Here you come again

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Two Scoops is an opinion column and the opinions expressed are solely those of the author. The views expressed do not represent the opinions of Soap Central, its partners, or its advertisers.
Which DiMera is back in the mix now? Is Nicole the best Kristen? And, is Eve beyond any level of sympathy? Let's chat about it all in this week's Two Scoops.

The phoenix shall rise again, indeed! Never one to be out of heirs cards, Kristen whipped up another tenant from Dr. Rolf's House of the Undead! It''s...AD. You know "AD"! As in Andre DiMera! Whoops, or it could be Antony DiMera. We don't know yet. I suspect we'll find out early next week, but for right now, I'm doing a happy dance, because whoever it is, he's played by Thaao Penghlis -- the regal prince of decadence and delight.

I love Thaao. He's such a classic soap star. He can pull off extreme situations (clown costume, anyone?) and give them an utterly undeserved amount of elegance. The dude's basically a wizard. Put him in any strange situation, and he'll make it work. It's impressive. I can't wait to see him do it again.

"Nicole" showed up to a wildly decadent apartment in Chicago where the dude is chilling in a monogramed smoking jacket, as one it apt to do. It was the next step in her plan to take over DiMera and win Brady back. They'll have to get through one major power couple to do so -- Gabi and Stefan.

I have to let you all in on a secret. I've never seen any lasting chemistry between Camilla Banus and Brandon Barash. That is, until this week. The scene where they were drinking together and plotting how to get DiMera back sparked something. Her questioning his malt level (probably not what you call it) and encouraging him to keep fighting against Nicole showed that these two can actually be something outside of the bedroom. I want more of this couple. Please and thank you.

One couple I'd be happy seeing less of is Eve and Jack. Oh, Eve. You truly are the worst. My ears perked up when Jack finally took Eve to task on her motherly grief. I've always thought her actual behavior toward her daughter when she was alive didn't measure up to the grief she displays every chance she gets now. There's an argument to be made that Eve feels more grief because she was so horrible to Paige when Paige was alive. But if that's so, let Eve actually make that argument on-screen. Instead, she comes across as one of the least sympathetic characters in Salem.

That's why I was cheering for Jack -- a man who's been pretty despicable himself these last few months. But I was hoping Eve would finally get the slice of humble pie she so deserves. But then, they let Eve dunk on Jack in the last seconds of the game. She's got the true serum. And she's going to blackmail him for all he's worth to get it from her. Okay, that last part hasn't happened yet, but it's got to be coming.

I don't believe she loves Jack at all. If he wasn't the mayor who just made her one of the most powerful people in Salem, I don't think she'd be begging him to stay with her. At least when Eve was with Brady, she tried to be a good person. With Jack, she just marinates in ugliness and greed. The check is going to be due on Eve soon, and it's going to be large. I hope Ron has the proper soap justice planned for her. Between Claire and Jack, she's been able to throw her minions in front of the bus and waltz on down the road with no one stopping her. That has to change.

I agree with Will and Sonny that they shouldn't have loaded guns in a house with a young child in it. However, do we actually think Victor doesn't have a loaded gun around? He keeps booze under the cushions. I'm not sure he's the best proponent of child safety.

I need to see Haley in a storyline as something other than a damsel who needs saving. I don't dislike Haley. There have been a lot of factors against her. But if she's going to stay around Salem, I'd like to see her in a storyline that at least gives viewers a reason to root for her, not just against what's happening to her. This love triangle where she's too weak to choose between the two men who adore her ain't it.

Also, I'm pretty sure the loft has four bedrooms. I seem to remember previous roommate rosters consisting of four people (Ciara/Claire/Theo/Joey...then Ciara/Claire/Tripp/Theo). So, I have no idea why J.J. and Haley have to sleep in Claire's room. There should be another one free.

Wait...maybe the loft is in the same building as Rafe's old apartment with the magically appearing rooms. Perhaps rooms are deducted from one unit and given to another as needed.

One more thing -- are J.J. and Haley sleeping in Claire's bed, too? That doesn't look like J.J.'s bed from his old studio. If so, come on, guys. Make this easier on yourselves.

Sarah is half in on two men. It's annoying. But it's getting better now because the happy couple moved into the mansion and away from Father Frowns a Lot! Xander and his Jane Fonda calisthenics are just what Sarah needs. She has a backbone with him -- something she doesn't have with either Rex or Eric.

Eric joked, "Kate? She's usually sweet to all the women who marry her sons. You should talk to Chloe sometime!" But that's not actually a joke. Chloe ticked off Kate because Chloe was sleeping with another man while married to her son. A word of caution, you two.

While we're on the topic of Kate, Kristen said she'll kill one of Kate's kids if Kate ever breaks. That threat would work on most people. But Kate should take that threat as a challenge. Either that, or she could say, "Go ahead and take Sassie...err...Chrissy...whatever Rex's twin's name is. No one will miss her. We hardly mention her as it is."

Want to kill two birds with one stone? Have Claire haunt Eve instead of Haley. That would show Eve actually feels some remorse for how she toyed with Claire. And Haley wouldn't be stuck with another damsel in distress storyline.

The scene where "Nicole" went to see Brady was a showcase of Arianne Zucker's talents. Perhaps it's the ease Ari has with Eric Martsolf already. Perhaps it's that Nicole and Kristen share some of the same emotional DNA -- child loss, wanting to be loved, etc. -- and Ari's perfectly tuned in to that character motivation. But that scene where "Nicole" slithered around Brady, manipulating him but holding herself back from just breaking into his arms, was absolutely fantastic.

Kristen's a tricky character to play. She's got to have a strong foundation in something real, otherwise she can get cartoonish rather quickly. (Hello! The woman is wearing a fake face!) Ari realizes that so very well and threads that needle between desperate and sinister. The way she looked like she was almost going to cry when Brady spoke of the children he tried to have with Kristen?! Masterful. The way she caught herself right before going off the deep end about Gabi? Spectacular. Everything Ari is doing with this role is so subtle and inspired. I already worry it will be lost on Emmy voters who don't get the whole picture. But for those of us DAYS viewers who get those nuances, it's truly a treat.

Wait, Jack sent the whole diary to the lab?! Do these people not realize what else is in there? Why are they so careless with this thing? I sincerely hope Xander was smart enough to make a copy or swap it out with a dummy like he did with the serum when he intercepted the package. Good grief.

Rex: "My mom was really shaken up, so I went easy on her about the incest comment."
I mean, just read that line.

Haley (to J.J.): "What kind of girlfriend would I be if I couldn't make my man a delicious breakfast?"
She said that. Someone said that. In 2019.

Roger seems swell and all, but it hurts my heart a little each time Susan refers to him as her "soul mate." #TeamEdmond

It's terrifying that Susan can get a gun. It's not so much that she's eccentric. It's that she's recovering from a mental break that was so bad she brainwashed someone brought back from the dead to pretend to be her "dead" son.

Lol! at Xander calling Kristen "Sue."

I would like for Hattie to meet Susan.

Tripp's shirt with the patterned collar and tight sleeves was all sorts of A.C. Slater -- and I loved it!

Holy. Casting. Bull's-eye. Casey Moss looks exactly like young Matt Ashford.

I'm all for Gabi's jumper.

The smile on Jack's face when J.J. said, "Hey, dad?" was precious.

July 24th is, indeed, Tequila Day. Who votes on these things? How do I get on this committee?

That clapping you heard across the Internet was me cheering the possibility of Kate and Stefan teaming up. What a thing for Vivian to come home to!

Watching Dr. Marlena Evans react to her best friend Susan Banks will never fail to make me laugh. Deidre Hall played the perfect response to Susan saying she gave Marlena's number to a stranger on a bus. "I told her you'd help her with her fear of failure." Ha!

When Jen promised Dr. Shah that none of her exes were going to crash their dinner, I looked at the door and secretly chanted, "Come on, Frankie! Come on, Frankie!" I could go for seeing Billy Warlock again!

I can appreciate "whiskey-o'clock," Stefan. It's right after wine-thirty.

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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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