Every day is a winding road

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The last several weeks in Salem (and beyond) were like a winding road. There were ups and downs. Twists and turns. Detours. Difficulties. And, well, one might have needed a Dramamine to keep up with all the, uh, drama! So, buckle up and let's tackle two twisty and turny weeks in DAYS Two Scoops!

Stop me if you've heard this one before. Kate walks into a bar. She must not have seen it. Ba dum tsh. Okay, but seriously, folks.

The last few weeks in Salem have been hella full of twists and turns! We've had weddings, and mourning, and engagements, and divorces, and, well, so many ands. So many. Meanwhile, your faithful Two Scoopers were cheering on Team DAYS on Emmy night as well as in this "Special Edition" half-year review !

Yep. It's been a wild ride the past few. So, let's put on our belts and DAYS trip together in this week's journey through Salem along the winding Randomness Road...

Who else needed that moment of pure joy when Julie opened the door, and Doug was standing there with a hand waving hello and that illustrious warm smile!? Bill Hayes really does brighten any dreary day. More, please.

Also, thanks to Doug and Julie, we had song, and thanks to Eli, we had dance. I loved all of this. Again, "More, please."

Congratulations Team DAYS on their writing Emmy win! No surprise there, as they're the best, but it's well-deserved, nonetheless.

My hands are stinging from continuously clapping for Billy Flynn, but he's been so beyond his normal brilliance as of late, it's hard to stop. Bravo, Billy!

Sami. Is. Back. Yes, please. Welcome home, Alison Sweeney! Watch her talk about her alter ego by clicking here! Later, of course. Her love for DAYS -- and daytime in general -- makes me adore her even more.

Welcome back, Casey Moss! You've been missed, as well. And I can see your skills are as sharp as ever. He should have brought some tissues with him, though.

I absolutely loved Abe and Paulina's Juneteenth wedding! The episodes dedicated to it were filled with love, laughter, lessons, and a little drama, of course. It was all done impeccably well. The vows moved me to tears. The performances were perfect all around. And I love that the dramatic reveal was left for after the ceremony and a little celebrating. It was nice to have the sweet before the bitter was added.

Someone get some more birdseed! Rafe and Nicole are married. It's for the birds. I meant the seed, of course. Congrats, Commish and Ms. Commish. And don't worry. Nobody is wondering how long your marriage will last. Nobody. Though, if one wanted in on a wedding ghoul pool, perhaps they could see Mean FroYo Manager Fran after hours. And bring cash.

E.J. and Sami are officially divorced. Something tells me that means they're a step closer to getting back together. It's soap statistics, really.

We have a trailer for Beyond Salem: Chapter 2! "Bope!" Christopher Sean back as Paul Narita! Davidson! And so, so, so many old and new faces I'm eager to see. This looks epic.

Lede buried: Shawn-Douglas is not the father! I repeat, "Not. The. Father." Evan (a.k.a. Christian Maddox) is the bio-dad. Jan slept with him in the prison infirmary. Whew. There is a Soap God, after all.

Orpheus relaying the tale of his grandson's conception to his son was hilarious.

I do a Happy Dance every time Vivian Alamain comes up! That card was especially well played in "Elani's" exit storyline. It makes perfect psycho sense that Auntie Viv would have Lani on her hit list. Well played, DAYS!

Still, I was not ready to say goodbye to Lani, Eli, Jules, and Carver! I bawled throughout most of Friday's episode. The feels were freely flowing. I will miss Lamon Archey and Sal Stowers and their amazing talents. They've certainly become DAYS family over the years. Like Julie, Abe, Paulina, and the rest of the family, I'm sad to see the characters and actors go.

I'm especially wowed by how far Lani's character has come and how Sal beautifully navigated those changes. Lani's moved beyond the selfie-stick-toting, troubled, yet plucky cop to fully embracing her kickass fabulousness as well as her faults. It was a long journey, and Sal nailed it. Also, come on, Lamon is one of the funniest guys on daytime. I will miss his humor. I wish the actors the best and can't wait to see where the next road leads them. Thank you both!

"I'll make some calls." Classic Rafe. I love it.

Sure, he's a curmudgeon, but I love Victor. Seeing John Aniston is always a hoot, and I immediately move to the edge of my seat to see him sling zingers at certain well-deserving (and some not) Salemites.

The Emmys love John, too. Congrats on your well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. Aniston!

"Jarlena" being there for Chad hit me hard in the feels. Marlena and Chad's scenes were great, but his scenes with John were utterly heartbreaking. John relating with his loss of Isabella and having to stay strong for Brady was a gut punch. John was so soothing, respectful, and compassionate toward Chad. That hand on the back of Chad's neck was comforting and made me well up. He was so patient and let Chad realize for himself that Abigail knew how much he loved her. It was all hauntingly heartbreaking (in the best way possible). Hands down, that just became one of my favorite John memories. He is our hero for a reason, and "That's a fact."

Bryan Dattilo is killing it. I hope Lucas did not kill anyone. But Bryan's performances are exceptional. Career highs, for sure. Clear some space on your mantel, Mr. D. I suspect gold statuettes are in your future.

Shawn-Douglas sort of stood up to Jan there for a second. That's growth. Of course, he didn't do it as well as Julie did. THAT was epic.

Also, DAYS should warn us before the next Julie and Jan scene. I will want to have popcorn ready for that entertainment. I'm ready for the next round.

Maybe Shawn should just watch how the ladies do it. Ciara and Chloe certainly weren't afraid to tell Jan what's what, either. That's how it's done, Shawn. Learn. Grow. And kick a psycho out of your life, pal.

Chanel's excitement over the wedding was infectious.

"Now there's a pair," was my first thought upon a Clyde and Leo scene.

Speaking of pairs, Julie and Big Mama!? Yes, please. They kind of need their own talk show.

Sure, it was a way to get Eric and Nicole in the same space, but I loved that Abe's relationship with Ms. Walker was remembered, nonetheless. I will forever love their bond and loved hearing how much of a hero Abe has always been to Nicole.

Lauren Koslow and Bryan Dattilo are magical together. Both Kate and Lucas are full of various fears (and delusions), and Lauran and Bryan portrayed them painstakingly perfect. When he cried that he couldn't go on if he hurt Abigail, there was a look of "I couldn't go on if I lost you" on Kate's face, too. Those scenes were so raw and amazing. While Kate certainly loves all of her children, there's a special bond with Lucas. It's always been the two of them.

Ava helped Gwen sneak out of Statesville. I think this certainly means Gwen didn't do it. It's too obvious.

Jack and Jennifer gave Abe the blessing to get married. They thought it would be a tribute to Abigail's memory. That was a nice touch. In that vein, I'm going to help eat that delicious-looking leftover wedding cake. You know. In Abby's honor.

Xander really needs to let go of this "Abigail left the syringe laying around" schtick.

I wonder if Zoey (either of the Zoeys -- the Zoeis?) reached out to Rafe before she took David to New Zealand.

Riddle me this! If Salem's first Juneteenth celebration was in 2022, what happened to the "Time Jump" storyline? I guess it was de-SORASed. Or was the wedding a flashback? I'm confused, but it was lovely, so we'll chalk it up to the tried and true slogan, "Only in Salem."

Listen to Roman, Eric! He knows ALL about regrets over losing the woman he loves. All about them.

Jules and Carver's combined adorableness could melt even the stoniest of hearts. They're certifiable bad day remedies. I'm with Julie -- we need visits! Lots of them.

I would not want to mess with the combined force of Abe and Paulina. They took Trask to task and then some. Sure, she was doing her job (to some extent), but she's so Trasky about it that it makes her impossible to root for.

Sami stated she wouldn't stay married to a man who lied about kidnapping her. Once that truth comes out, Lucas is going to fling himself off the wagon faster than a possessed Tripp through a stained-glass window. Brady better ready himself with a catcher's mitt.

Victor and Bonnie bonding over Jan was amusing. Her comparing Jan to Alien sequels was SO spot-on. Even Vic agreed!

Abe adopting Lani may have opened a floodgate. Like Maggie corners the marvelous stepmother market, Abe is an ideal dad. Someone in Salem could start a reality show Make the Mayor Your Dad, where folks could compete to become the next Carver.

On second thought, Abe said he was "blessed to have two wonderful children." Brandon may have some feedback. Just saying.

Hmm. Theo brought up Kristen and Peter. The latter has been mentioned a lot lately. Coincidence or foreshadowing!? I repeat, "Hmm!"

Leo's "Hit List" has been mentioned a lot, too. He crossed off Abigail. Still, I don't think he killed her. Seems too obvious.

Did Theo stating "Claire has really grown up" sit sideways with anyone else? Oh, we know, dude. She's done the therapy and leg work. Conversely, I'm glad to see he has grown up, too. You know, since that taking advantage of an amnesic Ciara stage.

E.J. and Belle finally did "it." They talked about it before. Then they talked about it a lot after. It all felt a lot like a red wall. You know it's risky, and it probably won't work in the long run, but it's exciting to think about until you actually get the paint and do it. Now you have bright red wall. Great. No, great!? It's all, "Should we have done this?" Now they just feel a little bit "Shane and Kayla Rouge." I'm not sure how long I can live with this shade before we need a fresh look again.

Belle said, "I don't know, E.J., this all feels like a big mistake." Or that.

And Eej is right. They do have a lot of baggage. Lots. A trunk load even.

But...just wait until Sami finds out! Just hide the breakables beforehand. This will get messy, and it's not a drill.

I don't think Clyde killed Abigail, but I do think he's as dangerous as everyone thinks. He's been warned before not to hurt Nancy. He better remember said warning!

Maggie stating, "Time sits heavy in the late afternoon," was poignant. She's right. It sometimes does seem to, especially during times of tragedy.

Sami may want to slip Rafe the number of her divorce attorney. Not that he'll need it. Nope. Not at all. But he does like to call people. So. There's that.

Chanel caught the bouquet! You know what that means. Nope. She doesn't, either. She hasn't exactly made up her mind yet, but Theo seemed to have a good idea or two.

I love that Stefano's special definition of family is still being remembered. For all his faults, the Phoenix certainly embraced the "family is what you make it" mantra. Salute, Stefano!

Eli said he's going to reach out to his old FBI mentor Billy about rejoining the Bureau. I like this. And it gives Rafe another person to call! More so, that leaves the door open for Eli to visit Salem on cases and such. Until the Grant-Prices move back into town, of course. *fingers crossed*

Allie apologized to "Cin." That was nice of her -- and them to be so compassionate. And refreshing that Allie was in a scene not plagued with awkwardness between her, the twin, and Chanel.

Victor, Maggie, Bonnie, and Nancy playing cards was sidesplitting. That needs to happen again. Also, perhaps Bonnie and Nancy could have lunch with Kate and Mar. Sort of a "Last Blast" mothers/ladies who lunch. If Hope could join them, all the better!

I'm all for Shawn joining the murder investigation. Rafe needs help, and Shawn needs to distance himself from all things Jan and Belle at the moment. Please.

Kristen turned herself in to the po-po. This puzzles me. Granted, I do love that she was there for Lani. Sure, I personally never felt their friendship fully stuck the landing, but it's solid DAYS lore. They were besties, for better or worse. Special K's offer was a noble thing to do, you know, with unnoble designs in mind.

Also, Kristen turned herself in! She must have a plan. She must. There's no other reason. She's not THAT noble.

I'm glad that Beth did the right thing...finally.

Eli living near Val is going to be great! I also want to see this Peacock series, especially if Sheila catches up with him.

Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf are amazing sparring partners. They're not afraid to "go there" with one another. That fearlessness makes them fantastic to watch.

Kristen can go fly a kite with her "four and a half months late" argument, though. She's the one on the run, not Brady. The dude held onto a Valentine for that long. He wins.

What is the big deal about the baby's name? "Shawn" is a family name. I didn't get the pearl-clutch over that one.

Also, hat tip to the writers (and Jan). The name "Shawn Christian" covered all the bases. "Shawn" for Shawn-D. Evan's given name is Christian Maddox. It was a nice Easter egg, too. And it was foreshadowing. All in all, again, well played, Team DAYS.

In the Beyond Salem: Chapter 2 trailer, Paul is not in a wheelchair! I guess that handsome therapist really got him back on his feet. Woot!

I hope we see Tori when we go Beyond Salem again.

I'm glad Nicole realized how lucky she was to celebrate "life and love." We need all of it that we can get right now, Ms. Walker-Hernandez.

A snapped Sarah being the one who slew Abigail is looking more like a possibility. Her hallucinations are getting worse. Just ask Nicole and Chanel. Eek. That was creepy. Chanel's reaction was spot-on. "I'm outta here!"

Or ask Xander. When Sarah said she's not worried about Special K because she's behind bars, Xanimal replied, "What about what you can do to her?" Does he know something!? Is he covering for her!? Does he know (or suspect) she hallucinated and thought Abby was Kristen, leading to some stabby time!? There's a lot of uncertainty, but I am certain in stating Xander would do anything to protect Sarah, and that includes covering up a crime for her.

The Billy Flynn-Casey Moss combo nearly broke me. What talent! When Chad cried, "Who would do this to us!?" and when J.J. said, "My parents only had one son, but I have a brother," I was gone. Tissues were needed.

I suspect Maggie vowing, "Whoever did that to Abigail has to pay," might hit close to home. Like, upstairs. In Sarah's room. Maybe.

"What would Julie do?" Indeed! Maybe Eric and Jennifer can add that slogan onto some of the friendship bracelets they like to make then sell them in the square. I'll take two.

A dead woman's bracelet. The gift the keeps on giving. What a gent that Clyde is. What. A. Gent. This is going to come back to bite him.

While I was already a blubbering mess by that point, Rafe's goodbye to "Elani" moved me more than I thought it would.

William Christian looked like he was having a great ghoulish time as T.R. terrorized Lani. He was chilling! As for T.R., well, now Andre has some company in Soap Hell.

Clyde and E.J. scenes are always so tense! It's well-earned hate. Though I love the enemy vibe between Dan Feuerriegel and James Read.

It should be noted, Philip is in a mental institution.

Jack and Jennifer picking a dress for Abigail was brutal. Knowing that Abs thought, "Chad would love me in this," made it better and worse. I'm glad they got solid before she was slain.

Kudos to Matthew Ashford and Cady McClain! Wow. Just wow.

Julie calling Jan a "prison pinup" was great.

Also great was Ben joking, "Hope the Boat." Ha!

I always forget about Belle's little dalliance in Maine. Might this guy show up in Salem someday? Not today. Belle's dance card bed is full at the moment, but someday.

What is this "high stakes game" Orpheus is in the middle of!? Will it be played out in Salem or beyond, perhaps!?

Are we loving Living in Cin as the boat's name? I love the sentiment. Though...

Victor said, "Bonnie Lockhart. Unexpected depth." You ain't kiddin', pop pop.

Bravo to the writers for taking the time to give Julie and Eli such a heartwarming farewell! Okay. A little heartbreaking, too. I will miss their moments together, but what wonderful scenes! The "kindred spirits" speech. "My hero." *gulp* The dance! I was a teary mess. In fact, I'm getting verklempt all over again. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic. The hourglass is neither an hour nor is it a glass. Discuss.

LOOSE ENDS: HILARIOUS LINES AND EXCHANGES EDITION

Victor: "Has anybody seen my lead pipe?"

Orpheus (to Evan regarding Jan): "Come on, now. Your romantic life can't be so chockablock that you don't remember if you slept with her or not. She is a woman. Maybe that will set her apart. Prick your memory, as it were."

Chloe (to Jan): "God has nothing to do with it."

D.A. Trask (on Lani's record): "It has more spots than a freaking dalmatian."

Lucas: "Well, you know, your relationship with your sister's kind of been screwed up from the beginning, you know, ever since she was a baby when you tried to sell her on the black market."

Sami: "Are your seriously throwing that in my face right now? Are you kidding me? How come people can't just move on from that. It was a long time ago. I was a kid. And they got her back. They did get her back. Ugh. And now she uses that as an excuse to blame me for everything wrong that ever happens in her life."

Julie: "Oh, I'm so glad. I'm so glad you took the advice."

Abe: "Of course, I did. You're always right."

Julie: "That's true."

Chloe (to Leo): "You should think of something new this time. I think the whole scandalous photoshop sex selfies are getting old."

Victor (to Nancy): "How brave of you to try to put your shattered life together again."

Jan (to Julie): "Well, aren't you a Negative Nelly?"

Big Mama (regarding the bouquet toss): "Well, you all had better watch out because I have sharp elbows, and I just might be looking for a sexy senior here in Salem."

Paulina: Okay. You see where I get it from. You see."

Big Mama: "Just throw the damn bouquet!"

Lucas (to Kate, regarding Sami): "You know. She could use those crutches as weapons."

Kristen (to Brady regarding Sarah's attempt to stab Victor): "Well, you don't have to be hallucinating to want to do that."

D.A. Trask: "I'm not known for my sparkling sense of humor."

Bonnie (to Victor): "Well. Not everybody can be as lucky as Maggie."

Jan: "Uh. Hello! Shawn and I just also had a baby. Where's our boat!?"

Julie: "The Titanic would be appropriate."

Abe: "You take my breath away."

Paulina: "Right back at you, Mayor Carver."

Julie (to Doug): "Just when I thought there was no way I could love you more."

Extra Scoops

HOT
Navigating the past two weeks in Salem has been tricky. It's been full of triumphs and tragedies. Still, we had an amazing tour guide who held our hands along the way, and that was Julie. She was there for us the entire trip, in fact, and Susan Seaforth Hayes couldn't have shined any brighter if she tried.

Some of the Julie highlights, you ask. She was there to encourage Abe. She welcomed Big Mama into the family and was eagerly open to learning. Julie rallied the family around Lani. She set up CIN to sail off into the sunset and schooled Jan Spears in legendary fashion. She showered Eli with love (and he returned the affection). And she had swoon-worthy songster Doug to remind her that he's there for her while she's there for everyone else. Oh, sweet serenade! There was even song and dance.

As Doug and Julie might sing, "She got rhythm. She got music. She got her man, who could ask for anything more. *big finish* Who could ask for anything more!?"

NOT
With all the twists and turns of the last two weeks, I'm still a bit turned around and twisted, and while there might be "NOTTIER" things to "NOT" about, I'm kicking Kate out of the car for that scene at the pub with Eric and Nicole. It felt beneath her. She seemed bored without a major scheme on her hands and unenthusiastically batted them around like a cat playing with a dead mouse just for something to do. C'mon, Kate. You're better at being worse than this. Okay, I'm totally going to turn the car around and go back to get Kate because she's generally fabulous, but I will not play David Bowie for her until she apologizes.

LINE OF THE WEEK
Julie (to "Cin" on squished names): "What about Doug and Julie? I mean it's been catchy for over 50 years."

EXTRA RANDOM THOUGHTS

I loved that Ciara talked to Hope for hours. Actually talking on a phone for hours needs to make a comeback. It never leaves you guessing what someone's actual meaning is like a text does, and, well, hearing a loved one's voice is nice. Nice is needed.

Julie's outfit last week was flowy and fierce.

Abe and Paulina's wedding wear was wonderful!

I want in on these Allie and Johnny possession jokes.

A Penthouse Grill shout-out!? Yes, please.

I forgot that Clyde had Sonny stabbed. Whoops.

I wonder if former D.A. Charles Woods will ever be heard from again.

When Chad was sobbing that he didn't take Abby to Venice, I was all, "You were Chabby in Paris! Ya good, muh man."

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for July 4. The ever amazing Laurisa is back next week to celebrate all things Team DAYS. The following week, pack your bags, and I'll see you Beyond Salem! As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."
Tony

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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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