From her hospital bed, Ava glares at Xander who stands over her.
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

After a Buddy Burger dinner, the Kiriakis clan convenes in the living room. Justin gives his thrilled wife a Buddy’s Burger scratch-off ticket and she wins an order of fries. She’s hopeful the bad times are finally over, but she sees Alex, Sonny, and Justin wearing clown masks. A look of terror washes over her face and she runs from the room.

The men realize Bonnie is still shaken up from her ordeal. Justin asks his sons to go out for a drink to give Bonnie space. After they leave, Bonnie returns with an antacid for her stomach. She sees Justin in the clown mask again and drops her glass. Justin sits her down and encourages her to tell him what’s going on. She confesses that she keeps seeing the clown. He holds her as she sobs and convinces talk to Marlena.

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At the bar, Gwen tells Leo that Jack passed on his gossip column idea for The Spectator. After he processes his disappointment, he wonders how Gwen’s going to cash in on the favor she did for Xander. When Gwen balks, Leo insists it’s possible to lure Xander back into her bed. She assumes he wants that to be true because he’s trying to do the same with thing with Sonny. Leo protests, as Sonny and Alex enter.

At the hospital, Sarah talks with Tripp in an exam room. He says he feels fine and wants to go see Ava. Sarah worries about his smoke inhalation and orders him to stay put until she gets his lab results.

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In street clothes, Tripp sits on a hospital exam table flanked by Steve and Stephanie.

After Sarah leaves, Stephanie and Steve visit Tripp. Steve thinks it would have been better had Ava died in that explosion. When Tripp objects, Steve exclaims that Ava is dangerous. He begs his son to stay away from her. Tripp won’t abandon his mother. He wants her to know he loves her no matter what. Steve understands, but he can’t get past the fact that she almost got Tripp killed. Steve can’t lose him again. Tripp hugs his teary-eyed father.

Later in the lobby, Steve calls Kayla to tell her Tripp is going to be okay. He’s hoping to convince him to go back to Seattle for Christmas. He hangs up and Stephanie tells her father she can’t spend the holidays with them because of Paulina’s crisis. Steve doesn’t want her to spend the holiday alone, but Stephanie thinks she’ll be too busy to realize it. She invites Steve for a drink, but he wants to stick around for Tripp.

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In her hospital room, Ava threatens to expose Xander if he doesn’t get her out of there. As they argue about it, a scowling Xander picks up a scalpel. Ava dares him to use it, as Sarah enters. He slyly sets down the scalpel and lies that he was trying to get Ava to spill on her hired goon. Sarah suggests he let the police do the interrogating and stays behind to examine Ava for Tripp. Xander reluctantly leaves.

Sarah determines Ava’s vital signs are good, but the patient looks around disoriented. When Sarah tells Ava her son is worried about her, Ava scowls. She says it’s all Charlie’s fault for her trying to get even with EJ. He even made her drive Susan off the road. Tripp enters and Ava points at him thinking he’s Charlie. She wants him to tell Sarah the bomb was all his idea. Tripp tries to get through to her, but Ava gets more worked up. As Sarah sedates her, Ava sees Charlie who shouts this is just like what her father did to her.

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Wearing a hospital gown, Ava angrily points her finger, that is attached to a monitor, at Charlie.

Back in the bar, Gwen steps away to take a call from Xander, who asks her to meet him in the Square. After she leaves, Leo invites the Kiriakis brothers to join him. Sonny agrees, but Alex balks. Stephanie walks in and Alex sits with her.

When Sonny learns Leo is getting kicked out of the motel and has nowhere to go, he invites him to stay at the mansion. Leo wonders what Will would say about it. Sonny reiterates that Will’s staying in L.A. for work so he doesn’t get a say. As for Victor, Sonny will convince him that Leo’s changed. Leo promises to be good.

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At their table, Stephanie fills Alex in on Tripp’s ordeal. She then tells him she’s staying behind while her family celebrates Christmas in Seattle. He declares she’ll spend the holiday with him. He thinks it’s going to be the best Christmas ever and they kiss.

In the Square, Xander updates Gwen on Ava being alive and her latest threats. He reveals bolt cutters he’ll use to free Ava from her handcuffs, but he needs a driver. She agrees to help, but he really owes her.

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In the Square, Xander raises his brow to Gwen while holding a bolt cutter.

Back at the hospital, Sarah and Tripp accompany Ava as she’s wheeled on a gurney to the lobby. Tripp tells Steve that Ava’s seeing Charlie, and Sarah says she’s being transferred to Bayview. Xander arrives and a drugged Ava says, “This is all your fault. I’m going to tell everyone what you did.” Xander panics until Sarah explains Ava’s hallucinating. Ava cries. She doesn’t want to leave Tripp. He holds her hand and assures her they’re going to get her better.

Steve calls Justin to tell him about Ava being alive and getting carted off to Bayview. Justin’s disappointed they won’t be able to get answers about the kidnapper. Justin returns to Bonnie who obsessively scrubs the floor where she spilled her drink.

Ava takes another look at Charlie and asks to be taken out of there. Tripp accompanies her as she’s wheeled away. After Sarah gets paged away, Xander gets a text from Gwen saying she’s ready to go. Xander texts back that the mission is off. Gwen replies that he still owes her one.

 

In the hospital lobby, Steve Tripp and Sarah surround Ava's gurney. Ava glares at Charlie who stands behind Sarah.

Next on Days of Our Lives: Paulina gets a Christmas miracle, and Nicole and Eric have another tense encounter.

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