Let's do the time warp

For the Week of November 18, 2019
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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.
What difference does a year make? Whose baby is that? And just who's really, really dead? Let's grab our calendars and sort everything out in this week's Two Scoops.

I swear. Every time I leave Tony in charge of Salem, something bad happens. I left pizza money on the counter, movies in the queue, and special instructions not to let Salem stay up for a full year. Did he listen? No. Ugh. Luckily, I hear Rafe has a lead on a good nanny. We'll get to him later. For now, we need to talk DAYS after a one-year time jump!

Let's start with Jennifer. If being in a coma produces that great hair color and blow-out, sign me up immediately. Jenny Bear woke up and reunited with Jack in simply charming J-n-J fashion. The montage of him taking care of her over a year was sweet. And now that she's awake, the pair with his and hers matching balcony falls can live happily ever after.

First up is determining how Jen actually did fall. I hope they stay on this route because I love Jack and Jen in investigative mode. She remembers a lot from that night but can't seem to remember Eve (who is in prison) being the one who pushed her. This whole memory loss thing should work out well for Princess Gina. Yup, it's not like any of our heroes ever miraculously get their memories back. You're good, Princess G. Carry on.

That's right, Princess Gina is still hanging around. So far, this is the hardest thing about the time jump for me to buy. No one noticed? No one? "Hope" hasn't had a job in over a year, and no one thinks that's strange? She's living with John -- a person to whom other people pay real money in exchange for him solving mysteries -- and he notices nothing? Well, at least I know where Brady gets his smarts from.

Across town, Chad and Abigail made their way back to Salem! Unfortunately, while everyone else jumped ahead a year, the Chabbyriella trio was sent back about two and a half years in order to play out their same old storyline beats. Neato.

Look, Chad and Abigail looking into this pseudo Stefano chat bot is fun. Gabi running DiMera and mixing it up with Brady and Nicole is fun. But rehashing the Gabi/Chad/Abigail sins again is tiresome, and I want less than none of it. I hope it's mercifully short because I definitely see a way this could end up in a good place.

I have a suspicion Princess Gina's "Steffie" is actually some sort of a Stefan twin. If so, Chad and Abigail could be the ones to uncover him and then have to decide whether to reunite him with Gabi or not. Sure, Abigail bulldozed her way into Chad's business, but she wasn't wrong to immediately suspect this isn't actually Stefano. And, yes, Gabi's power has gone to her perfectly coiffed head, but she's not incorrect at all that Chad is plotting against her. All three characters here are too smart and have too much history between them to play the old plot. Let's see what they can do with a new one!

Speaking of people who don't want to look back, Sarah and Xander are lying through their respective longer hair and hipster glasses, only the former of which do I like. (Xander kind of looks like he's playing dress-up. I'm not a fan.) Anyway, while Jennifer was sleeping, Kristen told Eric that Sarah was pregnant. When Eric confronted Sarah, Xander claimed he was the father. Sarah went with it, and Xander has committed to the role. He hasn't quite won Sarah completely over yet, but he sure does adore that kid, and Sarah's happy to be in his company. Nothing brings people together like a secret, I guess!

Xander and Sarah both referenced "that terrible night" when talking about the night Mickey was born. My guess is both babies Bristen and Seric were born on the same night, but only one child survived. This caused Kristen to...stop me if you've heard this one before...lose it, cause someone's death, and then run off into hiding. I know, I know. It's hard to believe, but it might be true -- Kristen could be a killer.

The actions of that night left two men reeling. Brady and J.J. are in varying stages of grief. And for my money, they are better than either character has been in months.

J.J. vs. Brady has the makings of something great. First, Casey Moss is a force when given the right material. This one came gift-wrapped. He'll play grief, addiction, and the bittersweet moments of utter joy that someone going through grief doesn't always think they're worthy of feeling. And we'd become way too accustomed to Eric Martsolf playing the dopey schmuck, so much so that we forgot this guy has talent beyond that. Eric shines brightest when he gets to play Brady as a father, making every hug and tear utterly believable. This storyline gives him that.

Second, the subtext of class critique is not lost on me. Both Brady and J.J. are grieving painful losses. Yet the wealthy executive seems to be handling things a little better. Or, you know, at least showering and putting on clean clothes. But the guy with a more blue-collar job is strung out and failing. He looks as if he hasn't bathed or slept in days.

Finally, this new reset is good for both characters. While I was thrilled Jack's memory came back, Jack was horrible to J.J. for reasons that had nothing to do with memory. I couldn't ever quite get on board with J.J. forgiving Jack so quickly. But filling in the holes with them worrying about Jennifer and now grieving the death of J.J.'s second girlfriend (my man is not doing well in that department!) makes sense.

As for Brady, let's face it -- it's hard to feel too much sympathy for Mr. Silver Spoon and his Soulmate of the Month. But the loss of a child breaks through that. No one begrudges him the pain over losing a kid. Well, no one except for J.J.

The big question here is if he actually did lose a kid. Yup. I have a very bad feeling Sarah's child didn't make it, and Victor had Xander swap those babies. Xander had to do something huge for Victor to make him CEO. Plus, Xander would do this in a heartbeat if it meant Sarah didn't have to think her child died. Victor would do the same for Maggie. And while Victor might acknowledge the pain Brady would go through, Victor would deem that acceptable if it meant Kristen wasn't tied to Brady or the Kiriakis family in any way.

That leaves Nicole as the loose end. She could unravel this whole thing if she tells Eric that Sarah was carrying his baby. As an Ericole fan, this secret did not sit well with me. However, the conversation with Sarah in the park left a glimmer of hope. Sarah doesn't want this secret to get out, either. Why? I still don't know. The time jump didn't help that plot point at all. But I'm torn, because if Sarah asked Nicole not to tell, there's some gray area as to whether or not Nicole should. I kind of hold two truths in my head about this at the same time. 1) Nicole should be honest with Eric. 2) Sarah's the mom, and she has a say.

Get out of the way, everyone else. MacKenzie "Mickey" Horton (Cook? Kiriakis?) is my favorite debut of 2019. First, I adore the name. I love that her nickname could be for a boy or a girl. And, of course, it's such a nice nod to Mickey. Second, I'm sure there was some dialogue going on when she was on-screen, but all I could see were the cutest, smooshiest little cheeks!

I'm going to need more information about how and why Lani and Kristen became nuns. I really hope Lani is undercover investigating Kristen. That could be cool. If the truth is that Lani thought celibacy was her only other option in the absence of Eli, I will roll my eyes so hard they might get stuck in the back of my head.

Ben found Jordan dead in his house. Ciara found Ben finding Jordan dead in his house. The police arrested Ben, and he's on his last appeal before being executed. Ciara is sure Victor was behind Jordan's death (maybe because...I don't know...he ordered a hit on her before), and she's playing double agent -- living and working with Victor in hopes of getting the proof that will exonerate Ben.

Side rant: It took Ciara a year to be promoted to Junior Executive -- which sounds more like a Girl Scout rank than a job -- yet Brady, Philip, Xander, and Sonny were just handed CEO titles without going through any "junior" program. Hmmm...now, think. What do Brady, Philip, Xander, and Sonny have that Ciara doesn't? Ugh. The patriarchy is real.

Anyway, I'm surprised the show killed off Jordan. That storyline seemed to have the most immediate payoff, as Ciara was due some major apologies from Betty Off-Her-Rocker. For his part, Rafe is raising baby David, thanks to the help of Evan the magic manny. I have an immediate distaste for him, since he's hitting on Sonny and mansplaining things to Arianna. But I can't help but wonder if he could turn out to be more. Do we know who David's father is yet?

Still unanswered question: Who is the police commissioner?

Follow-up -- Why the heck would this person allow Ben to share a cell with Will? I'm okay with Ben's acclimation back into decent society, but even so, the dude did strangle Will. Twice!

Follow-follow-up -- Why does Will get to wear his wedding ring in jail?

Finally, Adrienne is "dead," Will apparently killed her, and Justin took up with Kayla. I don't believe this for a second. Not only do we not need a legacy character like Will stuck with an off-screen murder, but this sets up Steve nicely to be the Christmas miracle returning home with his sister. I also find it hard to believe Kayla would really move on with anyone else.

I was skeptical about the time jump. This is something they had to plan and execute very well, or else it could easily come off as a lazy writing trick. But this week, I found myself glued to DAYS like I hadn't been in years. There's real mystery and intrigue again. The cast and sets are reinvigorated. And I can't wait until Monday again!

Hey, remember when media reports all made us panic that DAYS was canceled when really it was just a math problem and a technicality blown utterly out of proportion by terrible journalists? Let's never do that again. Thank heavens for Chandler Massey, Camila Banus Camila Banus, Kristian Alfonso, Freddie Smith, and more letting us know that DAYS is just fine. We're all hoping for the next renewal, just like we do every single year about this time.

Roman: "It is that time of year again? It seems like just yesterday you were planning last year's gala."
Ha! I get it.

Victor (to Sarah): "Maybe you've been too busy being a new mother..."
I'm going to stop you right there, Vic. You've said a lot of degrading things to women over the years, but this might take the cake. Yeah, she has been busy being a new mom. Her life probably exists in three-hour increments of time, sleeping no more than two of those hours consecutively in any given setting. It's an accomplishment if Sarah manages to feed herself, much less keep up with which man you're promoting over a harder-working woman.

Anyone else wonder where the "strangled with her own scarf" storyline was when Taylor and E.J. were on?

"I just watched the most bizarre episode of DAYS" -- text from my mom at 9:30 p.m. on Monday. She did not know about the time jump. That was totally a fault on my part, and I shall try to be a better daughter from here on out.

I fully support Ari's quest to become a mermaid private investigator.

"I should have known better" -- Brady. And everyone laughed.

All the cancellation misreporting did highlight one great thing -- DAYS is an awesome place to work. They were so efficient in their taping schedule, they're getting an early Christmas break! This is amazing to me. I kid you not, I've spent my entire adult life wondering how I can get a job where I have off from essentially Halloween to Martin Luther King Day. I'm extremely jealous.

Seriously, no one at that mansion notices the missing giant portrait?

I know Gabi planted it in there on purpose, but I was surprised when Chad questioned whether or not Ari needed her doll right away. Dude, you're a dad. Your kids haven't ever flipped their lids when their "lovey" is missing? If so, you must be the luckiest guy ever. Props to you, sir.

Hmm...really, Ben? Victor doesn't get his hands dirty? I could have sworn he had those very hands around your neck not too long ago.

Everything about Nicole's fast-forward look was uh-maze-ing. That cobalt blue with gold accessories? That fauxhawk-ish hair style? Yes, goddess woman. Yes.

I may or may not have clapped when I saw Billy Flynn again. Can we get this guy in a scene with James Reynolds? I want Chad and Abe to talk "good DiMeras."

Sister Mary Moira has to be at that convent, right?

Is Justin a public defender? I'm kind of surprised he would represent Eve.

It sure was nice to see Julie be nice to Gabi for a change.

I hope Ben and Will run into Joey.

There's never been a more dapper man than Doug Williams. That pocket square that matched his sweater was sublime.

That's it for this week! Tony will be back next week, as soon as he's done having "tea" with Victor. Tony and Victor like the same blend!

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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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