We begin our day in Salem at University Hospital where Roman is trying to get Hattie to drink his magic hangover cure. It's one of those concoctions that sounds disgusting, but probably tastes pretty good. Hattie toasts "to us" and guzzles it down.
Outside Hattie's room, John and Roman huddle to talk about their women. Marlena is fine, but John is WAY more concerned with Hattie. Now that they've checked in, John wants Roman to get back to the front lines and go to battle.
Side Note: Drake Hogestyn and Josh Taylor look like they are having a ball with this story.
Back inside Hattie's room, Roman continues wooing Hattie. He tells her he's got all kind of ways to make her feel better when she gets out of the hospital. Hattie doesn't want to wait and tries to jump on the opportunity to do it, "right here and right now." Roman puts on the brakes because it doesn't feel right. Hattie doesn't get it. Roman pulls out the big guns and talks about makin' sweet love to her all day and all night. Hattie almost coos like the woman she is impersonating while thinking about all that lovemakin'.
Roman will not be making sweet love to Hattie while she is married to his friend John - because he's Catholic. It just can't be until she divorces John. Well played, Roman. As he continues to sweet talk her, the wonderful soapy music gets more intense. Just then the record scratches to indicate that John has walked in. He tells Hattie that Marlena is mad as hell and she needs to sign these divorce papers. Roman tries to give John the look that says, "Shut up, bro!" Hattie considers signing the papers and then tears them up. She lets them know she isn't being fooled by their shenanigans. She understands it from John because he is brainwashed by that fancy Dr. Marlena Evans, but she is ashamed of Roman. He continues to say he has feelings for Hattie, who wants him to put out or get out - even with John in the room. Roman's done. He can't put out for Hattie - who throws him out. She lets Roman know he doesn't know what he's missing.
John is dunzo. He wants out of this marriage. Hattie isn't budging and says they will stay married 'til death do they part. I swear I see a flicker of "The Pawn" in John's eye as he considers how to dispose of her. John capitulates, but says she has to be Marlena 24/7 and exist in a loveless marriage. Hattie's cool as long as she doesn't have to go back to prison.
Outside the Kiriakis mansion, Jennifer is on the phone with Chad, who I'm sure is bumfuzzled while discussing Abigail's surprise wedding to Stefan. She's going to get some answers! She knocks on the door and Eric answers. Jennifer wants to know what he's doing there and if he's back together with Nicole - not necessarily in that order. Eric says dropping off Holly and Nicole is dead. Wait, is that the tiniest of grins on Jennifer Rose's face?
Inside the Kiriakis mansion, Jennifer Rose pulls herself together and gets to shedding some Horton tears. She tells Eric she blames herself, and angry Eric says it's not her fault - it's Brady's. Eric goes on to give Jennifer the lowdown on the Nashville haps. He explains Xander forced Nicole into marriage and it never would have happened if it weren't for Brady, ANNNNND Brady pulled him out of that fire when he was trying to save Nicole. Jennifer Rose, very reasonably, says that Brady was trying to save him. Angry Eric thinks he was trying to keep Ericole apart FOREVER.
Jennifer Rose wants to know if Holly knows anything. Eric looks at her side-eyed and stifles his desire to probably say, "No, Jennifer Rose, she only has a one word vocabulary." What he actually does is ask how you could tell a child her mother has ascended the stairs to the upper room.
At the Salem Inn, Brady and Eve are basking in afterglow and talking about dead Nicole and Holly - not exactly romantic, post-coital, talk. Eve blames it all on Kristen so they can get back to business, but Brady, playing the role of Poor Pitiful Paula, just goes on and on about how everything is his fault. Why did they let him out of that room in Nashville? Anyway, during his diatribe, Eve gets the distinct notion that Brady might have engaged in some nekkid hijinks with Kristen - she's correct. Eve pulls back to smack Brady and calls him a "son of a bitch."
Side Note: It tickles me every time Eve gets mad and Kassie DiPaiva goes into full southern accent mode. It warms the cockles of my soul.
Eve wants to make sure Brady isn't mourning Kristen in addition to Nicole. Brady assures her she's wrong. Eve is now slipping into the role of Poor Pitiful Paula - but she has reason. Brady just slept with her and THEN told her about Kristen. Eve wants him to get his shit together before she deals with him again. Brady reminds her they still run Basic Black. No, they don't. Stefan dissolved Basic Black.
Brady doesn't understand - if I had a dime - and Eve explains the Board did it, and she's about to hit the bricks. She's going back to New York to start over and NO she does not want a ride to the airport from Brady. Eve doesn't want to take her stuff either. She'll use her Deimos' money to send for her things when she gets to NYC. Eve leaves. Brady cries.
In Horton Square, Claire brings Ben a coffee - serial killer blend - and wants to make sure that he's still hip to the plan to send Ciara and Tripp to Splitsville. Just then, Ciara appears to find out what's going on. Ben says it is always important to tell her the truth, but before he can spill the beans, Claire jumps in and says the news is that Ben didn't get the job at the cafe. Tripp is snarky and Ciara smacks him with her eyes. Claire follows up by defending Ben and saying he's changed. Tripp leaves and Ciara apologizes. Claire, in her most manipulative tone, says she just doesn't understand what Tripp's problem is. Claire thinks Ciara is so strong willed she should help Ben get a job. Ben tries to protest, but Claire keeps pushing until Ciara agrees. Ben asks her to grab lunch and Claire smiles the smile of someone who's plan has been set into motion. Tripp is none too pleased.
Oh Lord, Ciara has brought Ben the ex-serial killer to the Brady Pub to try and get Roman to give him a job. Really, Ciara? They sit down to wait on Roman. They start talking about jobs, which leads Ben to talk about working as a kid to buy Clyde a present for his birthday - you know this is going nowhere good. Clyde pulls in and Ben hears a horrible scream. He heads to the barn and sees a man hanging by his wrists with Clyde torturing him. He goes on about how nobody steals Clyde Weston's money. Ben reveals his father killed him. Ciara is horrified. Clyde tells Ben that a man does what he has to do to protect what is his. Ben then helped him carry the body to the back and helped him bury it. He never did give him the present he saved up for - a necktie.
Side Note: Somebody on the staff at DAYS did a really good job of going back to the time during the necktie killings to pull the Clyde quote, "a man does what he has to do to protect what is his." He said it to Ben when he found out Chad was sleeping with Abigail and the Clyde hallucination said it to Ben when he was coming off his meds in the cabin. That combined with Clyde killing a man and burying him in front of little Ben and the necktie . . . very well constructed.
Back at the table, Ben begins to become visibly shaken and Ciara leans in to comfort him. How do you make the killer of three into a viable character and a viable love interest for soap royalty? You don't give him a tumor. You don't conveniently forget the deaths. You don't try to redeem him. You allow him to own what he did and create a storyline that supports how he got from a little boy to a killer. Well played, writing team.
Back in Horton Square, Claire is trying to calm Tripp down when he discovers that #CIN has left the building. He's not happy, again. They go back and forth about Ben, and Claire gently reminds him he was no saint when he rolled into town. Tripp says tells her she can't compare the two.
Side Note: Back up, Tripp. You worked with Jade to set up Kayla to go down for killing her patients in order to get revenge for your mama Ava's death - which doesn't actually appear to be the case. See: Haunted Hallway of Horrors. Then, you took Kayla hostage at knife point (I think), and threatened to slit her throat. Of course, Steve and Kayla covered for you when you showed remorse. #BradyPrivilege #PoorJoey
Suddenly, we're at the Salem PD with Rafe and Hope, who are still trying to prove Ben is framing himself, and actually did set this fire that happened like eleventy months ago. MOVE ALONG, ROPE! Oh joy, Rafe has a clue to the accelerant can and something about a product number - quite honestly, I lost focus. Long story short, they might have Ben . . . meanwhile, I'm sure fires are being set all across the greater Salem area and the keystone cops are none the wiser. Can Eli and Lani with an assist from Private Investigator JJ (my wishful career change) please get on this case? They check out the tip and discover the accelerant is rare. The shop owner that carries it only sold one can in the last few months - to a young male. Hope looks triumphant they have now narrowed down the suspect pool to a little less than 1/2 the population.
We begin the end of our day in Salem outside the Brady Pub, where Eric is crying. Roman bends down to comfort his son - he heard about Nicole.
At the Salem Inn, Brady is dressed again and looking at pictures of Eve on his phone.
In Horton Square, Eve is on the way to the airport and runs into Jennifer. Eve is pissed and Jennifer is weepy. Eve lights into her, saying that it's her fault she lost Eric. It's her fault Eve lost Brady, and it's her fault Nicole is dead. Eve is going to make her regret it . . . one day.
At the Salem PD, Rafe says the shop owner can ID the young man who bought the accelerant with a picture. Wait, what is that I hear? Is that Joey's voice calling out from Statesville to make sure you take a picture of Tripp with you?
Inside the Brady Pub, Ben caresses Ciara's face and thanks her for her kindness. He leans in to kiss her, but she pulls away because she can't . . . she's with Tripp.
Back in Horton Square, Claire just doesn't understand who hates Ben enough to frame him. Tripp is being dodgy and Claire presses on. By the end, Claire has figured it out . . . it was Tripp!
That concludes our "trip" through Salem! What did you think about the episode? What do you think will happen tomorrow? Sound off in the comments!