With electrodes attached to his forehead, Stefan glares at Gabi.
Credit: Peacock screenshot

Paulina comes to the Kiriakis mansion looking for Justin, but finds a shirtless Alex lifting weights instead. She orders him to put his man toys away and to put on a shirt so she can rant at him about Stephanie. He complies and accepts everything she dishes out. He doesn’t expect her to understand what it’s like to make a mistake that causes so much hurt.

Paulina tells him about giving up Lani, who forgave her. It gives Alex hope that one day Stephanie will do the same for him. When he laments Stephanie not returning his messages, Paulina tells him to stop hiding behind a screen. He needs to be with her in the flesh when making his apology. After she leaves, Alex composes a handwritten letter to Stephanie.

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Chad embraces Jack upon finding him at the Horton House. Jack somberly tells him he cut Gwen out of his life for good. It leads Chad to recount cheating on Abigail with her. Jack recounts how happy he made Abby after they reconciled. Chad wishes he could keep doing that, but he knows Abby wouldn’t want him to wallow and he has to be strong for the kids. Jack assures him he’s done that and believes Chad deserves to have more good days. He has a lot more to give. Jack hopes he finds love again and thinks Abigail would feel the same way.

Chad can’t think about finding love again, not when Abby still has his heart. She always will. When Jack hears that Chad “saw” Abby at the cemetery, he suggests that was Chad’s subconscious giving him permission to move on. After noting Chad and Stephanie have gotten closer, Jack muses that his love for Abigail won’t lessen. He’ll just find room in his heart to live the life he deserves. The life Abigail would want him to have. Chad embraces him. Jack encourages Chad to explore his connection with Stephanie, but vows to support whatever he decides.

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At home, Stephanie deletes Alex’s voicemail asking for another chance. As she writes a eulogy for Kayla, Steve comes home. He tells her that thanks to Kristen, Kayla can’t be an organ donor, which she wanted, so Joe and Tripp are talking to the hospital about donating her body to science. She tells her dad about her eulogy, but most of what she writes she ends up deleting. He knows the right words will come at the right time. She keeps thinking about what she would have said to her mom had she been there in time. Steve urges her to let that go. Kayla knows she loved her. It’s not her fault. Stephanie agrees.

After Stephanie rants about Alex, Steve says Kayla was at peace and would want her to be too. Stephanie wants to be like her mother — to help people and lift their spirits. Steve assures her she does that and he’s so proud of her. Stephanie brings up a memory of when Steve was gone. He knows they got along just fine without him because they had each other. Stephanie confirms, but now, she doesn’t know. Steve holds her as she tears up. Stephanie knows they will be okay because they have each other.

After Steve’s left, Stephanie opens the door to Chad. Meanwhile, Alex holds flowers in the Square and says, “Ready or not Steph, here I come.”

At the Pub, Jack picks up carryout and sees Steve. He embraces his brother and says how sorry he is about Kayla.

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In the Square, Leo tries to process Gwen choosing Xander over her father and everything else in her life. Gwen recounts how she’s only disappointed Jack since she’s known him. She loves him so much, she decided to do the unselfish thing and let him go. Leo counters that she walked away from Jack because she can’t quit Xander. Gwen confirms that she’s still in love with him, even if he doesn’t love her back. Leo knows Xander loves her too, and he might even be giving up on Sarah. He encourages her to go Xander’s room and tell him of the sacrifices she made to save his fine, fine ass.

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In Xander’s motel room, he tells Sarah he loves her with all his heart. She urges him to sign the divorce papers and let her go, then. He explains what she saw when she walked in on him and Gwen the other night. But why did she come over in the first place? Teary-eyed, she says Bonnie convinced her to give him another chance. But now, she can’t give him more opportunities to disappoint her. He is not the man she fell in love with and she doesn’t want to be married to him anymore.

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As Sarah rants more about how he failed her, Xander points out that she knew exactly who he was. In fact, his being a bad boy is what drew her to him. That’s the man she fell in love with. He inches closer to her as she admits he’s right. She’s affected by the closeness, but can’t get past his crimes. He backs off, declaring she always comes back. She retorts it’s not happening this time so he should sign the papers. He angrily complies. With slumped shoulders, Sarah walks out. Xander’s face crumples as he sinks to the bed.

Later, Gwen comes to Xander’s door. He takes her in his arms and passionately kisses her.

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In the wine cellar, Stefan rages against getting deprogrammed. Gabi declares it’s what Stefano would have wanted, and sends Rolf to gather the equipment he stashed in the tunnels. Stefan tells Gabi he hates her, but she’s confident he’ll eventually thank her.

Rolf returns with a cart full of equipment. He warns there will be some improvisation and risks involved, including death. Gabi and Stefan yelp. After Rolf dismisses the negligible odds of Stefan dying, Gabi gives him the green light. Over Stefan’s protests, she ducts tapes his mouth.

Later, electrodes attach to Stefan’s forehead and headphones cover his ears. Rolf talks into a microphone and instructs Stefan to remember falling in love with Gabi. Stefan’s shoulders shake as he remembers confessing his feelings for her in the secret room. Stefan smiles and Rolf turns a knob on a machine. Sparks fly and smoke billows. Stefan’s body convulses. When he stops, Gabi rushes to his side and pulls off the duct tape. Stefan looks at her and says, “Gabi.”

Next on Days of Our Lives: Xander learns of Gwen’s sacrifice, and Chad opens up to Stephanie.

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