Johnny, Marlena, Tripp and Nicole gape at a blonde wigged Ava in the church. Under the altar, a digital screen displays the number three.
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

At home, John tells Kristen he and Marlena made quite the scene in the Square fighting about her. She wonders why. John feigns reluctance before telling her he disagrees with Marlena wanting to throw her out of the house. He doesn’t believe Kristen is manipulating Brady and thinks she belongs with Rachel, but Doc always jumps to the wrong conclusion.

John recalls first meeting Kristen when she was Kristen Blake, the social worker. Since she’s moved in, he’s seen glimpses of the Kristen he fell in love with. He just wants Marlena to see what he sees — that she’s a really good person. Kristen tears up and says she’s not. He encourages to her tell him what she did.

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On his couch, John raises a beer bottle to Kristen, who sits on the other end, holding her own bottle.

After Stefan and Chloe fix the supply chain issues at DiMera, he tells her to enjoy her day. Chloe laments that she no longer has plans. She and Brady were supposed to attend a rarely performed opera in New York today. She even got a new outfit and they were going to meet Nancy for dinner. Stefan assures her by New Year’s she’ll forget all about Brady because they’ll be too busy having the time of their lives in Miami. She likes the sound of that. They kiss and leave for Susan’s funeral.

In the Square, Eric tells Brady he’s quitting Basic Black because he and Nicole broke up. Brady assumes it’s because of Jada’s baby, but Eric tells him Nicole talked Jada into having an abortion. A stunned Brady is so sorry, but thinks it’s unfair to blame Nicole. It doesn’t matter, Eric says, because he and Nicole are too different. He relays the argument they had over him sleeping with Sloan. Brady’s eyebrows raise. “I’m sorry, what?”

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Brady badmouths Sloan, so Eric throws his shacking up with Kristen in his face. Brady points out they’re not back together. Eric knows he’s still attracted to her though. Brady deadpans that he’s attracted to vodka too, but he knows the road leads to disaster. Eric thinks it’s only a matter of time before he gives in, but Brady insists nothing will happen after what she did.

Chloe and Stefan stroll through the Square. Upon seeing Brady, Stefan gets in his face for treating Chloe so poorly. Brady punches him. Stefan gets in more digs and leaves with Chloe. Eric can see how hard that was for Brady. He presses his brother until Brady admits Kristen blackmailed him.

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Since he has blood on his shirt, Stefan suggests to Chloe they just go to the reception at the house. Once there, Stefan changes as Chloe discovers the peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwiches. They wonder where everyone is.

Upon seeing Ava outside the church, Johnny exclaims that no one could have survived the crash. Ava shrugs and says, “I guess I’m hard to kill.” Johnny asks if his grandma is alive too. Ava explains that she jumped from the car after it went through the guardrail, but Susan didn’t. Johnny wonders why she’s wearing a disguise. Ava says she wanted to pay her respects and didn’t want to be recognized. Johnny doesn’t buy it considering what she did to Susan.

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At St. Luke's, Sister Mary Moira glares at the priest. Nicole rolls her eyes, Marlena looks on, and EJ's eyes drift off screen.

Ava reminds Johnny that EJ started their war when he made her leave town. Johnny counters that she started the war when she faked her marriage to his Uncle Jake. She reminds him that he defended her, but Johnny shouts, “That was before you killed my grandmother!” Ava will admit to kidnapping Susan, but she didn’t kill her. All EJ had to do was pay her off. Johnny points out he did pay her. Ava retorts that he didn’t do that until after he kidnapped Tripp. Johnny reels, but after learning Tripp was set free, wonders why she still drove Susan off a cliff.

Inside the church, EJ wonders what’s keeping Johnny from the service. Marlena remarks he was looking for a woman earlier. Mary Moira doesn’t want Susan’s arrival at the pearly gates delayed any longer. Under the altar, the bomb’s digital display countdowns from 48 minutes.

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Tripp defiantly looks up at a glowering EJ in the church.

A furious Tripp races in and blames EJ for killing his mom and for kidnapping him. They shout at each other until The Sister yells for them to stop. She storms outside and finds John Roman, who says he was just catching up with a friend. He hopes he didn’t miss the service. Mary Moira tells him a young man came to yell at EJ for kidnapping him. A panicked Ava rushes inside.

In the church, Tripp rails at a dismissive EJ, who wants him gone. Tripp sits and smirks. He’s not going anywhere. The bomb counts down from 13 minutes. Ava bursts in and orders Tripp to come with her. Tripp rushes to hug her and she tries to hurry him out, but EJ stops her. Ava yells for Tripp to get out of there because there’s a bomb. Everyone gasps and the bomb explodes.

At the church, a sneering EJ grabs Ava's arm. Wearing a blonde wig, she reaches out to Tripp. Nicole makes a call in the background.

Next on Days of Our Lives: lives hang in the balance, and Xander can’t run from his past.

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