Reeling From Their Loss, Eric Hits the Booze and Johnny Punches Tripp — Plus, New Doors Open For Marlena
Monday, January 23, 2023: Today on Days of Our Lives, as Marlena passes away, the deceased encounters a mysterious place, Allie finds Chanel and Johnny together, Eric heads for the bar, and Will receives a surprising opportunity.
In the Square, Wendy texts Johnny to let him know she’s there for him. She runs into Tripp, who just saw Ava, which was a nightmare. They sit at a table and drink chrysanthemum tea. Wendy’s mother used to make it for her when she was upset, and Tripp looks pretty upset right now. He tells her Ava was hallucinating that he was Charlie the whole time. He had to watch them sedate Ava and drag her away. He chokes up, worried she hates him for leaving her alone to live a nightmare she may never wake up from. Wendy hugs him.
At the hospital, Johnny and Chanel break away from their embrace. He reflects on John and Marlena’s life together. There was no doubt they were with the person they were meant to be with. He always thought he’d find someone and that the first time he fell in love with would be the last. Now, it’s the end. She caresses his face. Their lips draw close as Allie walks off the elevator.
“What’s going on here?” Allie demands. They explain about the slideshow. Allie snarks that she thought Chanel avoided rooftops. She’s also not impressed that Johnny helped ensure Kristen’s arrest. When Chanel defends Johnny for being upset about his grandma, Allie wonders how he can be so grief-stricken when he was just coming on to her girlfriend.
After Eric leads Belle and Will in prayer at the chapel, Sonny arrives. Eric and Belle head off to see Marlena, and Sonny comforts his husband. Will recalls his grandmother being the only person he could talk to about being gay, and how she told him to fight for Sonny. Sonny quips that it wasn’t much of a fight. He wasn’t exactly playing hard to get.
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Will gets a call and learns his project was greenlit, but it’s in New Zealand. He’d have to go now, so he’s going to pass. Sonny doesn’t think Marlena would want him to put his life on hold and urges him to call his agent. Will says he also can’t leave because they’ll be apart for at least six months. He knows their fight this past Christmas was different, and it scared him. Sonny won’t hold him back from his dream.
On the roof, John watches the photo display. Marlena’s head lies on his shoulder with her eyes closed. When she doesn’t respond to him, he says, “Oh, God, no.” He cries, vowing to get her help.
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Sarah discovers Marlena’s empty hospital bed. She makes a call as Belle and Eric enter. John races in with Marlena, whose head lolls. When Marlena is put back in bed, Sarah feels her pulse and says, “I’m sorry. She’s gone.” Belle rushes out of the room, and John runs after her. Sarah offers Eric her condolences and leaves to tell the rest of the family.
Tears fall as Eric sits with his mom. He says when life’s been hard, his faith has always sustained him… until now. He asked God to spare her life, but he stopped listening. He lies his head on her chest and sobs. He’s never needed someone to talk to more than right now, and she’s gone.
As Allie rails at Johnny and Chanel in the lobby, a somber Sarah walks up. She relays that Marlena is gone, and Allie falls into her arms. Johnny leaves to get some air.
John and Belle return to Marlena’s room. Eric leaves to give them time alone with her. A tear-stained Belle tells Marlena how much everyone loves and admires her. She’s been so proud to be her daughter. John rubs her back as she sobs. Belle embraces her dad and leaves.
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Wendy spots Johnny, who strolls through the Square. He tells them Marlena just died, and they offer their condolences. Johnny doesn’t want to hear it from Tripp because his mother killed his Grandma Susan. Over Wendy’s objections, Johnny taunts Tripp, who throws a punch. Johnny blocks him and punches him instead. Tripp falls to the ground, and Wendy exclaims, “Johnny!” Johnny spits, “He started it,” and stalks off. Wendy tends to Tripp, who thanks her for being there for him. That’s what friends are for, she says.
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Back at the hospital, Belle comes to the lobby. She hugs Allie, and then steps away to call Sami. Allie tells Chanel to leave and heads out to find Will. After leaving a message for Sami to call her back, Belle finds Eric. She suggests they go back to the chapel and pray. Eric responds that God isn’t listening to him anymore and departs.
Johnny finds Chanel on the park bench. They awkwardly sit with each other.
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In the chapel, Will and Sonny agree this isn’t the time to talk about New Zealand. Allie walks in and sobs in her brother’s arms. Belle joins them, and Allie asks where Uncle Eric is.
At Brady’s Pub, Eric takes a shot and then tells the bartender to “hit me again.”
Alone with Marlena, John recalls when they first met. He didn’t even know who he was, but she saw the man he was and the man he could be again. When he first kissed her, it changed everything. He kisses her lips. “From that first kiss to this last one,” he whispers. “My love story has begun.” After flashbacks of their life together play, John says, “Our story isn’t over, Doc. This isn’t goodbye, baby. I know in my heart, one day, we’re going to be together again.”
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Sarah enters the room. John kisses Marlena’s forehead and solemnly leaves. Sarah turns off the light in the room and follows him out. A bright light shines, and Marlena’s spirit sits up.
On the rooftop, John looks skyward and says he knows Doc will be up there looking out for all of them.
Dressed in all white in a white void, Marlena cautiously walks forward. A purple glow casts upon her as she opens double doors. Her eyes narrow as she looks around.
Next on Days of Our Lives: Marlena runs into familiar faces in the afterlife, and Allie turns to Alex for advice.
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Will the women’s “deaths” end up as one of soaps’ all time wildest, most daring storylines? Take a look at our rankings in the photo gallery below and decide for yourself.