A furrowed Stefan eyes Nicole, who holds a glass of water while talking to EJ.
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

EJ finds Stefan staring out the mansion’s French doors, but he’s supposed to be starting his first day as co-CEO. Stefan says he’s been having second thoughts because of how badly they treated Gabi. EJ reels. Is he suggesting they reinstate her? Stefan calls her smart, driven, and creative. EJ wonders what the hell is wrong with him.

Offscreen, Stefan fills EJ in on his deprogramming. After EJ processes, he tells his brother he and Nicole drank the cocktails he poured before Gabi knocked him out. Stefan recalls drugging one of them and tenses when EJ notes how hard the drinks hit Nicole. She joins them and says it’s still hitting her hard. She takes aspirin, and Stefan swiftly leaves to have Cook make her tea and toast.

EJ looks at Stefan with an earnest expression. Stefan stands with his back to him, with a cocked head and shifted eyes.

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Nicole apologizes to EJ again for throwing herself at him. She’ll understand if he doesn’t want to move forward, but he is looking forward to taking her to a proper dinner. As EJ updates her on Stefan’s deprogramming, Stefan returns with a tea set and toast. When Nicole assumes he and Chloe are over, Stefan corrects her. He’s in love with both women. Nicole reaches for toast, but cringes. She feels queasy so she leaves to get some air.

Gabi charges into the police department. She needs to get into the interrogation room, where Rafe is questioning Rolf. Jada blocks her, but Gabi whines that she needs Rolf to finish deprogramming Stefan before it’s too late.

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Sitting at the interrogation room table, Rafe leans toward Rolf who juts out his chin.

In the interrogation room, Rafe tells Rolf that flipping on his partners in crime is his last chance to avoid life in prison. An anxious Rolf asks who he expects him to implicate. Rafe smirks and suggests he start with Kristen and Li. He slides over paper and a pen to write down everything. Gabi barges in urging her brother to let Rolf go.

Rafe orders Gabi to leave, but she needs Rolf to finish what he started. Rolf declares he can’t because his equipment is destroyed. Gabi will pay for new equipment. She just needs him to get Chloe out of Stefan’s head and orders him to start writing. When Rolf has trouble starting, Jada ushers Gabi away. She advises Gabi to go home and they’ll call her when Rolf is done.

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Rafe sits across from Rolf at the interrogation table. Gabi stands, glaring at Rafe, while Jada observes from the door.

In the Square, Li admonishes someone over the phone for not keeping Rolf away from Salem. Now, he’s about to lose everything. He hangs up as Sloan happens by. She notes it sounds like he could use a lawyer. He says he already has one, but she retorts he needs the best and that’s her. Not only will she help with his Rolf issues, but she’ll stop Gabi from divorcing him. He hires her.

Later, Gabi finds Li alone in the Square. She gloats that Stefan is madly in love with her again, but lets slip there have been some complications. However, when Rolf finishes his procedure Stefan will want her and only her. Li isn’t so sure about that. Gabi declares Rolf is ratting him out to the cops as they speak. So, Li should be on his way to Statesville very soon. Li grins. He wouldn’t be sure about that either.

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Brady finds a brooding Eric drinking beer at the Pub. When Brady mentions it’s the middle of the afternoon, Eric snarls, “Care to join me?” Brady reminds him he’s sober and he thought Eric was too. Eric scoffs, assuming Brady’s trying to get him to go to a meeting. He tears up and says he just misses his mother. Brady misses Marlena too and she wasn’t even his real… Eric cuts him off. “She was your mom too.” Brady says he’s absolutely right. Eric asks how they go on without her. Brady responds that they lean on each other.

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The brothers catch up regarding Rachel’s anger over Kristen going away and Eric’s love life. Brady asks if he’s drinking because of Nicole. Eric calls that ridiculous as he drinks a fresh beer. In fact, his friends-with-benefits situation with Sloan suits him perfectly. Brady suggests the only reason he’s with Sloan is to mask the fact that he’s pining over the love of his life.

An emotional Anna walks in and offers her condolences to Eric. She tells both men she’s there for them should they need anything. Especially Brady considering all the Stefan/Chloe drama. Off Brady’s confusion, she fills him in about Stefan’s deprogramming. Brady asks if that means his feelings for Chloe are over. She says, not exactly and finishes the rest of the story. Brady calls Chloe but gets voicemail. He leaves to find her.

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Anna spots the purple urn behind the bar and yelps. “Is that Kate?” Eric explains his dad likes having her around. Anna understands, but it turned out the ashes she carried for years weren’t Tony. Maybe Roman should have them checked. After Eric leaves, Anna heads to the bar and tells Kate’s ashes she feels so useless while the boys have so much grief to deal with. After a beat, she says, “Thank you. And you’re right. Defeatism be damned. There’s definitely something I can do.”

Anna finds Brady outside Chloe’s hotel room door. She’s there to help mediate, but Brady doesn’t think Chloe’s there. Anna rushes off to bribe the hotel clerk for a room key. She assumes Chloe will be overjoyed to find the love of her life waiting for her. Brady hesitates, but Anna encourages him to go in. She follows him and remarks on how neat the room is. Brady discovers all of Chloe’s things are gone.

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Near the park bench, Nicole collapses against Eric.

On the park bench, Nicole drinks water and stands. Her knees buckle and Eric rushes to catch her. She insists she’s fine, but falters again. When he offers to help get her home, she rubs EJ in his face and declares she can take care of herself. She stalks off.

Back at the mansion, EJ tells Stefan it’s too risky to back out as co-CEOs and reinstate Gabi. They need to stay the course. A grave-faced Stefan supposes he’s right. EJ apologizes for his role in preventing the deprogramming from happening sooner, but he’s grateful Stefan has forgiven him. Stefan reiterates that all is forgiven. When EJ’s back is turned, Stefan drugs a tea cup and hands it to his brother. EJ happily sips.

After Rolf reluctantly implicates Li and Kristen in writing, Rafe tells him to sign on the dotted line. Sloan bursts in ordering him to do no such thing.

Next on Days of Our Lives: Johnny turns to Chanel, and Joey plays cupid.

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