Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of February 20, 2023 on DAYS

Roman stopped Orpheus' murder. Orpheus announced a DiMera had stolen the orchid. Jake told Marlena, Kate, and Kayla that they were not dead. Chanel and Allie said goodbye. Eric convinced Rolf to sign his statement. Sloan dumped Eric. Li made a deal with Gabi to delay their divorce. E.J. and Nicole plotted revenge against Stefan. Brady kidnapped Stefan. Rolf continued deprogramming Stefan. Rafe arrested Li. Marlena, Kate, and Kayla returned to their bodies. John and Steve realized that Megan Hathaway was the orchid thief.
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John and Steve realized Megan Hathaway was the orchid thief. Jake told Marlena, Kate, and Kayla they were not dead. Li made a deal with Gabi. E.J. and Nicole plotted against Stefan.
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Kate, Marlena, and Kayla get closer to the truth

Kate, Marlena, and Kayla get closer to the truth

Monday, February 20, 2023

by Mike

Chanel headed over to the Horton apartment to return one of Allie's spare keys and finish moving out. Chanel greeted Allie with a hint of anger then showed a hint of pain after spotting some luggage. "The last of my things?" Chanel sputtered, taking the sight as an indication that Allie was in a hurry to complete their split. "Actually, that's my stuff -- I'm New Zealand," Allie clarified before giving Chanel more details.

Chanel was particularly stunned to learn that Allie was planning to leave Salem that very night. "It's when Will and Sonny are traveling, and I wanted to go with them -- you know, so they can help me with Henry," Allie explained before reminding Chanel that Henry, who was already with Will and Sonny at the Kiriakis mansion, had never been on a plane for any length of time.

Chanel wondered why Allie had decided to make such a drastic change. "It would be hard to see you every day at the, yeah, it is probably best that we don't work together anymore -- but, Horton, not working in the same shop and living 8,000 miles apart are two very different things!" Chanel argued. "I just assumed --" Allie tried to respond. "What, that I'd never want to see you again?" Chanel guessed.

Allie confirmed the suspicion with a nod, prompting Chanel to dismiss the concern. "You mean too much to me. And, yes, I am upset -- obviously, you hurt me -- and I know that I made the right decision about us and our relationship. But, Horton, I still love you -- I always will. But, hey, if this is what you think is best for you, then I don't want to stand in your way," Chanel declared. "I've made a mess of things here in Salem, so I think it's best if I make a go of it somewhere else," Allie maintained. "I am gonna miss the hell out of you -- you're my best friend," Chanel stressed, and Allie echoed the sentiment as they each wiped away some tears.

Chanel packed then started to say goodbye, prompting Allie to interrupt and produce a strip of images that had been printed at a photo booth in London years earlier. "Look what I found while I was packing," Allie advised before handing the photo strip to Chanel. "Some of the best days and nights of my life," Chanel raved, and Allie agreed. "You should have this," Allie offered. "They're yours," Chanel protested. "No, they're ours -- our pictures, our memories," Allie insisted before tearing the strip in half then handing one of the pieces to Chanel while hoping that they would eventually be able to get back to being as close as they had once been.

Chanel thanked Allie for the memento then started to say goodbye again. "You better send me postcards and let me know if you meet any koalas or kangaroos," Chanel begged. "That's Australia...but New Zealand has kiwis and hobbits," Allie clarified.

Allie hugged Chanel after making sure that it was still okay to do so. Chanel eventually pulled away and rushed off while fighting back fresh tears, and Allie broke down while reminiscing about their romance then also exited the apartment.

Anna continued talking to Kate's urn while alone at the Brady Pub but never received a response. "Maybe if I use you like a Magic 8 Ball?" Anna mused before picking up and shaking the urn. "Will I get everything I want for my birthday this year?" Anna wondered before tipping the urn over in the hope of seeing an answer materialize at its base. "I suppose it only works for the widower," Anna concluded with a sigh of disappointment when nothing happened.

Anna said a few more things to the urn before realizing that Paulina had entered the pub at some point. "Wasn't that just the saddest funeral? I mean, all funerals are sad, of course -- well, most are, anyway --" Anna stammered. "I think you're trying to change the subject --" Paulina interjected. "You got me," Anna muttered. "When I walked in, it sounded like you were talking to a dead woman --" Paulina continued. "Honestly, it's not the first conversation I've had with an urn," Anna admitted. "Yeah, I think I may have heard something about that. But I just heard you talking to Kate about Roman, and it sounded like...the two of you...were worried about him -- something about hoping he gets to Statesville in time," Paulina concluded.

Lucas struggled to understand why Roman had rushed over to Statesville to stop John and Steve from killing Orpheus. "This whole thing was your idea!" Lucas reminded Roman.

Roman explained to Lucas that Kate had just weighed in on the matter. "Well, technically, she didn't speak to me -- her urn did," Roman clarified. "Are you drunk?" Lucas sputtered.

Roman seized the opportunity to beg Lucas to feign intoxication again. Lucas insisted that Roman was going to have to think of another way to gain access to the infirmary because the guard wasn't going to buy the same ruse twice in one day.

Anna grumbled that Paulina had entered the pub in time to hear almost everything that had been said to Kate's urn. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop --" Paulina tried to stress. "It's okay -- it's just...Kate was worried about Lucas. She's...concerned about his sobriety in prison. So, she convinced Roman to go there and...see if there's some sort of intervention he can do to try to keep Lucas from falling off the wagon," Anna explained. "Well, I can't say that I blame her -- I don't think there will ever be a time that I do not worry about my kids or try to protect them, even from the Great Beyond," Paulina conceded with a hint of disbelief -- and Anna's cell phone started ringing just then.

Anna reached for the urn, leaving Paulina even more confused. "Your phone is in your purse," Paulina advised. "Oh, right -- silly me," Anna responded before stepping aside to answer the call.

Lucas gave Anna a quick update on Roman's mission to get into the infirmary then said goodbye and hung up. "I have very keen ears," Paulina began when Anna returned. "And what I do not get is...why would Roman try to save that piece of dirt Orpheus?" Paulina continued as Anna squirmed. "In my book, he'd be getting just what he deserves if they sent him to the afterlife, too -- where he would surely burn in hell," Paulina concluded, drawing a shrug from Anna. "Roman felt that same way...but someone got him to change his mind," Anna explained to Paulina while nodding at the urn.

Paulina showed a hint of disbelief again then said goodbye to Anna and headed off to the park -- just as Chanel began crying there. "Is this about Allie?" Paulina wondered while approaching Chanel, who nodded then seized a hug.

Anna prepared two martinis then placed one of the glasses beside Kate's urn. "No matter what happens, you did try your darnedest," Anna stressed. "I just hope that Roman got to Statesville in time to stop Steve and John from -- eh, you know, I'm not gonna say it, 'cause you never know who's listening!" Anna continued while looking around. "I guess you and I just have to keep the faith," Anna concluded before tapping the martini glasses together then also tapping one against the urn.

Steve watched the entrance to the infirmary while trying to convince John that Orpheus had nothing of value to offer and was simply stalling for time. "What if you're wrong -- what if I'm not lying? 'Cause once I'm gone, you'll never find out who's really to blame for this," Orpheus teased. "If you really want to punish the person who was ultimately responsible for the death of your wives...then I'll tell you who the orchid thief is, and you'll take it from there," Orpheus continued. "Whoever absconded with it is just as guilty as I am and just as deserving of your wrath -- more so, as I see it," Orpheus concluded.

Steve couldn't believe that John was actually considering Orpheus' offer. "Enough is enough! A guard could walk through that door any minute -- if we're gonna finish the job we came here to do and make this worm pay for what he did to our wives, we have to do it now!" Steve insisted. "We got in here once -- we can easily do it again," John countered.

Steve sighed as John began challenging Orpheus to back up the earlier claims with more specific information. Orpheus denied having played any role in the theft of the orchid then advised John and Steve that the true culprit had acted alone. "If you weren't in on stealing that orchid, how do you know who did?" John wondered. "Simple -- I did a little digging," Orpheus answered.

Orpheus conceded that it was only natural for John and Steve to want to punish everyone who had contributed to the tragedy that had occurred. "I'm incarcerated -- this is quite the punishment, trust me. On the other hand -- the other party's out there living it up, free as a bird," Orpheus stressed. "Been known to happen," John noted, but Steve still had doubts.

John gave the matter a bit more thought then decided to defer to Steve, but Roman arrived just in time to save Orpheus then explained that a message from Kate had prompted the intervention. "How is the old bird? Settling in, is she?" Orpheus wondered. "Maybe it was your guilty conscience playing tricks on you -- I mean, you were against this from the beginning," Steve challenged Roman. "I did come around," Roman pointed out after Orpheus tried to express gratitude. "This sounds almost as crazy as when you told me yourself that you saw Kayla," John whispered to Steve. "She came to me -- it wasn't a voice from an urn!" Steve argued. "Totally different. John, nothing from Doc?" Orpheus teased.

John and Steve took turns telling Roman about Orpheus' earlier claim. "Only problem is...we just lost our leverage," Steve grumbled before removing Orpheus' bindings then starting to leave the infirmary with John and Roman. "Gentlemen, before you go, allow me to offer you an olive branch," Orpheus called out, stopping the trio. "You spared my life -- so, to prove to you that I'm not the monster you think I am --" Orpheus began to elaborate. "You're gonna tell us who stole the orchid?" Steve assumed. "I said I'm not a monster -- I didn't say I was a saint," Orpheus responded. "But if you'll stick around a moment, I'm willing to offer you a clue," Orpheus continued.

Lucas waited in one of the lounges for Roman, who eventually returned with John and Steve. "Seems fitting, doesn't it?" John mused once Lucas was caught up on what had just happened. "But which one?" Lucas wondered. "That's still a mystery," Steve clarified. "Same old Orpheus -- wouldn't give us everything, but at least we know now that a DiMera stole the orchid," Roman summarized.

Kate looked at Marlena and Kayla in disbelief while Nick was prodding the three of them for confirmation that they were ready to begin the next phase of their afterlife journey. "Did you expect us to answer?" Kate sputtered. "I suppose it was a little on the rhetorical side," Nick conceded before trying to rush the women toward a closed door while explaining that eternal hellfire couldn't be asked to wait on them forever. "But, you see, it's right there in the title -- 'eternal' --" Kate argued. "Very clever -- but at least I'm not the fool who turned down the get-out-of-hell-free card," Nick responded before ordering the women to stop wasting time.

Kate smashed a nearby vase then picked up three of its broken pieces while making it clear to Marlena and Kayla that Nick was outnumbered. "Do you really think you can stop me with those pathetic bits of crockery?" Nick countered as the makeshift weapons disappeared. "If you won't come of your own volition, I'll just have to give you a little push," Nick continued as the door leading to the next phase of the afterlife journey flew open. "Thank you for choosing us as your escort to the netherworld. We do hope you've enjoyed your voyage through the hereafter. We'd really appreciate if you gave us a positive review and rated us five pentagrams -- and, please, mention me by name," Nick concluded as the women were forced toward the door.

Someone suddenly ordered Nick to stop. "What the hell are you doing here, DiMera?" Nick snapped. "Stefan?" Kayla assumed. "Stefan's alive -- this is the other one," Kate clarified.

Nick reminded Jake that angels weren't supposed to interfere. "This two-bit gangster -- the man who cheated on me with Gabi -- you mean he made it into heaven?" Kate sputtered, prompting Jake to explain that the good had outweighed the bad. "I cannot let you take these ladies to hell under false pretenses," Jake warned Nick. "I might have used some trickery to obtain them, but those signatures are valid --" Nick argued. "This isn't about the contracts," Jake countered.

Nick demanded to know why Jake was interfering. "I haven't liked you since the Halloween before last, when you kidnapped me from the police station and dragged me to the cemetery," Jake answered. "I wasn't exactly acting alone," Nick pointed out, earning a glare from Marlena. "I don't care -- I hold you and you alone responsible. You shoved me into your own coffin and tried to dig me an early grave," Jake stressed. "Well, it wasn't that early, as it turned out," Nick teased. "But early nonetheless -- just like you're trying to do to these three ladies," Jake noted. "What do you mean by 'early'?" Kate interjected.

Nick claimed that Jake was spewing nonsense. "Maybe these three suffered an untimely death when they were given a toxin by Orpheus, but --" Nick argued. "Both you and I know these three ladies aren't really dead," Jake countered. "Marlena and Kayla were buried this morning -- and Kate was burned to ashes days ago --" Nick protested. "Those aren't Kate's ashes in that urn -- just like those aren't Marlena and Kayla's bodies in those graves," Jake maintained.

Kate looked at Marlena and Kayla in confusion as Nick and Jake continued arguing. "Are you saying that we're still alive?" Kate interjected. "That's exactly what I'm saying," Jake confirmed. "Then what the hell are we doing here with a minion?" Kate wondered. "The 'minion' took advantage of a bad situation -- he plucked you from your bodies and tried to steal your souls," Jake explained. "Damn you, Jake --" Nick snapped. "Aw, Nick -- I'm sorry, but that's your fate, not mine," Jake teased. "Just like it's not yours," Jake assured the women. "But if our bodies weren't buried or cremated...where are they -- where are we?" Marlena wondered -- as she and her companions lay motionless in cryogenic chambers at a DiMera lab that, based on a map on the wall, was likely somewhere in Greece.

Brady suspects that Sloan works for Li

Brady suspects that Sloan works for Li

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Wendy visited her brother at the Salem Inn. "Gabi and I ended up having dinner together, after all," Li said. "I thought she gave you a hard no?" Wendy countered. Li explained that Gabi had changed her mind after Stefan had called her Chloe on their Valentine's Day date. Wendy admitted that Stefan had told her about it when she had been at the DiMera mansion with Johnny.

"He must have been pretty upset," Li said with a huge smile. "Obviously. He planned this whole amazing night for the two of them, and it was over before it even started," Wendy said. Wendy argued that Li was the reason that Stefan's date had been a disaster. When Wendy asked why Gabi had changed her mind about dinner, Li explained that Stefan's brain was not functioning properly. Li laughed.

"We talked. We laughed. It was almost like old times," Li said. "You mean like before you got busted for ordering Rolf to manipulate Stefan's mind so that he'd be repulsed by her? Which, by the way, he's not anymore," Wendy said. Li reminded Wendy that Stefan loved Chloe, too.

"I think [Gabi] enjoyed being in the company of a man who only has eyes for her," Li said. Wendy scoffed, and she reminded Li that the situation was temporary. "As soon as Rolf finishes fixing Stefan, Gabi is going to forget all about you. I'm just worried you're setting yourself up for heartbreak," Wendy said. Li noted that Gabi was worth the risk.

"How was your date with Johnny?" Li asked. Wendy told Li about her date. With a nod, Wendy announced that she needed to return to work. "I saw that DiMera stocks took a nosedive this afternoon. Looks like things have really gone downhill over there since I was fired," Li said. Without a word, Wendy left.

Brady went to Sloan's apartment to talk, but a shirtless Eric was the one that answered the door. "I thought you were the pizza guy," Eric said. "So, this is where you slithered off to after the funeral?" Brady said. Eric admitted he had needed to decompress. When Sloan exited the bathroom, Brady asked her to convince Rolf to sign the police statement that implicated Li Shin.

"Why are you suddenly so concerned with Dr. Rolf?" Eric asked. "[Chloe] freaked out. She ran off," Brady said. "Is she okay?" Eric asked. Brady confirmed that Chloe had spoken with Nicole. "[Chloe] won't see me. She's completely overwhelmed," Brady said. Brady explained that he needed Rolf to finish the deprogramming so that Chloe would feel safe to return to town.

"I need you to convince your client to flip on Shin," Brady told Sloan. "I'm sorry, Brady. But it's a no," Sloan said. Confused, Brady noted that if Rolf signed the statement, he would be able to leave jail. "Not necessarily. And signing that statement is not what is in Rolf's best interest," Sloan said. Annoyed, Brady asked Sloan if she had listened to what he had said about Chloe.

"I can't base my defense strategy on your love life," Sloan said. "What about the fact that your client would walk?" Brady asked. Sloan argued that Brady did not understand the law or D.A. Trask. Brady disagreed. "[Li] is the one that got Rolf to brainwash Stefan. And that's the guy that [Trask] wants," Brady stressed. Sloan noted that there were other things to consider. Sloan's phone beeped with a text message from Li, and she excused herself.

After Sloan left, Eric invited Brady to stay for pizza. Eric and Brady both admitted that they were puzzled by Sloan's resistance to convincing Rolf to sign the statement. "Her explanation makes no sense," Brady said. Brady asked Eric if he believed that it was in Rolf's best interest to stay in jail. "Sloan's his lawyer. I mean, it's her job to do what's best for him," Eric said.

"Why would [Sloan] represent a guy for free who is obviously going to need several lifetimes of legal advice and counsel?" Brady wondered aloud. Eric argued that Sloan had to have a reason to represent Rolf. "I think that reason just texted her," Brady said. Brady argued that the text had been from Sloan's real client, Li.

"It's just a theory, but think about it. Who has the most to gain from Rolf not signing that statement?" Brady said. "So, she's just pretending to be representing him, but in reality, she's just trying to keep him in jail to benefit another client. Isn't that a huge ethical violation?" Eric said. Brady nodded yes. Eric pointed out that there was no evidence Li had hired her. Curious, Brady looked through Sloan's bag. Horrified, Eric ordered Brady to stop. Brady ignored Eric and opened an envelope.

"There may be documents that are meant to be confidential," Eric argued. "You mean like this one?" Brady said. Brady showed Eric a copy of Rolf's statement. "This would put Li Shin away for life. It's obvious that Sloan is working for Li and keeping Rolf from signing that," Brady said. Brady asked Eric for help.

In Stefan's office at DiMera Enterprises, Stefan yelled at E.J. for having revealed an unsecured deal to buy another company. "We weren't ready to go public for weeks!" Stefan yelled. "The reporter asked about the annual meeting, and before I knew it, I was telling her about our pending acquisitions," E.J. said. Stefan reminded E.J. that one of the deals had required discretion.

"What the hell were you thinking?" Stefan asked. "I honestly have no idea why I said what I said," E.J. confessed. Stefan thought about when he had drugged E.J.'s coffee before E.J. had spoken with the press that morning. E.J. apologized for his mistake. "Only focus now should be damage control," Stefan said. "I still don't understand how I could have let this happen," E.J. said as he dropped his head into his hands. E.J. noted that he needed to figure out what he could do to fix it.

"No, what we are going to do about it. We're in this together," Stefan reminded E.J. "I made this mess. It's mine to clean up. You have every right to be furious," E.J. said. Stefan said he was not angry. "If I came off harsh earlier, it's only because I was surprised. But now I'm past it and ready to move forward with my brother and partner in leadership to right the course," Stefan said. E.J. thanked Stefan for having his back.

"Where do we start?" E.J. asked. Stefan urged E.J. to talk to public relations and figure out a way to spin his error. E.J. thanked Stefan again for his support, and he headed down to P.R. Once alone, Stefan muttered to himself, "You will always have my support, E.J., as long as it involves me being sole CEO of this company." Stefan took the vial of the drug he had been using on E.J. out of his pocket, and he looked at it. "A few more doses of this, and you will be out on your pompous, disloyal ass," Stefan said. As Stefan opened the vial, Jada walked into his office. Stefan pocketed the vial.

"I'm here about your recent assault," Jada said. Jada asked Stefan if he would testify against Gabi. "I can't do that. I'm in love with her," Stefan said. "But Gabi did have an accomplice," Jada noted. Stefan admitted that he had mixed feelings about Rolf. "[Rolf] seems to be a bit confused about where his loyalties lie," Stefan said. "Are you willing to testify against him?" Jada asked. Stefan told Jada he would think about the request.

After Jada left, Stefan poured liquid from the vial into E.J.'s coffee. When E.J. returned from P.R., Stefan handed E.J. the coffee and suggested that they strategize. "I don't think I'm up for this right now," E.J. said. Stefan advised E.J. not to let a mistake undermine his confidence. "No one knows how to devise a winning plan better than E.J. DiMera," Stefan said. E.J. told Stefan that he wanted to go home. "Fresh start tomorrow," E.J. promised. After E.J. left, a frustrated Stefan threw the drug vial across the room.

When Stefan cooled down, he returned to work at his desk. Wendy walked in and explained that she needed to install new software on Stefan's computer. With a nod, Stefan signed out of his computer, and he announced that he was leaving work. "You're in a better mood than you were last night," Wendy noted. Stefan admitted that Chloe had texted him.

"[Chloe] wants to see me, and that's where I'm headed," Stefan said. "But what about Gabi?" Wendy asked. Stefan shrugged. "What about her? I mean, I love her. I love Chloe, too. But Chloe is the one who reached out," Stefan said.

At the Salem Inn, Sloan met with Li in his room. "You seem to be in a good mood," Sloan noted. "It's imperative that you continue to slow down my divorce," Li said. Sloan agreed. Li explained that he had had a good evening with Gabi. With a smile, Li asked Sloan about Rolf. "[Rolf] still hasn't signed a statement. And I'll continue to advise him that he shouldn't," Sloan promised. Sloan started to leave, but Li made an additional request.

In Rafe's office at the police station, Gabi told her brother about Ari's move to New Zealand. "And you're okay with that?" Rafe asked. "It was her decision, and obviously, I'm not in love with this idea, but she's gonna be with her daddies, and I'll come visit whenever I can," Gabi said. Gabi told Rafe that she believed it was what was best for Arianna, and then she changed the subject to Dr. Rolf.

"Rolf did not sign the statement, so please, don't start yelling at me," Rafe said. Rafe explained that Trask had leaned on Rolf, but Sloan had urged Rolf not to sign the statement. "If there were [something else I could do to persuade Rolf], I would be doing it," Rafe assured Gabi. Gabi sighed. Rafe changed the subject to Gabi's Valentine's date with Stefan, and she scowled.

"After the call you got from him last night, you were practically walking on air," Rafe said. "Well, I ended up flat on my back, and not in a good way," Gabi said. Gabi grumbled that it was Rafe's fault. "What did I do?" Rafe asked. Gabi reminded Rafe that he had told her to have faith in her connection to Stefan. With a groan, Gabi told Rafe that Stefan had created a romantic setting and then had called her Chloe on the way to the bedroom. When Gabi mentioned that she had gone to Li's for the evening, Rafe rolled his eyes.

"The man asked you to marry him after he brainwashed your husband," Rafe said. "Technically, Li is my husband," Gabi countered. Rafe reminded Gabi that she had yelled at him not to mention that Li was her husband. "And then you went to see him?" Rafe yelled. Gabi explained that she had felt humiliated by Stefan's behavior, and she had wanted to feel better.

"After what he did to you? You said you wanted nothing to do with him!" Rafe argued. Gabi admitted that Li had hurt her, but she knew that Li would never call her by another woman's name. "Li wants me and nobody else," Gabi said. "And look at the lengths he has gone to to make you feel that way," Rafe noted. Rafe advised Gabi to avoid Li.

"Let's not make this more than it was. I just didn't want to spend Valentine's Day alone like you," Gabi said. "I wasn't alone. I was with Jada," Rafe said. As Gabi gasped, Rafe stressed that it had not been a date. "Details," Gabi demanded. Rafe told Gabi about his evening as she peppered him with questions. "Jada is way better for you than that skank Nicole," Gabi said. Rafe stressed that Jada was just his friend and colleague.

"Are you sure about that?" Gabi asked. "I am [Jada's] boss," Rafe stressed. Gabi argued that Rafe and Jada were a good match. Jada walked in, and Gabi leaped to her feet. "I was just telling Gabi that there is nothing I can do as far as Rolf goes right now. So, she was just leaving," Rafe said. "I was. And I am more than happy, then, to leave the two of you alone," Gabi said. With a smirk, Gabi walked out.

Jada told Rafe about her conversation with Stefan. When Rafe noted that he intended to put Li away, whether Gabi liked it or not, a confused Jada asked why Gabi would be upset. "Apparently, she's backslid when it comes to Li," Rafe said. "Gabi's not considering going back to him, is she?" Jada asked. Rafe admitted that he was worried about his sister.

Jada confirmed that she would start compiling a case for Trask, and Rafe offered to order dinner for them both. Before Jada could respond, Eric walked in. "I'm here to see Dr. Rolf," Eric said.

At the Salem Inn, Gabi met up with Li. "What was so important that I had to come over?" Gabi asked. Li told Gabi that she had left her scarf in his room. As Gabi grabbed the scarf, she noticed a rolled parchment. "It's a delayed Valentine's gift. Go ahead, open it," Li urged. Gabi unrolled the parchment.

"My shares in DiMera Enterprises. I'm signing them over to you," Li said. Confused, Gabi asked why. "To show you how much I love you," Li said. Gabi noted that the shares were worth a fortune. Suspicious, Gabi asked about the catch.

In the park, Stefan looked around for Chloe. "Chloe is not coming," Brady said as he stepped into the clearing.

In the DiMera mansion living room, Nicole saw Johnny sitting at the desk, using his computer. "Are you doing okay?" Nicole asked. "Not really. Not after three funerals," Johnny admitted. Johnny noted that the stock had dropped for DiMera Enterprises. Confused, Nicole noted that Basic Black's numbers were up.

"It's not your fault. It turns out some sensitive information was leaked, thanks to my father," Johnny explained. Johnny told Nicole about E.J.'s television interview. Nicole noted that it was unlike E.J. to have made that kind of mistake. "Maybe it was some kind of strategy?" Johnny said with a shrug. "Not one I'm familiar with," Nicole muttered. With a shake of his head, Johnny said he could not believe that E.J. would have blurted out confidential information to a reporter. Nicole agreed. Nicole told Johnny that E.J. had not felt well the night before.

"Or maybe he didn't get enough sleep?" Johnny said with a raised eyebrow. "Why are you looking at me like that?" Nicole asked. John admitted that he had seen Nicole creep out of E.J.'s room that morning, and he grinned at her. "I'm sorry. That's none of my business," Johnny added. Nicole said it was fine.

"It was only a matter of time before you found out," Nicole said. Nicole reminded Johnny that she had been married to E.J., and she noted that they had grown close again. Johnny nodded. Nicole asked about Johnny's date with Wendy. Johnny explained that he was not sure that Wendy had enjoyed the date.

"In a nutshell, I'm just trying to convince her that I'm not still hung up on my ex-wife," Johnny confessed. "I'm sure [that evening] was enough to convince Wendy that you're over Chanel," Nicole said. Johnny said he was hopeful. A beep on Johnny's computer alerted him to a statement from DiMera Enterprises. With a shake of her head, Nicole reiterated that E.J.'s mistake did not make sense.

"You said my dad wasn't feeling well?" Johnny asked. "Last night, but this morning, he seemed fine," Nicole said. E.J. walked in, and Johnny asked how he felt. "I'm fine. Good news travels fast," E.J. said as he pointed to the news on the computer. Nicole assured E.J. that the mistake would be forgotten within a day. E.J. announced that he was headed upstairs to forget the day.

Nicole followed E.J. up to his room. "Letting loose such a crucial piece of information, it's just not me," E.J. said. E.J. admitted that he had been distracted. Nicole suggested that Susan's death had knocked E.J. off his game. "Maybe. Or maybe it has something to do with Stefan," E.J. said. Concerned, Nicole asked why.

"I knew that [Stefan] had been brainwashed, that his entire life had been turned upside down, and I said nothing," E.J. explained. E.J. added that after he had told Stefan the truth, Stefan had forgiven him. "I betrayed my very own brother," E.J. said. E.J. told Nicole that when he had screwed up with the press that morning, Stefan had shown him compassion.

"So, I think the reason why I have been a little off lately is because I can't help but feel incredibly guilty," E.J. confessed. "Even when someone forgives you, it's hard to forgive yourself," Nicole said. Nicole told E.J. that Stefan would want E.J. to forgive himself. Nicole assured E.J. that he would get the stocks to climb again. With a smile, Nicole told E.J. that she would like to repeat their night together. Nicole and E.J. kissed.

While Wendy worked at Stefan's desk, Johnny arrived with hot chocolate. Johnny stepped on Stefan's vial as he approached the desk. "What the heck is this?" Johnny said.

Eric and Brady team up to reunite Rolf and Stefan

Eric and Brady team up to reunite Rolf and Stefan

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

by Mike

Wendy inspected the vial Johnny had just stumbled upon in the CEO's office at DiMera Enterprises. "Based on the color and consistency of the residue --" Wendy muttered. "You think it could be some kind of drug?" Johnny interjected. "For sure -- and, given the fact that there's no label, I'm guessing it's an illegal one," Wendy concluded. "Are there any projects at DiMera you're aware of that --" Johnny wondered. "Would involve executives toting around vials of a suspicious-looking substance? Not a one," Wendy answered. "DiMera has a zero-tolerance policy on drug use," Johnny reminded Wendy before insisting that they needed to identify the addict and get that person some help.

Johnny was happy to have another mystery to solve as an amateur detective, but Wendy argued that the vial alone was not a compelling reason to revisit that hobby. "We should probably send it to the lab to have it analyzed first --" Wendy suggested. "What if it comes back as, like, fentanyl or something -- then what do we say? No, we have to figure this out without anybody else knowing!" Johnny maintained. "It'll be really hard to figure out who left this here -- I mean, people are in and out of this office all day," Wendy protested. "Yeah, but I can't imagine something like that was just laying around unnoticed for long," Johnny countered.

Wendy told Johnny about having seen Stefan working in the office earlier that day. "He has been kind of a hot mess since Rolf screwed with his brain," Johnny acknowledged. "Could this be part of Dr. Rolf's...'un-brainwashing' regimen?" Wendy wondered. "Doubtful...'cause, you know, Rolf's in jail now, and Stefan wants nothing to do with him or his experiments," Johnny responded.

Johnny advised Wendy that they were probably on the wrong track. "Stefan's personal life might be a Dumpster fire, but as far as being CEO at DiMera goes, he's completely on top of his game," Johnny explained before fretting that the same could not be said about the company's other CEO at that time, prompting Wendy to admit to having heard about the recent incidents. "You really think your father might be doing drugs?" Wendy wondered. "He does drink a fair amount, like all DiMeras -- my grandfather used to say that our blood was half Strega -- and he did used to sell drugs years ago," Johnny reasoned before giving Wendy more details. "I don't know for sure -- I mean, look, he's been going through a hard time lately," Johnny concluded.

E.J. and Nicole each released a sigh of satisfaction while they were lying in bed together at the DiMera mansion. "For someone who wasn't feeling good earlier, you certainly seem to have a lot of energy," Nicole teased, drawing a shrug from E.J.

E.J. admitted to Nicole that it was a relief to know that whatever had happened earlier had since resolved itself. "This morning, I I was in this utter fog, like I had completely lost my filter," E.J. explained before starting to say something else then deciding to instead demonstrate that the filter had since returned -- but Nicole had already heard too much at that point. "Is there something you're not telling me?" Nicole wondered as E.J. began squirming.

E.J. clarified that being unfiltered during the earlier round of sex with Nicole could have been not only embarrassing but also awkward. "We said that we would take things one day at a time and see what happens, see where it led to...but things heated up rather quickly when we ran into Eric and his current paramour on Valentine's Day, and so I can't help but wonder -- if that didn't happen, would you be in my bed right now?" E.J. elaborated. "That is not the only reason, E.J. -- look, if I really wanted to hurt Eric with 'revenge sex' or whatever, I would have slept with...his brother...instead of you!" Nicole insisted. "Is that supposed to make me feel better?" E.J. sputtered. "Yes?" Nicole responded.

E.J. wondered why Nicole hadn't chosen to move on with Brady instead. "Even if I wanted to -- and I emphatically do not -- he is in love with my best friend," Nicole answered. "You will pardon me if I'm not rooting for Brady and Chloe to get back together -- that would free up Gabi and Stefan to resume their alliance, which would be an utter disaster for me and for DiMera," E.J. fretted. "You can handle it -- you've done it before," Nicole countered.

Nicole declared that Brady and Chloe were each other's destiny. "Like you and Eric?" E.J. responded. "I used to think that...but the truth is, I think you and I are more compatible than Eric and I are -- I mean, you accept me for who I am, and you don't make me feel guilty," Nicole clarified. "Because of our history, there that are being reawakened, so if what you want is a little fling with no strings attached, it's probably best that we put an end to this now," E.J. advised. "What do you say that we enjoy the ride and we see where things go?" Nicole suggested, and E.J. agreed.

E.J. and Nicole started to seal the deal with a kiss, but Johnny knocked on the bedroom door just then. "I'm gonna come back later --" Johnny offered after entering the bedroom and seeing a pile of clothes on the floor, but Nicole and E.J. had each donned a robe already and were both comfortable with the interruption.

E.J. realized that something was bothering Johnny. "This was on the floor at your office," Johnny explained to E.J. while producing the vial. "I never have used, and I never will," E.J. insisted, drawing a sigh of relief from Johnny. "I hope you're not upset with me for asking," Johnny fretted, and E.J. dismissed the concern.

Johnny phoned Wendy after exiting the bedroom. "You believe him?" Wendy assumed. "My father is a first-class liar, but I'm pretty good at reading him," Johnny explained.

E.J. inspected the vial as Nicole pointed out that more than one person was using the CEO's office at that time. "Do you think Stefan could be taking drugs?" Nicole wondered. "Or else Stefan is drugging me," E.J. responded.

Rafe gave Jada a look of concern then wondered why Eric had trekked all the way over to the police station just to demand a meeting with Rolf, of all people. "I don't owe you any explanation," Eric responded while glaring at Rafe. "You and your family have our deepest sympathies --" Rafe stressed. "I don't need your sympathies!" Eric interjected. "But you coming in here and acting all squirrely about why you want to see a prisoner you barely even know makes me think that you've got some sort of vigilante justice in mind...which is not happening on my watch," Rafe concluded.

Eric scoffed then accused Rafe of making professional decisions based on personal grudges. "Rolf's allowed visitors, just like any other prisoner -- you can't deny me access for no reason!" Eric argued. "Rafe is the police commissioner -- he doesn't need a reason to stop you from seeing a prisoner; what he says goes," Jada clarified. "Power-tripping --" Eric grumbled. "There is one person and one person only that I am required to allow access to Dr. Rolf, and that is his attorney...which you are not," Rafe declared. "Ms. Petersen hired me as her paralegal," Eric responded.

Rafe laughed then challenged Eric to provide a qualification for the job. "'Former priest' -- it required a broad skill set," Eric answered. "Like maintaining celibacy? Failed at that one!" Rafe teased.

Jada whispered that denying a prisoner access to counsel could lead to problems, and Rafe conceded the point then arranged for Eric to meet with Rolf in one of the conference rooms. "You're still sitting here because you didn't sign this statement," Eric informed Rolf while producing the document. "My lawyer advised me not to -- she said that admitting my guilt would be a terrible mistake, that Li and Kristen would come after me if I were to provide evidence against them --" Rolf explained. "I know you did your best to save my mother with that orchid -- I want to do something for you in return," Eric offered before warning that there were reasons to suspect that Rolf's lawyer had a major conflict of interest.

Eric emerged from the conference room a few minutes later -- just as Rafe and Jada were being informed that Rolf was free to leave. "You lied to us!" Rafe grumbled. "You're welcome," Eric responded.

Rafe continued fuming after Eric left the police station with Rolf, prompting Jada to argue that what had happened was actually a good thing. "Rolf is out of jail and can deprogram Stefan -- that's what Gabi's been begging for -- and now we have hard evidence against Li," Jada elaborated. "Actually, you're right -- yeah, let's get that S.O.B. in custody before he can hurt my sister again," Rafe agreed.

Gabi paced around Li's room at the Salem Inn while trying to spot the catch in the legal document that was being offered as a belated Valentine's Day gift. "There's no catch," Li claimed, but Gabi wasn't convinced.

Gabi noted that money meant a lot to Li. "Not as much as you do," Li insisted before reminding Gabi that it was never a good idea to look a gift horse in the mouth. "You expect me to believe that you want nothing from me in return?" Gabi protested. "After everything I've put you through, it's the least I could do to show you I'm serious about atoning for my sins," Li reasoned.

Gabi remained suspicious of Li. "Maybe there is one small thing," Li admitted with a shameless grin, prompting Gabi to make a point of stressing that the earlier denials had been blatant lies. "Okay, well, out with it -- what the hell is this 'one small thing'?" Gabi snapped. "Stay married to me," Li elaborated. "That's something 'small'? Well, then, I don't want to know what you consider 'big'!" Gabi protested before refusing to accept Li's terms. "Just hear me out --" Li begged. "And where the hell is your pride -- why would you want to stay in a loveless marriage, anyway?" Gabi wondered. "It is not a 'loveless' marriage!" Li insisted before pointing out that Gabi had been quick to visit on Valentine's Day just to feel loved.

Gabi denied the accusation then argued that love was a foreign concept to Li. "Six months, Gabi -- that's all I'm asking for! If, at the end of that time, you're still bound and determined to get a divorce, you can keep the shares and get rid of me, and then you're free and clear -- doesn't that sound like an offer you can't refuse?" Li declared. "Sounds too good to be true -- it's gonna be a hard 'no' for me," Gabi responded.

Li urged Gabi to give the idea more thought. "If I wanted to, I could make this process take a lot longer than six months, so you've got nothing to lose by going along with my proposal...unless, of course, you're afraid to open yourself up again," Li teased. "I want it in writing," Gabi demanded. "For now, let's seal the deal --" Li began to suggest, prompting Gabi to back away. "With a handshake," Li concluded, and Gabi agreed.

Brady admitted that Chloe wasn't the person who had begged Stefan to rush over to the park for a private meeting. "I used a burner phone to spoof her number," Brady explained with a shameless shrug before insisting that Stefan needed to stop toying with Chloe's emotions. "My feelings for Chloe are none of your business," Stefan responded before starting to storm back out of the park, prompting Brady to reveal that Chloe had skipped town. "She was understandably shaken when you claimed to love both her and --" Brady summarized. "I didn't 'claim' to love anyone -- I really do --" Stefan protested. "In a very half-assed and insane way, maybe...but if you truly love her and you care about her, you will let her go," Brady countered.

Stefan pointed out that Brady had selfish reasons for offering that advice. "And I'm not the only one here who's confused about his feelings. Has it slipped your mind why Chloe was available in the first place -- that you're the one who broke her heart when you got back together with my sister?" Stefan continued. "Maybe that's why Chloe left town!" Stefan concluded.

Brady laughed off Stefan's theory. "Your sudden...polyamorous insanity...has made everybody miserable, okay? Chloe is miserable, Gabi is miserable --" Brady stressed. "You're miserable -- and that's what this is about," Stefan argued. "Chloe would have never given you a second look if I hadn't been forced to break up with her, Stefan -- she loves me, and she's finally gonna realize that once you leave her the hell alone! Our relationship is the best one we both have ever had -- like yours with Gabi!" Brady declared before warning that Stefan's attempt to play the field could backfire.

Stefan laughed off Brady's advice. "Gabi is gonna wait as long as it takes -- because I am the one true love of her life," Stefan bragged. "She's probably the least patient person on the planet -- I don't think she's gonna be putting up with this kind of behavior for much longer," Brady maintained. "And why should she -- I mean, what woman would?" Brady continued. "I know you don't want to lose her -- not after everything you two have been through," Brady concluded. "But I don't want to lose Chloe, either," Stefan responded with a shameless grin, drawing a scoff of outrage from Brady.

Brady pointed out that another round of deprogramming could resolve Stefan's dilemma. "I'm working on that as we speak," Brady teased, confusing Stefan. "The last time that Rolf tried to put me back the way I was, his equipment malfunctioned, and I could literally feel my brain frying! I was almost a dead man again! I have no intention of repeating that experience!" Stefan protested before starting to walk away from Brady.

Brady sighed then put Stefan in a chokehold. "I wanted to do this the easy way, but you are one stubborn S.O.B.," Brady grumbled after Stefan passed out.

Brady dragged Stefan's motionless body off to Eric's room at the Brady Pub. "It was not fun carrying your heavy ass up those stairs," Brady grumbled after Stefan regained consciousness.

Stefan, who was tied to the bed, demanded an explanation from Brady -- then gulped when Eric entered the room with Rolf.

E.J. and Nicole figure out Stefan's ''vial'' intentions

E.J. and Nicole figure out Stefan's ''vial'' intentions

Thursday, February 23, 2023

by Mike

E.J. and Nicole continued discussing the vial while alone together in one of the bedrooms at the DiMera mansion. "I don't get it, E.J. -- so, Stefan drugged you to go on TV to hurt the company? But it's his livelihood, too -- it just doesn't add up, and how would he even manage to get away with it?" Nicole argued. "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc," E.J. countered.

Nicole didn't understand the meaning of the phrase, but E.J. didn't bother to provide a translation. "He forgave you for staying quiet when you found out about what Li and Kristen did to him," Nicole stressed. "Unless he didn't actually forgive me -- and now he wants revenge," E.J. responded. "There are a lot of ifs in everything that you're saying," Nicole protested.

E.J. suddenly realized that Nicole had also been drugged at one point. "The morning after Stefan 'forgave' me," E.J. elaborated. "The day that Gabi snatched him and tried to undo Rolf's programming," E.J. continued. "He wanted to toast to our renewed sense of brotherhood with mimosas," E.J. concluded. "I knew I wasn't that much of a lightweight," Nicole muttered after remembering that E.J. had found the mimosas and had decided not to let them go to waste. "It's a solid theory, but we need to take this and get it analyzed -- if it turns out to be what we assume, we'll have our confirmation," E.J. advised while Nicole was inspecting the vial.

E.J. begged Nicole to feign ignorance in the meantime. "The last thing we need is for Stefan to know that we are onto him," E.J. reasoned. "He'll never see us coming," Nicole promised. "Two can play this game," E.J. declared, giving Nicole a wink.

Sloan finished eating the pizza that had been delivered to the Petersen apartment earlier that day then wondered why Eric had not yet returned. "Only one way to find out," Sloan muttered before phoning Eric.

Eric sent the call to voicemail, and Sloan received a news alert while recording a flirtatious message. "Rolf was freed? How the hell did that happen?" Sloan grumbled after ending the call and reading the news alert.

Rafe and Jada continued discussing Eric's earlier stunt while waiting at the police station for Li's arrest warrant. "This is not the Eric I know," Jada mused. "I guess Eric is finished posing as a saint," Rafe spat.

Sloan stormed into the police station a short time later and demanded to know why Rolf had been released. "A lawyer who wants her client locked up -- that's a first," Rafe joked before starting to provide an explanation. "Do you know how much trouble you're gonna be in for accepting stolen materials and then using them in an official capacity?" Sloan interjected after hearing enough of the tale to develop a theory about how everything had unfolded. "It can hardly be considered 'stolen' if your own employee brought it over to be signed," Jada argued. "Brady Black doesn't work for me --" Sloan protested. "She wasn't talking about Brady -- she was talking about your 'paralegal'...Eric," Rafe clarified.

Sloan stared at Rafe and Jada in disbelief. "Interesting arrangement you two have -- so, he's your paralegal on odd days and your boy toy on evens?" Rafe teased, prompting Jada to stifle a laugh. "I can't say that I'm surprised that the two of you treat this very serious matter the same way you treat your jobs -- as a joke -- but when I am done with you, you will not be laughing!" Sloan yelled before storming back out of the police station.

Rafe wondered if Jada had gotten the impression that Sloan was upset about the turn of events. Jada shrugged then admitted to Rafe that it was always quite difficult to tell the difference between Sloan's angry and happy expressions. "She suspected Brady," Jada noted. "For good reason -- Brady's crazy about Chloe," Rafe explained. "Eric broke the law," Jada acknowledged. "Impersonation, interfering with a police investigation -- we might have to get a second warrant," Rafe confirmed -- and, as if on cue, Jada received an update on the first warrant just then. "Maybe this'll put a smile on your face -- which I haven't seen in a while and do miss," Jada declared while exiting the police station with Rafe.

Wendy thanked Johnny for the update on the vial then ended their phone conversation -- just as someone started shouting while storming through the halls of DiMera Enterprises. "Father? Long time no see!" Wendy began when the shouter -- Wei Shin -- burst into the CEO's office while still in a rage. "Why are you in that chair?" Wei snapped. "Just installing some antivirus software," Wendy explained. "The only extra protection this company needs is from incompetence!" Wei argued.

Wei demanded to know where E.J. was hiding. "Obviously not here. I just talked to his son, who saw him at home," Wendy responded. "That coward -- first, he tanks the stock...then, instead of confronting the catastrophic mistake he made, he goes AWOL!" Wei grumbled. "Just as your brother has -- who used to be my eyes and ears here, until he went off to fall in love!" Wei continued. "At least there's one more co-CEO I can get answers from!" Wei concluded.

Wei started to storm back out of the office, prompting Wendy to warn that searching the building for Stefan would just be another waste of time. "But I'm here -- hello, remember me? Your precocious daughter with an amazing work ethic whose only fault is that she was born a female? Oh, and other than feeling ignored and unappreciated, I'm doing fine, by the way -- thanks for asking!" Wendy joked. "I have more things on my mind, Jing-Wen, than stroking your ego!" Wei declared.

Wei, who had been in New York when DiMera Enterprises' latest crisis had hit the news, wondered why no one was around to offer an explanation of what had happened or a summary of what was being done to resolve the matter. "As I just pointed out about two seconds ago, I'm here -- I can tell you all about...our new firewall," Wendy offered. "Sarcasm? In this dire situation? Oh, we're missing Fairbanks, are we, Jing-Wen?" Wei countered.

Wendy started squirming in response to the threat, but Wei soon softened and apologized. "I know I didn't greet you properly and ask how you were doing, Jing-Wen...but I do care, even though I haven't shown it recently," Wei stressed. "But all that has to wait until I deal with this mess!" Wei continued. "It all started with your brother and his unfortunate obsession with Gabriella Hernandez --" Wei concluded. "Gabi? She's actually okay -- we've bonded, become friends --" Wendy reported. "You never did choose your 'friends' wisely," Wei muttered before storming off in search of Li -- and Wendy followed at a safe distance.

Gabi and Li continued shaking hands while alone together at the Salem Inn. "Do married couples really shake on deals? Shouldn't we seal it with a kiss?" Li argued while Gabi was trying to end the handshake.

Gabi scowled and yanked away from Li. "This deal is strictly business -- let's not make this even more icky than it already is!" Gabi objected. "Pardon a man for holding on to hope," Li responded.

Li retrieved a pen and prodded Gabi to sign the paperwork that would make their arrangement official. "Guess this takes me off the market for the next six months," Gabi muttered while handling the formality, prompting Li to produce a pair of wedding rings. "Now, people will see that you are off the market," Li explained after placing the jewelry back on Gabi's left ring finger.

Li handed Gabi some share certificates. "Now all that's left is for you to pack," Li declared. "We have to be living together -- it's a stipulation of the deal," Li continued. "Surely you saw it in the document," Li concluded. "Should have read that thing more carefully," Gabi muttered. "It can't be at your house, because I doubt your brother would tolerate that --" Li acknowledged, and Gabi confirmed the suspicion. "I probably should get out of that house, anyway -- I mean, Rafe's not gonna be thrilled with me when he finds out I made a deal with you," Gabi realized. "I have good connections in local real estate," Li bragged.

Gabi advised Li not to worry about finding a place that could accommodate Arianna. "She's with Will and Sonny in New Zealand...just in time to spare her from having to share a home with the likes of you," Gabi explained. "That...makes it a bit simpler," Li countered. "Go find us somewhere to live," Gabi snapped while storming out of the hotel room, drawing a triumphant grin from Li.

Gabi ran into Wendy while exiting the Salem Inn. "You're in a hurry -- where's the fire?" Gabi began. "On its way to my brother's room," Wendy responded.

Li received a visit from Wei during a phone conversation with a real estate agent. "Your misadventures with Stefan DiMera keep paying dividends -- but I am the one doing the paying!" Wei snapped after Li ended the call. "With you out of DiMera, I have no one inside to do damage control --" Wei concluded, prompting Li to promise that the issue would soon be resolved.

Li bragged to Wei that a lawyer was preventing Rolf from signing a statement about what had been done to Stefan and that Gabi had just agreed to a deal that would postpone the divorce proceedings for six months. "How much did this 'deal' cost you?" Wei responded. "Virtually nothing! I knew how to reel her in -- I just signed my DiMera shares away to her --" Li clarified.

Wei silenced Li with a slap. "Those stocks have incredible value, not to mention voting power, and yet, you hand them off to stay married to a woman who hates you?" Wei roared while Li was recovering from the blow. "If Gabi and I stay married, what's hers is mine, including those shares! I know what I'm doing, Father!" Li argued -- just as Wei received a news alert. "You know what you're doing," Wei muttered. "You were always overly confident and not very smart -- a lethal combination," Wei continued. "Your insurance policy has just been released," Wei concluded before showing Li the news alert -- just as Rafe and Jada arrived.

Wendy phoned Li, but the call went to voicemail, leading Gabi to conclude that Wei had already arrived. "I guess I was only delaying the inevitable -- Father does not quit easily," Wendy admitted. "Must be where Li gets it from," Gabi grumbled.

Gabi told Wendy about what had just happened with Li. "Is this all about just getting those shares, or does my brother actually have a shot with you -- and where does that leave Stefan?" Wendy responded. "Your brother keeps on showing me that, unlike Stefan, he loves me and only me with all his heart...and maybe he is right -- maybe we are sort of kindred spirits," Gabi conceded.

Brady started giving Rolf instructions while Stefan was still struggling to escape from Eric's room at the Brady Pub. "Sorry, but I cannot help you," Rolf interjected, drawing a sigh of relief from Stefan and looks of confusion from Brady and Eric.

Rolf reminded Eric and Brady that the first attempt to deprogram Stefan had resulted in the destruction of the equipment that was needed to perform the procedure. "I am not a miracle worker!" Rolf stressed. "You're telling us that you have no more tricks up your sleeve -- that there's no way to overcome this obstacle? Come on!" Eric protested. "You know, if somebody told me that Dr. Rolf had lost his mojo, I'd laugh!" Brady declared.

Rolf gave the matter a bit more thought then grinned and requested access to the pub's kitchen, prompting Eric to lead the way -- and Brady stayed behind to keep an eye on Stefan, who made a point of listing all the crimes that were being committed. "You can turn me in after this is all said and done," Brady advised. "But trust me, you're gonna be thanking me," Brady continued. "You're gonna be stuffing my Christmas stocking with Christmas presents for the rest of your life --" Brady concluded. "I'll tell you exactly where you can stuff your stocking!" Stefan responded.

Stefan argued that Brady was being selfish. "I'm just trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, okay? You know, the way he was before -- the happy Humpty Dumpty, the one-woman-man Humpty Dumpty --" Brady explained. "Like you, Brady? I mean, let's see -- I guess Chloe is 'one woman'...and so is Kristen, and Nicole, and then you've got Theresa, and --" Stefan teased. "I'm talking about one woman at a time," Brady clarified. "So, Brady Black, who has been 'in love' with more women than anybody could count, draws the line at monogamy?" Stefan protested.

Stefan insisted that Brady wasn't entitled to a vote on the matter. "I decide whom I love and whom I don't --" Stefan declared. "Stefan, I don't care what you do after this, all right? Do whatever you want -- be with Gabi, don't be with Gabi, join a cult, have ten wives, join a band...I don't care! But I am going to be with Chloe -- as soon as Rolf gets back, we're gonna take the necessary steps to make that happen...and to hell with what you want!" Brady snapped.

Eric watched in confusion as Rolf emerged from the pub's kitchen with a large box that was overflowing with items -- including an electric mixer, a blender, a slow cooker, a microwave, two toasters, some whisks, some pots, and some cables -- then approached the bar and added two lemons, a handful of silverware, and a fire extinguisher. "Just in case," Rolf explained to Eric in reference to the final item.

Rolf handed the box to Eric then rushed back into the kitchen to fetch a waffle iron. "They operate at an unusually high voltage -- one I can divert to my purposes," Rolf clarified for Eric after returning and reclaiming the box. "Are you sure...all gonna do it?" Eric sputtered. "It'll most likely work," Rolf predicted before begging Eric for some clam chowder then admitting that the food was being requested not as part of the deprogramming procedure but instead because it was difficult to do experiments on an empty stomach. "And don't think for one minute that I didn't see through your pathetic attempt to appeal to my ego before!" Rolf warned while Eric was walking away.

Eric soon returned with the clam chowder and began to insist that Rolf would not be allowed to eat until after the deprogramming procedure was completed -- but Sloan stormed into the pub just then and started lashing out. "I don't know what Eric has told you, but he is not to be trusted --" Sloan advised Rolf. "You are the one who is not to be trusted," Rolf countered before firing Sloan.

Rolf headed back upstairs with the box -- and also took the clam chowder after realizing that Sloan had Eric distracted. "My 'paralegal'? Do you have any idea how much trouble this puts you in?" Sloan challenged Eric. "I may not be in the legal field, but I know that conflict of interest -- kind of like the one that you had with Dr. Rolf -- can land you in some serious trouble, so it seems that we're at a standoff," Eric responded. "I don't know what kind of madness is going on upstairs...but you and me, we're through! Maybe you can go crawling back to Nicole? Oh, right, that won't work -- she's already screwing E.J. DiMera five ways to Sunday! Enjoy that image in your head, you bastard!" Sloan spat.

Rolf started unpacking the box while explaining that Eric had been "detained" -- and Stefan grew even more desperate to change Brady's mind after seeing the equipment that was going to be used for the deprogramming procedure. "I think we need to trust in Rolf here," Brady maintained. "Rolf, come on -- even you have to realize that these are less than ideal conditions! What about the pride you take in your work? What about my father?" Stefan begged. "Sorry, Stefan -- I think your father would want you put back the way you were," Rolf countered.

Rolf eyed a projector while wondering if images of Chloe were stored on Brady's cell phone -- then laughed and admitted that was probably a stupid question. "Young people these days do nothing but take pictures of each other! What's that vernacular the kiddies use -- 'I'm doing it for the Gram'?" Rolf mused while Brady was connecting a cell phone to the projector. "I don't want to lose you," Stefan fretted when an image of Chloe appeared on the wall. "Do it now!" Brady ordered Rolf.

Rolf gave Brady a nod then approached Stefan with a pair of metal tongs that had been fashioned into makeshift headgear and were connected to various kitchen appliances -- and the lights in the pub began flickering as all the devices were turned on.

Jake appeals to Nick's better nature

Jake appeals to Nick's better nature

Friday, February 24, 2023

In the cemetery, John visited Marlena's grave. Steve joined him. John told Steve that he was struggling with what Orpheus had told them at the prison. "Well, according to him, some mystery DiMera stole the orchid from Kristen," Steve said. "And the only reason for that was to make sure that Kayla, Kate, and Doc did die," John added. John stressed that his gut told him that Orpheus had spoken the truth. "There's a first time for everything," Steve muttered.

In the DiMera living room, Anna furiously examined the newspaper for information on Orpheus' death. "What makes you think he's dead?" Tony asked. Anna explained that Roman had told her about a plot to murder Orpheus. "And since [Roman] didn't call to tell me it didn't happen, QED, it happened," Anna said. Curious, Tony asked how Roman had known about the plot. Anna explained that Roman had spoken to Kate through her urn.

"Don't you dare start making fun of urns. You know how I feel about that," Anna said. "I wouldn't dream of making fun of urns. I toured Europe in one," Tony joked. Anna argued that Tony could not scoff at the afterlife when he had two brothers that had returned from the dead. As Anna announced that she would call the pub to see if Roman had stopped the murder, Steve and John walked into the living room.

"We didn't kill Orpheus, but now we know it was a DiMera who ultimately killed Kayla, Marlena, and Kate," Steve said. "And we're here to find out which one it was," John growled. Concerned, Tony asked Steve and John if they suspected him and Anna of the theft. "I mean, you know how much we loved Marlena," Tony said. John agreed.

"No one is accusing the two of you of anything," John stressed. "It was an act of revenge, which you kind of have to admit, runs in your family," Steve said as he nodded at Stefano's portrait. "Tony's not like that," Anna argued. "Steve and I both know that. There are exceptions to the rule. Tony, you're one of them," John said. John explained that they were there to ask for help identifying the culprit.

"Given the fact that you were there to kill Orpheus, don't you think this sudden revelation could be something of a Hail Mary pass?" Tony asked. Steve explained that Orpheus had told them the DiMera revelation after they had decided not to kill him. "Kate will be so pleased to hear that," Anna said. John explained that he felt certain that Orpheus had told the truth.

"It makes sense for a DiMera to be involved," Steve said. "I see your point. I mean, some of the things Kristen had done are really mean," Anna agreed. Tony explained to Anna that John and Steve were not talking about Kristen. "They are saying it is a DiMera's fault, which is what they always do," Tony said. Tony refused to help John or Steve in their "witch hunt."

"We're not leaving. And if you don't want to help, like John said, it's your choice," Steve noted. "But if you don't, we're going to strip this mausoleum you call home right down to its foundation," John growled.

At the Brady Pub, Paulina asked Roman to chat over coffee. Roman asked Paulina what was on her mind. "I just want to make sure that [you, Steve, and John] didn't kill Orpheus. Did you?" Paulina asked. "How did you find out about [that]?" Roman asked. Paulina explained that she had overheard Anna when she had talked to Kate's urn. Paulina confirmed that she had not told Abe.

"Steve and John didn't go through with it," Roman said. "I would have understood if you had killed the evil bastard, but that's not what Marlena and Kayla and your Kate would have wanted," Paulina advised. Roman admitted that Kate had told him that through her urn. Roman placed Kate's urn on the bar, and he headed out back to deal with a delivery. Paulina shrank away from the urn, and she looked around the empty pub.

In Nick's room in hell, Jake interrupted Nick as he played a video game. "What do you want? You're disturbing my precious downtime," Nick muttered. "You made a mistake. You need to send Marlena, Kate, and Kayla back to earth," Jake said. Nick refused. As Nick returned to his game, Jake reminded Nick that the three women were still alive.

"That's a minor technicality really," Nick said. Frustrated, Jake grabbed the game controller out of Nick's hand. Nick stressed that Kate, Kayla, and Marlena were hell bound and that Jake could not change that. "You can't steal the souls of three innocent women because you hold a grudge against one. There are rules," Jake argued. "Not down here," Nick countered. Nick argued that the angels had broken the rules, too.

"You and your team snatched Bo Brady's soul from his body before he was all the way dead," Nick said. "That was a mistake, and we corrected it. And I'm asking you to do the same thing for Kate and her friends," Jake said. With a smirk, Nick noted that Jake appeared to care for Kate.

"This is about right and wrong," Jake argued. Jake urged Nick to think about Julie. Nick's smile fell away. "The one person who ever saw a shred of good in you. Who stuck by you till the end. Hell, past the end," Jake said. Nick scoffed. Jake reminded Nick that Julie had said a prayer for Nick every day, and she had lit a candle every year on the date of Nick's death. Nick looked away, and he called Julie sentimental.

"She always loved you, Nick. What do you think Julie is going to say when she joins us in heaven, and she realizes that even in the afterlife, that you were a nasty little man? That everybody was right about you, and she was wrong? What do you think that is going to do to her?" Jake asked. When Nick did not answer, Jake noted that Nick did not care what anyone thought of him. Nick shook his head.

"You don't end up where I ended up because you were misunderstood, okay? I really am that bad," Nick said. "I read your file. A pretty terrible thing happened to you, and no one seemed to care," Jake said. Nick noted that Jake could speak plainly. "I was raped!" Nick yelled. When Jake argued that Nick had loved and wanted to care for both Gabi and Arianna, Nick asked Jake not to recap his life.

"You need to think about it, and you need to see how one bad decision kept leading to another and another. And you tried to control, own, every woman you ever loved, and they would slip away," Jake argued. Nick yelled at Jake to stop. "And the whole time, Julie Williams never stopped loving you," Jake countered. Jake added that Nick had never given Julie a reason to love him. "Do this one good thing. Do it for Julie," Jake pleaded.

In heaven, Kayla and Marlena ate as Kate paced the room with a martini. "Even though we're in heaven, you heard what Jake said. We're not supposed to be here," Kate said. Kate asked Kayla and Marlena if they were curious about whether they were alive or not. Marlena explained that she and Kayla did not believe Jake, based on their previous visitors in the afterlife.

"None of those people were the people that we thought they were. So how do we know that Jake wasn't just some devil's illusion," Marlena said. "How do we know we can trust him?" Kayla added. Kate rolled her eyes. "If this isn't earth, how can we be alive?" Marlena asked. With a shrug, Kate admitted that she did not have an answer to the question.

"None of this makes sense. So, I'm going to cling to the hope that that really was Jake, and what he told us was true," Kate said. With a shake of her head, Kayla wondered aloud why Jake had left them alone. "Maybe they are hashing out our fates?" Marlena suggested. Marlena changed the subject to Orpheus. Kate said that she believed their husbands had not gone through with the murder.

"From your mouth to God's ears," Kayla said. Marlena suggested that they reach out to Roman again. "Maybe it will help us pass the time until Nick comes back, and we find out that Jake talked him into letting us return to our earthly bodies," Kate said. Kate concentrated, and she reached out to Roman.

At the pub, Paulina told the urn that since it had not held up its end of the conversation, she would move along. As Paulina rose from her barstool, she heard Kate's voice call out to Roman. "Kate?" Paulina said. Paulina announced that Roman had stepped out, and she asked if she could take a message. "Paulina Price, is that you?" Kate's voice echoed. Paulina confirmed that she was there.

When Kate made a sarcastic comment, Paulina noted, "No need to get snippy. You are talking from an urn. It is a little disconcerting." Kate said she understood, and she asked to talk to Roman. When Paulina noted that Roman had stepped out, Kate asked about Orpheus. Paulina confirmed that the men had not gone through with their plot to murder Orpheus.

In heaven, Kate, Kayla, and Marlena sighed in relief as they listened to Paulina speak to Kate. "Is that why you reached out?" Paulina asked. "Tell her that [Jake] said that we were still alive," Kayla said. "So, now you believe it?" Kate grumbled. "Just tell her!" Marlena yelled. With a sigh, Kate turned her attention back to Paulina.

"There is a message that I need you to get to Roman. It's something that I think is going to be life changing for all of us," Kate said. With a raised eyebrow, Paulina said that Kate had her attention. Kate attempted to say that all three women were alive, but the connection ended. "Sorry, Kate. Dropped call," Nick said as he walked into the room. Kate argued that they needed to tell their husbands that they were alive.

"I see you took Jake at his word," Nick said. "Why wouldn't we?" Kayla asked. Jake walked into the room. "Are you willing to let us go home?" Kate asked. Nick smirked. "Nick, are you going to tell them, or should I?' Jake asked. Frustrated, Marlena begged for an answer. Nick admitted that Marlena, Kayla, and Kate's souls had been prematurely harvested.

"So, Jake was telling the truth. And why are you admitting that?" Marlena asked. Kate raised a suspicious eyebrow. "So, you're going to let us go home?" Kayla asked. "Let's just say, Jake appealed to my better nature, which, while rarely experienced, does exist," Nick confessed. Nick confirmed that the three women could go home but that they would not remember their experience in the afterlife.

"I'm okay with that. I just want to see my husband and family," Marlena said. Nick clarified, "What happens with your souls when you're reunited with your bodies really has nothing to do with us." Nick explained that he could not guarantee that the women would see their families again. "You need to decide if you're willing to take that risk," Nick said. Marlena, Kayla, and Kate agreed to go home.

"All you got to do is walk through those doors, and your souls will re-enter your bodies," Jake said. Elated, the three women rushed through the doorway. After the women were gone, Jake noted, "For them, it's not the end. It's a new beginning. I just pray that their souls find their way back to Salem and to their families." Nick agreed. "What you said sort of got to me. Only don't tell anyone. I got an image to maintain," Nick said. Jake thanked Nick. With a smile, Nick told Jake that he looked forward to their next battle. "I hope they don't wake up to a fate worse than death," Nick said.

At the pub, Paulina called out to Kate, but there was no response. As Paulina knocked on the urn, Roman returned from the back. "What's going on?" Roman asked. "I was talking to Kate, and then, just like that, she went all crackly, and then she just stopped talking. Like she hung up," Paulina said. Paulina added that she did not think Kate had ended the conversation by choice.

"She was trying to tell me something so I could tell you, and I could tell it was something really important. Urgent," Paulina said. "What was it?" Roman asked. With a shrug, Paulina noted that the connection had ended mid-sentence. "Tell Roman we're still," Paulina repeated. With a shake of her head, Paulina said she did not have words to describe how the conversation had felt.

"I know," Roman said. Roman urged Paulina to take a deep breath to calm down. After a moment, Paulina told Roman about her conversation with Kate about Orpheus. "What was she trying to tell me?" Roman wondered aloud. Paulina apologized for not having heard the message in full.

"At least she knows that you stopped Steve and John from killing Orpheus, right? So, now she can really rest in peace," Paulina said. "I won't rest in peace until I find out who did this to her. And Kayla. And Marlena," Roman said. Roman explained that Orpheus had turned the blame for the deaths on the DiMeras.

After Steve and John searched E.J.'s room at the mansion, they returned to the living room. John explained to Tony and Anna that E.J. had the strongest motive. "You didn't find anything," Tony noted. "You know, Kate knew that it was Lucas who kidnapped Samantha, yet she just let him twist in the wind," John said. "Stefano always said revenge was a dish best served cold," Steve added. Tony argued that even if the speculation was true, E.J. had been exonerated.

"Chad was just as guilty as Kate was," Tony added. Tony noted that E.J. had not gone after Chad. "And Marlena was his kid's grandmother," John said. "And Kayla is their great-aunt," Steve admitted. With a shake of his head, John agreed that E.J. would not have hurt his kids like that. Anna pointed out that Johnny had been devastated by the loss of his grandmothers, so he could not be a suspect. "And Chad was, too. Kate was like a second mother to him," Anna added.

When John mentioned Stefan, Steve argued that Stefan was "sleazy enough." Anna admitted that Steve had a point because of Stefan's past history with Abigail. "People really can change for the better, which I do believe Stefan has, well, he's been a lot more decent since he died and came back," Anna argued. John asked if there were any other DiMeras that could be suspects.

"There's Steven Hawk," Tony noted. "No. Benjy's son would never do anything to hurt Kayla," Steve said. After a moment, Anna gasped. "I know! Peter Blake! Well, he's as lethal as he is dreamy," Anna said. John noted that Peter had no morals but that he also had no motive. With a shrug, Tony noted that they had run out of DiMeras.

"Actually, no," John said. "There is one DiMera we haven't talked about yet," Steve agreed. Confused, Tony noted that they had named all of the DiMera family. "Unless you two know something we don't?" Anna asked. "Did father have yet another illegitimate child?" Tony yelled. John noted that the suspect was not a new member of the family. "Your sister: Megan Hathaway," John said.

In a warehouse, Megan Hathaway stared at three sealed pods that contained the sleeping forms of Marlena, Kayla, and Kate. As Megan walked past each pod, Kate, Kayla, and Marlena opened their eyes. "Well, finally. The three sleeping beauties are awake," Megan said. Megan laughed maniacally.

Recaps for the week of February 27, 2023 (Following Week)


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