Thursday, September 22, 2016
by Mike

As Rafe was passing through the town square, he contacted Roman to see if there was an explanation for the blackout. When Roman reported that there had been an explosion somewhere nearby, Rafe concluded that it couldn't just be a coincidence that it had occurred while Orpheus, Clyde, and Xander were on the loose.

A short time later, Rafe heard a scream nearby. When he went to investigate, he ran into J.J., who was with an angry Claire. She explained that she had screamed because J.J. had grabbed her from behind in the darkness. J.J. clarified that he had been searching for Claire because she had defied orders to stay at the Horton house. "Sorry I was trying to prevent you from getting killed," he grumbled at her.

Changing the subject, Rafe asked about Gabi, and J.J. reported that he hadn't heard from her since before the blackout. Rafe told Claire to stay with J.J. and follow his orders. "Whatever's going on, it is not a joke," Rafe added before walking away. Meanwhile, J.J. received a text message from someone. "Wait, hold up -- you have service?" Claire asked excitedly. J.J. ignored Claire as he read the message, which was from Gabi and revealed that she was trapped in the DiMera mansion's panic room. J.J. rushed off, dragging Claire along. "I live in a police state," she complained.

At the Brady Pub, Hope told Aiden to leave then rushed off to check on Caroline. Aiden slammed his hand down on a nearby table in frustration, unable to see the glass that was sitting on it. He winced in pain as the glass shattered and sliced his palm, leaving a deep cut. Hope returned as he was wrapping a towel around the wound, and although he claimed that he was fine, she insisted on cleaning and bandaging it.

As Hope was fishing items out of a first-aid kit, she reported that she had been able to tell, from the vantage point of an upstairs window, that the blackout had hit the entire town. Hope guessed that Orpheus and the other escaped convicts had taken out the central power plant. "He's always loved blowing things up," she explained with a sigh.

Aiden winced in pain again when Hope started cleaning his cut, and when she instinctively apologized, he took her kindness as a good sign and seized the opportunity to try to offer his own apology for the way he had grabbed her earlier. Hope quickly stopped Aiden and reiterated that they had nothing left to talk about. "After I get you patched up, you're on your own," she added.

Aiden forged ahead, revealing that he had sent Chase back to Portland. "I thought maybe Ciara would want to know [that] he's gone," Aiden continued. Hope promised to deliver the news to Ciara. Hope wondered if Aiden would be joining Chase in Portland, and he confirmed that he would -- eventually. "[There are] some loose ends I need to tie up here [first]," he added.

As Aiden started to assure Hope that he had changed, Rafe arrived and wondered if she was okay. Hope confirmed that she was, and when Rafe demanded to know what Aiden was doing at the Brady Pub, she explained that Aiden had suffered an injury as a result of the blackout. "But what was he doing here in the first place? Shouldn't this place be off-limits to him?" Rafe wondered. Aiden pointed out that he was still in the room, prompting Rafe to counter, "Hopefully not for long."

Shifting his attention to Hope, Rafe filled her in on what he had learned from Roman earlier. "Seems like Orpheus hasn't changed a bit," Hope mused after Rafe confirmed her suspicion that an explosion had caused the blackout. Rafe soon focused on Aiden again, accusing him of stalking Hope. Aiden clarified that he had spotted Hope entering the Brady Pub and had simply seized the opportunity to let her know that he had sent Chase to Portland. Aiden claimed that he had hoped the news would ease Ciara's mind, but Rafe wasn't convinced.

"I'm onto you. I don't buy your fake concern, and I don't buy the 'new man' routine. The only thing that I do buy is [that] you're a bag of crap in an expensive suit," Rafe spat. Hope intervened, pulled Rafe aside, and asked him not to make the situation any worse than it already was, stressing that she could handle Aiden on her own. Rafe promised to back off.

Satisfied, Hope turned her attention to Aiden, thanking him for letting her know that Chase was no longer in Salem. Hope dismissively added that she and Rafe needed to get back to work. Nodding, Aiden thanked Hope for tending to his wound, prompting her to advise him to get a doctor to look at it right away. "You do care," Aiden happily observed. "Nope. She doesn't," Rafe muttered. Aiden hesitantly left the Brady Pub then took a seat on a nearby bench, opened his briefcase, and stared at the case file for Stefano's murder.

At the DiMera mansion, Chad told Gabi that the door to the panic room had an electromagnetic lock that couldn't be disabled during a power outage. Gabi started to freak out, fearing for Arianna's safety, but Chad assured her that Arianna and Thomas would both be fine because they were with Adrienne and Lucas, who would take good care of them.

Chad tried to unlock the door using an override switch, but it didn't do anything. Groaning, he explained that the panic room was a new addition to the mansion and wasn't in full working order yet. Gabi thought it seemed like the room was getting hotter, but as she began hyperventilating, Chad assured her that suffocation wasn't a concern. "Just pretend [you're in] a sauna and hope that J.J. got your text," he advised.

Meanwhile, Theo stepped into the hallway and quietly called out for Adrienne and Lucas. When something clattered somewhere in the darkness, Theo rushed back into the study and locked the door. "It's okay -- we're safe now," Theo assured Arianna, who didn't seem particularly fazed. Theo went to check on Thomas and begged him to stop crying. "Why didn't [Adrienne] come back? Something's wrong. Something's...something's really wrong," Theo worriedly muttered. Someone soon began rattling the doorknob and pounding on the door, sending Theo into a panic.

Theo curled up on the floor, covered his ears, and began rocking back and forth as Lucas and Adrienne stood in the hallway, begging him to open the door. After a few minutes, Theo managed to regain his composure, remembering that he had promised Adrienne earlier that he would take care of Arianna and Thomas while she was gone. Theo hesitantly approached the door and opened it. As Adrienne and Lucas rushed inside to check on Thomas and Arianna, Theo insisted, "I took care of them. I took care of them."

As Gabi stripped off some of her clothes in an effort to stay comfortable in the heat of the panic room, she joked, "What they say is true: nothing good can come from being around a DiMera." She quickly apologized to Chad, realizing that her comment had been insensitive and stupid. Chad unbuttoned his shirt as he assured Gabi that she didn't need to worry about his feelings, but she insisted on making it clear that she hadn't meant to put him down. "I mean, yes, the DiMeras have a reputation, but you're...different, Chad. You're not like them. You're kind, and caring, and compassionate -- nothing like them," she continued.

Chad argued that, genetically speaking, he had to be at least a bit like the other DiMeras. "I have DiMera tendencies, but the difference is [that] I fight them. I spend my life fighting them. My love for Abby motivated me to be a better person, and now that she's gone, I have to do that for my son so someday, hopefully, he can be proud of his father, so when he grows up to be a man, even when people make very 'funny' jokes, like you just did, he can be proud to be a DiMera," he continued.

Gabi predicted that Thomas would grow up being proud of the DiMera name because of the example that Chad was trying to set for him. "I hope so. But what you said about [how] nothing good can come from having anything to do with a DiMera -- even though I know you meant it as a joke, it's, uh -- it's unfortunately very true," Chad admitted. Gabi apologized again, realizing that her attempt at humor had caused Chad to think about Abigail. Chad clarified that he didn't need bad jokes to make him think about Abigail because she was always in his thoughts. "In the end, she just -- she got hurt, like everyone else who's fallen for a DiMera," he added.

Gabi argued that it was egocentric of Chad to blame himself for what had happened to Abigail. "She didn't pay because she fell for you; it was because she got involved with a homicidal maniac, and then everything went wrong," Gabi pointed out. Chad confirmed that he knew, deep down, that Gabi was right. Realizing that Chad still felt responsible regardless, Gabi insisted that he needed to give himself a break and accept that Abigail's heartbreaking and tragic death hadn't had anything to do with him. Chad thanked Gabi for the kind words and promised to do his best to heed her advice.

"But that does not save you from being to blame for this current predicament that we are in," Gabi stressed. Chad sarcastically agreed that he should have shoved Gabi out of the panic room the moment she had tried to set foot in it, because it was his panic room, and she had no business being in it. As Chad and Gabi finished stripping down to their underwear, they talked about their kids and reminisced about their high school days.

Meanwhile, J.J. arrived at the mansion with Claire and found Lucas, Adrienne, Theo, and the kids in the study. J.J. asked Lucas to lead him to the panic room then asked Adrienne to keep an eye on Claire, warning, "She can't be trusted." Claire started to tell Theo about what she had been doing when the power outage had occurred, but he just stared blankly at the wall while she was speaking.

When Claire realized that Theo seemed upset about something, she wondered what was wrong. Theo followed Claire into the hallway and told her about what had happened earlier, admitting that he felt stupid because of the way he had reacted to the situation. Claire assured Theo that the blackout had scared everyone, not just him. Claire insisted that Theo had done a great job of looking out for the kids, and he thanked her with a hug.

Chad and Gabi started putting their clothes back on as they asked Lucas and J.J. about Thomas and Arianna. Lucas reported that the kids were with Adrienne and were fine. Chad rushed off with Lucas while still only half-dressed, and J.J. stayed behind with Gabi, observing that it looked like things had gotten pretty hot in the panic room. Gabi thanked J.J. for rescuing her then excused herself so she could get some air.

When Joey reentered the Johnson house after ending his phone conversation with Jade, he was shocked to see that Kayla was bound to a chair and gagged, and someone was holding a knife to her throat. As Joey lunged forward in an effort to protect Kayla, Xander grabbed him from behind and held him back. Orpheus stressed that it was in Kayla's best interest for Joey to remain very quiet, and Joey confirmed that he understood. "What now?" Xander asked. "Now we have some fun," Orpheus replied.

Steve soon returned home, having realized after the blackout that his earlier suspicions about the maintenance worker he had encountered in the town square might not have been unfounded, after all. The living room was empty, so Steve called out for Kayla while searching for something in a drawer near the front door. "Looking for this?" Orpheus guessed as he emerged from the kitchen, holding a coffee cup in one hand and Steve's gun in the other. Taking a seat in the living room, Orpheus mused that prison had a way of teaching people to appreciate the little things, like a fresh cup of coffee and a comfortable armchair.

"Although it is difficult to make a good cup of coffee during a power outage. My bad -- the power outage, I mean. It's wonderful what you can do with just a little C4. Ka-boom! So, Steve...where were you when the lights went out?" Orpheus asked. Steve angrily demanded to know where his family was. "Cue the family!" Orpheus called out, prompting Clyde and Xander to emerge from a bedroom with Kayla and Joey, who were both bound and gagged. "Seems like old times, doesn't it?" Orpheus mused between sips of coffee.

Joey tried to lunge forward again, but Steve stopped him and insisted on handling the matter himself. "The way you handled it so long ago on my yacht?" Orpheus countered. Clyde impatiently urged Orpheus to hurry up and kill the Johnsons so they could move on to their next target, warning that even the Salem Police Department might be able to do the math and realize that when a power plant suddenly exploded while three escaped convicts were on the loose, it probably meant that they were up to something. "[I'm] the brains of this operation, Clyde, so concentrate on being a silent partner," Orpheus dismissively replied.

Xander agreed that Orpheus was taking too long to exact revenge. Amused, Steve observed that the escaped convicts seemed to be getting on each other's nerves already. Orpheus insisted that Steve was in no position to make jokes. "No? Well, uh, I seem to be dealing with Larry, Curly, and Moe here," Steve replied with a laugh.

Turning his attention to Xander, Steve asked, "Are you starting to wonder if partnering up with [Orpheus] was the stupidest thing you've ever done?" Without waiting for a response, Steve moved on to Clyde, guessing that he was starting to realize that, thanks to Orpheus, he could soon be facing the death penalty. "You're not just a petty drug lord anymore; now you're a domestic terrorist, and that is playing so well these days," Steve continued.

Orpheus hit Steve in the face with the butt of the gun and angrily ordered him to shut up. Steve quickly cracked another joke. Orpheus told Xander to gag Steve, but as Xander was readying a handkerchief to stuff in Steve's mouth, Steve insisted on telling one last joke. "Did you ever ask yourselves why you met this master criminal in prison? Because he's a lousy master criminal!" Steve warned Xander and Clyde.

"I told you to shut him up!" Orpheus shouted at Xander as Steve laughed tauntingly. Taking advantage of the distraction, Steve shoved his elbow into Xander's stomach then lunged toward Orpheus and tried to seize the gun from him. During the ensuing struggle, a shot was fired, and Kayla screamed in terror as she and Joey tried to free themselves from Clyde's grip.

When Steve regained consciousness a short time later, he found Kayla sobbing on his chest. Kayla was relieved to see that Steve was okay, but she was a bit confused until he opened his jacket and revealed that he had been wearing a bulletproof vest all along. "Orpheus said he was just gonna leave me here with your corpse, like with him and his wife," Kayla tearfully explained as she showered Steve with kisses.

Steve untied Kayla and assured her that everything was going to be okay. As he looked around the living room, however, he realized that Joey was nowhere to be found. "They took him," Kayla revealed before breaking down in Steve's arms.

. . .

On the next Days of our Lives...

• Chloe shares her plan with Nicole.
• Steve and Kayla bond while worrying about Joey.
• Kate, Marlena, and Claire find themselves in danger.
FIRST LOOK: Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause's new film