Oh, Salem! Just as we were ready to settle into our old ruts and forget about our New Year's resolutions to reconnect with old friends, there you came with a feast for us! And what a joy they were!
Welcome back, Craig and Nancy! Gosh, you two are a sight for sore eyes. I've always loved the chemistry between Patrika Darbo, Kevin Spirtas, and Nadia Bjorlin. This trio has been together since Chloe and Nadia were teenagers. The love they have for each other comes through on-screen and off. This family defied the odds and stayed together and relevant, despite not being one of the core families of Salem! Don't look now, but what started out as a sidekick for Belle and a foil for Mike Horton turned into a 20-plus year run as an established family...that now includes a Kiriakis heir! If you think Victor is going to turn his back on Daniel's son in future years, you are sadly mistaken. As soon as Parker is SORASed, I wouldn't be surprised to see him running Titan. But more on Parker later.
I don't know what storyline they have ahead for Craig and Nancy, but by all accounts, it sounds like a major one! First, I adore anything that brings our dear Patrika and Kevin back to Salem. I loved them in the Peacock special, and I love them here. I will take them with a fox. I will take them in a box. I will...you get the idea.
Second, I'm all in for something that frees our fair Chlomeister from the Brady/Philip Bermuda triangle of nonsense. Chloe deserves better. We deserve better!
Whatever storyline lays ahead, I will say this: I hope it does right by Nancy.
I can't overstate how important her character is for 99% of us. Nancy Wesley was a soap character who didn't look like a swimsuit model. You know who else doesn't look like a swimsuit model? I don't. Nancy Wesley was a soap character who knew she was smart. She maneuvered people on her own chess board and loved it. You know who else loved being smart? I did. I so much wanted to find a partner who wanted to talk about calculus or Aristotle's definition of tragedy, rather than have me flirt about how "charming" he was. (He never was, amiright, everyone?)
Nancy Wesley gave me hope that it was okay to lead with my brain. More than that, it was the only way I should lead.
So, I hope that this upcoming storyline, whatever it is, doesn't paint Nancy to be a sidekick/stereotype and minimize what Nancy is. There's absolutely a way that can be done! And I'm looking forward to this talented team of writers to do it!
Our second return was the fabulous Linsey Godfrey! Hey, girl, heeeeeyyyy! I'm so happy to have Linsey back in Salem. Hopefully soon, Sarah will follow.
Yes, thanks to more mask nonsense, we saw Linsey playing Gwen and Ava -- at separate times, mind you -- but not Sarah yet. Linsey is a gem, as always, and her chemistry with Paul Telfer hasn't missed a beat. I can't wait until the real Sarah comes back, because that will mean the good guys finally win!
I don't mean the traditional good guys. I mean Abigail, Xander, E.J., etc., who are up against a French judge who's been persuaded. Err...I mean a devil who can switch bodies or a villain with a pile of magical masks.
This seems especially unfair to Abigail, who brilliantly put together that 1) someone has a Sarah mask and 2) Gwen was parading around in said mask. While she was talking to "Sarah," she was either talking to Ava in the Sarah mask (and somehow Gwen had time to swap with her while running from Abigail), or she was talking to Gwen in a Sarah mask and interrupted by Ava in a Gwen mask.
Deep breath. For all of us. Don't give up, Abigail. Go back and have that glass of wine with Kate. You've earned it!
In other news, the reign of Devil Johnny continues. Still, I'm not a fan. Mar Devil was fun. This time, too many characters have to be dumbed down for this to work.
With Marlena, John figured it out right away and thus had to be locked up. When it comes to Johnny Devil and his associated activity -- Abigail called out "E.J.'s" odd behavior right away, Gabi and Jake talked about how it doesn't make sense for E.J. to sign shares over to Johnny, Chad didn't put it together that real Johnny would have been outraged that a man was forcing himself on a woman after what Allie went through, and Kate (KATE!!) isn't suspicious of Johnny lurking about. Come on.
In good news, I adored Belle in lawyer mode! She and E.J. are delightful screen partners because Belle has all the smarts of Sami without the attraction that can sometimes make Sami blind. I'm interested to see what Belle will do to get her client out of jail. The only thing Belle hates worse than a villain is someone who's wrongfully convicted. She believes, rightfully, that E.J. isn't guilty here.
Trask and Lucas are equally insufferable right now. Both of them remind me of the cat, Lucifer, from Cinderella when he manages to get one of the mice trapped. Still, I can't believe E.J. was serious when he said he hoped that that Trask would forget about the other time he chloroformed Sami and tried to kidnap her. Eeej, my man. That was not smart!
Xander and Brady bonding was really quite charming. I'd like to see these two as friends. Brady has so much of Victor's love that he needed to distance himself from the family. Xander wants only a piece of the love Victor has for Brady to be happy. They both adore the snot out of Maggie. Really, these two are different sides of the same coin.
Crap. Brady said Kristen framing him for Philip's murder is a deal-breaker. We all know that didn't happen, so this means there's still a chance for Brady to be the dumbest man in Salem, yet again. Come on, Bradster! Pass on that title.
Rafe suspects Ava. Ava suspects Rafe. This isn't a knock on the current writing team because this is an exceptional storyline. It's just that Rafe -- historically -- is not a match for Ava. Were this, maybe, Bo? Steve? Abe? Possibly? But not Rafe.
Paulina had a beautiful conversation with Chanel about Chanel's choices -- specifically, the one to sleep with Allie. Paulina approached it from a sincere place of compassion. She didn't care that Chanel was with another woman so much as who that woman was -- specifically the twin of the person who had just publicly dumped Chanel. Yes, Paulina. Yes. I agree! And the brilliant writers were smart enough to play the card about Abe being with both Paulina and Tamara to take that right off the table. And really, Chanel, I love you, lady. But your situation is not the same as Abe's. As Paulina pointed out, there were decades in between his relationships with the Price siblings.
No shock, Steve tracked down Kristen right away. Is there a bigger understatement than, "You think Kristen is still dangerous"? Really? When has she never been dangerous? To prove it, she confronted Steve at gunpoint while claiming her belief in God. Sure, almost-sister-DiMera. We hear you loud and clear. Maybe Stayla can get her locked up in an Italian prison, and they'll have more luck with keeping her contained than the Salem PD. Amazing red dress, as ever, though, K.D.!
Ohhhhh! Come on, Paulina. You mentioned it in passing. Don't let Chanel talk you out of it! I want to see that divorce settlement with Johnny where Chanel gets 50% of Johnny's assets-- and thus, E.J.'s share of DiMera. That would make Chanel a player in that storyline, too!
Giant Duke was something I don't ever need to see again. (Shudders.) I can't be more on Ava's side here. Nicole and Rafe did her 18 ways wrong. The fact that Rafe wants to team up with Nicole to expose Ava rather than just confess his wrongs to her shows what a double standard this guy tends to live by. Just because Ava committed crimes in her past doesn't bank up a strange form of credit for him to charge his sins against. Ugh, Raferino.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Kate (to Lucas): "You know I love you, no matter how much you mess up, all right? Good luck, don't leave town before telling me, all right?"
I like how Gwen pronounces "Xan-dehr." It's the same way James Scott's E.J. used to say "Samanther."
Ava needs another friend besides Nicole. Here's another reason we need Chelsea back in Salem.
Sister "Mary Elizabeth" and Father Nichols? I get it. Sister "Mary Beth" (Evans) Father (Stephen) Nichols. I see what you did there, DAYS!
I like how they kept the same color winter jacket Marci Miller used last year when she was pregnant.
When Steve mentioned "Mother Superior," I thought of The Sound of Music. Tell me I'm not alone.
Johnny is the devil, but... I'd still worry about lightning striking me for my hypocrisy if I were Allie. Watching Allie read Johnny the riot act after what she'd just done to Tripp was not a great look for Allie cat.
I do like that Kristen can evoke, "He's Rachel's father" the same way mob men for years declared they'd never hurt "the mother of my child." #progress
Not that Carmine was some prince, but I would think if Ava is going to have any PTSD, it would be over killing an actual human, not, you know, damaging a toy.
I kind of cheered when Kayla got Mother Superior's question right.
Gwen and Xander are in a committed relationship, so they have to have had the conversation about birth control. Still, I have a feeling Gwen is going to be pregnant soon.
Chloe mentioned that Joy is in grad school and Parker in boarding school. With Craig and Nancy in town now, it's even more clear that both of these kids (especially Parker!) should be back in Salem.
Also, I wonder what Joy is in grad school for. Perhaps psychology/criminal science? Salem is going to need another doc if Doc needs to take a day off.
I don't know exactly how exorcisms are supposed to work, and maybe it's just the days of knowing too much about "direct contact" quarantines, but shouldn't Eric be following up with others who were in the room during Marlena's exorcism? Is there a one month "well-baby" check?
That's it for this week! Tony will be here next week to see that E.J. gets one of those awesome denim jumpsuits they give away in Statesville. Don't worry. E.J. may be going to prison, but he's not going to get a visit from the Fashion Police!
What are your thoughts on Days of our Lives? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.