kate is in purgatory Days
Credit: Peacock screenshot

“I personally loved the little interim arc in heaven.”

Believe it or not, after last’s extended year devil arc, Days of Our Lives really had been done with Satan. With Tripp’s sacrifice and Bo’s spiritual intervention, he’d been banished from Salem, never to be seen again. (Barring revisiting it a third time in another 25 years or so.)

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

As we all know, the devil popped up again in the afterlife to menace Marlena, Kate and Kayla, as his minion, Nick, played tricks with their souls. The ladies were dead for weeks in the real world and weeks on Days of Our Lives, as well, as they detoured through heaven, purgatory and, finally hell.

In the end, though, they all escaped back to their bodies with all memory of their detour stripped from them. So… what was the point of it all?

Surrounded by glowing purple light and standing next to a flame, Marlena pleads with the Devil who appears to her as Doug.

The long and the short of it? They were stalling.

Bo and Hope’s big return was, as mentioned previously, originally envisioned as Beyond Salem: Chapter 3. Headwriter Ron Carlivati told Soap Opera Digest in a recent issue that it was decided fairly early on that it would be tied to the deaths of the three women. “We kicked around ideas and I started to think about how we could tie what was happening with these women into Bo and Hope’s story.”

They’d “die” on Days of Our Lives, and then wake up in cryogenic chambers on Beyond Salem. Unlike the previous two installments of the spinoff, there would be a direct tie to the mothership.

“We were pitching this to Peacock,” Carlivati explained, “and they hadn’t yet made a decision about it. By the time we found out that they were going to move the show to Peacock, we thought, ‘Well, what about just continuing the story on the mothership?’”

Since the stories were already tied together so closely, shifting the Beyond Salem idea to Days of Our Lives was easy as pie. Well, once they finally got the go ahead to do it.

“The reason Marlena and Kayla and Kate were sort of in limbo for a few weeks in heaven/purgatory is because we were stalling because we did not have an answer about whether we were doing Beyond Salem,” Carlivati told Digest.

In the afterlife, Marlena and Kayla sit in chairs, gaping at Kate. Marlena holds a bowl of oats and berries, while Kayla holds a bowl filled with a creamy white substance topped with orange fruit.

With that said, “I thought that was super-fun. But it was kind of a pit stop on the way to them being in this mysterious lab, in these cryogenic tubes.”

And there you go. Nothing like a little detour in the afterlife. Once we got that, of course, we knew Deidre Hall, Mary Beth Evans and Lauren Koslow weren’t actually leaving (at least, we were pretty sure), it was just a question of how they’d return to the land of the living.

Enter Megan and Bo and here we are today. Though this time, we aren’t so sure about whether Kate’s going to make it out of this one alive!

The ladies didn’t leave, but catch up on everyone who has in our Days of Our Lives exits photo gallery.