Before meeting Shin at the bar, Jake tells Gabi to change course on their plane, away from Titan. Shin arrives, however, before he can fill her. They sit down as Jake suggests that Shin NOT remove from DiMera. Shin points out that he has already gone back, but smiles as he realizes that Jake wants to take EJ’s place as CEO. He wonders if they have told Chad about their plans for a hostile takeover. Jake points out that he never said anything about Chad. They just have to take things one step at a time, starting with getting rid of NO. Shin reminds him that he is NOT innocent until proven guilty, so he has no reason to fire him … yet. Jake asks Shin to look at the suggestion he sends him. Shin agrees and goes. Gabi wonders, now that they are not going after Titan, where does that leave her? Jake assures that Gabi getting her to Titan is their next step. He lets her take care of a few things.
Ava meets Rafe in his office at the station. She is guarded while they discuss New Year’s Eve plans. She narrows her eyes as she suggests they invite Nicole to hang out with them. Rafe refuses, but Ava insists before he leaves.
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Brady surprises Chloe by showing up at Titan on a vacation. He says it’s time for him to start pulling his own weight around there. Chloe cries and worries about Philip, but assures Brady that she knows he is not capable of hurting him. Brady is so sorry if Philip has disappeared because of Kristen. As strange as it sounds, Chloe hopes Kristen has him somewhere he can escape. Brady promises to do everything in his power to find Kristen. Chloe urges him to be careful, but Brady knows Kristen would never physically hurt him. Brady beats himself up for being selfish and petty with Philip over her. Chloe also blames herself because she knew their relationship was driving Philip crazy. She admits she was not aware of how she was feeling because she herself was not sure. She tells him how Kate thought they had sex on the conference table.
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Ava approaches the door as Chloe explains to Brady that she was forced to tell Kate that it was Nicole and Rafe who had sex, not them. While Ava sighs outside the door, Chloe and Brady discuss New Year’s Eve. She says her only plan is to go home and slip into sweatpants. He asks if she wants company, but she refuses. However, he convinces her to leave work early. As soon as they leave the office, Ava returns and sneaks in. She searches the desk and finds Duke, declaring that the “shared custody” event is over, and – after talking about Nicole and Rafe’s betrayal – he cuts off his head. “They do not get away with it!” she warns.
At the DiMera mansion, EJ explains to Sami and Nicole why he is convinced that Lucas is the one who got Sami kidnapped. Sami rattles off why she is not buying it, and lets go that she and EJ are together again. She rejoices to realize that Nicole did not know it. DO NOT turn his gaze away from Nicole, who does not believe it. After she and Sami go back and forth, Nicole turns to an uncomfortable look NOT and says, “Oh my God. That’s not true?” After getting confirmed, she tells Sami that she can get EJ, which she never really wanted anyway.Nicole strolls out.
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Alone does NOT put the charm on with Samantha, but she needs him to look her in the eye and tell her he did not kidnap her. DO NOT take her face in his hands and promise he did not.
Nicole runs into Rafe outside Brady’s Pub and tells him that she and EJ are over. After running down the list of horrible decisions she’s made this year, Rafe asks her to spend New Year’s Eve with him and Ava. Surprised to hear that it was Ava’s idea, Nicole worries about how her friend will react if she finds out what happened between them. “You go and kiss Ava for New Year. I want to be home, in bed, alone,” she insists. They wish each other a happy new year.
After Chad finds Lucas in his office, Lucas shows him the money trail “he found”, proving that EJ is not Sami’s kidnapper. Chad does not recognize the money transfers or recurring payments to Jason Smith, one of Sami’s guards. Chad calls it incredible … a little too incredible. He accuses Lucas of planting the information on the computer, adding, “My brother was right. You did it.” Lucas tries, but fails to deny it. He believes that the creation of the EJ could also benefit Chad. With EJ out of the picture, Chad can drive the DiMera solo. Chad needs to think about it.
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Back at the mansion, EJ and Sami Lucas discuss the issue as Chad steps in. He shows Sami the paper trail that does NOT connect with Jason. Sami’s eyes widen at EJ, who frantically insists he did not do this. Sami cries as she tells him how awful it was for her to be in captivity. She knows Lucas would never do that to her, but he would. She says goodbye and storms out.
In Horton Square, Lucas admits to Alice and Tom’s plaque that he feels unworthy of being a Horton. But he insists he did it out of love. At the same time, Gabi encounters a crying Sami who says she is not okay. And to the DiMera mansion, Shin arrives to tell EJ that he’s out as CEO and that Chad is now in charge.
Next on Days in our lives: Gabi comforts Sami before the latter moves on to another consolation course while Ben and Ciara focus on the future.
From a murder mystery and kidnapped babies to the devil and the search for Sarah, we look at the great stories of Days in our lives from 2021 in our image gallery below.
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