Shawn pulls John off Jan in Days of Our Lives

Jill Johnson/JPI

As their stakeout of Ava’s room continues, Sarah admits to Xander she’s glad she became a doctor instead of a detective. “Stakeouts are boring,” she declares. When Xander has to take a break thanks to having had too much coffee, Sarah stays behind but misses a chance to capture their prey on film. The duo moves on to Plan B, which involves them breaking into and searching Ava’s room. They find the name tag Ava used at the prison, which reads Angela Van DeCamp. When the room’s occupant returns, Xander and Sarah hide. Realizing that the person they’re spying on has stepped into the shower, Xander suggests he sneak in and take a peek, which doesn’t go over well with his girlfriend. They leave, and Xander calls a friend who works at the prison, learning that “Miss Van DeCamp” was visiting Kristen.

Xander and Sarah snoop on Days of Our Lives

More: Alison Sweeney previews Hallmark Christmas movie’s twist

At the penthouse, when would-be bride Jan notices that best man Brady has gone AWOL, the guests explain he had to go pick up Rachel. Claire tries talking sense into Jan, saying Shawn doesn’t love her. But Jan gets her would-be husband to say he can learn to love her and they move forward with the ceremony. Realizing Brady has the rings, Jan insists that Marlena and John hand over theirs! Although barely able to get the words out, Marlena manages to finish the ceremony, making Jan and Shawn husband and wife. The groom’s hesitation to pucker up for his bride leads her to proclaim, “Fine, then your bride will kiss you.” But as she lunges at Shawn, Brady and a gun-toting Eli burst in. Saying she knew Shawn could never love her as long as Belle was alive, Jan claims to have shot and killed her rival. Fed up, John lunges at Jan and grabs her by the throat. The other men pull John off Jan, but not before he has choked her unconscious. Shockingly, Eli insists he has to arrest John for attacking Jan.

More: Reeling over primetime soap Big Sky’s shocking twist

Marlena side-eyes Shawn and Jan's wedding at Days of Our Lives

More: Remembering iconic Days villain, Roscoe Born

During a private moment, Charlie is there to help Claire when she begins melting down, fearing Jan did away with her mom. “Lean on me,” he tells her. “I’ll help you.” He also scores big points by saying he’s glad he was there, in case she needed protection. In a sweet moment, they wind up sharing a kiss. Meanwhile, at the police station, John admits to Brady that he lost control, asking, “How long were my hands around her neck?”

More: Give the gift of soap-themed face masks

Over at the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie tries getting to the bottom of what’s bothering Philip, but he’s more interested in getting drunk. Why? He’s unhappy about Shawn and Belle tying the knot. He actually admits to still loving Belle, although the feelings are unrequited. Maggie points out that unrequited love has inspired some great entertainment and while Philip agrees, he notes that in real life, it’s more of a bummer. Maggie’s suggestion that there’s a woman out there for him somewhere leads Philip to reflect on other women he’s dated and who could never, in his estimation, measure up to Belle. “Even to myself, I sound like an adolescent fool,” he laments, saying his new plan is to focus on his work at Titan. This leads to talk of Xander, a topic the two definitely do not see eye to eye on. Ultimately, Maggie offers Philip words of encouragement and they hug it out before he calls it a night. But when he arrives upstairs, he finds Belle sleeping in his bed!

More: Legendary lips, milestones, more soap news

Philip comforts a frightened Belle in his bedroom on Days of Our Lives

More: Is Joey coming home to Salem?

Reflecting on recent events, Shawn concludes that Jan had to have had an accomplice in getting Belle out of her hotel room, and that person was probably Philip. Racing over to the Kiriakis mansion, Shawn arrives just in time to find Philip comforting a negligee-clad Belle. Shawn wants to throttle Philip, but Belle makes it clear he’s innocent in the whole mess. Shawn explains his new marriage is invalid because Jan never managed to get a license, then tells Belle her dad’s been arrested. And Maggie raises a good question when she asks how the heck Jan managed to get Belle into the house, up the stairs and into Philip’s bed.

Belle and Shawn have an emotional reunion on Days of Our Lives

More: All the Days stars that are returning for Christmas

Next on Days of Our Lives: The NBC soap will not be seen on Thursday, due to holiday programming, but will return with a new episode on Friday.

The Shawn/Belle/Philip triangle has spanned decades, as have these other legendary soap triangles. Relive the messiness in the photo gallery below and then get your free daily soap-opera fix for Days of Our Lives — and all of the other daytime dramas — delivered straight to your email inbox by signing up for Soaps.com’s newsletter.