Chad stands next to Sami, who holds a folder and gives EJ a shocked look in the DiMera mansion. Days of Our Lives

Jill Johnson/JPI

Before they meet Shin at the bar, Jake tells Gabi they need to change course on their plan, away from Titan. However, Shin arrives before he can fill her in. They sit down, as Jake proposes Shin remove EJ from DiMera. Shin points out he’s already stepped back, but smirks upon realizing Jake wants to take EJ’s place as CEO. He wonders if they’ve told Chad about their plans for a hostile takeover. Jake points out he never said anything about Chad. They just need to take things one step at a time, starting with getting rid of EJ. Shin reminds him EJ’s innocent until proven guilty, so he has no cause to fire him… yet. Jake asks Shin to look at the proposal he’s sending him. Shin agrees and leaves. Gabi wonders, now that they’re not going after Titan, where does that leave her? Jake assures Gabi getting her into Titan is their next step. He leaves her to take care of a couple of things.

Ava meets Rafe in his office at the station. She’s guarded as they discuss New Year’s Eve plans. She narrows her eyes as she suggests they invite Nicole to hang out with them. Rafe balks, but Ava insists before leaving.

More: Faking his death is nothing for Philip

Brady surprises Chloe by showing up at Titan on a holiday. He says it’s time he start pulling his own weight around there. Chloe tears up worrying about Philip, but assures Brady she knows he’s not capable of hurting him. Brady is so sorry if Philip is missing because of Kristen. As strange as it sounds, Chloe hopes Kristen does have him holed up somewhere he can escape from. Brady promises to do everything in his power to find Kristen. Chloe urges him to be careful, but Brady knows Kristen would never physically hurt him. Brady beats himself up for being selfish and petty with Philip over her. Chloe blames herself as well, because she knew their relationship drove Philip nuts. She admits she wasn’t clear with him about how she felt, because she wasn’t sure herself. She tells him how Kate thought they had sex on the conference table.

More: When is Days going to tell *this* story?

In the DiMera foyer, Nicole gives EJ a sharp look, as Sami watches. Days of Our Lives

More: Wally Kurth shares real-life connection to soap storyline

Ava approaches the door, as Chloe explains to Brady she was forced to tell Kate it was Nicole and Rafe having sex, not them. As Ava seethes outside the door, Chloe and Brady discuss New Year’s Eve. She says her only plan is to go home and slip into sweat pants. He asks if she wants company, but she declines. He does, however, convince her to leave work early. As soon as they leave the office, Ava returns and sneaks in. Searching the desk, she finds Duke, declares that the “shared custody” arrangement is over and — after ranting about Nicole and Rafe’s betrayal — cuts off his head. “They are not going to get away with it!” she warns.

At the DiMera mansion, EJ explains to Sami and Nicole why he’s convinced Lucas is the one who had Sami kidnapped. Sami rattles off why she doesn’t buy it, and lets slip that she and EJ are back together. She delights upon realizing Nicole didn’t know. EJ averts his gaze from Nicole, who doesn’t believe it. After she and Sami go back and forth, Nicole turns to an uncomfortable-looking EJ and says, “Oh my God. It’s true isn’t it?” After getting confirmation, she tells Sami she can have EJ, who she never really wanted anyway. Nicole saunters out.

EJ holds Sami's face, as they look into each other's eyes. Days of Our Lives

More: Will a Yellowstone death ‘Rip’ our hearts out?

Alone, EJ puts on the charm with Samantha, but she needs him to look her in the eye and tell her he didn’t kidnap her. EJ takes her face in his hands and vows he didn’t do it.

Nicole runs into Rafe outside Brady’s Pub and tells him she and EJ are over. After she runs down the list of terrible decisions she’s made this year, Rafe asks her to spend New Year’s Eve with him and Ava. Surprised to hear it was Ava’s idea, Nicole worries how her friend will react should she find out what happened between them. “You go kiss Ava on New Year’s. I will be at home, in bed, alone,” she insists. They wish one another a happy New Year.

After Chad finds Lucas in his office, Lucas shows him the money trail “he found” proving EJ is Sami’s kidnapper. Chad doesn’t recognize the fund transfers or recurring payments to Jason Smith, one of Sami’s guards. Chad calls it unbelievable… a little too unbelievable. He accuses Lucas of planting the information on the computer, adding, “My brother was right. You did it.” Lucas tries but fails to deny it. He thinks setting EJ up could benefit Chad as well. With EJ out of the picture, Chad could be running DiMera solo. Chad needs to think about it.

More: Big returns, worst murder mystery ever on B&B

In the DiMera mansion, Chad twirls toward EJ, who grabs for his arm. Days of Our Lives

More: Is a big return on the way to Days?

Back at the mansion, EJ and Sami debate the Lucas issue as Chad enters. He shows Sami the paper trail linking EJ to Jason. Sami’s eyes widen at EJ, who frantically insists he did not do this. Sami cries as she tells him how terrible it was for her to be in captivity. She knows Lucas would never do that to her, but he would. She says goodbye and storms out.

At Horton Square, Lucas admits to the plaque of Alice and Tom that he feels unworthy of being a Horton. But, he insists, he did it for love. At the same time, Gabi comes across a weeping Sami, who says she’s not okay. And at the DiMera mansion, Shin arrives to tell EJ that he’s out as CEO and Chad’s now in charge.

EJ and Chad face Shin in the DiMera mansion on Days of Our Lives

Next on Days of Our Lives: Gabi consoles Sami, before the latter turns to another course of comfort, while Ben and Ciara focus on the future.

From a murder mystery and kidnapped babies, to the devil and the search for Sarah, we’re looking at the big stories on Days of Our Lives from 2021 in our photo gallery below.

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.