "I've done it before -- don't underestimate me!" Chloe responded, waving the fire poker threateningly.

Stefan entered the mansion just then and chased off Chloe, prompting Kristen to muster a halfhearted expression of gratitude while maintaining that the confrontation had never really been frightening. "You're lucky I don't use this on you myself," Stefan stressed before putting the fire poker back where it belonged then starting to lash out at Kristen. "If you had a child, you would understand," Kristen reasoned with a shrug at the end of Stefan's lecture, choosing not to bother with the innocent act again. "Brady has full custody, and any judge worth his salt will see to it you're not allowed near that little girl again," Stefan declared. "So...I'm just supposed to let Rachel go?" Kristen translated. "Seems like your only option," Stefan confirmed.

Stefan insisted that Rachel would be much better off without Kristen around. "Who the hell do you think you are?" Kristen snapped while scowling at Stefan. "I'm the son of a bitch you can't control anymore," Stefan answered before chasing off Kristen.

Stefan summoned Chloe back to the mansion once the coast was clear. "When I walked in here and saw you wielding that poker, I thought it was --" Stefan began to rave. "Please don't say 'sexy' or something equally weird," Chloe interjected, drawing a laugh from Stefan. "I was actually gonna say 'badass'!" Stefan clarified. "There's just something about that woman -- every time I'm near her, I just lose all capability of rational thought," Chloe explained to Stefan with a shrug.

Chloe soon changed the subject, wondering if Stefan was still brainwashed. Stefan nodded in response then informed Chloe that Rolf had disappeared and that Marlena was in no condition to help.

Stefan soon changed the subject, wondering if Chloe was still interested in continuing their relationship. Chloe shrugged in response then admitted to having real feelings for Stefan, who returned the sentiment. Stefan and Chloe locked eyes and started inching toward each other, but someone rang the doorbell before anything else could happen. Stefan groaned then stepped into the foyer while apologetically explaining to Chloe that Harold had the day off.

Stefan opened the front door and found Rafe and Jada standing on the other side of it. "We have a warrant for the arrest of Kristen DiMera," Rafe explained as Jada produced the document. "Sorry -- she's not here," Stefan responded.

Kristen picked up Rachel at the end of the school day then treated the child to a cup of hot chocolate from a vendor at the park. Rachel had expected to catch a ride with a friend's mother and was quick to question Kristen about the change of plans. "Your daddy has had you all to himself for the past few days, and I wanted quality time with my best girl," Kristen explained to Rachel with a wink.

Rachel wondered why Kristen was no longer living at the Evans-Black townhouse. "Daddy said it was because you did bad things," Rachel revealed. "Is that what Daddy said? Well, sweetheart, you're a big girl now, and I can be honest with you -- the reason that I had to leave was because of Chloe," Kristen answered. "I don't like her!" Rachel spat. "I know. I don't like her, either -- she's selfish and dangerous," Kristen declared. "I want our family to be together!" Rachel fretted. "I know you do, sweetheart. So do I. But that's not gonna happen right now. But you know what? The two of us can be together!" Kristen countered before asking if Rachel was ready to leave Salem.

Allie burst into the hospital's chapel in tears and advised John and Brady to rush off to Marlena's room right away.

Kristen tries to flee from Salem with Rachel

Kristen tries to flee from Salem with Rachel

Thursday, January 19, 2023

by Mike

Rafe and Jada walked away from the DiMera mansion while discussing what Stefan had just told them about Kristen. "He doesn't know where his own sister is?" Jada repeated with a scoff of skepticism, drawing a shrug from Rafe. "'His own sister' had him brainwashed to smooth out her love life, guess is, if he knew where she was, he would draw us a map -- and Chloe would drive us there," Rafe argued, and Jada conceded the point after some thought.

Jada wondered if Rafe knew of any other places Kristen could be hiding. "This is the part where I'm supposed to think like Kristen DiMera? I'd rather die!" Rafe sputtered.

Kristen, still with Rachel at the park, stressed that there wasn't much time for them to decide if they were going to leave Salem together that day. "Why can't Daddy come with us?" Rachel wondered. "Your daddy and I need a little timeout. So, you're gonna have to choose who you want to be with," Kristen responded. "But we'll come back?" Rachel assumed. "And Daddy's okay with it?" Rachel continued. "And then you two will stop fighting and be happy?" Rachel continued. "Promise?" Rachel concluded. "Of course," Kristen claimed after each question. "Okay -- I'll go," Rachel decided after also getting a pinky swear from Kristen.

Kristen started to rush out of the park with Rachel, but they ran into E.J. on the way. "I must say, I'm rather taken aback to see the two of you together," E.J. admitted. "You're 'taken aback' when a mom brings her child to the park?" Kristen teased. "Not 'a mom' -- you," E.J. clarified before asking Rachel for some time alone with Kristen. "Whatever," Rachel grumbled while wandering off to the nearby playground.

E.J. gave Kristen a shake of the head and guessed that Brady wasn't aware that Rachel's "deranged" mother was alone with the child at that moment. "She's my daughter, and I have every right to see her!" Kristen argued. "Not legally," E.J. stressed.

Rachel returned just then and reminded Kristen that they were in a hurry. "Mommy and me are skipping town because Mommy and Daddy need a timeout," Rachel explained to E.J., ignoring Kristen's attempt to end the conversation.

Kristen squirmed while E.J. was begging Rachel for even more details. "We're going on an adventure," Rachel informed E.J., oblivious to Kristen's discomfort. "Or on the lam," E.J. muttered, confusing Rachel and annoying Kristen.

Kristen asked Rachel for some more time alone with E.J. "Whatever," Rachel grumbled again while heading back to the playground. "I'm taking my daughter on a trip," Kristen summarized. "The hell you are," E.J. countered before trying to alert Brady.

Rachel returned again while Kristen was attempting to seize E.J.'s cell phone. "Are you two playing keep-away?" Rachel wondered. "I thought I told you to go play --" Kristen snapped. "I'm tired of it -- I want to go!" Rachel protested before adding that it would be nice to say goodbye to Brady on the way. "That's why I was just calling him --" E.J. tried to respond. "But I was telling your Uncle E.J. not to -- Daddy is very busy because Grandma's sick," Kristen interjected. "And whose fault is that?" E.J. muttered, further confusing Rachel and further annoying Kristen. "We're gonna call Daddy from the road," Kristen assured Rachel before saying farewell to E.J. then starting to rush off again.

E.J. grabbed Kristen and whispered that kidnapping Rachel wasn't an option. "Like you didn't do the same with Sami when the mood struck," Kristen countered. "I saw what it did to my kids -- I'm not gonna let you do that to Rachel," E.J. reasoned. "You call Brady, and I will tell Stefan that you stood by and watched Li put him, let's just say 'aversion therapy'!" Kristen warned before wondering if Stefan would channel Stefano's methods or Vivian's methods when exacting revenge against E.J. "If your conscience won't stop you, neither will I," E.J. backpedaled before seizing a hug from Rachel. "We won't be gone forever!" Rachel stressed after noticing that E.J. was upset.

E.J. gave Rachel a forced smile then gave Kristen a look of skepticism. "Wish me luck?" Kristen requested while rushing off with Rachel, but E.J. just sighed instead.

Allie, still with John and Brady in the hospital's chapel, choked out the phrase "Code Blue" between sobs. John rushed off to Marlena's room with a gasp of anguish, but Brady stayed behind to comfort Allie.

Eric watched in horror as Sarah scrambled to get Marlena stabilized with the help of another doctor and a nurse. "She has fluid in her lungs -- let's sit her up for a thoracentesis," Sarah called out before ordering Eric to leave Marlena's room.

Eric trudged off in search of Will, who had left earlier to tell Allie what was going on but ran into Belle first. "It's not good," Eric admitted. "I knew I shouldn't have stayed in Johannesburg this long!" Belle fretted.

John rushed into Marlena's room while Sarah was calling out for a defibrillator. "You can't be in here," Sarah objected. "Don't tell me that -- just tell me that she's gonna make it," John countered. "I am doing everything I can," Sarah promised.

Allie joined Brady on one of the pews. "When I was little, everyone used to make fun of Great-Grandma Caroline because she was always making novenas -- and she would say, 'You can laugh all you want, but I have enough faith for the whole family!'" Allie recalled. "She was always so good at making Belle and I feel like part of her family. You know, when I was taking my first driver's test, she gave me --" Brady tried to add before drawing a blank on the word that was needed to complete the sentence. "A scapular," Allie offered. "And she said, 'Brady, it's not magic, but it's just a way for you to tell God that you need a little help,'" Brady concluded. "I could use some of her faith right now, 'cause mine's a little shaky," Allie fretted.

Rafe phoned just then to ask Brady for advice on the search for Kristen, and Allie seized the opportunity to wander off in search of an update on Marlena's condition.

Belle continued sharing regrets with Eric at the nurses' station. "If I had known that Mom could have relapsed, I would have insisted that Claire come home for the holidays," Belle grumbled. "Hell, if we had known that she would have relapsed, we would have done all sorts of things differently," Eric countered. "Claire missed Mom's last Christmas!" Belle fretted. "We don't know that -- don't give up yet," Eric argued. "Has anyone murdered Kristen yet? Because if not, I volunteer!" Belle spat.

Allie soon approached and greeted Belle with a hug. "I'm so glad you made it," Allie declared. "Shawn asked Victor to send the Titan jet. I'm sure he'll be cranky as hell when I try to thank him for it, but it was very sweet nonetheless," Belle responded.

Will trudged toward the nurses' station just then. "I ran into Sarah outside of Grandma's room...and she said that, while her condition is stable, the care that she's receiving at this point is palliative," Will reported. "Like...hospice?" Belle translated. "Not yet -- and they're monitoring her symptoms -- but...I think it's clear that --" Will tried to answer. "She doesn't have very much time left," Eric concluded with a sigh.

Allie headed back to the chapel to update Brady, whose phone conversation with Rafe had just ended. "He sends his love," Brady summarized. "Best stepdad ever -- but that can't be why he called," Allie countered.

Brady confirmed Allie's suspicion then explained that Steve had helped Rafe secure a warrant for Kristen's arrest. "I'm surprised he went to all that trouble and didn't just kill her on the spot with his bare hands," Brady mused. "Chanel and I have been binging Law and Order, and...look, if Kristen didn't know that she was being recorded, there's a possibility she can --" Allie tried to warn, prompting Brady to clarify that Johnny had helped Rafe get around that issue.

Allie was impressed with Johnny for having stood up to Kristen. "Now all we have to do is find the bitch," Brady spat, and Allie agreed -- then they each made an apologetic gesture after remembering their location.

Marlena woke up and weakly greeted John then guessed that there wasn't much time left. "We have people turning over every rock on this planet to find that orchid -- all you have to do is hang in there a little while longer for us," John countered.

Belle entered the room while John was adding that Marlena had never been a quitter and needed to stick to that mentality. "How's Claire?" Marlena whispered to Belle after John stepped outside. "She's okay. She sends her love. She knows about Kayla and Kate, so Shawn and I thought it would be best if she stayed in Johannesburg in case she needs some extra therapy sessions," Belle answered. "Good idea," Marlena declared. "And Shawn sends his love, too, but he wanted to stay with her -- we just don't want her to have any setbacks," Belle elaborated. "Tell her I love her always," Marlena begged. "You can tell her yourself next time she visits...or, who knows, maybe you and I can fly over in a few months and surprise her," Belle suggested.

Belle fought back tears, prompting Marlena to reach out for a hug. Belle accepted the offer and broke down in Marlena's arms.

Belle eventually recovered and saw that Marlena had fallen asleep. Belle pulled a chair over to Marlena's bedside then produced a copy of The Secret Garden. Belle recalled having loved the book as a child and having made Marlena read it aloud countless times. "You have been the best mom anyone's ever had, so I am gonna do for you what you did for me," Belle promised Marlena while turning to the first page of the book.

Jada pulled Rafe aside at the police station and admitted to having just finished reading through Kristen's entire file. "War and Peace would have been shorter," Rafe muttered. "Do you think there might be a mole in the department -- you know, someone that tipped her off about the warrant?" Jada wondered, having apparently noticed Kristen's history of being one step ahead of law enforcement. "I think there's been a DiMera mole in Salem P.D. since time immemorial," Rafe confirmed. "So, she's probably going through her mask wardrobe and planning another escape," Jada translated. "The woman's not a flight risk -- she's a flight certainty," Rafe grumbled.

Brady warned Allie that Kristen might have already found out about the arrest warrant and skipped town. Allie wondered if Kristen knew where Rachel was at that moment. Brady groaned then phoned Rachel's designated caretaker for the day and received confirmation that the child had left school with Kristen instead. "I'm gonna kill her!" Brady spat after ending the call.

Rafe and Jada headed back to the DiMera mansion to question E.J. about Kristen's disappearance. E.J. feigned ignorance during the interview and kept up the act after Brady phoned Rafe to report that Kristen was in the process of kidnapping Rachel.

John joined Eric and Will at the nurses' station. "I keep staring at that desk, thinking Kayla is gonna just walk back in -- oh, God, what the hell is happening here?" John fretted.

Will recommended a shower and a nap, and Eric echoed the advice, but John somewhat angrily refused. "There's no way I can rest -- there's no way I can do anything except stay close to my wife and pray," John insisted.

Allie soon approached and announced that Kristen was in the process of kidnapping Rachel.

E.J. raised a glass to Stefano's portrait while alone in the living room of the DiMera mansion. "I always thought it interesting that even though Kristen was adopted, she is so like you -- ruthless, inventive, amoral, and just as fanatical about parenthood as you were -- but I don't think you played quite enough chess with her. You were always able to see the move after the move after the next move, and I think Kristen has lost -- if she ever had it -- her ability to think things through. To mix metaphors, she's badly overplayed her hand and wildly underestimated her opponent. As dim as Brady is -- as gormless as he is -- he's Kristen's match in his devotion to Rachel. I really think that this time...she's going down," E.J. mused.

Belle read the final line of The Secret Garden to Marlena then set aside the book with a sigh. "Please, Mommy, you have to get better -- come back to me, the way Colin did to his father," Belle begged before breaking down again.

Kristen and Rachel packed then left the Evans-Black townhouse and ran into Brady outside. "Going somewhere?" Brady wondered.

Rachel realized that Brady didn't know about the trip that Kristen had planned. "Sweetheart, I've been so worried about Grandma that I haven't had a lot of time to pay attention to what Mommy has been up to or planning...but since Grandma is still in the hospital, I don't think it's a really good time for you to go anywhere," Brady explained while glaring at Kristen.

Rachel sensed the tension in the air. "Did I do something wrong?" Rachel fretted. "No, sweetheart, you didn't -- Daddy and I just...we got our wires crossed, that's all," Kristen claimed. "I don't think I ever want to be a grown-up!" Rachel declared with a shake of the head before rushing back into the townhouse to unpack. "'Got our wires crossed'? I think if you would have told me that you were gonna kidnap our daughter, I would have remembered that," Brady snapped at Kristen.

Brady wondered if Kristen had ever bothered to think about what life on the run with "a sociopath" would have been like for Rachel. "She is my daughter, Brady, and you were gonna take her from me!" Kristen reasoned. "No, I tried to protect her!" Brady countered. "Her grandmother is going to die, and it's going to be your fault --" Brady continued, drawing an objection from Kristen. "And you are gonna have to live the rest of your life knowing that you're gonna have to trust that I am not gonna tell Rachel that," Brady concluded, horrifying Kristen. "You wouldn't --" Kristen argued. "You're right, I wouldn't. And you know why I wouldn't? 'Cause, unlike you, I think about her," Brady explained.

Brady acknowledged that the truth about Kristen's misdeeds would devastate Rachel. "But let me tell you something, Kristen -- lately, when you pull this kind of crap, I've been getting really upset lately, like I just might lose control and say anything, so I want you, from now on, to be very, very careful about pissing me off. Don't you think that you have the upper hand for one second, because you don't, and this little game is over -- it's done," Brady warned before calling out to Rafe and Jada, who had been waiting nearby to arrest Kristen.

Brady sent a text message to Allie, who was with Will, Belle, and Eric in the hospital's chapel. "Couldn't happen to a nicer bitch," Belle spat when Allie summarized that Kristen had just been arrested.

Belle quickly apologized for the outburst. "I don't know if I should be here, Eric -- I just feel so much hate in my heart for that woman --" Belle revealed. "Anger isn't righteous --" Eric tried to advise. "It's a hell of a lot more than 'anger' -- that horrible, worthless woman is still out there, and Kate, Kayla, and Grandma --" Allie countered, agreeing with Belle -- but Eric quickly interrupted again and suggested a group prayer.

Marlena woke up and weakly greeted John. "I want to go home. Take me home," Marlena begged as John fought back tears.

E.J. calls Kristen's bluff and Marlena dies in John's arms

E.J. calls Kristen's bluff and Marlena dies in John's arms

Friday, January 20, 2023

At the penthouse, Jada and Rafe arrested Kristen. "I didn't murder anyone!" Kristen protested. "But you did withhold a life-saving treatment from two women who are now dead," Rafe said. Kristen denied any knowledge of a treatment. Brady encouraged Kristen to drop the act because the police knew the truth. "What are you talking about?" Kristen asked. Rafe told Kristen that he had a recording of her confession.

"You're bluffing," Kristen said. Kristen screamed about her arrest. "Kristen, this is just you getting what you deserve," Brady said. After Kristen left with the police, Rachel walked into the living room and asked about her mother.

"Mommy's in a little bit of trouble," Brady said. Brady told Rachel that Kristen might have to return to prison. Rachel started to cry. "I don't want Mommy to go back to prison," Rachel said. Brady promised to take Rachel to visit Kristen, but Rachel argued that it was not the same thing.

"She won't get to read to me at night," Rachel said. Brady nodded in agreement. Angry, Rachel yelled, "You two were supposed to get married, but you wouldn't, and now Mommy's gone!" Brady promised that he and Rachel would get through it together. "I don't want you. I want my mommy!" Rachel screamed. Rachel ran out of the room.

In the interrogation room of the police station, Jada and Rafe played the taped confession for Kristen. "Where'd you get that?" Kristen asked. "I got it. That's all you need to know," Rafe said. Kristen claimed that it was not her voice on the recording. Jada informed Kristen that Johnny had agreed to testify to the veracity of the recording. Kristen demanded a lawyer.

In the DiMera living room, E.J. was playing chess when Stefan walked into the room with Chloe. "They have an arrest warrant for your sister," Chloe said. "[The police] were hoping that I could help [find Kristen]," E.J. said. E.J. added that he believed Rafe had since found Kristen. Chloe told E.J. about her fight with his sister.

"Kristen refused to admit to Chloe that she made a deal with Brady the first time the women got sick," Stefan said. Chloe explained that Kristen had forced Brady to dump Chloe in exchange for the serum. "I wondered how she managed that reconciliation," E.J. muttered. "But then they all got sick again, and now she is saying she has no idea where that damn orchid is," Chloe added. Chloe argued that Kristen had weaponized Rachel.

"All [Kristen] does is cause misery, and she doesn't take any responsibility for any of it," Chloe complained. Stefan's phone beeped, and he announced that the police had arrested Kristen. "What possessed you to let Kristen move back in here?" Stefan asked E.J. With a sigh, E.J. explained that Kristen was family. After Chloe left, E.J. invited Stefan to join him for a game of chess.

As the men sat down, Kristen called E.J. to ask for his legal services. "You make this all go away. Otherwise, my next call is to Stefan, and I am sure he would love to hear how his own brother sold him out for control of DiMera Enterprises," Kristen growled.

"I'd love to help you, Kristen, but the CEO of DiMera Enterprises can't get involved in a murder investigation," E.J. said. "Don't pull this crap with me!" Kristen yelled. Kristen reiterated her threat. "My decision is final," E.J. said. When Kristen said she planned to call Stefan next, E.J. put the call on speakerphone. Kristen warned E.J. to take her off speakerphone.

"But you were so eager to tell Stefan everything. This is your chance," E.J. said. "Tell me what?" Stefan asked. E.J. told Kristen that he was tired of her games. "Tell me what the hell is going on," Stefan demanded. Kristen backed down, but E.J. decided to come clean, anyway.

"What our sister wants to tell you is that I knew that Li had Rolf brainwash you, and out of self-interest, I decided to keep that to myself," E.J. said. Kristen called E.J. an idiot. "Then aren't you fortunate that I won't be serving you as your attorney?" E.J. countered. E.J. ended the call.

"You knew Li had me brainwashed," Stefan said. "Only after the fact. Kristen was in on it from the very beginning," E.J. clarified. E.J. admitted that he had known for months. Stefan asked E.J. how he had discovered the truth. "After you and I managed to pull off our coup at the board meeting, Li took me aside and told me everything. I was appalled, of course. But then Li pointed out that if I set you straight, you might remember your love for Gabi and side with her against me," E.J. explained. "So, this was a business deal," Stefan said. E.J. said yes.

"What did Kristen get out of it?" Stefan asked. "You kept Chloe occupied and unavailable to Brady," E.J explained. Stefan sighed. "You knew what Li did, and you still made him your number two at DiMera. And then you told me that Wei questioned my mental capacity," Stefan said. E.J. admitted that he had lied. E.J. confessed that he had not wanted to lose control of the company.

"If it makes you feel any better, Li and Kristen have been holding what I did over my head this entire time. But it is over now," E.J. confessed. Stefan said that when E.J. had originally offered to join forces, he had been relieved to have an ally in the family. "[I thought] finally, I have a sibling I can connect with. I thought we made a great team. And now you tell me as soon as you got what you wanted, you stabbed me in the back," Stefan said. E.J. explained he had not intended to betray Stefan. "But then Gabi made a run for control of the company, and I simply could not allow that to happen," E.J. said. Stefan argued that E.J.'s priority had been to retain total control of the company.

"You owed me, and you hated it," Stefan said. "Yes. I am sincerely sorry for what I did, and you have every right to be furious," E.J. said. Stefan scoffed. "The only reason I haven't knocked your ass out by now is that it wasn't your idea to rewire my brain," Stefan said. E.J. nodded yes. "So, in your mind, you were doing what was best for the company," Stefan added. Stefan looked at Stefano's portrait, and he noted that their father would have approved.

"Does this mean we could work this out?" E.J. asked. Stefan smiled. "You mean, could I forgive you?" Stefan asked. E.J. said yes. Stefan offered to forgive E.J. if he agreed to honor their original deal as co-CEOs. After a moment, E.J. agreed. "You and I will run DiMera Enterprises together," E.J. said. "We have a deal," Stefan said.

When E.J. thanked Stefan for having been reasonable, Stefan stressed that he did not trust his brother. "And I don't think you trust me. But I would imagine the old man would be proud of what we're doing," Stefan said. After E.J. left the room, Stefan said, "I'm gonna get you, E.J. You're not going to see me coming."

In the police bullpen, Rafe delivered dinner to Jada as a thank you for her work on Kristen's case. "I'm just hoping it's enough," Jada said. Jada noted that the DiMera family members were experts at evading justice. "I will bet that Kristen is in [the interrogation room] right now, talking to E.J. about how to do that," Rafe said.

Jada called Steve to let him know that Kristen was in custody. "It's all thanks to you, Steve," Jada said. Jada promised to make Kristen pay for her crimes. After the call, Jada told Rafe that Steve had sounded awful. "He and Kayla fell in love when they were really young. I don't know if he's ever going to recover from losing her," Rafe said. Frustrated, Jada wondered aloud, "How does [Kristen] live with herself?"

When Rafe and Jada returned to the interrogation room, Kristen scowled. "You hired an attorney?" Rafe asked. "I hit a bit of a snag," Kristen said. Jada offered a public defender, but Kristen scoffed at the idea. Rafe asked Kristen for a statement. "And while you're at it, you might want to tell us what Li Shin did to Stefan DiMera," Jada said. Kristen asked if the police wanted to offer her a deal to testify against Li.

"It's possible," Rafe said. "Well, I want murder charges off the table and total immunity," Kristen said. Rafe smirked. "Tell us what you know about Shin, and we'll talk," Rafe countered. Kristen refused to write a statement until she talked to a lawyer.

At the penthouse, Chloe visited Brady. Brady told Chloe that he had stopped Kristen from kidnapping Rachel. "Did Kristen know she was being arrested? Is that why she was running?" Chloe asked. Brady shook his head. "She realized she didn't have any more leverage over me and that I would probably try to prevent her from seeing Rachel," Brady said. Brady noted that Rachel had been in her bedroom when the police had arrested Kristen.

"How do you tell your little girl that her mother has done such terrible things that she may be in prison for the rest of her life?" Brady asked. Chloe shrugged. "I'm sure you handled it well," Chloe said. "Not well enough. I can't believe this is happening to my little girl," Brady whispered. When Chloe changed the subject to Marlena, Brady told her that Marlena had almost died.

"It was really touch and go, and the doctors were able to bring her back," Brady said. "How is she now?" Chloe asked. Brady admitted that the doctors could only treat the symptoms. "Are you sure that Kristen isn't lying about the orchid being stolen?" Chloe asked. Brady shrugged. Brady admitted that he felt guilty that he had not rebelled against Kristen sooner.

"None of this is your fault," Chloe said. "That's what my father says, but I'm not buying it," Brady said. An emotional Brady said he did not know if John would be able to live without Marlena. "And honestly, I don't know how I'm going to be able to live with myself if that happens," Brady said. Chloe pulled Brady into a hug as Rachel walked into the living room. "You, get away from my daddy," Rachel yelled. Chloe let go of Brady.

"You will not talk that way to her. Chloe has done nothing wrong," Brady said. "Mommy said she had to move out because of her," Rachel said. "Mommy says a lot of things that are not true," Brady stressed. Rachel blamed Chloe for Kristen's arrest. Brady explained that the police had taken Kristen because Kristen had broken the law.

"I would never do anything to hurt you, Rachel," Chloe said. "You ruined everything. I hate you!" Rachel yelled. Brady ordered Rachel to go to her room for a timeout. After Rachel left the room, Brady apologized to Chloe. "Her feelings are her feelings, Brady. You know what? Maybe this is the universe saying that you and I shouldn't be together," Chloe said.

At the hospital, Johnny called Steve on the phone to confirm that Rafe had arrested Kristen. As Johnny ended his phone call, Chanel said hello. "Did you come to see Allie?" Johnny asked. "I figured she could use the moral support. It's really bad, isn't it?" Chanel asked. Johnny nodded yes. Chanel's phone beeped with a text from Allie saying that she had gone home.

Johnny told Chanel that Rafe had asked him to testify against Kristen. "To verify the conversation she and I had when she confessed to everything," Johnny explained. When Chanel noted that the recording had put Johnny in a difficult position, he disagreed. "Kristen needs to be stopped," Johnny said.

In Marlena's hospital room, she begged John to take her home. "I don't want to die. Not here," Marlena whispered. "Don't talk like that," John said. Marlena argued that there were no treatments left. "I just want to be in my own bed," Marlena said. "The doctors are buying you time until Steve and the ISA can find that damn orchid," John said. "There's no time left. We both know that. Please," Marlena pleaded. As John teared up, Marlena reminded him that he had been through the same situation with Isabella.

"But Doc, she had enough time for me to take her back to Venice," John said. "I'm not asking for Venice," Marlena said with a sad smile. John argued that the doctors had not been able to help Isabella. "My odds aren't much better than hers were. So, please?" Marlena said. After a moment, John suggested a compromise, and he walked out.

As John walked over to the waiting area, he asked Johnny for help with a project. When John returned to Marlena's room, he told her that he had made arrangements. "The compromise, what is it?" Marlena asked. "Will you let me surprise you for just once?" John said with a chuckle. John told Marlena that she was going to go on an adventure.

Up on the hospital roof, Johnny and Chanel set up a romantic evening for John and Marlena. "It feels good to be useful," Chanel said. Chanel said she was happy to have something to distract her from Sloan's civil lawsuit. "I wish I would have known that," Johnny said. "There's nothing you can do," Chanel said. Johnny explained that even though he was no longer married to Chanel, it did not mean that he did not still care about her.

"What about Wendy? Is she okay with us being friends?" Chanel asked. "Why would you ask about her?" Johnny said. "You two are kind of a thing now, right?" Chanel countered. Johnny noted that there was not much to report. "Technically, we're not even dating," Johnny said. Johnny explained that he and Wendy had pretended to be a couple while they had been investigating Li's involvement in Stefan's brainwashing.

Curious, Chanel asked Johnny about his current relationship with Wendy. "We kind of decided we didn't want to stop seeing each other. I really like her," Johnny admitted. Chanel forced a smile, and she told Johnny that she was happy for him. As Chanel stood on a chair to string lights, the chair wobbled. Chanel fell into Johnny's arms.

"You okay?" Johnny whispered. Johnny placed Chanel on her feet. Chanel said she was okay, but she lingered in Johnny's arms. As Johnny and Chanel's faces hovered close to one another, John wheeled Marlena onto the roof. "One second!" Johnny yelled. Johnny plugged in the lights. "It's lovely," Marlena said. John thanked Johnny and Chanel for their help.

"I got this from the diner down the street. Gus, the counter man, he says he's praying for you," Chanel said. Chanel handed Marlena a container filled with strawberries. "Anything for you, Grandma. I love you," Johnny said. "I love you, too," Marlena said. After Johnny and Chanel left, John kneeled beside Marlena's wheelchair.

"I know this isn't the same as taking you home, honey. But I just thought that if something might happen, I could get you downstairs in a hurry," John said. Marlena kissed John. John settled Marlena on the bench under the lights and between two heaters. With a grin, John cracked open the container filled with strawberries and whipped cream. Marlena cuddled close to John, and they shared a strawberry. John sniffled as he turned on the projector.

"Are we watching old movies?" Marlena asked. "I had Johnny download some family pictures to my cloud. I thought it might be a nice idea just to reminisce a little," John said. "Perfect," Marlena whispered. John put his arm around Marlena, and they looked at photos from their lives. "I love that one. It's the love in your eyes," Marlena said. "And yours," John countered. John and Marlena stared in one another's eyes and smiled sadly.

"How did this go so fast?" Marlena asked. "I don't know. I just wanna do this all over again, Doc," John said. Marlena and John both started to cry. "I do, all over again, all over," Marlena agreed.

Downstairs in the waiting area, Johnny thanked Chanel for her help. "I see where you get your romantic streak," Chanel said. "John and Grandma, their whole life has been one big, long epic romance," Johnny said. Johnny noted that despite repeated breakups, John and Marlena had always realized that they could not live without one another. "And now, they might have to," Johnny said. When Chanel noted that Marlena had seemed okay, Johnny noted that Marlena had been putting on a front for John.

"She looked so frail. And she was smiling, but I could see it in her eyes. She knows what is coming," Johnny said. With a sad smile, Johnny noted that throughout his life, he had always been able to depend on Marlena. "I'm just not ready to lose her," Johnny admitted. Johnny told Chanel that he was glad he had run into her. Chanel told Johnny that no matter what, she would always be his friend.

On the roof, the slideshow continued to play. "We have had a lifetime of wonderful memories, haven't we, Doc?" John said. Marlena was leaning on John's shoulder, her eyes closed. "Doc?" John said. Marlena went limp against John. John gently felt for a pulse in Marlena's neck, then he continued to hold her.

Recaps for the week of January 23, 2023 (Following Week)


Ashleigh Brewer Returns to The Bold and the Beautiful as Ivy
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