In Prague, Marlena wants to be bait in order to capture Stefano. After some convincing, Rafe, Steve, and Kayla agree. “Let the games begin,” Marlena says. Paul worries this is a catastrophe waiting to happen and can’t go ahead unless he calls his father first. Marlena takes him aside and convinces him that they need to do this for the ‘greater good’ of every human in Salem. He gives in but refuses to let her out of his sight. Later, Rafe has gone out and returns with a flyer for an invitation only masquerade ball. They agree Stefano would be drawn to it. Rafe contacted the ISA and was told one of Stefano’s aliases, Mr. Meradi, is on the list. They got an invite. In some alley, some kid gives Mr. Meradi his invitation to the ball.

Outside Salem at Eric’s, he tells Hope he thinks she has septic shock. The antibiotics are almost out so he’s off to Salem to get more. Once he’s gone, Hope starts hallucinating that Ciara’s calling for her, and gets out of bed. She wanders into the woods.

Shawn arrives at the loft and tries to calm Ciara down. She’s a mess after hearing that the police are allowed to use excessive force to get her mom.

Jenn-bumps-into-eric-days-nbcJulie finds Jenn at the hospital and asks what in hell was she thinking writing an article in the Salem Spectator about Hope on the run. Doug read the article like it was an obituary. Eric walks by, disguised in a hat as Julie says Doug hasn’t been sleeping and he’s worried he’ll never see his daughter again. Jennifer offers sincere apologies. Shawn pops up and tells the women about the anonymous tip saying Hope was fine. Julie asks if she can show it to Doug but Shawn gets a call from Raines, telling him Hope’s been spotted. He goes. Meanwhile, Eric distracts a nurse and takes pills from her drug cart. Later, he finds Jennifer. She’s blown away that he’s out of prison. He tells her to keep it to herself but the Governor pardoned him. He says he’s there to see his dad then has to take off. He touches her face and tells her it’s good to see her but he has to go. She asks, “Will I see you again?” He doesn’t think so. He goes and Anne pokes her head in. She has papers for Jenn to sign, telling her they’ll be working together again at the Spectator. “Isn’t that the best Jenny, it’s going to be like old times!” Jennifer’s jaw drops. “This isn’t happening!” Anne tells her that her brother hooked her up. Jenn asks how she knows Lucas. Anne says, “We’re connected like cray cray on so many levels.” Jenn rants about Anne backstabbing her in the past. Anne wants to put that aside. Besides, she has excellent references. “References from Satan?” Jenny asks. Julie pops up, thinking it’s possible Anne has changed. Jenn decides to let it go for now. She has other things on her mind. She ran into somebody she hasn’t seen in a while. She trails off, murmuring that she thought there was something between them.

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Ciara picks up food from the Brady’s Pub, where Claire finds her and says she hopes to play herself in the TV movie about Grandma Hope. Ciara’s disgusted. Claire apologizes. Ciara’s mom is the only person she has left. Claire holds her as she cries.

Ciara returns home as Theo gets out of the shower, clad only in a towel, and looking buff. Ciara’s flustered. She tells him the news about Raines’ decision to take her mom down by force and Theo hugs her. Claire walks in, unnoticed. She’s jealous so backs out the door. After Theo goes to his room and Ciara to hers, Claire walks in, clearly upset. She turns on the tears about her grandma so Theo will hold her.

On the outskirts of Salem, Raines searches in the dark for Hope while she wanders ahead a little, whispering Ciara’s name. Shawn finds Raines in the woods and asks to help out but Raines barks that he shouldn’t be there.

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Eric returns home and finds Hope gone. He goes outside in search of her and finds her in the woods. He covers her mouth and whispers that the cops are there. He takes her home and gives her some antibiotics.

Back at the loft, Ciara takes a call from Shawn with an update. They didn’t find Hope. Ciara wants this nightmare to be over.

On the next Days of our Lives:

Chad and Andre get some information on Titan.

Abigail and Gabi continue to find a way to get the Orwell device.

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Photo credit: NBC Universal Inc.

– Christine Fix