Last week made me painfully aware of the giant hole that will appear when James Scott and Alison Sweeney depart the show. I suspect each week between now and that terrible fall day will carry a little more of the same.
But watching last week and then chatting with my mom and sister -- two of the best DAYS experts this side of Salem -- I began to think about who's going to fill their shoes and how we got to the place where their victory lap is something special.
Let's talk about the victory lap first.
It turns out that the only thing wrong with Sami's revenge is that a certain gaggle of judgmental Judys can't seem to get on board with the awesome. This basically includes everyone except Sami, E.J., Abigail, and Kate.
E.J. made an emotional plea to Sami. But she's been good and mad for a long time now. He's going to need to make this plea numerous times. I think he knows that. E.J. doesn't know the meaning of "give up."
And when the dust settles -- and it's not just the few days after this thing blew up -- Sami should realize that E.J.'s moved heaven (or hell, more accurately) and earth for her. She doesn't feel like he loves her now, but when she steps back, she should see it.
So while I wait for those bars to be removed -- and James and Alison return to their regularly scheduled chemistry (I see what you did there, writers!) -- I've been enjoying the best couple of the summer.
Kate and Sami are made of win. Kate is down with Sami's revenge, so much so that Kate greeted Sami with a pitcher of martinis and folders of corporate-flavored revenge. Sami was happy with both. In a way, I wonder if Sami is the child Kate always wished Lucas would be. Their uneasy alliance just might make each character grow.
Speaking of growth, Abigail is on that train as well.
The thing is that Abigail didn't intentionally set out to hurt anyone. Yet when the truth became public, she didn't take the easy way out that Jen, J.J., Lucas, Adrienne, the drycleaner, the weekend bus driver, and the lady who sells scarves on Horton Square were trying to offer her. And to her credit, she shut down any noise about E.J. forcing himself on her.
Furthermore, she brought up that she did this to Carrie, expressed remorse for hurting Sami's kids, and repeatedly said that she understood why Sami was so angry with her. Truth be told, Abigail seemed to be taking her dose of humility quite well. If she can hang on to this lesson (especially when Ben confesses his alias past to her), she'll be all right.
I can't say the same for the rest of Salem. They all seem to be laboring under the misconception that Sami is the bad guy here because she had the gall to confront Abigail when all poor, misled, innocent Abigail did was sleep with Sami's fiancÚ.
I don't even know what to do about Jennifer grasping her pearls and asking if Abigail was in love with E.J. No, Jen. Sometimes there are other reasons for acquainting one's self with another in the biblical sense. Also, women can vote and drive cars now too.
And while I'd like to allow her shelter under the "protecting my daughter" umbrella, Jennifer had a front row seat to Carrie taking Abigail to task for a similar mistake. That should lead Jennifer to the assumption that her daughter might just be a bit of a trollop.
Next, I'm not terribly fond of how they trot out Lucas sporadically when it's convenient for him to be Abigail's uncle. Lucas barely gets any time with Jennifer, much less her children.
But what I really didn't like was how Lucas showed no loyalty to Sami at all. This is the guy who was furious with Jennifer for speaking to Daniel after Daniel slept with Chloe. He should know how Sami feels, regardless of who it is that wrecked her life.
At least Will seems to have a better grasp of reality. He's not dismissing Sami's real feelings as just another character flaw on Sami's part. And he's legitimately mad at E.J. for hurting his mom. I hope that someday Will gets the whole story about why E.J. went out to that cabin in the first place.
Across town, Theresa realized that you have to have a better plan in place if you're going to try to pull one over on an international spy extraordinaire. John was smart enough to record Theresa's blackmail attempt. He would have retained his upper hand, too, if he hadn't gone on to accuse Theresa of being so terrible that her parents gave up on her. I guess Theresa could have shot back with, "Well, at least I have parents!" but I digress.
I can't see how Theresa and Brady's marriage will last. He doesn't remember the wedding, which is clearly grounds for the Britney Spears Vegas annulment special. But Theresa had to have thought of that. I can't wait to see how she spins this one.
I find it difficult to believe that all Theresa wants is money. She's in line to inherit the Sami Brady crown as the troublemaker with a soft spot. She's got the entire Brady family that will rally around her at a moment's notice. I know this because she's good with Caroline, and I challenge you to show me one Brady who won't do something if Caroline asks them to.
But she's got her work cut out for her. Theresa proved to be a special little piece of nasty by telling Brady that he assaulted John. That seemed too far, even for Theresa. I really thought that some small part of her actually cared about Brady. In fairness, I guess that may be true. It's just that the part of her that cares about herself is way bigger. Still, I have no idea how they'll redeem her for assaulting John and then setting Brady up to take the fall for it.
And the thing is, Theresa needs to have someone she cares about more than herself in order to become that fully realized anti-hero.
Take, for example, her big sis, Eve -- who I believe could be a candidate to be the new E.J. Beyond the fact that she's tall, gorgeous, and has a charming accent, she's got a lot of freedom and very little pesky loyalty obligations in Salem.
Sure, she loves Paige and would do anything for her -- including use Paige as justification for pretty much any scheme she wants. But other than that, Eve is mostly all on her own. And that makes her an equal opportunity villain.
Okay, so, Tammy Sue and Ollie stole money from Clyde, and we're supposed to care. Sure. Two things. First, we just watched Kate and Sami steal the entire DiMera empire. Second, I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations on robbery expired somewhere during the 1,836,339 years is took for this weaksauce Jordan/Ben secret to come out.
Sign me up as one of the people shocked that Kate is so flippant about divulging information to Clyde, considering her history with Curtis Reed.
I didn't mind Abigail going after Eve. Abigail and Jack always had a close relationship. He did die saving her life. Plus, Eve was great at handling Abigail. If little Deveraux isn't careful, she'll walk right into Eve's trap again.
First, E.J. seemed shocked that Sami showed the photos to Jennifer. Then Sonny just couldn't figure out why Sami would go through with the wedding in the first place. Really, fellas? Come on. You know how revenge works. I've seen your families.
I loved that Ben really didn't care who Abigail slept with before they met. Sure, he may have self-serving reasons for championing leaving the past behind. But the point is that Abigail and Ben can continue their cute whatever-it-is now.
Considering that Kristen is coming back/Daniel is on the case, I have little doubt that John will make a full recovery.
Approximately ten seconds after Hope and Aiden's moment, Ciara sat her mom down and flashed a picture of Bo in her face. Talk about a mood killer. I wish someone would send Ciara off to boarding school. Or to the moon. Yup, my irrational hate of an imaginary child continues. #imaterribleperson
Nick arranged for the pictures to be released in the event of his death. I knew it!
J.J. made a good point about Eve being the aggressor with Jennifer. He played the whole situation smart. His experience with handling the Donovan girls is showing. I'm thinking that he needs to give Daniel some lessons right away, if not sooner.
Haiden's "You stopped dancing!/How come?/I've forgotten the steps" was straight out of The Sound of Music. I loved every second of it. And just like the Captain and Maria, Aiden and Hope didn't like each other the first few weeks either! I say throw Chase and Ciara in some curtain clothes and let's get this song started.
I don't mind that Eric leads with his faith and his heart. But I do mind when he forgets that he has a brain. He accused Sami of overlooking E.J.'s faults and only using the Kristen situation as ammunition for her plight now that she's mad at E.J.
First, yes, Eric, when you love someone, you overlook their lies, even if they've hurt you in the past. Shall I call Nicole as my next witness?
And second, when people get new information, they often do come to a different conclusion. That's not flip-flopping. That's being smart enough to apply new knowledge to a situation.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Sami: "Payback isn't a bitch. It's my pleasure." Never change your dirty soapy ways, Sami Gene.
Aiden (as to why Hope made an escape from the Gala): "I think she's been fighting off something." Oh Aiden, you don't know how right you are.
I'm so glad they wrote the very special dream episode for April. It was an extended look at Sami's rage without any of these jokers stepping in to scold Sami. Plus, it was a way to see Sami's actual breakdown. We didn't get that raw emotion from Sami (at least not yet) this time around, so this way, we got the best of both worlds.
Have we ever seen the Horton bathroom before? Or did they build that set just for Abigail? Ugh. Hortons get everything!
I'm with you, Eve. Comfort is way down the list of what's important about heels.
Theresa doing Hail Marys might have been the funniest thing I saw all week.
Abigail, you're not a slut because you slept with brothers. You're a slut because you threw yourself at an engaged man when you knew that he was not emotionally available to you. The more you know...
Light or dark, every hair color looks good on Lauren Koslow.
Ben might be the first character ever to say, "I know what this is about" and actually be right.
If you need me, I'll be over at petitions.org, setting one up to not pair Eric and Jennifer. The world can't handle that much moral superiority.
Once again, T comes through with good advice. Handmade gifts are always great.
Hey, Brady, "Here's to being single" is perhaps the least appropriate toast to give in the presence of your girlfriend. Make a note of that so you're ready if you run into a newly single Jordan. (Just a hunch.)
I think that was, in fact, the first time anyone ever told Marlena that she "rocked the house."
I couldn't help but notice that Sami sure kept E.J.'s ring on her finger.
Story of Roman's life. Just when it looks like he might get a shot with a girl, some unconscious schlump comes along and steals her back.
New Blog Series -- Summer Lovin'
Last year, the talented @Tony_S_Days and I teamed up to present the Summer of Sinners blog series that paid tribute to the bad guys in Salem. So this year, we flipped the doughnut over to celebrate something sweeter -- the lovers! We're kicking it off with list of those couples that should have been. Got some to add to the list? Be sure to let us know!
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.