At the bar, EJ and Nicole stand close together. They look out with expressions suggesting they've just been caught.
Credit: Peacock screenshot

At the Kiriakis mansion, Alex interrupts Sonny’s video game to ask which shirt he should wear. Leo enters and says, “Neither.” He advises Alex to go shirtless and pitches himself as his new executive assistant. Alex already has an assistant, but even if he didn’t, he still wouldn’t hire him. He leaves to get ready for his date.

Leo bemoans his lack of job prospects. Sonny says he’ll be back at Titan soon and asks if he wants to be his assistant. Sonny hasn’t forgotten all the terrible things Leo has done, but he has forgiven him. Leo is grateful, but wonders about the optics. Sonny doesn’t care what people think, but agrees Victor would probably fire him over it. Sonny hops online to try and find him a different job. Leo grins at him.

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In Paulina's office, Chad holds Stephanie's arm. They both grin.

In Paulina’s office, Chad and Stephanie write a press release about Chanel. When they wrap up, Stephanie reveals she’s off to another date with Alex, but Abe calls to tell her Paulina’s been arrested. That means, they have to start all over on their press release. As they work, Chad asks about Alex. She tells him about their Thanksgiving and states he turned out to be a really great guy. Chad is happy for her.

In the Square, John and Marlena eat with Rachel, who works on her Christmas list. When she finishes, John reads that she wants a dream house for her Granny Mar Mar doll. Marlena tells Rachel she can just call her Grandma. Rachel says, “Mommy said you liked that name.” Marlena deadpans, “Mommy’s confused.”

At a table in Horton Square, Marlena smiles at John giving Rachel a high five.

John reads that what Rachel wants most for Christmas is for her mommy and daddy to get married. Marlena tells the girl that’s not something Santa can deliver. Rachel knows it will happen anyway because her mommy told her so. John assures her no matter what happens, her parents love her, just like he and her grandma do. They high-five, and Rachel puts on headphones to watch Frosty.

John can’t believe Kristen is getting Rachel’s hopes up over something that is never going to happen. Marlena isn’t so sure, considering Kristen is a good manipulator. John declares they have to find a way to stop her. Marlena wonders how they do that.

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Marlena enters her door, gaping. Brady closes his eyes as Kristen clings to him.

Brady comes home and finds Susan holding the Marlena doll. He pulls out his phone to call Marlena to tell her she’s alive, but Kristen stops him. She pulls off her Susan disguise, leaving Brady to wonder what the hell is wrong with her. Kristen needed to practice before she visits EJ. Since they’re still on the outs, she can’t console him over Susan’s death as his sister. Perhaps she could do it as his mother. Brady states that not only would EJ see right through it, but it’s cruel. Kristen just wants to assure EJ his mother’s death isn’t his fault. Brady calls that surprisingly compassionate of her, but it’s still a terrible idea. Kristen tears up, recounting how terribly she treated Susan. She falls into Brady’s arms as John, Marlena, and Rachel return.

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John and Brady take Rachel to bed, leaving Marlena to urge Kristen to stop setting her daughter up for disappointment. Outside Rachel’s door, John confronts Brady about Kristen. Brady explains he was just consoling her. He vows he’ll never fall for her again. After John calls Marlena in for backup with bedtime stories, Kristen tells the Marlena doll that she had no intention of visiting EJ as Susan. She just needed Brady to see her in a different light — and it worked like a charm.

In John and Marlena's living room, Kristen grins at the Marlena doll.

At the Pub, Eric knocks on Jada’s door to see how she’s doing. She doesn’t answer, so he heads downstairs, where a customer is looking for a bartender. Eric pours him a drink and then thinks about what happened with Nicole. He turns his back and pours liquor into another glass.

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As Eric studies the drink, Alex enters. Eric hands him the glass, and Alex rambles about Eric and Nicole doing another photo shoot because the people love them. Eric yells for him to shut the hell up and forcefully declares there will be no more cover shoots. Alex notes that for a priest, Eric has some rage issues. Alex waits for Stephanie at a table while Eric pours another drink.

Later, a swamped Stephanie calls Alex at the Pub for a rain check on their date. Meanwhile, Eric slams his drink and storms out.

At Brady's Pub, Eric leans on the bar across from Alex.

In Paulina’s office, Stephanie trashes their draft and says they have to start over. However, Chad should go home to the kids. Chad knows this is too important, so he’ll stay and help. She hugs him, as Alex enters with takeout. His face falls at the sight of their embrace.

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EJ finds a teary Nicole drinking alone at the bar. He hands her a handkerchief, and she offers her condolences for Susan. He appreciates that but asks if she’d like to talk about her own woes. Over drinks, she spills the whole story. Nicole thought things would be better between her and Eric if there were no baby, but they’re much worse. EJ thinks Eric will come around, but Nicole knows lines were crossed they can’t come back from. EJ can relate, considering his line-crossing led to Susan’s death.

After more drinks, Nicole mentions she has no place to stay. EJ offers her a guest room at the mansion. She agrees and stumbles as she stands. EJ helps to steady her as Eric walks in, glaring.

Next on Days of Our Lives: Eric spirals, and Alex misreads the situation.

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