How Salem got her groove back

For the Week of February 27, 2017
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How Salem got her groove back
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Finally! People realized the emperor was butt-booty naked! Is Salem back on track now that Deimos isn't getting his way? And did those pesky millennials just outdo the baby boomers? Let's discuss it all in this edition of Two Scoops.

You know that feeling when you finally finish a project around the house, turn in a paper, or get the kid to sleep? It's an overwhelming feeling of relief, which makes you want to chest-bump life. Well, I had that feeling last week when Salem finally woke up to the horror that has been Deimos. Gawd, what a satisfaction to see his plan literally blow up!

Quick recap -- despite being presented with absolute proof (Paul's face), Deimos continued to insist that Sonny wasn't kidnapped. The truth was, shocker, Deimos didn't care about Sonny and was actually annoyed that Adrienne was pestering him to save her son's life when the dude had a world to take over. I mean, really, slow down on the diva moments there, Adrienne.

Then, Eddie decided to have Jennifer dragged (literally) to the Kiriakis mansion to confront her about poking around in the menfolks' business. Apparently she forgot that she should have been making sandwiches for everyone in the kitchen. But Deimos reminded her! His exact quote was, "You might want to listen to the men, Jennifer." Congratulations! If you had "more condescending misogynistic bull crap" in the Deimos poll, you won the prize this week!

Too bad they picked the wrong gal to underestimate. Jen had been one step ahead of them for a while. The smile on Jen's face was everything. Her buddy Drew showed up at the Kiriakis mansion just in time to introduce himself as "the key" and promptly delete the whole program in front of Deimos' smug face. I almost expected a slow-motion noooooooo sequence, complete with reaction shots from Larry and Curley....err....Eddie and Andre. Oh, how I loved basking in their disappointment! Karma, fellas. She's a woman on a mission.

Karma's not the only one coming for Deimos. Sonny's had 1-800-ENOUGH of that dolt and is ready to reclaim the family business. Welcome back, Sonny! I missed you! I'm all for this mission, especially if it means calling up Philip and Chelsea to help you.

Finally, the last Deimos domino to fall was Nicole. Thanks in no small part to Deimos attempting to bribe a judge, Holly went home with Chloe. I'm temporarily okay with this. I am a little shocked that the judge didn't order everyone back in six months to see if Nicole has her life in a pile at that time. But we'll get there. And I do think that Chloe will voluntarily turn Holly back over to Nicole eventually. Though this custody arrangement makes for much better soap at the moment!

As always, Arianne Zucker was a wizard. Nicole went from compassionate to heartbroken to furious to downright crazy in the span of an episode. Seriously, when Nicole broke down in Justin's arms, I wanted to hug her through my TV. And when she threw that ring back in Deimos' weasel face, I clapped. Well, technically, I rewound the DVR, watched it again because I didn't think DAYS would actually let Deimos loose, and then I clapped. Arianne can in-your-face-it with the best of them. I'm so glad she got to play that scene.

As for Nicole...ehhhh....look, the writing for Nicole has been so bad for so long, I'm having to reach waaaaayy back in my Nicole memories (good thing they're mostly fond ones!) to pull out something upon which I can hang my sympathy. But, y'all, it's tough. I just wanted her to shut up during that hearing. Telling a judge you don't care what "some judge" says?! Yeah, I'm shocked that didn't go over well with the court.

And while I logically feel sympathy for any parent being kept from their child, Nicole presents a unique complication to this steadfast rule of mine. Watching Nicole cry about being separated from a child is like watching the Grinch complain that someone stole his Christmas presents. Is that horrible? Um, yes. Christmas is fantastic, and no one should take anyone's presents. Buuuutttt, the Grinch did that exact same thing to multiple people. Each time, Nicole laments about not being able to connect with her child, I can't help but think, "Don't worry, Nicki. You kept Sydney from Sami for nearly a year, and Sydney had no problem accepting Sami as her mom eventually." I know. I'm the worst.

But then Nicole went and compared Chloe to Kristen, and I kinda laughed. I think if Kristen heard that, she'd actually be insulted. I'd watch it there, Nicki. Nicole is going to do something crazy. The only person she has to stop her is Brady, and we all know his miraculous track record in keeping people from going off the rails. He's done a bang-up job as Deimos' conscience.

At the end of the day, I side with Belle in all of this. Yes, it is absolutely best for Holly not to be around Deimos right now/ever. And even though Chloe literally offered Nicole the baby seconds before the hearing started if Nicole would break it off with Deimos, Nicole still refused. But it is still a mom being separated from her kid. There really aren't any winners here. Well, except for Belle, who rocked an awesome updo while kicking some tush in court. Go on, Tink!

Speaking of winners, let's talk Abigail, Paul, J.J., and Dario! These four did what Eddie, Andre, and Deimos couldn't manage to do. Abigail and Dario found Gabi and Chad. And Paul and J.J. teamed up to rescue Sonny. Good stuff! I loved it all, especially Abigail -- who is becoming quite the little sleuth! This is the Jack and Jen daughter I've always wanted to see!

Gabi and Chad were deep in the stages of hypothermia, meaning they hallucinated things like dating in high school* and the absence of the blanket that was clearly right there on the shelf next to them. Of course they ended up naked. Don't worry too much. It was medicinal.

The little hitch is that you can actually have feelings for someone even when they have their clothes on. I love me some Chad, but he needs to get his act together here. Both Abigail and Gabi have been extremely gracious with him. But he's been leading Gabi on. Big time. And while he's been technically honest with Abigail, he needs to be a little more emotionally honest with himself.

To Abigail's unending credit, she's taking some blame for creating the situation. (I'd argue that a good chunk belongs to Ben and Granny Laura, too, but I digress.) But Chad is the one responsible for what happens from here on out. And he needs to be a bit more careful.

Of course, without him, we wouldn't have gotten that truly powerful scene where Abigail knocked down her memorial statue and then collapsed into tears in Dario's arms. Three things:

One, Marci Miller was fantastic in that scene. Abigail's sympathetic blend of regret and heartbreak was palpable. I continue to love how Marci positions Abigail just on the cusp of breaking, only to well up enough strength to make the character rootable. Solid, fantastic job!

Two, I'm not at all opposed to seeing Abigail and Dario give it a whirl. Marci and Jordi have great chemistry. Plus, ooff, who didn't want to give Dario a hug when Abigail said how good of a friend he was? First Nicole and now Abigail -- Dario sure does hear the "f word" a lot!

Three, for real, that statute needed to go. Like, a long time ago. Explaining that thing to Thomas would have come with an instant six sessions with Marlena.

Since Justin couldn't lose every case in Salem, Judge Fitzpatrick sent Hope out into the world a free bird. It's weird that Rope hasn't discussed moving a "dead" body across town and blowing it up. Then again, they had more important business to get to, so I'll forgive them.

Braintrust Trio Eddie, Andre, and Deimos decided to just lie about taking three hostages. Solid plan, fellas. I'm going to need a lot more Kate in this storyline. She seems to be the only grownup thinking clearly.

I downright adored the split scene between Claire/Abigail and Chad/Theo. Anytime I can get the good DiMeras together, I'm all for it. And Marci Miller brought yet another layer to Abigail by playing a believable counselor role to one of the kids. Again, Killer Miller for the win!

I love that we're getting more diversity in Salem, so I'm glad that Eli and Val are going to stick around. However, the way to usher new characters into Salem is to work them into already-established storylines with characters we know, not build storylines exclusively for them. Sure, we care about Abe and Julie, but they're tangentially (at best) involved in the Eli/Val conflict (which looks like it's going to have a side of Lani -- another new character). This whole thing feels like when someone tells you a story about your neighbor's cousin's friend. You know your neighbor, but you don't know their cousin or this friend, so it's hard to get too invested. Still, I adore Vanessa Williams as Valerie, so giving her something good to play is worth tuning in another week.

Speaking of Lani, I'm not okay with pretending she's all there. The woman is a nutter who takes pictures with her blackout sexual partners. I was honestly worried for J.J. when he asked her out.

So, let me get this straight. Eddie can totally pursue Kate, but he straight-up told Gabi that it's a problem if she has feelings for Chad. Yeah, I'm not cool with that at all. First, Gabi's a grown woman and doesn't need her dad (who's been in her life for all of about seven minutes) telling her who she can have feelings for. Second, Kate's way more of a DiMera than Chad's ever been. Eddie looks like a complete hypocrite.

Both Hope and Chloe have gotten away with things that they really, really shouldn't have. So while I'm not outright mad at either of their stances -- Stefano did have it coming, and Nicole was an absolute idiot when it came to Deimos -- I don't need to see either Hope or Chloe getting too high up on any moral horse. Just a warning, ladies.

*Yes, Chad and Gabi might have gone out on 1.5 dates in high school. Then, there was that thing about him taking everyone to the Olympics. (Dude's always been a bit of a baller.) But that fell apart faster than you could say "Mia had Chad's baby." So this talk of Chad and Gabi being high school sweethearts is pretty much revisionist history.

Raise your hourglasses, friends! DAYS got renewed for a 52nd season! Let's all just cheer at this quote from Jennifer Salke, the president of NBC Entertainment: "We feel so privileged to be able to continue the remarkable legacy of Days of our Lives. We thank Ken Corday and his team for their incredible accomplishments and look forward to all the stories from Salem that will continue to unfold." Happy dance conga line starts here!

I literally caaaaan't with Eric anymore. Someone needs to kick his self-loathing butt into gear. Now. Like, right now. Yes, we get it. He's remorseful. And he should be. He did a terrible thing that cost a life. But you know what? He needs to stop making himself a martyr and go do some good in the world! Take this second chance to go prevent this from happening to someone else!

Chloe (to Brady): "You're not Marlena. Stop shrinking me."
Look, Brady's loyalty to Nicole is admirable. But it felt like he was putting the moves on Chloe to get her to agree to give up her baby, which was 1) gross, and 2) misguided. Pay attention, Brady! Nicole's the one who chooses men over kids! Seriously, I need to get this guy some flashcards.

I feel the need to point out that Belle and Shawn aren't married. If anyone is going to throw a wedding for them, send an invite my way!

Of course Andre wears a pocket watch.

I'm still unsure. Did Deimos really ship Drew in a box?

Has anyone ever been in a hospital where they give you a robe?

I find it hard to believe Andre doesn't keep his phone password protected.

Excuse me, but why is Drew being sent to witness protection?! I want him to stay around Salem!

I wonder if Abigail and Austin are going to run into each other and remark how different both of them look since they last time they saw each other.

If there ever was a time for Sami Gene to make a cameo in Salem, now is the time. Marlena tried with Eric, but it's going to need someone more convincing to crack this nut. #TimeForTwinPowers

Those cobalt blue coffee mugs at TBD are amazeballs.

I'm still bummed that Ciara didn't give Rory a fair shot.

J.J. needs a job where he wears that blue suit everyday.

Abigail's red dress gave me life.

I so want to pull off the cross-body necklace like Maggie.

Another day, another unfortunate vest from the Bradster.

Look at Dougie with the pimp move, wearing the scarf with the suit inside. Nice!

I know Nicole's dress was supposed to be "conservative" but I found it downright adorable.

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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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