Beyond salem ben ciara shop owner screenshot
Credit: Peacock screenshot

As Shane Donovan is telling Marlena and John the history of the Alamanian Peacock, we see a flashback to someone stealing the statue — which contains six gems — from the National Museum in the kingdom of Alamanian. As Shane explains, the thief was Hope, who’d been hypnotized by Stefano to believe herself to be Princess Gina. She then fenced the jewels, which have recently begun showing up around the globe. Now, Shane explains, the ISA wants John to help retrieve them.

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Shane says one of the jewels is going up for auction that night, and the ISA wants John and Marlena to attend so they can bid on — and win — the necklace in question. Sounds simple, right? Well, not quite, because as Shane explains, because there will be other bidders and potential danger. Two of the other Alamanian gems have already fallen into the only kind of hands that exist in this type of story… the wrong ones! Shane gives John a gun which, as Marlena points out, looks like a toy, but was actually created on a 3-D printer so it can avoid metal detectors. He adds that a previous attempt by the ISA to secure another of the missing gems resulted in the agent being killed. There’s more to the story, but he’s “not at liberty” to discuss the details. “We’re not anticipating any trouble tonight,” he concludes, “but you should be prepared just in case.”

John attempts to convince Marlena she should have dinner with Carrie and Austin, but she knows a distraction technique when she sees one. No way is she going to let him attend that auction without her! Later, John tells Marlena he would buy the necklace for her if he could. They decide that if they wrap this assignment up early, they’ll head to the spa in Lausanne where he recovered years ago. “The doctors there were top notch,” he says, “but you’re the reason I got better.” Her love, he says, healed him.

In New Orleans, Ben and Ciara are enjoying their honeymoon — and looking forward to visiting Oak Alley, a place which played a big part in the romance of her parents, Bo and Hope. Spotting a bejeweled pin in a window, the new wife tells her handsome hubby how much she absolutely loves it so of course, being a good spouse, he vows to buy it for her. She eventually agrees to let him, but only if it isn’t crazy expensive. Unfortunately, the owner is holding the pin for a special client… Princess Gina!

Beyond Salem ciara ben shop owner peacock

Stunned, Ciara and Ben theorize that perhaps Princess Gina has somehow been reactivated, explaining why Hope has been laying low all these months. But with Rolf behind bars and Stefano missing, that seems unlikely. Ciara tries to call her mom but gets no answer. Just as she’s beginning to spiral, Ciara spots someone outside the antique store. Given that the person is wearing a leopard dress and tiara, they assume it’s Hope/Gina… but instead, it turns out to be Billie Reed! She and Ciara give Ben a quick history lesson (“I was married to her father when everyone thought her mother was dead,” sums up Billie. Ciara adds that Hope had been living in New Orleans and Stefano had brainwashed her into thinking herself Princess Gina. What? It could happen! Moving on… )

“Are you undercover?” asks Ciara, prompting Billie to admit she’s looking for the very gemstone that Ciara and Ben were hoping to purchase. Introduced to Ben, Billie is shocked that Ciara married the Necktie Killer, also known as the guy who killed her nephew Will. Ciara says everything’s cool, Will and Ben are besties now. “I’m sorry, but this is really strange to me,” says Billie, having clearly not seen herself in a mirror or heard herself explaining the whole Princess Gina thing only moments earlier. Billie soon returns to her assignment, while Ben suggests he and Ciara try and find her “a present that wasn’t stolen.” But Billie soon rushes up to say that someone bought the amethyst right out from under her.

Down in Miami, Florida, Paulina welcomes Abe, Lani and Eli to her brightly-decorated mansion, Star Island. Paulina suggests Lani and Eli enjoy this time as once they return, she’ll be through with maternity leave and returning to work. The hostess admits to Abe that leaving the high life (and her gorgeous home) in Miami for Salem seemed like a sacrifice at the time, but she now knows she made the right call… otherwise, she’d never have met him! “Let’s go shake up this town!” Paulina declares.

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Instead, however, they wind up on Paulina’s balcony looking out at the ocean and trash-talking former neighbor Rosie O’Donnell’s jet ski habits. Once alone, Lani admits she misses the twins, who were left behind with Julie and Doug for the weekend. Later, Paulina opens a safe behind a piece of art — and somehow, absolutely nobody comments on the fact that Lani’s wearing a dress which exactly matches the painting — and removes a ring with a one-of-a-kind orange diamond. Asked where she got the beautiful piece of jewelry, Paulina says it was a gift from her friend Michelle… at the White House. The others suggest perhaps the ring is too valuable to be worn to lunch, but it’s a special occasion and she insists.

Chad arrives in Phoenix, Arizona to visit Will and Sonny. “I hardly recognize you,” Chad says of Sonny (a nod to the fact that the role is now being played by Young & Restless‘ former Fen, Zach Tinker). Will almost immediately excuses himself to go to work, and the look on Sonny’s face makes it clear that this isn’t exactly an out-of-the-norm situation. Will apologizes, but says he’s working on a big scoop that’s also hush-hush.

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Once will exits, Sonny admits to Chad that he thinks Will is having an affair. Chad refuses to believe it, but Sonny points out it wouldn’t be the first time. Sonny runs down all the reasons it might not be all that out of the question, including his own involvements with Leo (“Who was a psychopath… “) and Evan {“… who was also a psychopath!”), suggesting it would make a pretty interesting movement. Chad, however, points out that Sonny and Will started a whole new life and are happy. But Sonny can’t shake his suspicions, especially having caught Will hiding texts and deleting his call logs. Chad suggests his pal be careful about leaping to conclusions, using his own experience with having assumed Abigail slept with Jake as the perfect example of just how badly that can end. “Now I have no idea when my wife is coming home, or if she even is,” Chad laments, urging his friend not to make the same mistake he did. But sure enough, when Chad calls the newsroom, he’s told Will isn’t there and isn’t expected. Sonny freaks, checking his husband’s credit card records, where he finds that Will booked a room at a very exclusive, very expensive, very romantic Saddleback Resort and Spa. Unable to convince Sonny not to barge over there, Chad agrees to go with him.

Across the world in Zurich, Anna warns Tony not to mention Carrie and Austin’s marital woes. But Anna being Anna, when Carrie asks what they’re doing there, the well-intentioned mom immediately says, “Mama is here to save your marriage!” Carrie doesn’t want Austin knowing she ran to her mom about issues in their marriage, but having overheard, Austin says it’s a little too late for that. When Carrie excuses herself, Austin admits they had a fight because he acted like an insecure jackass. “I can picture that,” snarks Anna. Austin explains that after a few drinks, he threw Carrie’s past fling with Rafe in her face. But he’s committed to make their marriage work, and he needs to do something “big, meaningful” to make it up for her. What might that be? A sapphire necklace… the same one which John and Marlena are planning to bid on.

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Acknowledging that Carrie’s not really materialistic, Austin says that he still wants the necklace in order to show his wife how much she means to him. The only problem? There will be photographers at the auction and he wants this to be a surprise, so… well, say no more! Anna suggests she and Tony attend the event and bid on his behalf. Once they’ve left, Austin apologizes again to Carrie, who finds the way Anna and Tony rushed out suspicious. “Nah, that’s just Anna being Anna,” shrugs Austin.

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At the auction house, Anna vows that nothing and no one will stop her from getting the necklace… just as John and Marlena enter, their eye on the same prize! And at the Saddleback Spa, Chad and Sonny find out Will is the penthouse suite… the door to which is answered by a robe-clad Leo! At a beachfront restaurant in Miami, two gun-toting thugs approach the table at which Paulina, Abe, Eli and Lani are sitting to demand her ring. And in New Orleans, Billie insists Ciara and Ben help her find the people who bought the pin…

Next on Beyond Salem: In Zurich, old friends find themselves caught up in a bidding war!

As Ciara finds herself caught up in a new adventure, why not check out portrayer Victoria Konefal’s backstage diary in which she shares some of her favorite memories of all things Days of Our Lives!

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