Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of January 23, 2023 on DAYS

Marlena died in John's arms. Allie raged when Chanel and Johnny almost kissed. Johnny punched Tripp then apologized. Abe comforted John. Will accepted work in New Zealand. Paulina hired Stephanie and Belle to fight Sloan. Allie gave Alex hope about Stephanie. The devil greeted Marlena in the afterlife, disguised as Susan. E.J. fired Li. Gabi accepted Wendy's apology. Nicole and Eric moved on with new people. Gabi thwarted Stefan's plan to drug E.J. when she kidnapped Stefan. Nicole drank E.J.'s drugged drink. Chanel temporarily moved out. Gabi seduced Li in order to contact Rolf.
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Marlena died and was greeted in the afterlife by the devil, disguised as Susan. Gabi thwarted Stefan's plan to drug E.J. when she kidnapped Stefan. Nicole drank E.J.'s drugged drink.
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Marlena's loved ones mourn her death

Marlena's loved ones mourn her death

Monday, January 23, 2023

by Mike

Sonny talked to a nurse at the hospital then tracked down Will in the chapel, where Belle and Eric were also waiting for news, and reported that Marlena was still being restricted to only two visitors at a time. Will deferred to Eric and Belle then turned to Sonny once the coast was clear and accepted a hug. Belle and Eric rushed off to Marlena's room and were both alarmed to see that the bed was empty -- but Sarah, who had just noticed the oddity seconds earlier, was quick to clarify that they were probably just dealing with a case of an erroneous patient transfer. John soon arrived with Marlena and explained what had just happened. "I'm sorry -- she's gone," Sarah announced after trying to revive Marlena.

Belle rushed off in tears, and John followed after asking Eric to stay put, prompting Sarah to also step out of the room. Eric waited until the coast was clear then knelt beside Marlena's lifeless body and pointed out that the job of a priest and the job of a psychiatrist each involved listening to people. "You were the one person that I could count on to listen to me," Eric declared. "Even when life was hard, my faith sustained me...until now. See, I asked God to spare your life, but he's stopped listening," Eric continued. "I never needed someone to talk to more than right now...and you're gone," Eric concluded before breaking down.

John soon returned with Belle, prompting Eric to say farewell to Marlena then leave the room. John fought back tears as Belle took Eric's place beside Marlena's lifeless body. "I've been so proud to be your daughter. And I just keep thinking about when you were in that coma and I had to fight everyone to honor your wishes -- you know, to not keep you hooked up to that ventilator. And then you let me off the hook -- at least, we thought you did. You woke up, but it wasn't really you -- it was Hattie. And, God, I wish that this was Hattie right now," Belle admitted before breaking down then recovering and saying goodbye to Marlena.

John waited until the coast was clear then grasped Marlena's right hand and shook it while reminiscing about their first meeting and the early days of their relationship. "When I first kissed you, it changed everything, 'cause that was the first time that I knew who I was. See, I was the guy that had fallen in love with Dr. Evans. I trusted you, I depended on you, and I will always love you," John whispered before breaking down.

Sonny wondered if Will wanted to pray. "No. Thanks. We were praying when you came in. Or, at least, Aunt Belle and Uncle Eric were. I can't really pray," Will responded with a shrug, drawing a nod of understanding from Sonny.

Will admitted to having instead reflected on life as a closeted teenager who was in a budding friendship with an openly gay Sonny. "I was scared of how I felt about you. I didn't know how you felt about me. I didn't know how I felt about me. How weird is it that the only person I could talk to honestly about that was my grandmother? And she told me to fight for you," Will mused. "It wasn't much of a fight -- it's not like I was playing hard to get," Sonny noted.

Will's agent phoned just then, and Sonny was quick to advise against letting the call go to voicemail. "Your grandma wouldn't want you to put your entire life on hold," Sonny reasoned, and Will conceded the point after some thought.

Johnny and Chanel, still together at the nurses' station, continued discussing John and Marlena's love story. Chanel swooned when Johnny started fretting not only about having once believed that they would share an equally epic romance but also about having since been forced to accept that wasn't going to happen. Johnny and Chanel locked eyes and started inching toward each other until their lips were almost touching. "What the hell is going on here?" Allie, who had just emerged from a nearby elevator, demanded to know while storming toward Chanel and Johnny.

Johnny and Chanel pulled away from each other and took turns explaining to Allie that they were both emotional because they had just finished helping John pull off a surprise for Marlena. "Huh -- I'd think you'd avoid roofs," Allie muttered during the tale, but Chanel didn't catch the dig, and Johnny also missed it.

Allie was questioning the truthfulness of Johnny and Chanel's version of events when Sarah approached and gave them an apologetic shake of the head as a way of revealing what had just happened. Chanel reached out to comfort Allie, who recoiled and sought a hug from Sarah instead, and Johnny rushed outside.

Tripp ran into Wendy while passing through the town square and admitted, when asked, that visiting Ava had been "a nightmare" on more than one level. "She didn't even recognize me -- she thought I was my dead brother," Tripp grumbled before starting to give Wendy the backstory. "I have a brother like that," Wendy fretted during Tripp's tale. "Li hasn't done anything close to what Charlie did," Tripp assured Wendy before providing just enough clarification to get the point across.

Tripp eventually got around to telling Wendy that the visit had ended with Ava being restrained and sedated then dragged off to a padded cell, all while demanding to know why "Charlie" was allowing such things to happen. Wendy was quick to reiterate that Ava blamed Charlie, but Tripp couldn't be sure that there wasn't more to the story. "Maybe she hates me because I left her in that place with Charlie, alone in a nightmare that she may never wake up from," Tripp argued.

Johnny approached while Wendy was comforting Tripp with a hug. Wendy also gave Johnny a hug after learning what had just happened, and Tripp tried to offer condolences. "You just save your sorries, pal, okay?" Johnny snapped, confusing not only Tripp but also Wendy. "I know what you're going through, okay? Orpheus -- that bastard killed Kayla, too --" Tripp argued. "Yeah, Orpheus killed my grandmother, he killed Kayla, he killed Kate...but your lunatic mother killed my other grandma!" Johnny countered. "I can't defend what she did, but she's mentally ill," Tripp explained. "That's convenient, isn't it?" Johnny grumbled.

Johnny declared Ava "a homicidal lunatic bitch" and also drew a comparison to Norma Bates from Psycho, prompting Tripp to throw a punch. Johnny anticipated and deflected the attempted assault then launched a successful counterattack at Tripp before storming off. "I know Johnny was upset, but he had no right to say those things about your mother," Wendy declared while Tripp was recovering from the blow. "Thanks for being there for me," Tripp responded, drawing a shrug from Wendy. "That's what friends are for," Wendy explained while locking eyes with Tripp.

Allie was giving Chanel the silent treatment at the hospital when Belle approached and offered to handle the responsibility of letting Sami know what had just happened. Allie accepted the help, reasoning that Sami would feel more comfortable being vulnerable with Belle, then chased Chanel off before heading toward the chapel in search of Will.

Sonny guessed that Will's agent had just delivered good news. "The project I've been working on got the green light," Will summarized, prompting Sonny to start celebrating then stop after realizing that only one of them was excited.

Will confirmed Sonny's suspicion with a nod. "The set's in New Zealand -- and they want me to go now," Will explained before starting to call the agent back with the intention of declining the offer, drawing a quick objection from Sonny.

Sonny conceded that the timing was bad then reiterated that Marlena wouldn't want to cause Will's life to be put on hold. "This isn't just about my grandma -- I can't leave because of us," Will reasoned, confusing Sonny. "Let's just say that my grandma gets better, and then I go," Will continued. "We're gonna be apart for at least six months, Sonny, and it's a 16-hour flight one way -- we're never gonna have time to go and see each other," Will concluded.

Sonny countered that Will had already put a lot of time and effort into the project and might never get another opportunity to take it over the finish line. Will admitted that Sonny was right but added that simply living in separate parts of the same country had already given them trouble recently. "Even though we got past that fight we had on Christmas, I feel like it never would have happened -- or maybe it would have happened, but it wouldn't have been so vicious and so sad --" Will attempted to elaborate, drawing a nod of understanding from Sonny. "I know we've had our ups and downs, but that felt different -- that didn't feel like us, and that scared me," Will concluded with a shrug, prompting Sonny to stress that Leo had been the scary part.

Sonny acknowledged again that Will had been right to worry about Leo. "And look, said that you were scared because it didn't feel like us anymore? Okay, but this movie is a dream come true, and if you let me hold you back, then you won't be you anymore, and then we could never be us --" Sonny stressed. "I don't think I can talk about this right now," Will suddenly decided. "I understand -- I mean, not until we know how your grandma's doing," Sonny agreed. "Just being away from you for that long --" Will fretted. "Hey, you said you couldn't talk about this right now, okay? So, let's wait -- this isn't the time," Sonny interjected. "I love you so much," Will raved, and Sonny returned the sentiment then offered a hug and a kiss.

Allie entered the chapel just then and gave Will a pointed look then seized a hug and broke down.

Belle recorded a voicemail message for Sami then found Eric at the nurses' station. "Why don't we go to the chapel and say one more prayer --" Belle suggested. "You go -- God isn't listening to me anymore," Eric grumbled.

Johnny ran into Chanel while passing through the park, and they decided to keep each other company.

Belle joined Will, Sonny, and Allie in the hospital's chapel. "You know, Mom really loved you like a son," Belle assured Sonny. "Yeah -- we were just talking about how she was on our side from the very beginning," Sonny responded. "Maybe we should say a prayer?" Will suggested with obvious discomfort. "Where's Uncle Eric?" Allie wondered.

Eric gulped down a shot of whiskey at the Brady Pub then asked the bartender for a refill.

Sarah peeked inside Marlena's room, and John took the hint and trudged back up to the rooftop to continue watching the slideshow. Marlena, meanwhile, headed toward a door at the end of a long hallway of blinding light then opened it and gasped.

Marlena enters the afterlife

Marlena enters the afterlife

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

At the Johnson townhouse, Stephanie saw a news alert on her phone about Marlena's death. Paulina knocked at the front door. "I know, I should have called first," Paulina said as she lifted a casserole up. Stephanie invited Paulina inside. "I just wanted to tell you in person how sorry I am," Paulina said. Stephanie thanked Paulina for the visit.

"It's the least I could do. Heaven knows that you've been there for me when I needed help," Paulina said. "I really appreciate you bringing that in person," Stephanie said. Paulina admitted that she was also there to ask Stephanie for help. Paulina told Stephanie about Sloan's lawsuit. "But I don't see how a publicist can help you," Stephanie said. Paulina asked if Alex could help get information like last time. Stephanie groaned.

"What's the problem? He saved us once," Paulina noted. Stephanie told Paulina that she had dumped Alex. "My mother died, and because of Alex, I wasn't there," Stephanie said. Stephanie told Paulina what had happened. "I was starting to think that maybe Alex and I had a future, but that's over now," Stephanie said. When Stephanie asked Paulina if she had overreacted to Alex's transgression, Paulina said no.

"First of all, your phone is none of his business. But more importantly, he kept you from seeing your mama for the last time," Paulina said. "Sometimes I have moments when I think maybe I was too angry," Stephanie confessed. Paulina advised Stephanie to move on. When Stephanie noted that she could not reach out to Alex for Paulina's sake, Paulina suggested that Stephanie help her with the court of public opinion instead.

"Bring Chad onboard. That boy is smart," Paulina said. With a grin, Paulina noted that Chad was also handsome. "Alex would probably just think you're doing it to get to him," Paulina said. "Alex can think whatever he wants. I couldn't care less," Stephanie said. Stephanie promised to brainstorm some ideas to help Paulina. As Paulina rose to leave, she said, "Take some time to grieve. But get ready for war, too." Paulina lamented that she could not handle the situation herself.

"Sloan made my baby a target, and I went to DEFCON 1," Paulina said. "My mom would have done the same thing. If anybody came for one of us, they'd have to go through her first," Stephanie said. Paulina counseled Stephanie not to dwell on the fact that she had been unable to say goodbye to Kayla. "I'm pretty sure that you and your mom were past needing words, and she died knowing how much you loved her," Paulina said. Paulina noted that if Stephanie thought about the good times, Kayla would never be far from Stephanie.

At the Brady Pub, Eric got drunk and cried. "Mom, what am I going to do without you?" Eric whispered. Fortified with liquid courage, Eric went to Sloan's apartment. "At least you didn't bring a kid with you this time," Sloan said. Eric explained that his mother had died.

"I am so sorry. I know what it's like to lose a mother," Sloan said. Frustrated, Eric yelled, "Well, this didn't have to happen." Sloan told Eric he could sue the hospital for negligence, but Eric explained that a virus was to blame, not the hospital. "Shouldn't you be with your family right now?" Sloan asked. "No, family is the last thing I want to be around right now," Eric growled. Sloan suggested that Eric should spend time with someone he loved.

"I am not asking for a shoulder to cry on," Eric said. Sloan asked Eric what he wanted. Eric grabbed Sloan and kissed her. After Eric and Sloan had sex, Sloan asked Eric if he felt better or more alone. "I can think," Eric admitted. Sloan admitted that when Eric had told her about his mother's illness, it had reminded her of the loss of her own mother. "I'm sorry if I made you feel like I was using you," Eric said. "No. you needed me. That's very different. And I'm not really used to that," Sloan admitted. Eric suggested that Sloan could help him get over the loss of his mother.

"I'm afraid I'm not very much help in that arena. You don't seem like the vengeful type," Sloan said. "How is vengeance working out for you?" Eric asked. Sloan said she had hit a snag, but she vowed not to let Chanel and Paulina get away with murder. "There's other ways to make them pay," Sloan said. Eric told Sloan that revenge was more of an obsession than a natural instinct. "Is there anything that makes it go away?" Sloan asked. "I have one idea," Eric said. Eric kissed Sloan.

In the park, Johnny joined Chanel on a park bench. Johnny started to ask Chanel a question, but his phone beeped. "Breaking news report about Grandma. Makes it pretty real," Johnny said. Chanel noted that it was especially difficult for Johnny because he had lost so many family members recently.

"You never told me what happened with you and Allie after I left," Johnny said. Chanel reminded Johnny that he had found her alone on the park bench. "I told Allie that the only reason I went to the hospital was to see if she was all right," Chanel said. "Something tells me that didn't make that much of a difference," Johnny said. Chanel explained that Allie was upset that she had caught Johnny lingering close to Chanel.

"Did you happen to tell her that I had just realized that my grandmother was about to die? And that's why you had your arms around me?" Johnny said. "It turned into a little more than that," Chanel countered. Johnny urged Chanel to encourage Allie to be mad at him instead. "It was both of us," Chanel stressed. "You tried to comfort me. I tried to turn that into a kiss. You know I'm right," Johnny said. Johnny offered to talk to Allie, but Chanel said no.

"You are both grieving over your grandmother. You're too raw. If you try to talk to [Allie] now, it's only going to make things worse. It has to be me," Chanel said. "It's your call," Johnny said. Chanel suggested that they give Allie more time alone. As Johnny and Chanel sat on the bench, Johnny apologized for having almost kissed her.

"I didn't take it seriously, because you had just finished telling me about Wendy, and how great she is," Chanel said. "I think I just screwed that up, too," Johnny said. Johnny told Chanel that he had punched Tripp in front of Wendy. "What was it about?" Chanel asked. "About his lunatic mother. She's the one who caused the crash that killed Susan," Johnny said. With a rueful laugh, Johnny explained that Wendy was understandably unimpressed with his behavior.

"You're mad at the world right now," Chanel said. "And you're being great about it," Johnny countered. Johnny apologized again for having made a pass at Chanel. "I won't do it again," Johnny promised. Chanel noticed the time on her watch, and she announced that she wanted to check on Allie. "Allie loves you. She's going to come around," Johnny advised. Chanel hugged Johnny, and he noted that Allie could catch them. "I'll risk it. You're a special person, Johnny DiMera. And I am so sorry you're hurting," Chanel said.

At the hospital, Allie ran into Abe at the nurses' station. "I'm so sorry for your loss," Abe said. "I'm sorry for yours, too," Allie said. When Allie noted that it was a terrible day, Abe asked Allie if she wanted to talk. Allie declined. Abe asked about John. "I think he is up on the roof. That's where she died. So, I think he could really use an old friend right now," Allie said.

In the town square, Alex drank away his blues at the café as he stared at photos of Stephanie on his phone. Alex called Stephanie, but she ignored his call. On a voicemail, Alex pleaded with Stephanie to give him a chance to make things up to her. "You and I had something great going, and I don't want to give up on that," Alex said.

As Alex rose to leave, he saw Allie walk by. "I just heard about Dr. Evans. I am so sorry," Alex said as he hugged Allie. Alex told Allie that Chanel was not in the bakery. "Doesn't matter," Allie grumbled. Alex encouraged Allie not to be alone. "I'm the farthest thing from okay right now," Allie said.

After Alex escorted Allie home to her apartment, Allie relieved the babysitter. "Why isn't Chanel home?" Alex asked. "I don't know where she is. Maybe with Johnny," Allie muttered. Allie grabbed beers out of the fridge, and she sat on the couch with Alex. With a shake of his head, Alex noted that he could not believe that Marlena was gone. "She was like an institution," Alex said. "She helped me, that's for sure," Allie said. Allie confessed that she had believed that Marlena would survive her illness. Heartbroken, Allie chugged her beer until Alex stopped her.

"The last thing you need right now is a hangover," Alex said. "What I need is my grandmother," Allie grumbled. Allie continued to drink her beer. "I'm going to call Chanel," Alex said. "Please don't do that," Allie said. Alex asked what was wrong. "It's what's going on with her and Johnny, it's what scares me," Allie said. Allie explained that when she had arrived at the hospital, she had seen Johnny and Chanel in each other's arms.

"They were about to kiss," Allie said. "To me, the important words here are 'about to,'" Alex said. Allie argued that if she had not arrived at that moment, Johnny would have kissed Chanel. "What did you do?" Alex asked. Allie noted that she had been unable to act because Sarah had interrupted with the news about Marlena.

"Chanel could have been just trying to comfort the guy because he was so broken up," Alex suggested. "No. Chanel and Johnny are crazy about each other," Allie said. Allie argued that Chanel would still be married to Johnny if he had not been possessed by the devil. "That's the only reason Chanel and I actually got together. And then she took forever to choose between Johnny or me," Allie added. Alex reminded Allie that Chanel had chosen Allie.

"Why are you taking their side?" Allie argued. "I am on your side," Alex stressed. Alex counseled Allie to trust Chanel and Johnny. "I'm talking from experience here," Alex said. "What? [Are] you having problems with Stephanie?" Allie asked. Alex told Allie what had happened. Allie asked Alex if he would have answered the phone if anyone but Chad had called that night, and Alex said yes.

"You messed up. If I was Stephanie, I'd be pissed, but we'd work through it," Allie said. "Why?" Alex asked. "Because you would never deliberately keep Stephanie from being at her dying mother's bedside," Allie said. Allie told Alex that he deserved to be forgiven. "You actually managed to give me some hope," Alex said. Alex thanked Allie, and he said she was the only one to have his back.

When Chanel returned home, she was surprised to see Alex. "[Alex] was nice enough to offer me a shoulder to cry on. You know, like you did for Johnny," Allie said. Uncomfortable, Alex announced that he was leaving. "You know what? Maybe we could have another threesome. Because I know for Chanel, life with me is getting a little bit boring," Allie said. "That is not true! And don't put Alex in the middle of this," Chanel countered. Allie turned to face Alex.

"I'm sorry, I wasn't really in the mood, anyway. It's been a pretty long and awful day for me. So, I'm going to try and get some sleep. In Henry's room," Allie said. Allie looked pointedly at Chanel.

On the hospital roof, John looked heavenward. "I know you're going to be up there, Doc. You'll be looking out for all of us," John said. Abe joined John on the roof. "We were just sitting over there, looking at some family photos," John said. Abe looked at the projected image of John and Marlena on the brick wall. John wiped tears from his eyes.

"She wanted me to take her home. I just kinda thought this was a compromise. Just trying to make her happy," John explained. "You did," Abe said. John said he knew that Marlena was watching him from heaven. "She wants me to know that I'm going to get past this," John said. "That would be her," Abe agreed. "She's wrong, because I'm never getting past this," John whispered. John wondered aloud if Orpheus was enjoying his success.

"The man is a monster," Abe said. "It should have been me," John muttered. Abe reminded John that Orpheus had infected the women because he had known it would hurt John, Roman, and Steve more than anything else. "The devil himself went after Doc twice, and she survived that. But Orpheus got her," John lamented. "She was so strong," Abe said. Abe noted that John and Marlena's love was not gone.

"It will last forever," Abe said. "I know you're right, it's just that when it was just the two of us against the world, we could beat all the odds. So, how do I leave this place without her?" John asked. John started to cry. Through tears, John asked Abe, "How did you go home to an empty bed without Lexie?" Abe hugged John. After a moment, Abe reminded John to think about his children and grandchildren. "That's what will make you go on," Abe said. Abe asked John to stay with him for the night, but John argued that it would postpone the inevitable.

"I need to be in a place where I can feel Doc's presence. And that is our home. I need to climb into our bed. I need to smell her perfume on her pillow. I need to look at her picture on my nightstand and just fall into those eyes again. I know it's going to be hard as hell, partner, but that is what I need right now," John said.

After Abe left John, he met up with Paulina in the town square. "How's John doing?" Paulina asked. "He's going to be in a bad place for a very long time. Marlena was his life," Abe said. On the hospital rooftop, John stared lovingly at the photo on the wall, then he turned off the projector.

Marlena's soul left her body, and she walked into a bright light. "Where am I?" Marlena said. Marlena wandered around a white room. "John!" Marlena called out. "Dr. Evans?" Susan said. Susan stepped out from behind a curtain. "Susan?" Marlena said. "That's right! Your best friend," Susan said with a giggle. Relieved, Marlena smiled at her friend.

"We all thought you died in that terrible car accident, and here you are. You're alive, and you're well!" Marlena said. Susan noted that she was well, but she was not alive. "Are you saying that you're really dead?" Marlena asked. Susan confirmed that she had died in the car explosion. "So, if you're dead and you're here, and I'm here with you, does that mean that I'm dead?" Marlena asked hesitantly. Susan said yes. Marlena asked about Kate and Kayla.

"You think Kate made it through the pearly gates? Ha!" Susan said. Marlena frowned as Susan argued that Kate had broken all of the Ten Commandments. "I am very well aware of who Kate is. And she's been a good friend to me. And maybe she doesn't live by everybody's code, but underneath, she's a good person," Marlena said. Susan snickered. Susan argued that Kate was not like Marlena or Kayla.

"Tell me where Kayla is. You can do that, can't you?" Marlena asked. Susan argued that it would be difficult to find Kayla in such a big place. Susan looked at papers on a clipboard. As Susan skimmed the names, she noted that Bo had an asterisk next to his name. "I really don't know what that means," Susan said. Susan noted that she did not see Kayla's name on the clipboard.

"[Kayla] is around here someplace. But you know what? I'm here to help you," Susan said. Susan explained that she was there to help Marlena transition to the other side. "What is the transition you're talking about?" Marlena asked. Susan explained that Marlena needed to let go of her loved ones, especially John. "[John] must be in so much pain," Marlena whispered. "He's crushed. But he has his kids, and the rest of the family, and friends," Susan said. Marlena wept, and she cried out for her children. Susan told Marlena to let go.

"I'm going to have you walk right through those doors, and we're going to have a fresh start after you get some rest," Susan said. Susan ushered Marlena through a pair of doors. After Marlena walked through, Susan's eyes turned to a devilish yellow. Devil Susan cackled with demonic laughter.

Wendy offers Gabi advice about Stefan

Wendy offers Gabi advice about Stefan

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

by Mike

Eric awoke with a groan while Sloan was reading Marlena's obituary at the Petersen apartment. "Some of the stuff in here is...pretty wild -- I think that the Spectator needs some better fact-checkers --" Sloan tried to argue. "I'm sure it's all true -- the paper's owned by our family's friend," Eric revealed. "But it says something in here about your mom being a serial killer -- I mean, that is a libel suit in itself --" Sloan maintained, prompting Eric to initiate a round of sex as a distraction.

Gabi paced around the kitchen of the Hernandez house while wrapping up a phone conversation with Will. "If you need me to pick up Ari, just let me know," Gabi offered before ending the call -- just as someone knocked on the front door.

Gabi was annoyed to see that the visitor was Wendy. "I just wanted to come by and apologize again --" Wendy, who was holding a bouquet of lilies, began. "Anything else?" Gabi snapped before starting to slam the front door shut.

Wendy held the door open while telling Gabi that keeping Li's secret had been "agonizing" and that it was "such a huge relief" to know that the truth had finally surfaced. "What if it hadn't?" Gabi wondered. "I don't know," Wendy admitted.

Gabi gave Wendy a shake of the head and a scoff of disbelief. "I just wanted Li to be happy. And you made him happier than anyone has in his entire life. And I couldn't take that away -- he's my big brother, and I love him," Wendy explained. "Fine -- I accept your apology," Gabi decided after some thought. "Really?" Wendy sputtered. "Want me to change my mind?" Gabi teased before taking the flowers and conceding that they were a nice touch. "I thought they could be a peace offering," Wendy reasoned. "I would have preferred a designer handbag...but I do love lilies," Gabi confessed before stepping aside so Wendy could enter the house.

Gabi retrieved a vase while fretting to Wendy that Stefan had been willing to look into ways to reverse the brainwashing at first but had since decided against that course of action. Gabi admitted to being at least partially responsible for Stefan's change of heart then started to tell Wendy the whole story. "For the first time after Stefan came back to life, he was actually nice to me -- sympathetic, almost caring!" Gabi raved during the tale. "Except he also told me that his feelings for that cow Chloe Lane are also real," Gabi continued. "And when he found out what I did -- that I would even turn to Marlena --" Gabi tried to conclude. "He was angry?" Wendy guessed.

Gabi sighed then informed Wendy that "repulsed" would be a better word to use as a descriptor for Stefan's feelings on the matter. "It's like Stefan doesn't know me at all -- he thinks I'm this completely cruel, selfish person!" Gabi summarized. "You can't let what he said upset you," Wendy advised. "He only said it because, well, he hates me because of the brainwashing...but if he just got deprogrammed, he'd still love me...but if he still hates me, he's never gonna get, I'm stuck!" Gabi grumbled. "It's too bad that you can't make him do it," Wendy mused. "Get a court order?" Gabi translated. "I don't know -- maybe not," Wendy backpedaled.

Wendy conceded that Gabi was no longer married to Stefan and would therefore have trouble convincing a judge to intervene. Wendy suggested that Gabi might have more luck staging an actual intervention for Stefan. "Make it all about him -- like, how doing this could give him back control of his thoughts, his feelings, his life --" Wendy explained. "Yeah, but even if Stefan gave consent...well, I'd still be stuck, because Marlena's gone, Rolf's in the wind, and we have nobody else to fix the damage, so --" Gabi argued. "I never expected Gabi Hernandez to give up," Wendy countered. "I don't have a choice," Gabi reasoned with a sigh while Wendy was exiting the house.

Li received a phone call from Rolf while alone at the Salem Inn. "You need more Petri dishes?" Li sputtered before sighing then agreeing to cater to Rolf's every need as long as their ongoing association remained a secret.

Someone knocked on the hotel room door just then, prompting Li to say a quick goodbye to Rolf. "I was just on my way to the office --" Li began with a hint of confusion after seeing that the visitor was E.J. "Oh? Then I've saved you a trip!" E.J. responded before firing Li. "Let me be clear -- I'm going to remain in my position as your number two, with your enthusiastic support...unless, of course, you want Stefan to find out about --" Li argued. "He already knows," E.J. countered.

Li was stunned to learn that E.J. had confessed and that Stefan had forgiven the betrayal. Li soon recovered and reminded E.J. that a Shin, not a DiMera, was the company's chairman of the board. E.J. laughed off Li's threat and stressed that the name of the company was DiMera Enterprises. "As CEO, I have every right to make this decision -- which I'm sure I'll have broad support in making...and I can always call on my voting bloc if I have to. Bottom line is, whether you end up in prison may be an open question, but whether you have a job is not. Good luck in all your future endeavors. Oh, and...Li, let this be a lesson to you -- you don't cross a DiMera and get away with it," E.J. added before leaving.

Allie gave Chanel the silent treatment while they were both eating breakfast at the Horton apartment. "We need to talk," Chanel eventually argued. "Fine -- talk," Allie tiredly countered.

Chanel maintained that Allie had misinterpreted what had happened with Johnny the previous night. "I was comforting him, that's all --" Chanel reiterated. "I know that line -- I used that line on Tripp when you and I had sex behind his back," Allie noted.

Allie demanded respect and honesty, prompting Chanel to admit that what had started as an attempt to comfort Johnny had nearly ended with a kiss. "It just happened in the heat of the moment --" Chanel tried to explain. "What does that even mean?" Allie sputtered. "It doesn't mean anything! Okay, Allie? I am in love with you. I chose you. The whole reason I went to the hospital in the first place was to be there for you," Chanel insisted. " almost kiss somebody -- that means that there's attraction there," Allie protested. "You want to talk about chemistry? Well, what about you and Alex?" Chanel responded. "You're not gonna turn this back around on me!" Allie objected.

Chanel pointed out that Johnny and Allie weren't the only ones who were dealing with traumatic events at that time. "Maybe I need some comforting, too!" Chanel argued, drawing a scoff from Allie. "I lost both of my grandmothers right before walking in on my twin brother about to shove his tongue down my girlfriend's throat!" Allie countered before storming off to another room, unable to pretend that Chanel's legal issues were on the same level.

Johnny headed over to the Brady-Johnson townhouse in search of Tripp. "Sorry I just dropped in like this -- I hope I didn't interrupt breakfast," Johnny began when Tripp opened the townhouse door. "No -- my dad just went out to talk to the priest about Kayla's service, and Steph and Joey just went with him," Tripp responded before stepping aside so Johnny could enter the townhouse. "I just wanted to come and say that I'm sorry," Johnny explained. "That means a lot," Tripp admitted.

Tripp conceded that Johnny had every right to be upset with Ava. "I love her, but I'm also very aware that she's done some truly terrible things. She's sick...and I kick myself every day for not being here, for not knowing how bad it was, and for not getting her the help that she needs sooner," Tripp stressed before assuring Johnny that Ava had been sent to Bayview and had no hope of being released anytime soon. "I'm sorry -- between that and losing Kayla, you're having a pretty rough time, too," Johnny acknowledged. "We're good," Tripp informed Johnny, who breathed a sigh of relief then rushed off.

Tripp received a visit from Wendy later that day. "I just came by to see how you're doing after last night," Wendy explained before starting to make a fuss about Tripp's black eye. "Don't worry about it -- it looks worse than it is," Tripp insisted before telling Wendy about what had happened earlier. "I'm just glad that Johnny apologized. I've kind of been on an apology tour myself this morning," Wendy admitted at the end of Tripp's tale before providing more details.

Wendy eventually changed the subject, wondering if Tripp had any news to share about Ava. "I just spoke to her doctors, and...they asked me to stay away -- they think seeing me might somehow trigger her," Tripp revealed with a sigh. "I just feel so helpless, you know? I can't go see my mom...and I could have gone with my dad and my siblings to talk to the priest about Kayla's service, but that also didn't really feel right," Tripp continued. "Over the past few years, she was like a mother to me, but at a time like this, it just...I don't know, feels inappropriate to group myself in with Steph and Joey," Tripp concluded with a shrug.

Wendy assured Tripp that it was okay to feel lost during such times. "With grief and illness, there's no road map," Wendy stressed. "How do you find your way out?" Tripp wondered. "Stay calm, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and'll end up exactly where you belong," Wendy advised while locking eyes with Tripp.

Johnny headed over to the Horton apartment in search of Wendy but found only Chanel there.

Stefan raised a mug of coffee to Stefano's portrait while alone in the living room of the DiMera mansion. "While you vehemently disapprove of one DiMera going after another, I think you'll agree that in this instance, this particular DiMera deserves to pay," Stefan declared before realizing that Nicole was standing in the foyer. "Which one were you referring to?" Nicole wondered. "Kristen, of course," Stefan answered.

Nicole understood Stefan's desire to punish Kristen for the brainwashing scheme but was quick to argue that it would be safer and easier to simply wait for law enforcement officials to punish the more serious crimes of murder and attempted murder. "You haven't heard? It's been all over the news!" Stefan sputtered. "I turned my alerts off -- what are you saying?" Nicole responded.

Stefan reached for a nearby tablet computer and handed it to Nicole while clarifying that the attempted murder charge was no longer part of the equation because Marlena had died the previous night. "Her obit was picked up by every paper across the globe -- I mean, initially, I thought Marlena was just a small-town shrink --" Stefan mused. "Hardly!" Nicole protested. "Yeah, so I learned," Stefan conceded.

Stefan summarized that Marlena had actually been a world-renowned psychiatrist who had impacted countless lives, prompting Nicole to mutter something about children. "Are you thinking about Eric?" Stefan wondered, drawing a scoff of indignation from Nicole. "I'm thinking about all of Marlena's children!" Nicole insisted, prompting Stefan to shrug then change the subject.

Stefan informed Nicole that E.J. was in the process of firing Li. "The least he could do, considering he knew Li brainwashed me, and he didn't say a word to me for months," Stefan explained. "Oh, my God -- I had no idea --" Nicole claimed. "Nice try," Stefan responded before declaring that Nicole's reaction to E.J.'s betrayal had been just as unconvincing as the earlier attempt to deny being concerned about only Eric.

Nicole forced a smile and patted Stefan's cheeks then rushed out of the mansion while claiming to be late for work. Nicole tracked down Eric at the Brady Pub and offered condolences. Eric thanked Nicole then started to walk away after an awkward silence. "Would it be okay if I gave you a hug?" Nicole wondered. "Of course," Eric hesitantly answered. "Are you sure?" Nicole countered, drawing a nod from Eric.

Sloan approached during Eric and Nicole's embrace and apologized for the interruption. "You just left your phone in my bed," Sloan whispered to Eric while eyeing Nicole.

E.J. entered the DiMera mansion and joined Stefan in the living room then revealed what had happened earlier. Stefan suggested a round of celebratory mimosas, and E.J. rushed upstairs to get started on the paperwork for DiMera Enterprises' change of leadership while the drinks were being prepared. Stefan spiked one of the cocktails with something while waiting for E.J. to return. "After a few doses of this, you're gonna start acting pretty strangely -- in fact, your judgment's gonna be so impaired that the DiMera board will have no choice but to remove you," Stefan muttered -- and Gabi, who had sneaked into the mansion through the terrace doors during the speech, attacked with a metal phoenix statue just then.

Stefan's revenge scheme goes awry after Gabi interferes

Stefan's revenge scheme goes awry after Gabi interferes

Thursday, January 26, 2023

by Mike

Alex was lifting weights in the study of the Kiriakis mansion when Allie passed by the room's open set of doors. Allie ogled Alex's naked, sweaty torso as the workout continued. Alex eventually noticed Allie and set aside the dumbbells. "What, you don't have a gym?" Allie teased. "Sadly, we do not. Victor thinks exercise is a waste of time," Alex grumbled. "I came to drop Henry off to see his Uncle Will...but I'm actually really glad that I ran into you," Allie declared before apologizing to Alex for what had happened the previous night. "With me, you are never going to have to apologize for offering up a threesome -- that is my solemn vow," Alex assured Allie while donning a shirt.

Allie rewarded the joke with a sarcastic laugh then acknowledged that dragging Alex into the situation had been an unfair move. "Don't worry about it, seriously -- but keep me on the list for future invitations," Alex responded, drawing a more sincere laugh from Allie, who soon began venting about everything that had happened since their previous conversation. "And I'm upset about my grandma, too, but you don't see me making out with the person standing right in front of me!" Allie concluded, prompting Alex to release a groan of frustration as that person. "I have seen you and Chanel together -- more than most people, probably more than anybody ever --" Alex noted, making Allie laugh yet again.

Alex forged ahead, assuring Allie that everything was going to be okay. "You are beautiful, you are smart, you are funny, and you are way hotter than your brother," Alex stressed. "Probably the hottest girl I've ever been with -- and I've been with a lot of girls," Alex continued. "She loves you -- she adores you -- and that's why she chose to be with you," Alex concluded. "That actually makes me feel a lot better," Allie admitted, referring mainly to the part about Alex having never been with a hotter girl. "Very good -- so, why don't you go home and make up with your girlfriend," Alex responded, drawing a nod of determination from Allie, who rushed off after expressing appreciation for the pep talk.

Chanel tried to chase off Johnny after revealing that Wendy wasn't at the Horton apartment at that time. "If you want me to go, I'll go, okay? But I can see that you're upset about something, and we're friends...right? We're good friends! So, if you want to talk, we can talk -- about whatever is bothering you," Johnny offered before guessing that the issue was that Chanel was still on the outs with Allie. "Last night, when I got home, Alex was here with Allie, and she wanted to have another threesome --" Chanel began to explain. "Another?" Johnny sputtered. "But the only reason she said that was because she wanted to get back at me," Chanel concluded.

Johnny started to rush off in search of Allie, determined to claim sole responsibility for what had happened and therefore settle the matter, but Chanel refused to take the out. "I didn't stop it -- and if I'm being totally honest with that moment, I didn't want to," Chanel explained. "So, then, what are we gonna do about this lingering attraction?" Johnny wondered. "Well, normally, I would just ghost you...but, seeing as I'm in love with your twin sister, I don't really see that happening," Chanel conceded. "And, really, I'd prefer not to be ghosted, regardless of how complicated this may be," Johnny responded, drawing a laugh from Chanel, who summarized that they would therefore just need to be more careful around each other in the future.

Johnny hoped that Chanel would be able to work things out with Allie. "I don't want to come between the two of you again -- and besides, I think this thing with Wendy could be really good," Johnny stressed. "I'm happy for you," Chanel declared.

Chanel and Johnny ended their conversation with a hug -- and Allie entered the apartment just in time to witness the embrace.

Sloan continued antagonizing Nicole with comments about Eric's misplaced cell phone while they were all standing outside the Brady Pub. "I'm not surprised you left it at my place. We made quite the mess, didn't we? I found it lost in a tangle of clothes and sheets on my bed," Sloan explained to Eric with a wink before flashing Nicole a smirk then starting to saunter off.

Nicole stopped Sloan after realizing that Eric wasn't going to say anything about what had just happened. "Instead of handing Eric his phone discreetly, you decided to broadcast it to not only me but to every Salemite within a five-mile radius that you are a pathetic slut?" Nicole spat at Sloan on Eric's behalf. "I'm 'pathetic'? For enjoying and not feeling ashamed about my sex life? Meanwhile, you're out here throwing around very hurtful, antiquated slurs against women -- real progressive!" Sloan countered before giving Nicole a sarcastic round of applause, ignoring Eric's halfhearted attempt to intervene.

Sloan wondered if the people of Salem had a designated town crier who could help Nicole spread the word about a sinner in their midst. "You know what? I don't care who you sleep with -- or how many whos there are. Just have some class -- keep it to yourself," Nicole advised. "You care very much about who I sleep with," Sloan countered. "Oh, sweetheart, you don't know anything about me --" Nicole insisted. "But, as previously established before, I do happen to know Eric -- rather intimately -- and I know that he doesn't want you, so I think it's best for all parties involved if you stop being so desperate --" Sloan responded.

Nicole silenced Sloan with a slap and was rewarded in kind, prompting Eric to finally make a more serious effort to put a stop to the fight. "Eric, I know you're grieving, and maybe that's what's affecting your judgment, but there is no excuse for the horrible person that you've become! And if you ever break whatever spell you're under, I have no doubt that you will regret laying eyes...or any other body part...on her -- she's a loathsome, awful bitch!" Nicole declared before again offering condolences then storming off without waiting for a response from Eric or Sloan, who both seemed unfazed and were soon eating breakfast together.

Belle ended an emotional phone conversation about Marlena's funeral arrangements then entered the town square and ran into Paulina. "I just spoke to my sister, Tammy, earlier -- your mom's old college roommate -- and she's devastated, like all of us," Paulina revealed before offering Belle condolences then starting to rush off to a meeting with a lawyer.

Belle was surprised to learn that Paulina was having legal troubles again. "Sloan Petersen -- that sadistic little witch -- has slapped me with a civil suit," Paulina grumbled. "Why didn't you come to me?" Belle wondered. "After everything you've been going through?" Paulina sputtered. "I appreciate that...but work actually helps me deal with all of it -- it gets my mind off things," Belle declared.

Paulina offered to treat Belle to breakfast at the Brady Pub, where Sloan had just admitted to feeling somewhat jealous of Nicole and Eric's relationship and was trying to determine whether there was still a chance that it could be rekindled at some point. Paulina and Belle approached while Eric was dodging Sloan's question. Eric was stunned to learn that Belle had just agreed to help Paulina deal with Sloan's lawsuit. "You're out ambulance-chasing?" Eric sputtered. "Where is there an ambulance? This is an attack on good people and a frivolous lawsuit with absolutely no merit whatsoever!" Belle argued. "Sloan is the injured party here!" Eric countered.

Belle and Paulina exchanged looks of disbelief as Eric continued defending Sloan. "Having lost a mother too soon, I can relate -- and so should you!" Eric snapped at Belle. "It has done irreparable harm. To Sloan! Not the other way around!" Eric continued. "Chanel took her mother away, and Paulina covered it up -- that's end of story!" Eric concluded.

Paulina resisted the urge to lash out at Eric, not wanting to disrespect one of Marlena's sons during such a difficult time. Belle gave Eric a glare then headed off to Julie's Place with Paulina. "I don't want to be the person that comes between you and your sister --" Sloan fretted once the coast was clear. "It's nothing that I can't handle -- and besides, I like having you around," Eric responded.

Gabi peeked inside the foyer of the DiMera mansion to make sure that the coast was clear then apologized while dragging Stefan's motionless body toward the false panel in the living room that led to the secret tunnels. "Trust me -- someday soon, you're gonna thank me," Gabi insisted -- just as E.J. called out to Stefan from the foyer. "Just what the hell do you think you're doing in here?" E.J. snapped after entering the living room seconds later -- and Gabi, who had managed to drag Stefan outside during that brief window of time, feigned innocence while moving away from the terrace doors.

E.J. interrupted to guess that Gabi had broken into the mansion to force Stefan into yet another conversation about reversing the brainwashing. "I don't think I broke anything --" Gabi tried to protest. "You're transparent," E.J. countered. "Okay, fine, you caught me -- that's exactly why I'm here," Gabi admitted. "I guarantee you, Stefan will never submit to deprogramming," E.J. declared before chasing Gabi out of the mansion through the front door. "The things we do for love," Gabi grumbled while reentering the mansion through the terrace doors then continuing to drag Stefan's motionless body into the secret tunnels.

E.J. headed upstairs in search of Stefan then returned to the living room and found Nicole there. Nicole started venting about what had just happened, prompting E.J. to grab the mimosas Stefan had prepared earlier. "He seems to have disappeared," E.J. explained while handing Nicole one of the mimosas, unable to detect that Stefan had spiked it with something. "I can hold my liquor," Nicole assured E.J. while preparing another drink a few minutes later. "Perhaps that's overdoing it a little bit --" E.J. objected when Nicole tried to prepare a third drink -- and, as if on cue, the glass fell to the floor just then, and some of the remains ended up near a vial Stefan had dropped during Gabi's attack.

E.J. stopped Nicole from cleaning up the mess, pointing out that Harold was being paid to handle such tasks. Nicole soon started fantasizing about getting into another fight with Sloan, prompting E.J. to joke that impulse control was overrated. Nicole leaned in to seize a kiss from E.J. as a way of agreeing with the comment but nearly collapsed in the process. E.J. led Nicole upstairs to get some rest. "I usually hold my liquor with the best of them -- I just don't know what's wrong with me!" Nicole grumbled. "There is nothing wrong with you, Nicole -- you are a smart, dynamic, and very beautiful woman, and Eric Brady is a fool who never should have let you go," E.J. countered.

Nicole thanked E.J. for the kind words. "You know what? To hell with Eric -- Sloan can have him! I don't need him anymore -- not when I have you!" Nicole declared before kissing E.J.

Gabi tied Stefan to a chair in one of the rooms in the secret tunnels. Stefan soon regained consciousness and demanded to know what Gabi was trying to accomplish. "Whether you like it or not, we're gonna fix that thick skull of yours -- and then we're gonna see where your heart lies," Gabi explained. "See, this is exactly why I abandoned any possibility, however slim, of ever getting back with you -- your psychotic drive to take what you want, your incessant need to get your way --" Stefan snapped. "That's what you loved about me!" Gabi countered. "How is this gonna work? Marlena is dead, and Rolf has disappeared -- your husband, Li, saw to that --" Stefan argued.

Gabi silenced Stefan with a strip of duct tape then produced a cell phone. "Yes, we don't know where Rolf is -- but, as you just said, we do know somebody who does," Gabi teased before phoning Li and requesting a meeting.

Gabi seduces Li

Gabi seduces Li

Friday, January 27, 2023

At the Johnson townhouse, Tripp and Wendy played video games. Tripp thanked Wendy for the company. "I was happy to be here," Wendy said. "You sure? I saw you checking your phone," Tripp said. With a grin, Wendy admitted that she had hoped Johnny would call.

While Wendy was in the bathroom, Roman stopped by with food. "I'll make sure Dad eats," Tripp promised. Tripp explained that Steve and Joey were out making arrangements for Kayla's funeral. Wendy returned to the living room.

"I'm so sorry to hear about your wife and your sister," Wendy said. Roman thanked Wendy. With a chuckle, Wendy told Roman that she had met Kayla once in Hong Kong. "She was a total badass," Wendy said. Roman smiled. Roman looked at Tripp, and he asked about Tripp's black eye. Tripp assured Roman that everything was fine.

After Roman left, Wendy told Tripp that it had been nice that he had not ratted out Johnny. "[Johnny] apologized, so we're cool," Tripp said. Wendy asked Tripp if he intended to stay in Salem, and Tripp admitted that he was not sure. "If you ever need to talk or crush someone at 2K, feel free to hit me up," Wendy said.

Chanel and Johnny were hugging when Allie returned home. "Are you kidding me right now?" Allie complained. "This is not what you think," Johnny said. "So, my brother and my girlfriend weren't just about to cheat on me?" Allie said. "No!" Chanel yelped. Johnny stressed that Allie had walked in on a friendly hug.

"Obviously, there is something going on," Allie said. Johnny explained that he was there to see Wendy. "And since she wasn't here, you decided to throw yourself at Chanel?" Allie asked. "We were just talking," Chanel stressed. Chanel argued that she would not cheat on Allie.

"You wouldn't? Because you admitted to me last night that you and Johnny almost kissed, so how far would you have gone today?" Allie shouted. "Stop it," Johnny said. Allie argued that if she had not interrupted Johnny and Chanel, they would have had sex on the couch.

"Would you stop overreacting? Right before you just walked in here, I was telling Chanel that I'm happy you two were together," Johnny said. "And I was telling Johnny I was happy he found Wendy," Chanel added. Johnny explained that Allie had witnessed two friends wishing each other well. Allie told Johnny that she could not get past the fact that he and Chanel had almost kissed.

"It was a dumb, impulsive moment, and it will never happen again," Chanel said. "Why would I believe that?" Allie yelled. "Because it's the truth!" Johnny said. Johnny noted that Allie's jealousy made her sound like Sami. "You take that back right now," Allie growled. "Why would I? You are acting exactly like her. You're jumping to conclusions. You're throwing a tantrum. You're making it all about you," Johnny said. Allie countered that Johnny's behavior reminded her of E.J.

"And just like your father, you don't care about the relationships you ruin as long as you get what you want," Allie argued. Allie and Johnny took a step toward one another. "You don't get to criticize my father when yours is in prison for kidnapping Mom!" Johnny yelled. "You really think my dad has committed more crimes than yours?" Allie countered. Chanel stepped between the twins, and she told Johnny to leave.

"Will you tell Wendy I stopped by?" Johnny said. Chanel agreed as she opened the front door. "And I'll make sure to tell her that when she wasn't here, you hooked up with my girlfriend instead," Allie said. "What?" Wendy said as she stepped into the apartment. Johnny stressed that he had not hooked up with Chanel and that Allie had misread the situation.

"You don't need to explain yourself to me. You can do whatever you want," Wendy said. Wendy walked out. Annoyed, Johnny turned to Allie. "You're right. You're nothing like Mom. Thanks a lot, sis," Johnny said sarcastically. After Johnny left in pursuit of Wendy, Allie grabbed her coat to leave.

"I thought you said you came home to work things out with me?" Chanel asked. "Yeah, and then I saw you in my brother's arms," Allie countered. Chanel argued that the hug had been innocent. "You knew that I was really upset about the two of you almost kissing last night. Why would you think it's okay to have him over and give him a hug?" Allie shouted. Chanel reiterated that she and Johnny were just friends.

"You have nothing to worry about," Chanel said. "That's what Alex said," Allie muttered. "You were upset with me hanging out with Johnny, while at the same time, you were being consoled by Alex Kiriakis? One of the biggest players in town," Chanel argued. Allie stressed that she had just talked with Alex. "Yeah, like Johnny and I were just talking," Chanel said. Chanel called Allie a hypocrite.

"I trust you, Horton. So why the hell can't you trust me? I mean, I'm not the one who's cheated before," Chanel said. "That was really unfair," Allie said. Chanel apologized. With a sigh, Allie admitted that she should not have accused Chanel of cheating. Allie and Chanel agreed to give one another space. Chanel packed a bag to stay at her mother's place. "Maybe you should take the next few days off from work, too, [to be with your family]," Chanel suggested. Allie agreed.

Johnny caught up with Wendy in the park. "I told you, you don't need to explain anything," Wendy said. Johnny reiterated that he had not hooked up with Chanel. "[Allie] wanted to mess things up with you to hurt me," Johnny said. "So, there's nothing going on with you and Chanel?" Wendy asked. Johnny admitted that he had almost kissed Chanel.

"No wonder why your sister is mad at you," Wendy said. Johnny explained that he had been upset about Marlena's death, and Chanel had comforted him. "I was the one who instigated it," Johnny confessed. Johnny explained that Chanel had once been his wife. "I needed to feel close to someone," Johnny said. Wendy asked Johnny if he still had feelings for Chanel, and he said no.

"If I'm being honest with myself, there's probably something a little unresolved between us, but that doesn't matter," Johnny said. Johnny stressed that Chanel was committed to Allie. "And I really like you," Johnny said. "You do?" Wendy said. With a nod yes, Johnny asked Wendy if she would go on a date with him. Johnny and Wendy agreed to give each other some time before they went on a date together.

At the Brady Pub, Sloan furiously cut up her breakfast. "Why do I let Chanel's mom get to me every time?" Sloan grumbled. Sloan muttered that she had lost her appetite after her fights with Nicole and Paulina. "I'm really sorry," Eric said. With a shrug, Sloan said that she hoped Nicole understood that Eric had moved on. "And hopefully, she realizes that it's time for her to do the same," Sloan added.

As Sloan continued to pick at her food, Eric offered to get her a bowl of clam chowder instead. "For breakfast?" Sloan asked. "Consider it an early lunch. It will warm your soul," Eric said. Sloan reluctantly accepted the offer. After Sloan took a tiny bite of her clam chowder, she forced a smile.

"Seriously, you've never had clam chowder? It's good, right?" Eric asked. Sloan forced down a swallow. "It's substantial," Sloan said. Confused, Eric asked Sloan if she meant that she did not like the chowder. With a shrug, Sloan confessed, "Warm milk and clams, not really my thing." Sloan dramatically let a spoonful drop into the bowl with a plop. Eric shook his head in disbelief.

"I completely misjudged your character. I don't think we can be friends after this," Eric joked. "I didn't realize you took your chowder so seriously," Sloan said. Eric mocked indignation. Eric told Sloan not to let his father know that she hated it.

"Yeah, you certainly wouldn't want him to hear that," Roman said as he approached the table. Eric introduced Sloan, and she offered her condolences to Roman. Sloan clarified that she hated all clam chowder. "I hope you don't hold it against me," Sloan said. "Of course not. What I do hold against you is the way you've gone after Paulina Price and her daughter," Roman countered. Roman explained that Paulina was married to his best friend. "There is nothing more important to me than family," Roman stressed.

"I feel the same way, which is why I won't stop until Paulina and Chanel have both paid for their crimes," Sloan said. Eric said he understood that Roman's loyalty was with Abe's family but that the situation was complicated. "I'm not saying it isn't," Roman agreed. Eric noted that Chanel had pushed Sloan's mother off a building.

"From what I understand, that was self-defense," Roman said. Sloan argued that Chanel and Paulina had lied. "Scotland Yard didn't think so," Roman countered. Sloan said she believed her civil suit in the US would vindicate her and her parents. Roman encouraged Sloan to drop her vendetta and move on with her life.

"Sloan has every right to pursue the case," Eric said. "The hell she does! All she's doing is causing more pain. Haven't we all had enough of that?" Roman said. With a nod, Sloan announced she would leave. Eric asked Sloan to stay, but her phone rang. Sloan told Eric that she needed to talk to her client and that he should take the time to talk to his father.

While Sloan was outside, Eric asked Roman to give Sloan a chance. "You two getting serious?" Roman asked. "No, but I like her," Eric admitted. Roman asked about Nicole. Eric said his relationship with Nicole was over. "Are you sure this time?" Roman asked. Eric stressed that there was nothing left between him and Nicole. When Roman questioned Eric's dating choice, Eric changed the subject to funeral arrangements. Roman explained that everything had been handled.

When Sloan returned, Roman gave Sloan a salad, and she happily dug in. "I'm glad you're finally satisfied," Eric said. With a grin, Sloan said, "If you'd like to satisfy me, maybe you could come back to my place tonight."

In Nicole's room at the DiMera mansion, E.J. and Nicole kissed passionately until E.J. pulled away. "What are you doing?" E.J. asked. "Make love to me," Nicole whispered. Nicole kissed E.J. again. After a moment, E.J. jumped away from Nicole.

"I don't think this is a good idea," E.J. stammered. Nicole asked why. "For one thing, you're still upset about Eric," E.J. noted. "I don't care about Eric. And obviously, he doesn't care about me," Nicole said. Nicole grabbed E.J., kissed him, and shoved him back onto the bed. Nicole climbed on top of E.J., but he pushed Nicole away.

"What is the problem? On New Year's, you were all about us getting together," Nicole said. "And you put the brakes on, remember? You said you wanted to stop making impulsive decisions" E.J. countered. Nicole argued that she had waited a month.

"Now I am ready, and it looks like you are, too," Nicole said as she unbuttoned E.J.'s pants. E.J. squirmed away. "Don't you want me?" Nicole asked. E.J. gently kissed Nicole. "Of course, I do," E.J. said. E.J. explained that he did not think Nicole was sober enough to make an informed decision. Nicole pointed out that she had only had two drinks. As Nicole spun around to show that she was fine, she covered her mouth.

"I'm going to be sick!" Nicole said. Nicole raced into the bathroom. When Nicole exited the bathroom, she admitted that she was embarrassed that she had hit on E.J. "I'm flattered that you wanted to be with me. And trust me, it was hard to turn you down," E.J. said. "Then why did you?" Nicole asked. E.J. reiterated that Nicole had been too drunk to consent to sex.

"This doesn't make any sense. I mean, I only had a drink and a half," Nicole said. E.J. reminded Nicole that she had not eaten breakfast. With a laugh, Nicole joked that restaurants would not serve her bottomless mimosas because of her well-known tolerance for alcohol. After a moment, Nicole wondered aloud if there had been an issue with the Champagne.

"Maybe, but I had some, and I'm fine," E.J. said. As Nicole curled up on the bed, E.J. retrieved tea and toast from the kitchen for her. Nicole thanked E.J. "I want you to know that not everything I said and did was because of the alcohol," Nicole said. Nicole admitted that she was tired of pining for her ex.

"[Eric] is not the same person I used to love. And I'm ready to move on. And if you're willing, I'd like to move on with you," Nicole said. E.J. smiled nervously. "Are we talking about a relationship, or just a good old-fashioned roll in the hay?" E.J. asked. Nicole admitted she did not know. "I'm game for either," E.J. said. E.J. asked Nicole on a date, and she accepted. After Nicole fell asleep, E.J. put a blanket on her, and he caressed her face.

In the DiMera tunnels, Gabi called Li and asked to meet. "I thought you couldn't stand to be in the same room with me?" Li said. "Well, I just had a little run-in with Stefan, and it got ugly," Gabi said. Gabi agreed to meet with Li in his hotel room to talk. After the call ended, Gabi whispered, "Don't worry, Stefan. I'm going to get you deprogrammed, whether you like it or not," Gabi said.

When Gabi arrived at Li's hotel room, Li apologized for his sweaty state. "I was at the gym, working off my frustration over getting fired," Li explained. "Guess that's not surprising, but I'm sorry," Gabi said. Li asked about Stefan. Gabi told Li that she had talked to Stefan about deprogramming. "You don't give up, do you?" Li said. "No. It's not in my nature," Gabi said. Gabi explained that Stefan had called her a terrible person.

"I hate that he's doing that to you," Li said. Curious, Li asked Gabi why she wanted to talk. "I'm here to say that you're right. When it comes to Stefan, I'm wasting my time. The person that I should be with is you," Gabi said. Confused, Li reminded Gabi that she had dumped ice on him when they had last met. Gabi explained that she had been upset.

"Can you blame me after everything you did?" Gabi said. "I suppose not, but Gabi, that doesn't explain the sudden 180," Li noted. With a sigh, Gabi explained that she had thought about what Li had said. "You and I are the same. We both go to drastic measures for what we want. And that Stefan would never love me the way that you do," Gabi said. "You didn't want to hear it," Li said. Gabi said that after she had thought about it, she could not deny that Li had been right.

"What are you saying?" Li asked. "I'm saying I need to give up on Stefan and really give our marriage a try," Gabi said. Gabi kissed Li. After a moment, Li sighed with contentment. "I missed you so much," Li whispered. "I missed you, too," Gabi said. Li asked Gabi if she was serious about making their marriage work. Gabi pulled out her wedding rings, and she put them on her finger. Gabi told Li that she did not take her vows lightly.

"So, you're giving up on Stefan?" Li asked. "He gave up on me a long time ago. I just couldn't see it," Gabi said. Li asked if he was a consolation prize. With a shake of her head, she noted that she had fallen in love with Li before Stefan had returned from the dead. Gabi admitted that she had had difficulty accepting that her Stefan was gone for good. "I believe that we can get back to where we used to be," Gabi said. Li asked what they should do next. Gabi caressed Li's chest.

"We never did consummate our marriage," Gabi whispered. Li stammered, "Now?" Gabi told Li that when they had made love in the past, she had felt a deep connection to him. Li nodded vigorously in agreement. "And if we could get to being close like that again, it could go toward building our relationship. Don't you agree?" Gabi asked. When Li stared in disbelief, Gabi asked about his hesitation.

"I just want to make sure that this is what you really want," Li said. "I want to make this a real marriage. I want to commit," Gabi said. Li said he was ready. With a coy smile, Gabi asked Li to take a shower before they jumped into bed. Li eagerly agreed. "In the meantime, I'll get undressed," Gabi purred. "You have no idea how happy you've made me," Li whispered. Li kissed Gabi then he raced into the bathroom. Gabi wiped her mouth with disgust.

Gabi searched the room until she located Li's burner phone, and she called the number with the most calls. Dr. Rolf answered the phone. "I need your help, and I'm not taking no for an answer," Gabi said. Gabi advised Rolf to accept her offer so that the DiMeras would welcome him back into the fold. Rolf agreed to return to Salem. As Gabi started to leave, Li exited the bathroom. "Where are you going?" Li asked.

Recaps for the week of January 30, 2023 (Following Week)


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