Jay Johnson, Nadia Bjorlin"Days of our Lives" SetNBC StudiosBurbank07/23/21© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 14234U.S.Airdate 12/03/21
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

As we visit Salem, Paulina’s stopping a surprised Abe in the hospital. There’s no getting away from her, she says. The she pauses and asks if he’s there to see John — because she just visited him. Abe is, yes, but wonders why she visited. Because, she informs him, “I danced with the Devil and lived to tell the tale.” Paulina then breaks that news that Marlena’s been possessed. Again. So really, the wedding falling apart was the Devil’s fault! Sure, Abe agrees. “Lies come straight from the Devil. And the lie started with you.” He walks off, but Paulina follows, unwilling to back down.

More: Soap-hopping Laverne & Shirley favorite dies

Cornered, Abe gives her a minute, but he tells her to stop apologizing. Instead, Paulina tries explaining how tough a situation that she was in and begs forgiveness once more. Nothing. And talking about Lexie and admitting she’ll never measure up, just ticks him off more, so instead Paulina explains how small, ashamed and trapped Lani’s dad made her feel. She’s damn proud she fought her way out and gave Lani the best life she could. Abe looks moved, but he’s still done with her. She then makes him promise never to turn his back on Lani.

Abe agrees, and he’s already told Lani as much. And this time, when Paulina asks again about them, Abe reluctantly admits that he can’t turn his love off for her. “God help me, I still love you.” But Paulina moves a bit too fast on hearing that and Abe tells him that doesn’t mean he trusts her again. This lie is too big and appalling to risk his heart with her again.

James Reynolds, Jackee Harry, abe, paulina, days, jpi

Elsewhere, Lani tearfully hangs up with Tami, just as Eli gets home to comfort her in his arms. Lani asks what Lani’s not-mom said to get her upset. “That she loves me,” Lani replies. And that means her whole life was a lie, that she spread to Abe. She spoke with him and he told her he’d always love her. Eli says she should believe him. “Kristen,” Lani notes, “said the same thing.”

Eli’s stunned that she spoke to Kristen because the DiMera never made it to the prison. The van transporting her just disappeared. Lani promises she had nothing to do with it, but thinks she might know where her friend went. They head out, guns in hand, to John and Marlena’s apartment.

Eli consoles Lani on the couch on Days of Our LivesMore: Meet Days’ newest (and cutest) twins

After getting off the phone with a bemused Eli unsure of how catch the Devil incarnate, John tries to rip himself out of the hospital bed and find Marlena himself. Steve stops him and promises the cops are working on it. John reluctantly agrees, but wants to know how Steve found him in the crypt. It was thanks to Johnny, Patch explains, saying he put the pieces together, having ridden this demonic rodeo before. “Didn’t you exorcise Marlena back then?” he asks. John guesses that maybe since he wasn’t a real priest the “exorcism didn’t take.”

Steve asks if John knows what the devil wants, but John can’t figure it out. It’s just random chaos. But he thinks maybe this is just a sideshow for the main attraction. They need to stop her before it reaches that. Okay, fine, Steve says, so how did John stop him before? “Faith. Prayer. Love and a lotta help from friends and family.” He then stops and recalls that he had help from Father Francis… and Gabriel. He was the one who gave John the strength he needed.

Drake Hogestyn, Stephen Nichols"Days of our Lives" SetNBC StudiosBurbank07/23/21© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 14234U.S.Airdate 12/03/21

More: Victoria Konefal talks ‘Cin’ and life outside of Salem
Out in the woods, “Marlena” begs Ben and Ciara not to answer the door, but they shrug off her concerns. It’s just some rando, they’re fine. They open the door and it’s… a hiker? The man asks for some water, casually dropping religious references here and there, then tells them he’s come out to the middle of nowhere for “spiritual reunion.” His name, he says, is Gabriel. MarDevil is not happy.

Ciara offers lunch to the total stranger, and as she prepares it, Gabriel confronts MarDevil. She knows who he is and what he wants, and gets into his head. “He sent you didn’t he?” The creepy eyes and mental voice don’t phase Gabriel. “God?” he asks. “Yes. It’s not the first time. I helped John defeat you 25 years ago, and he will do it again.” MarDevil reminds Gabriel that he can’t interfere in human affairs, but he promises that God won’t let any harm come to Ben and Ciara’s child. They do a bit more mental sparring, as he refers to the strength of “good people” like Ben and Ciara.

Deidre Hall, Robert Scott Wilson, Victoria Konefal"Days of our Lives" SetNBC StudiosBurbank08/04/21© XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 14233U.S.Airdate 12/2/21

More: How the Horton Christmas tradition came to be

Back in Salem, Philip smacks Brady over the head with a crowbar. Chloe gives her beau a call, wondering where he’s gone. He’s gone, it turns out, over the edge. After ignoring Chloe’s call and growling some unflattering things about her, Philip drags Brady’s body off. When he finally shows up to eat with, he promises that he has a present for her. “I had to hit a couple of places before I found the right thing,” he deadpans. Philip then insists they should leave the food and go out for a night Chloe will “never forget.”

The first part of that night is to check on their tree, but it’s been ripped out of the ground. Philip acts dumb even as he thinks of tearing it out in a fit of rage. He then “finds” Brady’s watch nearby. Well, that explains it, Philip confirms, getting creepier by the second. But Chloe has her doubts. Brady only takes his watch off getting into shower or bed. This doesn’t make sense. Philp keeps pushing, but Chloe pushes back. Brady was on his way to the hospital, not here. In fact, she’s going there right now to straighten everything out. But while she’s off learning from John and Steve that Brady never stopped by, Philip lays the missing man out in the woods and pulls out a knife. If he can’t have Chloe, neither can Brady.

Philip scowls at Chloe while holding up a watch in the woods on Days of Our Lives

In the last few minutes of the show, Abe tells Paulina he just needs time, which she says she’ll give him. Gabriel has them join hands for lunch and makes “Marlena” say grace. Eli and Lani can’t find Kristen — or Brady. And Chloe gets back to the woods to find Brady on the ground, covered in blood, with a knife next to him.

Should Lani and Eli really be that surprised that Kristen might have escaped? Walking the straight and narrow was never easy, and she’s done more than her share of despicable deeds. Then again, is she really any worse than any of these other Salemites in our bad guys gone good gallery? Check out the photos and see what you think!

Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

Miss today’s episode? Catch up via Peacock.