Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of February 6, 2023 on DAYS

John, Roman, and Steve plotted to murder Orpheus. Nick Fallon tricked Marlena, Kayla, and Kate into selling their souls. Sloan stopped Rolf from giving a statement against Li and Kristen. Stefan drugged E.J.'s tea. Chloe moved out. Joey helped Tripp woo Wendy. Wendy dumped Johnny. Chad told his kids he was dating Stephanie. Johnny and Chanel almost kissed again. Allie slept with Alex and decided to lie to Chanel. Rex told Sarah about Philip. Sarah slept with Rex and told Xander about it. Leo convinced Gwen and Xander to blackmail Jack.
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Nick Fallon tricked Marlena, Kayla, and Kate into selling their souls. Allie slept with Alex. Leo convinced Gwen and Xander to blackmail Jack.
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Marlena, Kate, and Kayla face a devil of a dilemma

Marlena, Kate, and Kayla face a devil of a dilemma

Monday, February 6, 2023

by Mike

Chad joined Doug and Julie in the living room of the Horton house and realized that something was wrong. "We were just going through these old photo albums, and the memories got to be a little overwhelming," Julie explained to Chad with a sigh while using Doug's handkerchief to wipe away some tears. "People that we've lost -- people that Doug and I never expected to outlive," Julie continued, and Doug seized the opportunity to brag to Chad about being almost 100 years old. "All taken before their time -- even the ones whose lives were spinning out of my poor, tortured cousin Nick," Julie concluded before taking the photo album from Doug and passing it to Chad.

Chad handed the photo album back to Doug with a hint of disgust after seeing the image that was on display, but Julie seemed oblivious and just continued fretting about having never gotten over Nick's death. Julie eventually conceded, after some gentle prodding from Doug and Chad, that it would only be fair for Nick to be suffering in the afterlife because people were supposed to reap what they sowed. "Marlena, Kate, and Kayla's killer will suffer the same fate," Chad hoped.

Julie took the photo album from Doug again and flipped to an image of Abigail that did a much better job of holding Chad's attention. "I thought that we would have enough memories to fill ten of these books," Chad whispered. "We are hoping and praying that...somehow,'re able to find love again," Julie stressed. "Jack and I actually just talked about that --" Chad began to reveal. "He told me," Julie admitted. "It was helpful -- I mean, it's kind of new, but...I've started seeing Stephanie Johnson," Chad concluded. "Good news!" Julie and Doug declared in unison before rushing off to the kitchen to prepare dinner, leaving Chad alone to ponder if Abigail would feel the same way.

Stephanie entered Titan and headed up to the CEO's office in search of Sonny but found Alex there instead. "He's spending the day with Will and Arianna. I'm just borrowing his desk and handling any Titan business that's pressing," Alex explained, prompting Stephanie to hand over a document. "It's just the PR strategy for our new publishing subsidiary," Stephanie clarified. "Beating a deadline by a full week?" Alex sputtered. "I'm just trying to stay busy," Stephanie answered.

Stephanie started to rush back out of the office but stopped at the last second and admitted to having read Alex's card. "I meant every word -- I have never regretted anything more in my life than I regret turning your phone off that night, Steph, and I am truly, truly sorry," Alex declared. "I believe you, and I appreciate everything you said," Stephanie responded. "But not enough to give me another chance," Alex guessed. "I just don't think we can go back to what we had before -- too much has happened," Stephanie argued. "Is that because of my turning your phone off...or because you slept with Chad?" Alex countered before filling Stephanie in on how that development had been uncovered.

Stephanie made it clear to Alex that what had happened with Chad had not been planned. Alex somewhat sarcastically marveled that Chad was extremely lucky to have had a change of heart about dating at the exact moment that Stephanie's previous relationship had crashed and burned. "Because of what I did. And I accept that," Alex quickly backpedaled. "I understand you didn't do it on purpose -- it was just a case of really bad timing," Stephanie acknowledged. "And if we were just talking about you and me -- our relationship -- then maybe I could try to get past it," Stephanie continued. "The thing there's something between Chad and me, and I want to see where it goes," Stephanie concluded.

Alex nodded in response and thanked Stephanie for the brutal honesty then promised to accept defeat and back off. "And as far as everything with Titan...Sonny's still the CEO -- he can still handle whatever you need," Alex stressed. "I think that's best, at least for a little while," Stephanie agreed before starting to say something else then realizing that it might not be the appropriate time to talk to Alex about the possibility that they might eventually be able to think of each other as friends. "We had a good time together," Alex noted, realizing where Stephanie's statement had originally been heading. "I just don't want you to think that I hate you, because I don't," Stephanie declared before saying goodbye to Alex.

Orpheus found Lucas in one of Statesville's lounges and offered another bottle of whiskey. "Now that your killjoy of a brother isn't around to deprive you, you'll actually get to enjoy it this time," Orpheus stressed before observing that Lucas had the look of a person who could really use a stiff drink. "Can't imagine why I'd be in a bad mood," Lucas countered before starting to lash out at Orpheus. "Perhaps you should reserve some of your anger for Rafe Hernandez and his merry band of bozos. Come on, Lucas -- if the Salem P.D. had done its job, you'd know exactly who signed the death warrant for your mother," Orpheus argued before elaborating that the unidentified orchid thief was solely responsible for Lucas' loss.

Roman, Steve, and John continued plotting Orpheus' demise while inside the Brady Pub and soon pinpointed their first roadblock. "Locking him up may not have kept us safe from him, but it sure as hell keeps him safe from us," John summarized.

Steve quickly volunteered to commit a crime that would result in a trip to Statesville, but John and Roman each balked at that idea. "That's not exactly vindication," Roman protested. "Your family needs you. Hasn't that son of a bitch taken enough away from us already?" John added. "Let's worry about the consequences after we accomplish our mission -- right now, I just want that human stain removed from the land of the living!" Steve countered.

Roman rushed off after telling Steve and John that it would be better to simply enter Statesville as a visitor and that they already had someone inside the prison who would be happy to help them out. John waited until the coast was clear then started fretting about Roman's rapid shift from being totally against the plot to being its most active participant, but Steve didn't think there was any reason to be concerned.

Roman eventually arrived at Statesville and found Lucas in one of the lounges. "I didn't think you would ever want to see me or talk to me again," Lucas admitted after greeting Roman. "I am still pretty angry about what you did to my daughter...but no matter what you've done, you're still Kate's son, and I know she would hate the thought of you spending all your days in here alone," Roman responded, prompting Lucas to express appreciation for the support then reveal what had happened earlier. "I am not gonna give him the satisfaction," Lucas stressed while handing Roman the bottle of whiskey for disposal. "Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea if you did," Roman countered, stunning Lucas.

Kate and Kayla stood frozen in shock as Marlena confronted the curveball that had just been thrown into their afterlife journey. "Nick Fallon?" Marlena sputtered. "The one and only!" Nick bragged.

Nick hoped that there would be no hard feelings about the earlier charades. "I was afraid that if I had revealed my true form to you, none of you would have given me the time of day," Nick reasoned with a shameless shrug.

Nick vaguely clarified, when asked, that the rules of time and space were different in the afterlife and allowed for shenanigans like simultaneously appearing in three different places as three different illusions. Nick proudly admitted, while picking up the documents each of the three women had signed earlier, that presenting the paperwork as boring bureaucratic nonsense had been somewhat misleading. Nick mockingly reminded the trio that it was never wise to sign anything without first reading the fine print. "Each of you has just sold me probably the most valuable commodity you possess -- namely, your souls," Nick matter-of-factly concluded.

Kate assumed that meant that Nick, Jordan, Adrienne, and Susan were all just disguises the devil liked to use. "I'm flattered, really, but that's a different guy...right, Marlena?" Nick responded. "You just work for him," Marlena guessed. "You know, he's not a bad boss, surprisingly...just as long as you do his bidding like a good minion and don't ask too many questions. He misses you, by the way," Nick stressed. "I'm touched," Marlena sarcastically countered. "Anyway...the big guy is very busy -- as you can imagine, being the devil -- so he dispatched me in order to sign over your souls...and, frankly, I thought it was gonna be a lot more difficult, honestly!" Nick cheerfully declared.

Kate snatched the contracts and started searching them for loopholes but soon realized that they were unreadable. "What do you expect? He doesn't write in English -- I mean, he was around before English was invented," Nick explained. "But trust me, it's valid -- your souls belong to Satan," Nick continued. "Do you know how many lawyers the devil has working for him? Basically, all of them!" Nick concluded.

Kate wondered what the devil was giving up in return, prompting Marlena and Kayla to take turns elaborating that every fictional work about a deal with the devil depicted it as the trade of a person's soul for something like wealth or power. "I should have watched more movies when I was alive, because they sound amazing!" Nick teased before conceding the point then handing each woman a two-dollar bill. "First issued by the U.S. Mint in 1862. Initially thought to be very, very, very valuable, though so rarely circulated that they ended up becoming more of an obsolete curiosity -- much like your souls," Nick summarized with a smirk, earning a smack from Kate.

Kayla argued that the contracts had been signed under false pretenses and were therefore not binding, prompting Nick to reiterate that the afterlife ran on its own set of rules. "Here, I have final word," Nick bragged. "You told us yourself that you only work for the devil," Kate countered before demanding to speak to Nick's boss, and Marlena and Kayla each supported the escalation of the contract dispute. "I've spent years battling him for my very soul -- my very existence -- so I don't think it's too much to ask to have him come and iron out this contract," Marlena stressed before linking arms with Kate and Kayla to signify a united front. "You're all just delaying the inevitable, but...fine, I will relay your request," Nick agreed before disappearing.

Rolf agrees to turn on Li and Kristen

Rolf agrees to turn on Li and Kristen

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. noticed Stefan was staring out the window. "I was expecting to see you at the office. Today was supposed to be your first day back as co-CEO," E.J. said. "I've actually been having second thoughts," Stefan said. Stefan argued that neither he nor E.J. should be CEO. Confused, E.J. asked Stefan what he meant.

"I've been doing a lot of thinking. About Gabi, and how badly we treated her," Stefan said. E.J. scoffed. Stefan reminded E.J. that they had teamed up to oust Gabi from a job that she had been doing successfully. "I think it was a mistake," Stefan said. In disbelief, E.J. asked Stefan if he wanted to reinstall Gabi as CEO. "[Gabi's] a strong leader, smart, creative, incredibly driven," Stefan said. "What the hell is wrong with you?" E.J. asked. Stefan admitted that he no longer hated Gabi. Stefan told E.J. about the previous night's events.

E.J. apologized for not having noticed that Gabi had kidnapped Stefan. E.J. explained that he and Nicole had been drinking the cocktails that Stefan had prepared to celebrate their alliance. Stefan thought about when he had drugged E.J.'s drink. E.J. explained that Nicole usually had a high tolerance for alcohol, but the drinks had hit her hard.

"They still are hitting me hard, and I have no idea why," Nicole said as she walked into the living room. Nicole told E.J. that she had been unable to shake her hangover. "I'm so sorry," Stefan said. "Why are you sorry?" Nicole asked. After Stefan left to retrieve tea and toast from the kitchen, Nicole apologized to E.J.

"I still feel so embarrassed about throwing myself at you yesterday," Nicole said. "There's no reason to be," E.J. assured Nicole. Nicole told E.J. that she would understand if he did not want to date. E.J. chuckled, and he told Nicole that he looked forward to taking her out on a proper date. Nicole agreed.

"But tonight, you are not feeling very well, obviously, and I have a fire that I need to put out with Stefan," E.J. said. E.J. told Nicole about what had happened, and that Stefan was in love with Gabi again. "That definitely complicates things," Nicole said. Stefan returned, and E.J. admitted that they had been talking about Stefan's ordeal.

"Which I still can't believe I slept through," Nicole said. Stefan placed a tray with tea and toast on the table in front of Nicole. Nicole asked Stefan if he was okay. Stefan admitted he had been nervous, but he was happy with the result. "Brady and Chloe are dear friends of mine, and I think they belong together. So, I'm really glad you decided to let her go," Nicole said. "Who told you that?" Stefan asked. "[E.J.] said you were in love with Gabi again," Nicole noted. With a smirk, Stefan explained that he was in love with both Gabi and Chloe. E.J. and Nicole smiled awkwardly.

"That is quite a situation," E.J. said. "And obviously not tenable over the long term," Stefan said. Nicole went to take a bite of toast, and she announced that she felt queasy. After Nicole left for a walk, E.J. returned to their previous conversation. E.J. warned Stefan that it was a bad idea to reinstall Gabi as CEO. Stefan disagreed. E.J. explained that if Gabi was installed as CEO, it would anger Chloe.

"So, in other words, keep things as they are, with you in charge?" Stefan asked. "With us in charge," E.J. corrected. E.J. argued that if they reinstalled Gabi so soon after they had ousted her from the company, it could undermine the stock and their standing with the board. "I suppose you're right," Stefan said. Stefan added that he still felt terrible about how they had treated Gabi.

"She's an outsider. And I feel very strongly that DiMera Enterprises should be run by DiMeras," E.J. said. "As long as one of them is you," Stefan countered. E.J. reminded Stefan that Stefan had promised to forgive him if Stefan was restored as co-CEO. "Now that [the deprogramming] has been done, I wish it had happened months ago," Stefan admitted. E.J. apologized again for having kept Li's secret.

"I am very grateful that you have forgiven me. I hope that you were sincere when you said you had," E.J. said. "Yes, of course," Stefan said. Stefan noted that if he had not forgiven E.J., he would not have agreed to run the company with him. "Thank you for being reasonable and understanding," E.J. said. "Not exactly the DiMera way now, is it?" Stefan said with a laugh. Stefan discreetly dosed one of the cups of tea, and he handed the drugged tea to E.J.

At the police station, Gabi demanded to speak to Rafe. "Your brother asked not to be interrupted [during his interrogation of Rolf]," Jada stressed. Gabi argued that it was urgent that Rolf complete the deprogramming. "Or [Stefan] could have the procedure in a week or two, and it'll all be just fine," Jada countered. "I can't take that risk," Gabi said. Gabi pleaded with Jada to help her restore the love of her life to full health.

In the police interrogation room, Rolf asked Rafe how long he would he held. "I have important work to do," Rolf said. "[You can leave as] soon as you flip on your partners in crime," Rafe said. Rafe recounted Rolf's treatment of Stefan, and he asked about the toxin that Orpheus had used.

"I did everything in my power to save those women!" Rolf argued. "You created the damn pathogen!" Rafe yelled. Rolf explained that he had not administered the toxin to anyone, and he had grown the orchid when he had learned that the women had been infected. "You're no hero," Rafe said. Rafe argued that Rolf's transfer of the orchid to Kristen and his flight from the US were evidence of guilt. Rafe advised Rolf to talk if he wanted to avoid life in prison.

"Who exactly do you expect me to implicate?" Rolf asked. "All of your accomplices that committed crimes. Obviously, there's Kristen. And then there is the man that broke my sister's heart, Li Shin," Rafe noted. "I see. This is personal for you," Rolf said. Rafe recounted Li, Kristen, and Rolf's actions with Stefan. When Rolf pleaded ignorance, Rafe reminded Rolf that Rolf had confessed everything to Gabi.

"Gabi's word is hearsay. It won't hold up in court. So, I need you to corroborate her story," Rafe said. Rolf refused. "I know nothing about any of this," Rolf said. Rafe warned Rolf that there would be no pardons for him if Rolf returned to prison.

"Are you offering me a deal, Commissioner?" Rolf asked. "That will be up to the D.A.," Rafe said. Rafe argued that if Rolf provided enough evidence against Li and his accomplices, Trask would likely cut Rolf a deal. Rafe slid a pad of paper and a pen across the table to Rolf. Gabi burst into the room.

"You've got to let Rolf go," Gabi said. "I am in the middle of an interrogation!" Rafe yelled. "I tried to stop her," Jada said. Rafe ordered Gabi to leave, but she refused. Rafe noted that Rolf could not leave custody until he provided a statement. "I already told you. I cannot complete the deprogramming process. My equipment is destroyed," Rolf argued. Gabi said she would pay any amount to get Rolf the equipment he needed to finish his work.

"You need to get Chloe Lane out of my husband's head," Gabi pleaded. Gabi ordered Rolf to write out his statement for Rafe. As Rolf stared at the paper, he grumbled that Gabi was not helping him think. Jada escorted Gabi out of the room. After Rolf listed a few notes, Rafe encouraged him to write more. "You want to avoid prison, you give me everyone you've got," Rafe growled. With a grimace, Rolf continued to write.

Outside the interrogation room, Gabi complained that Rolf hated her. "I'm sure Rafe will wrap things up with Rolf soon," Jada said. Jada encouraged Gabi to go home and wait. "And you'll call me as soon as it's done? As soon as they walk out of that door?" Gabi asked. Jada promised.

Li sat at the café in the square and yelled at someone on the phone. "You had one job: to keep Wilhelm Rolf from coming to Salem," Li growled. Li argued that he was in danger of losing everything. "You can go to hell for screwing this up!" Li yelled. As Li ended his call, Sloan walked over. "Sounds to me like you could use a lawyer," Sloan said. "I already have a lawyer," Li said. When Sloan introduced herself, Li admitted he knew her reputation. Sloan recounted what she had read about Li in the tabloids.

"The police have no evidence against me," Li said. "I gather from your phone call that could all change very soon. If Rolf talks, which he has a great incentive to do, the D.A. will have more than enough to charge you," Sloan said. Li asked Sloan why she wanted to represent him. "Why else? Money," Sloan said. Sloan promised to get all the charges dismissed for the right price.

"I don't suppose you handle divorces," Li said. "You just got married. You already want to call it quits?" Sloan asked. With a shake of his head, Li said he had no choice. Sloan advised Li to think outside the box. "I admire your confidence, Ms. Petersen, but this all seems a little too good to be true," Li said. Li argued that Sloan could not deliver on her promises. Sloan sat down, and Li talked about Gabi's ruse to steal his phone. "So, we prioritize. We deal with Rolf first, and then we fight the divorce," Sloan suggested. "I can't force Gabi to stay married to me," Li said. Sloan laughed.

"Sure, you can. You just need the right attorney," Sloan said. "It won't be much of a marriage if she hates me and I'm in prison," Li grumbled. Sloan told Li that she had a plan to keep him out of prison. "You're hired," Li said. Sloan told Li to leave the details to her, and she walked away.

After Gabi left the precinct, she saw Li at the café in the square. "Rolf is back in Salem, and Stefan's feelings for me have returned," Gabi said. "Really? Then what are you doing here? Why aren't you with him?" Li asked. Gabi told Li about the complication. "[So, Stefan is] still not sure you're the woman he wants," Li said with a chuckle. Gabi argued that it was a minor setback.

"I should have vented to someone who hasn't made my life miserable. You know what? Rolf, when he finishes this procedure, he's going to make Stefan want me and only me," Gabi said. "I wouldn't be so sure of that," Li said. Gabi told Li that she would never want to be with him again. "Rolf is ratting you out to the cops as we speak," Gabi added. "I wouldn't be so sure about that, either," Li said.

At the police station, Rolf started to sign his statement. Sloan walked into the interrogation room. "Don't sign that statement!" Sloan said. Sloan introduced herself to Rafe as Rolf's attorney. Rolf laughed.

In the Brady Pub, Eric sipped on a beer. Brady walked in, and he asked Eric about the drinking. "You care to join me?" Eric asked. "I'm sober. You know that," Brady said. Brady asked about Eric's sobriety. Annoyed, Eric got up and started to walk away. Brady stopped Eric, and he reminded Eric that he had stopped Eric from shooting Kristen.

"I was trying to get Kristen to tell us where the orchid was," Eric said. "No judgments. I get it," Brady countered. Brady noted that everyone was grieving and needed support. "There's no shame in that," Brady said. "Is this your way of trying to get me to go to a meeting?" Eric asked. Eric insisted he was fine, but Brady did not believe him. Brady told Eric that he missed Marlena, too, even though she had not been his biological mother.

"Hey! She was your mom, too!" Eric said. Brady nodded in agreement. "[Marlena] was always just so good at helping us through the hard stuff," Brady said. Brady told Eric that the best way to move on with their lives was to lean on one another. After a moment, Eric hugged Brady. As Eric sipped his beer, he asked Brady about Rachel.

"Rachel is mad, confused, angry," Brady said. Brady explained that he had been unable to convince Rachel that Chloe was not to blame for Kristen's departure. "What about the women in your life?" Brady asked. Eric noted that he and Jada had been avoiding one another. "Nicole and I? Working on it," Eric said. Brady asked if Eric's drinking was about Nicole.

"I know that you still have feelings for Nicole, and you probably always will," Brady said. "What do you mean?" Eric asked defensively. Eric called the accusation ridiculous. "Twenty-five years or something, and every time you guys split up, you find a way to get back to one another," Brady said. "Well, not this time," Eric muttered. Eric stressed that both he and Nicole wanted to move on. When Eric mentioned Sloan, Brady groaned.

"It's exactly what I want right now," Eric said. "All right, something shallow, something meaningless, without any messy feelings attached. You know, like the feelings you have for Nicole," Brady said. Eric glared at his brother. "Just admit it. The only reason you're fooling around with this Sloan is because you're trying to prove to everybody, mostly yourself, that you're still not pining away for the love of your life," Brady said. Eric reiterated that he had moved on. "If you don't want to be honest with me, that's fine. But at least be honest with yourself," Brady counseled.

Anna walked into the pub, and she gave her condolences to Eric. "I can't believe [Marlena] is gone. Carrie is just heartbroken. And poor Roman. His wife, his ex-wife, and his sister. He must be devastated. I came to pay my condolences," Anna said. Eric noted that Roman was not there. Anna told Eric and Brady that she was there for them if they needed anything.

"[Brady], you not only lost your stepmother, but all this mess with Chloe and Stefan. It just seems to get crazier, too," Anna said. Confused, Brady asked Anna what she meant. Anna told Brady that Chloe had visited the DiMera mansion to tell Stefan that they should not date anymore. "Oh?" Brady said. Anna explained that while Chloe had waited to speak to Stefan, Vivian had called from the prison to tell them that Stefan was tied up in the tunnels.

"Chloe and I ran down there and found that the old bat was telling the truth for once in her life. Gabi had Stefan tied up, and he was rigged to some machine that Dr. Rolf was using to deprogram him," Anna said. "I thought Rolf was MIA?" Eric said. Anna shrugged and noted that Gabi had found Rolf.

"Anyway, Stefan's feelings for Gabi have been successfully rekindled," Anna said. "Hold on. Are you telling me that that means Stefan and Chloe are over?" Brady asked. "Not exactly," Anna said. Anna explained that Rolf had been unable to finish deprogramming Stefan before the machines had broken. "And then the cops arrived and arrested [Rolf]," Anna said. Brady asked if Chloe was okay, and Anna admitted that she was not sure.

"Maybe [Chloe] didn't tell you because tomorrow is Marlena's funeral. But Brady, I do think she'd appreciate some support," Anna said. Brady agreed. When Chloe did not answer her phone, Brady left to track her down. Anna glanced across the room and saw an urn on the bar. "Is that Kate?" Anna asked. "Dad likes having her here. Talking to her gives him comfort," Eric said. Anna said she understood.

At the Salem Inn, Brady was knocking on Chloe's door when Anna appeared behind him. "What are you doing here?" Brady asked. "I thought you could use a mediator," Anna explained. Brady noted that he did not think Chloe was home. Anna went to the front desk and retrieved a key to the room. Brady was reluctant to enter Chloe's room, but Anna noted that Chloe would be pleased to see the love of her life waiting for her.

"I told her I'd give her space," Brady said. "She doesn't want space, Brady. She wants you," Anna said. Reluctantly, Brady entered the room with Anna, and he noticed that Chloe's stuff was gone.

In the park, Nicole sat on a bench and took a sip of water. As Nicole rose to her feet, she got woozy. "Maybe it wasn't a good idea to stand up," Nicole said. Nicole started to fall, and Eric rushed over and caught her in his arms. Nicole stressed that she was fine. "It's 5:00 p.m. and you're still hungover?" Eric asked. "It was quite a night," Nicole said.

As Eric steadied Nicole, he asked if she was okay to get home. "Well, I'm not getting in a car with you, because I can smell beer on your breath," Nicole said. Nicole realized she had left her phone at home. "Maybe I left it in E.J.'s bed," Nicole said in a mocking voice. "I'm happy to help you," Eric said. "I can take care of myself!" Nicole shouted, then she walked off.

Joey plays matchmaker for Tripp and Wendy

Joey plays matchmaker for Tripp and Wendy

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

by Mike

Stephanie headed over to the Horton house after receiving a text message from Chad. "I didn't mean to alarm you -- and I promise you that the next time I text you, it will be to set up a proper date," Chad began to explain after greeting Stephanie with a kiss. "I just wanted to tell you in person that I ran into Alex -- and he knows that I spent the night with you," Chad concluded, prompting Stephanie to reveal that the warning had been delivered a few hours too late.

Chad was relieved to learn that Alex's card hadn't caused Stephanie to reconsider moving on from that relationship. "The kids are sleeping?" Stephanie assumed while leaning in to kiss Chad again -- and, as if on cue, Thomas and Charlotte burst into the living room just then. "You didn't tell us Stephanie was coming over! What are we doing?" Thomas challenged Chad after seizing a hug from Stephanie then stepping aside so Charlotte could do the same. "Well, you guys are going back to bed," Chad tried to respond. "But we want to hang out with Stephanie!" Thomas objected, and Charlotte nodded in agreement, prompting Stephanie to bail Chad out with an offer to read the kids a bedtime story.

Thomas and Charlotte teamed up to beg for even more time once Stephanie was done with the story, and Chad gave in after some thought. Thomas and Charlotte eventually got around to trying to find out if Chad and Stephanie were dating. "Would it be okay with you guys if we were?" Chad wondered. "Are you two gonna get married?" Thomas countered. "That's probably too big of a step for us to talk about right now," Chad stammered.

Thomas and Charlotte quietly conferred with each other on the matter then took turns hugging Stephanie again as a show of approval, drawing a sigh of relief from Chad, who later made it clear to the kids that no one would ever replace their mother.

Paulina entered the Price condominium while Abe was putting the finishing touches on a candlelit dinner for two. "Since we have the place all to ourselves," Abe explained after greeting Paulina with a kiss.

Chanel emerged from a bedroom just then and wondered when Abe and Paulina would have dinner ready. "We didn't realize you were here," Paulina admitted. "I was napping," Chanel responded.

Chanel started venting to Paulina and Abe about what had happened with Allie earlier. "Darling, sometimes you have to be humble and go the extra mile --" Paulina interjected before much of the story could be told, assuming that Chanel simply hadn't tried hard enough to fix things. "Yeah, I'll 'go the extra mile' -- and I'll just try to forget all about Allie sleeping with Alex Kiriakis!" Chanel snapped, silencing Paulina.

Chanel shared the rest of the story then shot down Abe and Paulina's joint effort to argue that there could be an innocent explanation. Chanel started to rush off after realizing that Paulina and Abe had been planning to enjoy a candlelit dinner for two. Abe and Paulina took turns trying to stop Chanel but were both ignored. "Mars must be in retrograde," Paulina fretted to Abe once the coast was clear. "I've heard of Mercury being in retrograde, but...Mars?" Abe sputtered. "Much worse," Paulina explained. "Relationships go on the rocks!" Paulina continued. "And if there were already-existing problems -- you know, like jealousy and misunderstandings -- well, then, they tend to just multiply like crazy!" Paulina concluded with a shiver.

Allie headed over to Titan to return Alex's boxer briefs. "Know who else found them?" Allie began to vent to Alex.

Allie grumbled that Chanel had automatically "assumed the worst" after spotting Alex's underwear on the living room couch. "'The worst'? Really? Well, I'll have you know that my Rotten Tomatoes score is very high -- and if I remember correctly, you and Chanel were among those who gave me rave reviews!" Alex objected. "Yeah, well, it's about to tank if you keep making little jokes about my love life!" Allie countered.

Alex apologized for the attempt to lighten the mood then offered to help Allie make things right with Chanel. "If I had spent a few more minutes hunting for my underwear this morning instead of going commando, you and Chanel would be back at your place right now, having magical make-up sex --" Alex fretted. "Has anyone ever told you that you have a one-track mind?" Allie interjected. "Well, it's just kind of hard not to dwell on the possibilities, you know? I mean, not everyone would be like us and not end up in bed together. We deserve, like, medals of honor for having that kind of restraint -- seriously, Allie, seriously -- but instead...all we've got is an angry ex-girlfriend and a couple of world-class hangovers!" Alex reasoned.

Allie seized the opportunity to note that Alex still looked quite ill. "The only hangover I'm nursing right now is a rejection one," Alex clarified. "But it's better if I don't talk about it, to be honest -- if I gotta relive those feelings again, I'm gonna need something to wash it down with," Alex continued. "Unless, of course, you have any interest in washing down bitter, angry, heartbroken feelings together," Alex concluded. "Let's go," Allie responded.

Joey entered the Brady Pub just as Tripp ended a phone conversation with a patient. "I was just on my way to Dad's, but I saw you and thought, 'Why not have a beer with my bro first,'" Joey explained while claiming the extra chair at Tripp's table.

Joey wondered if Tripp had been working all day. "No -- I went to see my mom earlier...and other than that, I've been pretty much just hanging out with Wendy Shin," Tripp clarified, intriguing Joey.

Tripp insisted that Joey had jumped to the wrong conclusion. "She's already sort of seeing someone, anyway -- Johnny DiMera," Tripp stressed. "Sort of?" Joey repeated.

Tripp filled Joey in on Johnny's recent drama with Wendy and Chanel. "So, Johnny DiMera is trying to play both sides of the fence," Joey translated. "That's not at all what I said --" Tripp tried to object. "Sure, mackin' on your ex is a well-known remedy for stress and grief...but in my book, that forfeits his right to go after Wendy," Joey argued. "Oh? Well, I'm sure she'll be thrilled to know that you made that decision for her!" Tripp countered. "All I'm saying is that Wendy has options -- and, yeah, Johnny' he's not a hotshot doctor like my brother!" Joey maintained before encouraging Tripp to make a move. "If she was interested, I think I might know," Tripp protested. "Wouldn't be the first time that you've been clueless," Joey noted.

Johnny headed over to the Horton apartment in search of Wendy. "I know it's last minute, but the revival theater is playing a great movie tonight -- want to come with me?" Johnny suggested. "We talked about waiting just yesterday --" Wendy tried to object. "I know we did, but I couldn't help myself when I saw the movie marquee -- look, this is such a classic thriller, and it's playing for one night only!" Johnny reasoned.

Johnny called out for backup after guessing that Wendy was reluctant to agree to the date because of what had happened with Chanel a few days earlier. "Chanel's not here -- she moved out," Wendy interjected, stunning Johnny. "Why is this getting so out of control? I mean, Chanel and I didn't even do anything!" Johnny grumbled. "You two have history --" Wendy argued. "That implies past tense!" Johnny countered.

Johnny offered to treat the trip to the theater as nothing more than a night out with a friend, and Wendy accepted the compromise after some thought -- just as Joey phoned to report that Tripp could use some company. "Can't it wait?" Johnny protested after Wendy ended the call and explained the situation. "I don't think so -- I mean, it must be pretty urgent for Joey to have called me. You know everything that's going on with Tripp's mom --" Wendy answered. "Yeah, sure, I do -- she killed my grandmother. Maybe I could use some comfort tonight, too --" Johnny grumbled. "Except...our plan wasn't for me to give you 'comfort' --" Wendy began to clarify, prompting Johnny to concede the point and apologize then trudge off to the town square.

Johnny ran into Chanel during the trip and seized the opportunity to ask about the situation with Allie. "She turned your threesome into a twosome?" Johnny sputtered after Chanel finished complaining about the failed attempt to reconcile with Allie.

Johnny offered to treat Chanel to a movie as a distraction. "Are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, for one thing, what about Wendy?" Chanel protested. "Tripp's really upset, what with his mom being in the mental hospital, and he needs Wendy's shoulder to cry on...or whatever," Johnny responded. "What movie is it?" Chanel wondered. "Evil Dead II --" Johnny hesitantly admitted. "God, no -- I watched The Exorcist with you last time, and that was enough for me, okay? I had nightmares for weeks! I'm not doing that again!" Chanel objected. "I can't believe it -- will nobody go see this movie with me?" Johnny grumbled.

Wendy entered the Brady Pub while Joey was finding ways to delay Tripp's plan to head over to the Brady-Johnson townhouse to check on Steve. "What a nice surprise!" Joey raved before hugging Wendy and whispering a request to keep their earlier conversation hidden from Tripp. "We were just talking about you, actually -- it's quite the coincidence that we'd run into you right afterward," Tripp declared while eyeing Joey suspiciously, prompting Wendy to innocently complain about being restless.

Joey told Wendy a few stories about Tripp's greatest achievements as a doctor then made up an excuse to rush off. Tripp, who had tried to interrupt the tales, insisted on walking Joey out and seized the opportunity to demand the truth about Wendy's supposedly random visit to the pub. "I was trying to do you a favor -- I know you want to hang with her. You're welcome!" Joey responded with a shameless shrug before wishing Tripp luck with Wendy then continuing to exit the restaurant.

Joey and Stephanie ran into each other while they were both en route to the Brady-Johnson townhouse to check on Steve. "Is Tripp coming?" Stephanie asked. "Probably not for a while -- I think he's tied up...or, at least, I hope he is," Joey replied.

Tripp rejoined Wendy at the pub. "So...where were we?" Tripp wondered. "Well, you were rushing off to tell Joey something over by the door so I wouldn't hear you -- what was that all about?" Wendy answered.

Alex confided in Allie between rounds of tequila shots at Small Bar. "What a bummer!" Allie responded. "To put it mildly," Alex grumbled.

Alex gulped down yet another tequila shot, and Allie followed suit then looked around for a lemon wedge. Allie laughed after seeing that the chaser was between Alex's teeth.

Allie leaned in to take the lemon wedge from Alex -- and Chanel entered the bar with Johnny just in time to witness the exchange, which looked more like a kiss from their vantage point.

Allie and Chanel remain at odds about Johnny and Alex

Allie and Chanel remain at odds about Johnny and Alex

Thursday, February 9, 2023

by Mike

Allie bit into the exposed side of Alex's lemon wedge then froze in that position after seeing that Chanel and Johnny had just entered Small Bar together. Alex followed Allie's gaze then gestured for Johnny and Chanel to join the fun. Allie and Alex pulled away from each other and laughed as their lemon wedge fell to the floor, drawing looks of disapproval from Chanel and Johnny. "Why does it seem like every time I turn around, I find you two together?" Chanel snapped. "Like how every time I turn around, I find you with Johnny?" Allie countered. "We came to get a drink, all right? Seems like you and Alex are way ahead of us on that front -- how many have you had, by the way?" Johnny interjected, prompting Alex to begin counting shot glasses.

Allie dismissed Johnny and Chanel as "the drinking police" while Alex was reporting that there were five shot glasses on each side of the table. "Why aren't you here with Wendy instead of my girlfriend?" Allie challenged Johnny. "Wow -- I forgot how fun it is arguing with you when you're drunk," Johnny grumbled. "Why are you trying to change the subject?" Allie wondered. "I was supposed to go out with Wendy tonight, but she had to go help a friend --" Johnny began to explain. "And...what, you just called up Chanel as your fill-in date?" Allie summarized. "It's not a 'date' --" Johnny tried to respond. "It is, and I can see it now -- you guys are getting two drinks, and you're reminiscing about when you were married, and you're --" Allie imagined.

Chanel interrupted to argue that Allie was just using that history with Johnny as an excuse to spend time with Alex. "I don't need an excuse," Allie declared. "Why don't you just come home with me, and then you can sober up, and we can talk about this later, and we can set things straight --" Chanel advised. "'Straight' -- that's an interesting choice of words!" Allie mused with a laugh. "I don't want to sober up -- I'm having too much fun!" Allie continued. "And you don't get to judge me, 'cause you walked out -- and, honestly, you're really killing my buzz right now!" Allie concluded. "So sorry about that," Chanel sarcastically responded before storming off with Johnny in search of another place to hang out.

Allie ordered another round of tequila shots, eager to continue partying with Alex. "Why aren't you chasing after Chanel?" Alex wondered. "I've got nothing left to say," Allie explained.

Chanel vented to Johnny while they were passing through the park. "Your sister is so --" Chanel grumbled. "Stubborn? Irrational? Frustrating?" Johnny offered. "Keep going!" Chanel agreed. "She gets it from our mom," Johnny stressed.

Tripp and Wendy ordered a round of beers at the Brady Pub then continued discussing what had happened with Joey earlier. "Don't be mad at your brother -- he just sees how much you're hurting over what happened with your mom, and he didn't want you to be alone," Wendy explained after realizing that Tripp had figured out that Joey had interfered. "That's not why he called you," Tripp countered before telling Wendy about Joey's true motive. "He's seeing someone now, and so I guess he figured at least one of us should win --" Tripp tried to conclude. "Like I'm some video game?" Wendy protested. "Sorry -- that came out wrong," Tripp backpedaled.

Tripp summarized that the point was that Joey's justification for playing matchmaker didn't matter because Wendy was already seeing Johnny. "I'm not looking to take someone else's girl," Tripp stressed. "We were supposed to go to the movies tonight...but Joey called," Wendy revealed. "I'm not being someone else's pity date!" Tripp objected before urging Wendy to try to salvage the planned trip to the theater.

Johnny and Chanel entered the pub just then with their arms wrapped around each other then froze when they spotted Wendy and Tripp. "I didn't know this was where you were going to the movies," Wendy admitted. "I changed my plans after you bowed out," Johnny explained. "So, the minute I get pulled away to help a friend, you call Chanel as backup?" Wendy translated. "You're not the first person to accuse me of this tonight," Johnny grumbled before trying to assure Wendy that they were both just trying to cheer up a friend. "Tripp and I weren't married," Wendy reminded Johnny. "Okay, fair -- all right, it probably looks sketchy," Johnny conceded before insisting that there was no reason for Wendy to be concerned.

Tripp interrupted to make it clear that Wendy and Johnny were under no obligation to stick around, and Chanel echoed the advice. "See, look -- everything's working out --" Johnny declared. "There's still something going on between you and your ex!" Wendy countered. "We're just friends --" Johnny maintained. "That's not the way it looks to me -- it looks complicated and messy...and full of drama I don't need --" Wendy argued. "So, that's it -- you just want to break it off?" Johnny summarized. "I don't want to hurt you...but even more than that, I don't want to get hurt -- so, I'll see you around, okay?" Wendy responded before turning away from Johnny.

Johnny released a sigh of defeat then trudged back out of the pub with Chanel, and Tripp waited until the coast was clear then tried to apologize to Wendy for what had just happened. "It's Joey's fault for trying to play matchmaker --" Tripp grumbled. "No, this has nothing to do with Joey or you -- Johnny and I are just...wrong place, wrong time," Wendy insisted. "He seems a little...confused," Tripp noted, and Wendy agreed.

Chanel took Johnny to the Price condominium, not wanting to risk yet another awkward encounter at a third bar. "Did I totally screw up what you have going on with Wendy?" Chanel wondered while handing Johnny a random bottle of red wine. "Nah, just one big misunderstanding -- I'll fix it tomorrow...somehow," Johnny responded before pointing out that Chanel had chosen the same type of red wine they had consumed during their adventure in Italy. "Did you tell your mom about it?" Johnny continued, drawing a shrug from Chanel. "We're doing exactly what my sister accused us of doing right now -- you know, reminiscing about our romantic times in Italy," Johnny concluded with a groan, but Chanel kept the conversation going.

Chanel eventually tried to kiss Johnny. "As mad as I am at my sister right now, I don't want to do this to her -- and I don't think you do, either," Johnny argued. "You're right -- I have to be loyal to Allie...even if she doesn't deserve it," Chanel conceded.

Alex walked Allie to the Horton apartment after they were done at Small Bar. "Cool if I crash on the couch in the office again? I promise you, I will keep my underwear on my body this time!" Alex requested. " could crash in my bed -- underwear optional," Allie suggested. "I don't think that's a very good idea --" Alex argued. "Oh, come on -- Stephanie is sleeping with Chad, and Chanel is probably sleeping with my brother right now! And a few weeks ago, you said that I was one of the hottest women you've ever been with! Or were you lying?" Allie countered. "Not even a little bit," Alex insisted. "Prove it," Allie whispered, prompting Alex to seize a kiss and start undressing.

Sarah did a double take after catching a glimpse of Rex while passing through the halls of the Kiriakis mansion. "Why are you here?" Sarah wondered after joining Rex in the study and offering condolences. "To deliver this to Victor," Rex answered while showing Sarah a sealed envelope. "You wrote Victor a letter?" Sarah sputtered, giving Rex a look of confusion. "It's a letter from Philip," Rex began to explain before sharing the whole story with Sarah.

Rex admitted to Sarah, when asked, that Brady and Chloe were both still in the dark about what Philip had done. "I haven't had a chance to tell them yet -- but I will. Until then, can you do me a favor -- can you just keep this quiet? I know it's not cool to ask you to keep secrets from your husband, but --" Rex tried to conclude. "You don't have to worry -- Xander isn't my husband anymore," Sarah revealed before providing a recap of everything that had happened.

Rex confessed to having always believed that Xander would never be worthy of Sarah's love and trust. "Although I'm not really one to judge, now, am I?" Rex backpedaled. "On the other hand, you never kidnapped anyone -- I mean, as far as I know," Sarah responded. "No -- just the cheating," Rex confirmed. "Yes, just that -- though I did forgive you," Sarah noted. "Does that mean there's a chance you might forgive Xander, as well?" Rex wondered. "The papers are filed with the court, far as I'm concerned, we're no longer married," Sarah answered. "I'm surprised Xander gave up so easily," Rex declared, prompting Sarah to grumble that Xander had also already moved on with someone else.

Rex removed a pillow from the couch and encouraged Sarah to punch it as a way of releasing pent-up anger and frustration. "Did it work?" Rex wondered after Sarah gave the pillow a serious beating. "No -- but maybe this will," Sarah answered before kissing Rex. "You're upset --" Rex tried to object after pulling away from Sarah. "Do you want to stand around talking...or do you want to take me up to my room?" Sarah countered -- and after some thought, Rex chose to go with the latter option.

Leo challenged Gwen to choose between two options from the Salem Inn's dessert menu while they were together in the room they were sharing. "Whatever you want," Gwen distractedly responded. "I want both, obviously!" Leo sheepishly admitted.

Leo complained about Gwen being preoccupied. "We are supposed to be having a fun night of sugar, gossip, and trashy TV, but you are lying there like a sad sack, waiting for your Scottish beefcake to call," Leo summarized before snatching Gwen's cell phone and tossing it aside. "Ugh, you're right -- why am I mooning over Xander when, obviously, his sun rises and sets on Sarah Horton?" Gwen conceded after some thought, prompting Leo to object that the defeatist attitude wasn't necessary. "You won!" Leo noted. "Xander choosing me in the moment is all part of the dance -- he's willing to take me into his bed, but he'll never fully be willing to take me in his heart," Gwen argued. "That is very poetic...but you don't know that," Leo protested.

Xander and Jack bumped into each other while they were each passing through the park with a cell phone in hand. Jack muttered an apology and kept walking, leading Xander to conclude that they were no longer mates. "Were we ever really 'mates'?" Jack countered. "I'd like to think we were," Xander answered. "Friendship goes both ways -- it's not just one person cleaning up another one's messes," Jack stressed.

Xander tried to respond, but Jack interrupted. "Don't give me another excuse!" Jack warned. "You knew that Gwen was still in love with you, and you took advantage of her feelings! She was trying to better herself -- trying to turn her life around -- and you just dragged her down into your muck!" Jack continued. "What you did was unforgivable!" Jack concluded. "I've done bad things before, Jack -- worse than this --" Xander protested, feeling that Jack was overreacting. "But now you know better! The man I called my friend had learned and realized the difference between right and wrong! I watched you grow a conscience! And yet...when it gets desperate, you revert to the same selfish loser you've always been!" Jack explained, hurting Xander.

Xander tried to convince Jack to at least forgive Gwen. "She made her choice -- and I made mine," Jack declared with a dismissive shrug. "That's how Victor treated me -- everything was conditional, toe the line or you're out," Xander noted. "This was never just about Gwen -- the truth is, Gwen was not and was never going to be Abigail, the golden girl," Xander continued. "Gwen got tired of trying to prove herself to you, man -- if she couldn't have a father that loves her unconditionally, why have a father at all? You know, you talk a lot about the kind of man I am -- what kind of man are you? I think I'm fine with us not being mates anymore -- I don't want to be friends with someone like you," Xander concluded before walking away.

Xander headed over to the Salem Inn to tell Gwen about what had just happened, and Leo listened with great interest. "I just wish there was something I could do --" Xander eventually fretted. "There is!" Leo excitedly insisted.

Gwen and Xander headed over to the Horton house later that day and found Jack in the living room. "My key still works -- I'm guessing you want it back," Gwen began. "I do. Is that all?" Jack snapped. "You are going to sign over ownership of the Spectator to me and your daughter," Xander demanded. "Why the hell would I do that?" Jack countered. "Because if you don't...'Daddie Dearest'...I'm going to send Jennifer to prison for running me over," Gwen explained.

Leo sent out a message to followers while alone at the Salem Inn, letting them know that the Spectator would soon have its very own no-holds-barred gossip columnist on the staff.

Allie decides not to tell Chanel that she cheated

Allie decides not to tell Chanel that she cheated

Friday, February 10, 2023

At the Kiriakis mansion, Sarah awoke in bed next to Rex. "Is there a more beautiful sight anywhere in the world than a sleeping Sarah Horton?" Rex said. Sarah laughed shyly. Rex gave Sarah a single red rose, and he wished her a happy Valentine's Day. When Rex asked Sarah if she regretted their night together, she said no. "It reminded me of what it felt like when we first fell in love," Sarah said. "But?" Rex said. Sarah reminded Rex that she was on the rebound and not ready for a relationship.

"Can you understand that?" Sarah asked. "You used me to get over Xander," Rex said. Sarah apologized profusely, but Rex smiled. "I knew all along last night was just about rebound sex for you," Rex said. Rex told Sarah that he was happy to have helped her forget about Xander for one night.

After Sarah and Rex dressed, he invited her to breakfast. "Just as friends, I promise," Rex said. Rex asked Sarah if she felt guilty, and Sarah said no because she was divorcing Xander. "I guess I hoped he'd changed," Sarah said. "I know, but people like Xander, they don't change. I mean, it may seem like they do, but in the end, he's never gonna do the right thing," Rex said.

In the square, Johnny stopped Xander as he walked toward the Salem Inn. "You murdered my grandmother," Johnny growled. "Ava Vitali killed Susan," Xander said. When Johnny argued that Xander had kidnapped Susan and Bonnie for money, he shook his head with disgust. "I hope it was worth it," Johnny said. Johnny blamed Xander for Susan's death.

"Frankly, I don't know how someone like Sarah Horton stays married to someone like you," Johnny said. "Well, she can't. Sarah is divorcing me. You happy now?" Xander said. Johnny noted that it was fantastic news, and he hoped Sarah would find a better partner. As Xander started to walk away, Johnny threatened to make Xander pay for his part in Susan's death. Xander warned Johnny to let go of his arm.

"Or what? You're gonna kidnap me, too?" Johnny said. "Susan was never supposed to get hurt," Xander stressed. "So, you admit taking her," Johnny noted. "I let her go!" Xander said. Johnny yelled that he bet Susan's last words were a prayer for Xander's soul. "Because that's the kind of woman she was," Johnny said. Johnny argued that Susan had been a kind person who had deserved a long, peaceful life.

"But that's not what she got, is it?" Johnny screamed. Johnny told Xander that Xander could blame Ava, but Xander knew that he had played a part in Susan's death. "I can't tell you how much I regret what I've done. I was sick when I heard what happened to Susan," Xander confessed. Johnny cut Xander off, and he noted that he should tell the police about Xander's confession.

"You can tell Rafe whatever you want. I'll just deny it," Xander said. Johnny argued that he would find a loophole. "For what it's worth, I am truly sorry about Susan," Xander said. With a shake of his head, Johnny argued that Xander was not capable of remorse. "You're not sorry. But you will be," Johnny said. Xander walked away.

At the Salem Inn, Leo and Gwen sat in their beds as Leo complained about the Spectator. "I can't wait for you and Xander to take over this rag and shock it back to life," Leo said. Gwen wondered aloud why Xander had not arrived for their morning strategy session. Leo told Gwen not to worry, and he handed her a box of chocolates. "What if he's changed his mind and he's gone back to Sarah?" Gwen said. Leo argued that Xander was not with Sarah, because she hated him.

"Second, he's totally into you now. I give it one month, two months tops before your reengagement announcement runs in [the newspaper]," Leo said. Gwen told Leo that Xander had made it clear that Xander was not interested in another relationship yet. "I think I scared him off a bit because I told him I loved him," Gwen admitted. "That was your first mistake," Leo said. "And that was before we slept together," Gwen added. "And that was your second mistake," Leo said. Leo urged Gwen not to give up on Xander.

"Xander and I are going to take over the newspaper. I'm hoping that all those long days and late nights are going to bring us close, you know, in every possible way. After all, it worked for my father and Jennifer," Gwen said. Leo smiled. "Romantically idolizing your dad and your stepmom while ripping away their most prized possession," Leo said.

When Xander arrived, he appeared dazed. "We're not taking the paper from Jack," Xander said. "What's happened, Xander? Why the change of heart?" Gwen asked. Xander told Gwen and Leo about his run-in with Johnny. "He says I'm incapable of feeling remorse," Xander said. "That's not true," Gwen stressed. "Isn't it? I agreed to kidnap a sweet, gentle woman for a payday, and now, here I am. Conspiring to extort the one true friend I've ever had," Xander said. Leo groaned.

"Jack Deveraux does not deserve your pity. He blackmailed control of the Spectator away from my mother. If anything, by putting me at the masthead, you're helping karma come back around," Leo argued. "Sorry, Leo. You'll have to find some other way to live out your dream of becoming the next Gossip Girl. Jack can keep his bloody paper," Xander said. After Xander walked out, Leo complained that Xander had picked the worst time to grow a conscience.

"Damn that Johnny DiMera. He's ruined everything," Leo said. "I don't think Xander's 180 was about Johnny or Susan," Gwen said. Gwen argued that Xander had realized that he did not want to get involved in a scheme with her. "That's not it," Leo disagreed. "When he was saying he was incapable of remorse, that's my influence," Gwen said. Gwen argued that Xander saw her as a temptress.

"[That I am] encouraging and enabling him to do all the things that he has worked so hard to stop doing. The things that make him hate himself the most. I bring out the worst in him. Unlike his precious Sarah," Gwen said. Leo argued that Xander would get over his guilt and go through with the plan. "All that talk about not wanting to be judged and just wanting to be accepted for who he is, I mean that's all that is. It's just talk. What Xander really wants to be is the man that Sarah Horton would be proud to be with. That's why he killed our plan," Gwen said.

As Paulina ate breakfast in her dining room, a yawning Chanel joined her. "My famous heart-shaped waffles. Happy Valentine's Day, baby," Paulina said. When Paulina noted that Chanel and Allie would work things out, Chanel admitted that she had almost cheated on Allie. Shocked, Paulina reminded Chanel that she should not drink with cute boys or girls.

"Johnny and I weren't drunk," Chanel said. Chanel told Paulina what had happened at the bar with Allie and Alex. "I'm sure that all that Allie was doing was indulging in a little alcohol-induced flirtation," Paulina said. "There you go again, making excuses for her," Chanel grumbled. Paulina advised Chanel not to give up on Allie unless she was certain that there was a reason to give up. Curious, Paulina asked what had happened with Johnny. "We almost kissed," Chanel said. Paulina groaned. "Johnny realized it would be a mistake," Chanel said. Chanel stressed that Johnny had been a good friend to her.

"I will always be here for you. But Allie is your girlfriend, and you need her support, too," Paulina said. "And I wish I could be there to support Allie, too," Chanel said. Paulina urged Chanel to move back into Allie's apartment. "If you want to fix things up with the woman you love, you can't do it by sitting around my kitchen or sitting at the bar with your ex-husband," Paulina counseled.

In Allie's apartment, a hungover Allie woke up in bed, naked. Allie remembered that she and Alex had been intimate on the couch the night before. "Maybe it was just a dream," Allie whispered. A naked Alex exited the bathroom and asked for aspirin. "Oh, God, what have I done?" Allie lamented. "Yeah, we did. More than once," Alex said. Allie groaned.

"What happened last night was, like, monumentally bad," Allie said. "Why are you freaking out right now?" Alex countered. Allie admitted that she had wanted to sleep with Alex, but she realized that she had betrayed her girlfriend. "First, I cheated on Tripp with Chanel. And now, I have cheated on Chanel with you. Do you know what this means? I'm a serial cheater," Allie said. Allie grumbled that Alex did not understand.

"I understand that there can be real feelings involved [with sex], even love," Alex admitted. "I'm sorry. I'm just furious with myself, but I'm taking it out on you," Allie said. Alex said he understood. Allie wondered aloud why she had been so upset to see Chanel with Johnny. "She wanted to fix things. She wanted to take me home, have me sleep it off, and I was just such an immature, unreasonable bitch that she ended up leaving with Johnny," Allie said. Alex shook his head. "Maybe they cheated, too," Alex suggested. Allie's eyes went wide with horror.

After Allie called to check on Henry, Alex apologized to Allie for having suggested that Chanel had cheated. Alex said he had only intended to help Allie feel less guilty. "I do know that you and Chanel have something very special. And I do care about you both. And I'd hate to think that I'd played any part in messing things up for you both," Alex said. Allie assured Alex that he had not caused the problem between her and Chanel. "I'm going to tell Chanel the truth that you and I slept together," Allie said. Alex advised Allie to lie.

"I've been in this situation before [with Tripp]," Allie said. Alex argued that it was a different situation, because the devil could not tell Chanel about their tryst. "I do not think that you are going to be taken over by the devil anytime soon, but this is Salem, and secrets have a way of getting out," Allie argued. Alex promised he would keep his mouth shut, and he advised Allie to do the same.

"Ignore the guilt that's already eating me alive? Pray that every time I look her in the eyes, she doesn't see the truth, that I slept with you behind her back? Alex, I can't do that. It's not right," Allie said. Alex warned Allie that it could ruin her relationship. Alex reminded Allie of how Chanel had reacted to Alex's underwear in the living room. "So, please just try to imagine how furious this girl would be if you tell her that we actually did sleep together," Alex said. Alex argued that it was better for everyone if Allie did not tell Chanel the truth.

In the town square, Chanel saw Johnny sitting in the café. "You okay?" Chanel asked. "Just missing my grandmothers," Johnny whispered. Chanel asked Johnny if he needed anything, and he said he was fine. "I am off to try and hash things out with Allie," Chanel announced. "Really?" Johnny said. Chanel explained that Paulina had convinced her to work things out with her girlfriend. "I really want to be with [Allie]," Chanel admitted. "I know," Johnny said. Chanel thanked Johnny for his level head the night before.

"I don't know what I would have done, but I know I wouldn't have been able to come back from that if I had cheated on Allie. And I probably would have ruined our entire relationship," Chanel said. Johnny wished Chanel good luck. When Johnny walked toward the pub, he ran into Paulina. Paulina warned Johnny to steer clear of her daughter. Johnny told Paulina that she should be more concerned about Allie's interactions with Alex. "That guy's the problem, not me," Johnny said.

At Allie's apartment, Alex asked Allie if she had decided what to do about Chanel. "I've thought about it, and I think you're right," Allie said. Alex was surprised. Allie explained that although she hated to lie to Chanel, she did not want to risk her relationship with Chanel. "I think it would be better for everyone if what happened last night stays between the two of us," Allie said.

As Alex walked toward the door to leave, Chanel knocked on it. "It's me! I can't find my keys!" Chanel shouted through the door. While Chanel looked through her purse in the hallway, a panicked Alex and Allie stared at one another inside the living room. Chanel found her keys, and Allie and Alex heard them jingle outside the door.

Xander exited the Salem Inn, and he ran into Sarah and Rex. "Look who it is. Rex the ex. I thought you were off working for Doctors Without Brains," Xander joked. Rex explained that he had returned to Salem for his family. "My mother and aunt just died," Rex noted. "Right. I'm sorry," Xander stammered. When Xander asked if Sarah had suggested breakfast to be supportive, Sarah smiled.

"Breakfast was Rex's idea. We woke up starving after we spent the night together," Sarah said. Xander frowned. "That's not funny," Xander said. "Who's laughing?" Sarah countered. After a moment, Xander noted that it was a joke to get back at him for having slept with Gwen. "This is beneath you," Xander said. "Actually, I was beneath her," Rex said. "The first time. But the second and third time," Sarah said with a shrug. "In the shower? That was incredible," Rex agreed. Furious, Xander took a step toward Rex, but Sarah stepped in front of him.

"Don't even think about it," Sarah growled. Sarah suggested that she and Rex go to the pub for breakfast. As Rex walked away with his arm around Sarah, Xander stared in disbelief. Gwen exited the hotel with Leo. Gwen noticed Xander's strange demeanor. "Is everything all right?" Gwen asked. "We have a newspaper to acquire," Xander said. Confused, Gwen asked what had changed. "Nice guys finish last," Xander said.

At the pub, Rex asked Sarah how it had felt to give Xander a taste of his own medicine. "It felt really good," Sarah said. Sarah laughed with relief.

Jack paced the Horton living room. "Blackmailed by my own daughter and my best mate," Jack muttered. Jennifer returned home. "Miss me?" Jennifer said. Jack ran into his wife's arms. Jennifer explained that she had wanted to surprise Jack for Valentine's Day. "I want you to tell me why you were so upset when I walked in," Jennifer said. Jack told Jennifer about the blackmail. Jennifer offered to make a full confession to the police in order to cancel Gwen and Xander's leverage.

"It's just a business. Let's not be rash here," Jack said. "Just a business? That paper is a part of who we are. To Xander and Gwen, it means nothing. It's just another way for them to take from our family," Jennifer countered. Jennifer refused to give in to blackmail. "You mean more!" Jack said. Jennifer argued that there was a chance she would not go to prison, because it had been an accident. Jack refused to take any risks with Jennifer's freedom.

"It's just, I'd always imagined Abigail taking over the Spectator someday," Jennifer said. Jack agreed. "As far as I'm concerned, I've only ever had one daughter, whom I've lost. I'll be damned if I lose you, too," Jack said. Jennifer went up to the attic and retrieved a newspaper with her first byline. "I remember this. A story about a horse," Jack said with a chuckle. "Given the green light by my impossible-to-please editor, Mr. Deveraux," Jennifer said. With a smile, Jack noted that they had been a good team. "Are you sure you're ready to let the paper go?" Jennifer asked.

When Xander and Gwen arrived at the Horton house, Jennifer explained that Jack had told her everything. Gwen asked Jack if he planned to turn over the paper. "Or will your wife be spending Valentine's Day in lockup?" Gwen asked.

Recaps for the week of February 13, 2023 (Following Week)


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