In the lab, Rolf faces Li, who closes his eyes and holds his head
Credit: NBC screenshot

At home, Kayla tries to slam the door on Orpheus, but the blocks it. Marlena pulls Kayla behind her as Orpheus enters with a gun. He says while John and Steve are off protecting Stephanie, he can spend time with Doc and Sweetness. He reaches behind the umbrella holder for the listening device he had the flower delivery man plant. They ask what he’ll do with them. Nothing he’s done before, he responds. But something that will leave a lasting mark on their husbands. He motions them toward the door, but Marlena grabs his gun, and Kayla hits him over the head with a crystal vase. They rush to the door, but two goons glare at them from the hallway. Orpheus comes to, and he and the goons lead the women away.

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Marlena stands in front of Kayla, as they both glare off screen

In the conference room, Paulina demands that John get his hands off her. After he and Steve explain they thought she was Orpheus, Stephanie profusely apologizes. Paulina reveals she had no idea she was related to Steve. After Stephanie takes the men to task, Steve asks why all the secrecy. Paulina was looking for discretion, considering the meeting is for Abe’s governor’s campaign. Stephanie hopes Paulina won’t hold Steve and John’s action against her and her firm. Paulina assures her she won’t and offers to get down to business. John drags away a reluctant Steve, but not before he calls Stephanie, Little Sweetness. She’s mortified.

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Looking off screen, Paulina purses her lips and side-eyes, while Stephanie rants

At the Pub, Abe finds EJ drinking alone, and wondering what Gabi and Ava are up to. Abe offers his condolences for Jake. EJ finds it uncanny that both he and his twin met similar fates. “May they both rest in peace,” he says and raises his drink. Abe sits with him, as EJ laments all the DiMera losses, including Lexie. They drink to her. EJ then congratulates Abe on his new marriage to Paulina, who he’s come to respect. Abe explains she’s at a secret meeting he assumes is about him becoming governor. EJ thinks he should run and offers his support should he do it. Abe is surprised, but EJ says it never hurts to have friends in high places. Abe chuckles. He knew he had an agenda.

EJ expresses reluctance over going home because Ava’s there. Abe assumes he’s playing an angle, but warns him Ava is probably still mentally unstable. He suggests his brother-in-law not cross her. EJ appreciates his advice and hopes he’ll take his as well. He’ll do great things as governor.

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At the Pub, Abe sits at a table with EJ

Paulina brings Stephanie to the Pub to meet Abe, who embraces the younger woman. Paulina explains she’s hired Stephanie to lend her expertise for his governor bid. Abe reiterates that he hasn’t made up his mind yet. Paulina orders him to decide… now. The women talk him up as the best person for the state until Abe relents and says he’ll do it.

Steve and John return to Steve’s place to face their wives. They open the door and find the place a mess. Steve finds a piece of paper that orders them not to call the police. John whispers, “Orpheus.”

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In the lab, Li scowls at Rolf

Li freaks out in the lab when Rolf tells him Stefan left. He collects himself and asks where he went. Rolf responds to reunite with his wife, probably at the mansion. Li shouts that because of Rolf’s bungling, he’s going to lose Gabi.

Outside the DiMera mansion, Stefan rings the doorbell. Inside, Gabi wonders if Ava is going to answer it. Ava thinks Harold will get it, but if Gabi wants to, “Be my guest.” Gabi passes, and the women snipe at each other until the doorbell rings again. Ava throws up her hands and walks toward it, shutting the living room door behind her.

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A stunned Ava touches Stefan's face, as he stands in the DiMera doorway in a NBhospital gown

Ava’s face falls when she opens the door to Stefan. Assuming he’s Jake, she cups his face and passes out in his arms. Stefan gently lays her down and rises to go find his wife. However, Li enters and jabs him with a syringe. He drags Stefan outside to the bushes. Li returns as Gabi finds Ava. He explains he came by to check on her and Ava passed out. He lowered her to the floor and thought about calling 9-1-1, but assumed Ava wouldn’t want the cops involved. He shuts the front door and Rolf dashes to Stefan’s side.

On the living room couch, Ava awakens, declaring Jake is alive. Gabi thinks Ava was imagining things, but Ava insists she touched him. He was real. She runs to the door and looks outside, but no one’s there. EJ comes home, and Ava tells him Jake is alive. Li suggests he and Gabi leave. Gabi doesn’t want to leave her like this, but EJ assures her he’ll take care of her. As Gabi and Li walk away from the mansion, Li slyly picks up the syringe from the ground.

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In the DiMera foyer, Li stabs Stefan with a syringe form behind

After EJ checks the house and tunnels, he assures Ava that Jake is nowhere to be found. She swears she wasn’t hallucinating… this time. EJ questions that statement. She tells him about seeing Jake right after he died, but tonight she actually felt him. He even had on his wedding ring. She knows it sounds like she’s lost it, but EJ suggests she’s experiencing post-traumatic stress. It’s natural after everything she’s been through.

Ava accepts that EJ might be right, but wonders why he’s being so nice to her. He apologizes for his earlier behavior and suggests they start over without any hidden agendas or suspicions. Ava narrows her eyes and shakes his hand, flashing back to Gabi’s comment about their sexual tension. He tells her not to hesitate to knock on his bedroom door if she needs anything. She thanks him and leaves. Alone, EJ says Abe was right. It appears the Widow DiMera is a tad unstable.

When Gabi and Li return to their hotel room, Li explains he was at the mansion to give her some backup with Ava. She thanks him for his thoughtfulness and kisses him. Li texts Rolf, and orders room service for Gabi, who feels for Ava. She recalls having a vision of Stefan once, but as much as she ached for him to be real, he wasn’t. Stefan was gone for good.

With Stefan back in the lab with his electrode helmet on, Rolf marvels over Stefan finding the strength to drive across town. He supposes he underestimated his love for Gabi Hernandez.

Next on Days of Our Lives: Melinda stuns Gwen and Leo, and Eric and Jada get to know each other a whole lot better.

Beginning September 12, Days of Our Lives will be airing exclusively on Peacock. To make sure you never miss an episode, click here. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

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