Do you need a hug?

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Do Charlie and Gwen deserve any sympathy? Can we have two identical storylines play out at the same time? And is Xander getting closer to being the Salem PD's most helpful citizen? Let's talk about it all in this edition of Two Scoops!

I'm of two minds when it comes to Charlie. First, Mike Manning is utterly fantastic. His chemistry with Lucas Adams is the stuff decades of soap drama is based on. Both of these gentlemen are tremendous, and this good son/bad son stuff instantly captivated me. I wanted to know more. I wanted to see where their paths lead. Add in Tamara Braun to this mix, and this family jumped to the top of my "tell me more" list.

However, second, I give absolutely no flips about Charlie. For the record's sake, Charlie's dad worked for Martino. Martino recruited this guy to be Ava's boyfriend after Patch was gone, but Ava didn't want Charlie because he wasn't a Patch-flavored baby. This was all to make some sort of sympathy for Charlie, which, sure. However, Allie is the victim! Just because your mom didn't hug you, Charlie, doesn't mean you're totally cool to rape a woman.

I'm going to play the woman card here. I'm out. I don't care that this man felt devalued. There's a woman here who is dealing with the lifelong trauma of being sexually violated and having to figure out a way to reconcile the horror of that trauma with the joy of raising a beautiful son because of it. But go ahead, Charlie. Tell us again about how you need a hug.

Additionally, we're missing the huge element that Ava was drugged during this time! Charlie is holding Ava accountable for something that was completely out of her control. If they would have gone with him cracking once he finally got his mom back and her rejecting him then, it would have made a little more sense. But instead, we have Charlie victimizing yet another woman. Guh-raaaate.

Don't shed too many tears for Charlie, though. I don't see how he'll pay any consequences. The case against him is pretty much the same as the case against Tripp, which the London authorities already declined to prosecute. The only difference in Charlie's case is that there was a falsely accused man ahead of him, which makes this case weaker.

And that falsely accused man brings me to my next point. There are absolutely people who need to line up to apologize to Tripp. Those people are Ava and Charlie. That's it. Ava knew there was another person with Tripp's DNA out there -- who was in London -- and she didn't say something right away. Charlie, well obviously. He raped Allie and let Tripp take the fall. Everyone else believed a) the woman and b) the evidence.

I have a hard time finding it in my heart to take issue with those people. Since most of them are good folks, I can see why they would feel the need to apologize to Tripp. But I have no need to see Kayla or anyone else raked over the coals for this. That would be another step toward being sympathetic to someone who isn't the real victim here. Allie was raped. Tripp had a couple bad months.

To his never-ending credit, Tripp says as much, too. Yes, he wanted to clear his name. But he also mentioned that Claire and Allie do not need to be exposed to Charlie for any longer. He recognizes their pain. I hope others follow his lead.

Speaking of kids who weren't hugged enough, Gwen claims she's Jack's daughter, and that's why she's rained pain, suffering, fire, and brimstone upon Abigail. We all saw this coming. It was not worth the wait. But thank the Phoenix it's here because now we can finally get on with this battle.

First and foremost, I'm done referring to her as "Marci Miller." With all due respect to her parents who gave her a legal name, from here on out, Marci's name is "Killer Miller" because she slays every. single. scene. she. has. I was completely with Abigail when she told Chad she wasn't leaving him because he slept with Gwen. She was leaving him because he believed Gwen over her. Yasss, queen! Slay! It was always gross for Chad to associate Stefan raping Abigail to Abigail being unfaithful. I like Chad and truly think he deserves a spot on Marlena's couch for the trauma he's been through as the caretaker of someone with mental health issues. But, no, dog. Believing Gwen with no questions asked was not cool.

I'm also glad Chad found his brain and went to Dr. Rolf. I laughed out loud when Rolf said Gwen's weakness was she can't keep a secret. Excuse moi, Dr. Rolf, just what do you think Gwen has being doing to the viewers for the better part of the past year?!?! I found myself yelling at the screen to get on with it. Someone -- Chad, Gwen -- someone tell us why we've been propping this random character all these months!

Again, like the other Jan Brady (Charlie) who needs to be documented for the record's sake, here goes. Gwen's mom told her of a one-night-stand with Jack, resulting in a baby. "Jack's secretary" sent Gwen's mom monthly payments of child support, until Gwen's mom died of a cocaine overdose and Gwen became a ward of the state (of which she wasn't a citizen. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!). There was an instant when Gwen thought Jack was going to claim her, but that never happened. From that moment on, Gwen decided to pay back all of the Deverauxs -- especially Abigail for being the daughter that got the hug.

Despite the grand performances here, there are so many holes in this story. Starting it off, she told this tale of money records and DNA to a pair of investigative reporters. If Jack and Jen don't solve this crime in a Dateline episode's time, I'll be disappointed. I do not believe Jack is Gwen's dad for a second. I don't care about her, but I do care for Jack and him getting answers.

The crux of this whole drama -- exactly like Charlie's -- rests on paternity tests. I don't care that Gwen said she wouldn't believe one in Salem. Get one from a lab you trust. Otherwise, we're taking the word of someone who is no longer alive to collaborate it. At the risk of sounding exhausted, I'm so tired of Gwen getting the upper hand with every single thing that fell into her lap these last few months, I'm ready for her to be wrong and eat crow a bit. Gwen selling the story to the tabloid was low.

Eli and Lani yelled a lot at Xander until Sarah told Xander to help them out on their investigation. If Paul Telfer and Lindsey Godfrey didn't have such great chemistry, I'd been even more annoyed at these scenes. I just can't watch Lani hold people's criminal pasts against them, knowing she thinks Kristen DiMera hung the moon.

Gabi came back to town in all her divalisciousness to demand win Jake back. Her coat and dress were amazing. But I don't love Kate and Gabi at odds. I liked the "game respects game" relationship they had prior to Jake. Also, when they were each trying to convince Jake not to go with the other because of some past shenanigans, all I could think was, "Ladies, his ex is Gwen. Clearly, this kind of madness does not bother the man."

I've heard that part of the COVID-19 safety protocols is to keep actors in their same "bubbles." This means if, say, Tamara Braun and Emily O'Brien see each other in the hall, they're rushed away from each other because Ava and Gwen wouldn't interact on-screen. As a result, we get some odd scene partners. For example, Abigail would not confide in Kate. Not only did Kate interfere with Abigail's parents' marriage, but Kate has always been a bit more on Gabi's side. Yet, there they were, chatting away like besties. It was just as strange as when Kate and Jennifer did it. But again -- bubble.

Another strange pair was Ben and Allie. They have a connection through Ciara and Marlena, but I don't know if they've had any conversation of substance. That is, until last week. Ben was a legitimately good choice to have an honest, recent conversation with Allie about therapy and hypnosis. I didn't hate this pair together, either!

Finally, in what may be another victim of COVID-19 dictating strange screen partners, what in the holy hourglass was up with Tony hitting on Kate?!?! Was that supposed to indicate he's actually Andre, or was it just another side effect of "bubble" shooting?

I was shocked to hear Chad apologize to Gabi about accusing her of drugging Abigail. I can't wait for that news to get to Big Julie.

I loved Chloe telling Brady about Philip's mob trouble. Not only did this speed up the story, but it gave Chloe the chance to put both Kiriakis men in their place. (Get it, Chloemeister!) It could also bring Xander and Sarah into this mix (read = bubble), as well. I would love to see Chloe and Sarah as friends! They both could join my cowriter, Tony, in the "Ugh, Mimi. Amiright?" meetings. Ha!

Extra Scoops

I mean it. Can we keep Anna?

You all know I love Justin. But he can back the truck up on forcing Maggie to see Bonnie's better angels. No, sir. Nope. The beef with Maggie and Bonnie goes back to when Bonnie married Mickey for money and took him for a bunch of those dollars. Then, she came back and tried to usurp Maggie's spot with Victor for the same grubby reasons. Do we even need to mention how Bonnie raped Maggie's beloved Lucas and tried to pass off a baby as his? No. We really don't. Stand down, Dimples. Big Red is right here.

Kate (to Chad): You are having what might be called a "crap day".
Someone get this on a shirt for all of 2020.

Chloe and Brady were in matching colors. I've read that actors may be wearing their own clothes. If true, Eric Martsolf and Nadia Bjorlin must have the coworker/friend telepathy that makes them think alike! This makes me love them more than I already do.

Allie talking about how her kid was conceived should not be a conversation with Nicole! It should be a conversation with Sami about Allie's twin brother, Johnny. Seriously, this is a ground ball here.

Now we know why Gwen wasn't into J.J.! It does explain why she might be kind to Charlotte and Thomas, though.

I worry about Gabi being in Salem without Wilson. Diva Gabi is way too one-sided. She needs a softer side, and Wilson always provided that.

Chloe brought up Philip staying with Brady, and the Bradster objected based on putting Rachel in danger. So, congrats to Brady on remembering fifty percent of his children!

Finally! Someone told Nicole that they need to have real evidence of the rape. It can't just be Nicole's Mad Libs: Sexual Assault Edition (kudos to Tony for making that up in a text chain with me). And I can't help but feel Lucas should be part of this conversation! Nicole and Rafe seem to be taking the roles that should he held by Sami and Lucas.

I'm always amused when the DiMera board gets all blushed over a sex scandal but Stefano: International Crime Lord of Devil Possession wasn't ever a thing.

Wait, what? Gwen can't keep a secret? I've got numerous gray hairs to prove otherwise.

I know it's a soap, but Charlie telling Claire they are soul mates is way too soon. Even Brady would side-eye that nonsense.


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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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