The flames and the Phoenix

For the Week of February 19, 2024
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Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down!? Will DAYS stay down, or will it be like the Phoenix himself and rise from the ashes better than before? Let's grab some leftover Valentine's Day candy and get fiery in this week's DAYS Two Scoops!

One of my favorite things is -- perhaps, was, I'm still not sure -- the moment when you tell someone new in your life that you're a DAYS fan. Common replies are, "I used to watch that in college," or "I watched that with my *insert relative* growing up!" "I always loved Bo and Hope!" "I watched *insert name of another soap*!" or the ever popular, "Is that the one where the woman was possessed by the devil!?"

I vividly remember having the "DAYS coming out" conversation with my friend Joe. This was my pre-Two Scooping days when I was fanatical without an outlet, so any chance I had to talk about the show, I would. I told him about being a lifelong viewer thanks to my mom. That was swell, but he had an even bigger DAYS story...

Once upon a time ago -- okay, it was the mid-to-late '90s -- he bumped into one of his neighbors while getting the mail. Joe stated they had a friendly rapport and would occasionally chitchat when spotting each other around the building. She told him that day she was going to an audition for a soap opera. He wished her luck, and that was, as they say, "that."

He hadn't spotted her for a bit but was curious to get an update. The wait didn't take long. The next time he ran into her, she was moving out. She got the part! He wished her luck and never saw her again (in person), but he started watching DAYS when his former neighbor, Ari Zucker, premiered as Nicole Walker.

As a huge fan of Ari's work since the very first second Nicole stepped into Salem, I loved hearing this story. His genuine happiness for his former neighbor was infectious. It reminded one that dreams can come true. I could only imagine how excited Ari must have been at that time.

Now, I can only imagine what has been taken away from Ari since that time.

Excitement. Confidence. Prosperity. Security. The list of things taken away from Ari, and every victim of such harassment, is endless for these exhausted souls. What Ari (and others) has gone through makes me both livid and heartbroken. This was a person going to work. That's it. It should be that simple. They should not be harassed, humiliated, and dismissed.

It's enraging to live in a world where the monsters get more protection than the victims. That the joy of crafting such an engaging story can't be celebrated by all those involved because of a few individuals who steal that happiness. That others just can't say, "Stop! Enough!" when the problems started instead of the coverups and politics that ensued to protect the perpetrator. It's maddening, sad, disappointing, and everything in between.

I'm not sure where Team DAYS goes from here. They've taken the first steps by firing Albert Alaar, but there are a lot of injustices that need to be fixed, and hopefully the courts will see to that. There are a lot of people still in power at the show that need to be removed and replaced by professionals who can cultivate a healthy work environment. Of course, there are a lot of hearts that need to be mended, too, and I hope that Ari and the other victims get the help they need to move forward with their heads held high.

What I am sure of is Ari Zucker. I fully support her. Coming forward was brave and inspiring. The amount of courage one must muster to rise at that very low point in their lives and take a stand for themselves, and others, is nothing short of spectacular. I'm proud of you, Ms. Zucker.

I'll leave you with another story that happened just last week. A new co-worker joined the team at my not-Two-Scooping job a few months ago. She's an amazing individual and self-proclaimed "Plant Mom." Our storefront has excellent eastern exposure and huge bay windows. Needless to say, she was quick to ask if she could bring in "a few" plants to bask in the sunlight. I said, "Of course!"

"A few" turned into, well, "more than a few." The place looks amazing and is thriving with vibrant green and colorful life. I love it. A positive change is just what we needed during a rather dreary winter.

Though it dawned on me while I was working alone last Monday that, while the space is the same, it feels so different because of the plants, especially the larger, tropical ones. Then it really dawned on me. I exclaimed aloud into the empty storefront, "Oh, my God, I'm on Melaswen!" Then I immediately dashed to my phone to text Laurisa and explain my planty epiphany.

We both got a much-needed chuckle and moment of levity. As dashing as the happenings at DAYS are to our hearts now, and will be for some time, the show also made that happiness happen, too. There is a magical element over the shared experience with loved ones and strangers who know exactly how you feel when you say, "Remember when Carrie slapped Sami!?" or "Do you remember Hope's reaction when she learned Zack had died?" or "How about those false teeth flinging into Vivian's martini glass?" Or simply, "Alice's doughnuts."

It's actually flooring to think of the impact the show has had on my life. Bonding with loved ones and meeting new folks over the years that I hold extremely near and dear to my heart to this very moment. It gave me something to write about on a professional level that has led to such wild experiences, opportunities I never dreamed of, and the chance to interact with even more wonderful people. There is a community around DAYS. A family. We're all part of it, or else we wouldn't be here.

Right now, we're a hurt and angry community. I'd like to think when something bad happens in such a community a few things ring true. We rally around those affected. We support them. We help them fight for what is just, we encourage healing, and we work together to pave a healthier path. Team DAYS can do amazing things again if they implement the sense of a safe community created 58 years ago by a few people with a dream.

LOOSE ENDS:

I'm not entirely sure how the scab scribes thingy entirely works, but I feel like someone in charge upon their return could literally exclaim, "Remember the time you housesat, and you let it burn down!?" I also feel like Julie. We've watched an institution go up in flames.

Still, there's something bitterly poetic about the timing. There're fires on and off camera, and Maggie's right. Things can be rebuilt. People can't. It's people's safety that comes first. Sorry if you had to duck from "The More You Know" star whizzing by.

Plus, we don't know the extent of the damage yet. It could be minor. If people in Salem can be resurrected, I'm confident that buildings can. Either way, I'm not sad to see that settee go. It's kind of needed to be gone since Chase raped Ciara on it. I do hope the namesake ornaments and other heirloom items make it, though.

I love it when Susan Seaforth Hayes and Suzanne Rogers share scenes! Julie and Maggie's entire "Yeah, that's what they say" scene was spectacularly spot-on. It hit the entire range of feels.

I also love that we got a scene with Bill Hayes! What a gift. I've always appreciated his airtime, but this means so much more now.

Okay. Ballistics will be in "tomorrow" on the perp's gun. Kate probably shot or, at the very least, grazed whoever broke into the apartments to assassinate Lucas. Goldman "hurt herself at the gym." And now she's whisked Wendy and Tripp away for safekeeping? Uh-huh. This suddenly feels like the "Moley, moley, moley, mole!" scene from Austin Powers in Goldmember. Mole!

It's also as obvious that Xander is being set up by the same person who called Chad. Or is he!? I can't forget that Konstantin can reactivate John's sleeper agent code now. Does he have one for Xanimal, too!?

Stefan told Ava to "Let it go." My immediate response was, "You are no son of Stefano." Andre might have been off the leash a lot, but at least he would have never cowered to Clyde. Doctor Rolf needs to lure him from death with some clown face paint and set him loose on Pa Weston and the gang.

Also, considering how much of a shiitake mushroom show Valentine's Day Eve was in Salem, I must ask: Did anyone even check on Gabi!?

Finally! Jada saw Everett. Um. Bobby! I'm excited to see this play out. If there's one thing I don't like, it's someone messing with Jada. Go get him, Detective Hunter.

If Everett isn't Clyde's long-lost son secretly doing his bidding, I suspect that he might be Jessica and Joshua's long-lost son and twin to Nick Fallon. It would explain his interest in the Horton family, and more so, this Everett and Bobby mystery could be explained by him also having dissociate identity disorder (DID) like his mother. If this is the case, then technically, Jada was a Horton for a while, and Ms. Christmas Spirit should get a bulb on the tree once things are rebuilt. I mean, E-Bob could be treated and reunited with his family. That, too.

Rafe and Jada are really starting to grow on me as a couple. I like their ability to laugh at and with one another and keep a sense of humor surrounded by such darkness in which they often work. They're also very thoughtful and supportive. Their Valentine's Day gifts were great. See. Jada was right to take the time to grow together before moving in. She's a keeper, Raferoni. Don't screw it up.

I almost can't be mad at or disappointed in how selfish Sloan is acting these days because, like Laurisa perfectly pointed out last week, Sloan's just OG Sloaning. She's "let's have sex" and sing Imani Coppola's "It's All About Me, Me and Me."

Meanwhile, Eric's all "Let's make love" and talk about our feelings after making friendship bracelets. There's a big difference. He's too tired to spot it. I do wish better for Eric because I know he can be better, but I can't feel all that sorry for him at the same time.

I have mixed feelings about Johnny and Chanel's wedding. On the positive side, two Salemites who sincerely love each other got married. That doesn't happen every day. They looked lovely, and their vows were poignant. It was kind that they did it in a hospital room so Paulina could be part of the ceremony. I also loved that Abe officiated.

Sure, the setting was lackluster, especially compared to the sounds of their Italian fairy tale, whirlwind ceremony, but they'll always have those memories. This time, it was the people around them that counted. They already started in a good place by thinking of Paulina's happiness as much as their own.

And therein lies the negative side. The people! Everyone there completely checked out, but it was glaring who was missing. I'm not talking about poor STILL incarcerated Lani and her family, Big Mama, or Sami, Syd, and such. But...

E.J. had just arrived in Salem, and more so, Grammy Mar Mar (who works at the hospital) was in the park. Johnny made a video of "Jarlena's" greatest hits, but they were too busy slumming it with Alex and Theresa because...because...because? That makes total sense. If there's an heir to the "supercouple" whipped cream, strawberries, and all over airtime crown, it should certainly be A-Hole and Jeannie-T, and not a young, sincerely in love couple who's had a celebrated relationship for years. I at least hope Marlena has an extra keychain for them.

And really, Theresa? Alex not proposing is your biggest issue right now!? Okay, lady. Make a scene. Make all the scenes. They don't make you look dumb at all.

This feels so unnatural, but I agreed with Leo on several things last week. One, I'd rather watch Hedwig and the Angry Inch and eat Nutter Butter Bites alone than be a fifth wheel. I once was a seventh wheel, and let me tell you, it was not fun. You are not just the single one at that point; you are "THEE Single One."

Two, I love Thomas and Little Lotte, too. They're adorable, and I adore the actors' chemistry with Billy Flynn and the Hayeses. I also have this suspicion -- dare I say, hope --- that Charlotte will grow up to be like Tori Spring from Heartstopper. Nothing about that would be bad. Tori slays, and so does Little Lotte so far. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think Leo would agree.

Extra Scoops

HOT
Some days, you just need one of your favorite actors portraying one of your favorite characters to be wearing a T-shirt depicting a cat with an eyepatch that reads, "I regret nothing." Steve is our hero, even when he's not trying. Brilliant, Patch Man. Well. Maybe I should say, "Purr-fect!"

And we're all thinking that Black Patch needs an office cat now, and they can rebrand its Insta as "Cat Patch," right?

NOT
Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk are pure fire together. I'll never worry that great performances won't come my way while watching them, but dear soap lords and ladies, the dumb that drips from them at times hurts my head. Not only did Special K rape Eric, but she raped Brady, too. RACH3L is a result of rape. He really needs to start with that.

Also, Kristen stating, "We've grown up..." was off-the-chart cringe. Lady. You were a fully grown woman when you met Brady...when he played Little League and you were with his equally fully grown father. If you're twenty-some years behind on the Grown-Up Express, don't blame Brady.

LINE OF THE WEEK
"Tomorrow is another day." Maggie

That line had such an impact, given what's been happening on- and off-screen. It's very much, one day -- one step -- at a time. Remove Konstantin from her obit, and Maggie breaks out the wise again!

RANDOM THOUGHTS

John's birthday being on Valentine's Day is the "Turducken" of saccharine. It's like his whipped cream strawberries shoved into a lemon bar stuffed into a bear claw. Maybe a bit too sweet for an already sweetheart of a character.

I enjoy when Mar gets in a zinger, and I adored her, "This one's on the house."

Feisty Kayla is also adorable! I love her love for Steve. And I agree -- thanks, but beat it, Stephanie!

Maybe Kristen and Sloan can duet "What I Did for Love" in the Statesville cafeteria someday.

I'm sure that holding baby Victoria did wonders for Maggie and Julie.

That ice on the branches, snowy cathedral ceremony sounded lovely. I adore "Stayla." But really, Steph, get gone, girl!

Thomas asking about the pictures of Abigail was a hit right to the already broken heart.

Wendy gets a win with, "So, how about that Super Bowl?" That was awkward, pal. We get it.

This week, every time John said, "That's a fact!" we could take a shot or shotgun some heart-shaped candy.

I enjoyed Chanel and Paulina's girls' night. Her mom needed the love and the tough love.

Nice call on the heat lamps, Agent Black!

I forget how good Roman is in a crisis. You go, Ro Ro.

I'd rent Xander's apartment for the shower alone. That looked epic.

But really, why is Lani still in a state pen!? How can administrative duties be so backed up in the Digital Age?

If I put on a Theresa wig, can I go with Brady to see Tater Tot? A road trip away from Salem for a second seems like a nice idea. I'll even spring for Sweet Bits snacks for the way.

PARTING THOUGHTS

So, friends and fellow fans, that's it for February 19. Let's have a cyber group hug, eat some leftover Valentine's Day candies, and talk about our feelings while making some friendship bracelets. Laurisa will be back to lead the Two Scoop charge next week. As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."

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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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