Kids these DAYS

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Salem's problem children were on full display. Gabi lost another round to her mortal enemy, common sense. J.J. acted like a real dope. And Sami geared up to go on trial for murder...again. Find out what happened to these kids in this week's Two Scoops.

Just in case you didn't know (*wink*) @Tony_S_Days and I put together a list of the Top 10 Problem Children in Salem as part of our Summer of Sinners blog series. Little did we know that three of them would be so predominantly featured (along with their respective problems) this summer! Let's discuss Gabi, J.J., and Sami, shall we?

We'll start with Gabi because it's always best to just rip the Band-Aid off fast and get the pain out of the way. For the record, I think that any mom -- new or otherwise -- has the right to her own life. However, that is hardly an all-encompassing argument. If Gabi decided that her "own life" consisted of getting blind drunk in the room that Sonny pays for, blaring Nazi hate propaganda, and throwing knives at the wall -- regardless of how perfectly within her legal rights those actions are -- Sonny would be right to speak up. So I didn't have a lot of sympathy for that argument from Gabi.

But, let's talk specifically about Gabi's decision to sleep with Nick -- you know, just like Sonny was trying to do while Gabi was busy trying to avoid it and play hypothetical justification. Nick's crimes against Will and Sonny are entirely too recent and raw for Gabi to be so insensitive as to introduce him back into Will and Sonny's house. Maybe since Gabi's never been a victim (a total rarity on soaps now that I think about it), she has no idea what Will and Sonny could possibly be going through? Whatever the reason, Gabi clearly has no grasp on reality.

Perfect case in point, Gabi blabbered on about how hard it was being "on her own" while standing in the middle of her free housing, yelling at her free babysitter, right before she stormed out and left him with her kid. A one-time outburst from an exhausted mother is completely acceptable. But for her to come back and blackmail Sonny implies that she actually thought that she had a point with all this nonsense. Seriously, where's a sarcophagus when you need one?

However, there is a possible silver lining here. Gabi kept threatening to move out (promises, promises, my dear), so why not let her? Then, Will and Gabi will finally have to get a legal custody agreement in place. If Will wanted to include the provision that Nick is not to be around Arianna without Will or Sonny present, I can't say that he wouldn't have a good case. Especially if they get a hold of Nick's laptop and read the "This is My Story" entry.

Seriously, what in the name of Lifetime movies is Nick up to? Nick may soon become Kristen 2.0 -- the character whose brief tenure on the show as a sweet, lovable innocent will be massively overtaken by the fact that they spray crazy everywhere. That's not all a bad thing. I never mind watching Blake Berris play the mad genius. I just wish that the storyline didn't appear to hinge on me believing that Gabi is/will be an innocent victim.

Even if you practice the Gabi plan and instantly forget all of the homophobia, blackmail, and custodial interference, there's still the fact that Nick had no trouble manipulating Gabi to do any and everything that he wanted. One of Gabi's two friends really needs to point out that Nick has way too much of an upper hand in their relationship for her to even consider reconciling with him.

Will would be the person to do it, though Will's opinion of Nick lessens by the minute as well. I can't say that I blame him. I'm not sure where Nick got off asking Will for anything, much less a second chance, since Will already took a literal bullet for Nick. And, to be fair, Will didn't wish harm on Nick; he just rightfully pointed out that Will can't be the person to give Nick a third chance, especially not on Nick's timetable that consisted of two options -- now or right away.

In other my-way-or-the-highway Horton news, J.J. garnered himself a repeat tour of the fabulous Salem police station. The little rascal finally got caught selling drugs. I hope to the soap overlords that J.J. has to cool his jets in jail for at least one night. Not only would it be good for him (and me!), but it might wake up Jennifer too. I don't know how much more of Jennifer's doe-eyed begging for her son's approval I could take. (Yes, I do. The amount was none.)

I can't believe he actually tried to tell Hope and Jennifer that it was Daniel's fault that he was selling drugs. It was hard to watch Jennifer list off all of the ways in which she's been a complete fool, but Jennifer needed to take off the rose-colored glasses when it came to her son. I'm certainly not saying that J.J. can't turn it around. But there's no arguing that J.J. is a terrible mess of a kid right now, and he needs help, not enabling.

Plus, making J.J. work through all of this would mean that Casey Moss gets a chance to excel even more. It can't be easy for a new young actor to come in and carry a storyline, but that's exactly what this dimpled gent did with aplomb! Play his cards right, and he might have as bright a future as another problem child. Someone the likes of...say...Prisoner 511.

Yup, I'm still loving Sami's storyline right now, mainly because it involves a lot of characters -- Sami, E.J., Will, Sonny, Justin (wahoo!), Adrienne, Roman, Hope, Abe, and even bit parts from Kayla, Stefano, Rafe, and Kate. I love sweeping storylines like that!

First, if Rafe had any shred of doubt about Sami's story, Stefano's visit and accompanying levels of gloating locked Rafe down for Team Sami. I also wonder if Stefano has the razor. Normally, Stefano doesn't overplay his hand that much unless he's sure that he can't be caught.

Second, can we just get Justin a Lucy-style advice booth in Horton Square? Every time Justin opens his mouth to talk, I fall a little more in love with him. He has this ability to give people harsh news without being cruel. And he's smart enough to know how much he should or shouldn't know about E.J.'s plans, which is fine because I've got that covered.

I love E.J.'s lawyer side blending with his DiMera side. He was very smart to realize that a continuance would only mean that the police would have the time to realize the money was planted. So the sooner this case gets going, the sooner it will get to the jury, and the sooner Sami can't be charged again.

Next, there's Will. One of my favorite qualities in a soap character is self-awareness, and Will was painfully aware that Sami is in this position partially because of him. And as much as I'm a champion of people coming clean, E.J. is right that Will's admission at this moment would strengthen the prosecutor's case against Sami. And to be perfectly honest, Will has paid for that crime soap justice-style -- he's been blackmailed three times with the information and had to watch both parents spend time in jail.

Heck, even Adrienne got in on the action this week! I have no idea what caused her about-face on Sami's case, but I really don't care. I've been waiting for any reason to like Adrienne again. Yes, I wish that she had gone to Justin first and insisted that he look at her evidence, since that was the main core of her problem last time. But like I said, yay for Adrienne returning to level fabulous again!

Finally, tell me I'm not the only one still holding out hope that we'll get to see some great scenes from Sami's trial! I can't be the only one wanting Harold, Maxine, and T to end up on the jury together and have to sift through testimony from some of our favorite DAYS characters.

Chad and Abigail had a nice date on the roof of his club, waited on by his staff, in the middle of the work day while he was on the clock. Gosh, I love soap jobs! Jealous, party of one!

Marlena found herself in a very favorable position. Both Victor and Nicole wanted to scheme with her. As far as partners go, it doesn't get much better than that!

Rafe and I agreed on something! He doesn't like Kate hovering over him either. And I couldn't help but notice that his "I'm a man" speech was pretty much word-for-word what Lucas should have said to Kate years ago, no?

Stop me if you've heard this one before. Nicole worried about Eric and Brady. She also doesn't like Kristen.

Much as I do love Kate, seeing Kayla throw down the "I have a medical license and you don't" was pretty stellar. I like Kayla with a touch of spunk!

Have you ever watched a game and realized that the loosing team didn't really lose as much as the winning team just flat-out beat them? That's sort of how I feel about Brady and Kristen. Sure, Brady could be brighter. But Kristen's scheming skills are so honed that I really don't think many men would stand a chance. It helps that Kristen genuinely does love Brady.

But, I do blame Brady for getting all huffy with his family members who don't jump right on the Kristen Bandwagon. (For the record, that place is really fun. Tony had t-shirts and martinis made for everyone when you enter!) Brady may be in love with Kristen, but he's wrong to expect that everyone else should be as well. That isn't how it works, B-squared!

Raise your hand if you loved the scene between Sami and all of her offspring. (*raises hand and waves it back and forth*) Special shout-out to Johnny for his "To infinity and beyond!" line. Well done, tiny sir.

Stefano and Kate had another spectacular clash over Rafe -- proof that I really will watch these two do anything.

Extra Scoops

I may prefer a splinter between my toes to hearing Gabi's form of "logic," but Gabi and Sonny's scene reminded me of something. I absolutely adore Camila Banus and Freddie Smith together. Arianna's delivery scenes proved that this pair could do comedy. But, they mesh nicely on the drama as well. Good job, kids!

Also, since I'm praising scene partners, Deidre Hall and Eileen Davidson were amazing. We usually don't get to see the role reversal where Marlena is the comedic one and Kristen is the straight man. I loved it!

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that Stefano shouldn't be throwing shade at anyone else for having a bastard child. Not your smartest moment, big fella.

Caroline (to Nick): "Does the truth upset you? Good!"

To be honest, Sassy Caroline hasn't been used well lately. Trotting her out to yell at a random family member with whom she hasn't shared a scene in months was starting to get old. But she went to jail for the crime Nick committed, then she pretty much single-handedly spearheaded his second chance. She deserved to tell him off. Go on, Ma Brady!

Chad mentioned that Chez Rouge is still around! I wouldn't mind seeing that place.

Did anyone else think, "Weird...he used to date her best friend" when Daniel and Abigail had their scene together?

Hey, Sonny, look at the bright side! At least she thought about protection this time!

Isn't this about the time that Stoller got his all-expenses-paid trip to Brazil or some other country that doesn't have an extradition agreement with the U.S.?

The Bonnie Lockhart/Roxy Balsom hybrid made me feel really sorry for Rory.

As far as hospital security goes, I'd take Maxine over the Salem police any day.

When asked a direct question, E.J. is really not that great of a liar. Is this a new thing, or am I just now noticing this?

I don't care what Grungy McLurker thought. J.J. and Bev were kind of cute together.

That's it for this week. Tony will be back next week in his best silk paisley robe to chat with us about Sami's trial. I'm off to buy one of those old-fashion seltzer bottles for her coming home party! #WishfulThinking #HelplessSamiFan

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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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