Is the truth always the right answer?

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Is Kristen past the point of change? Is Stefano still out there? And, what will Nicole do? Let's get our cyber party together to discuss it all in this week's Two Scoops.

Super-sleuth Nicole finally got the truth out of Dr. Raynor. Mickey is Kristen's baby. (Technically, I'd like to point out that all Dr. Raynor could know is that Mickey is the baby Kristen gave birth to, but whatever. Black helicopters and all.) I'm not surprised Nicole solved this mystery. She's resourceful on her own. Add Abe to the mix, and they're pretty unstoppable.

But now Nicole must decide what to do. On one hand, she could blow up Eric's life and hand a baby over to Kristen. On the other hand, she could live with another secret (totally easy for her to do) but deny one of her best friends his daughter. That latter bit is going to be the hard part. I think she'll ultimately decide that she owes it to Brady and then trust Eric will ultimately forgive her because this time she actually told the truth.

Also, I really hope this decision is quick because, while I understand that Nicole truly was upset when Chloe kept Holly from her, it's super hard to forget that Nicole stole Sami's baby and conspired to keep a second baby from E.J. She's not exactly the patron saint of wronged parents here. I don't know how long I'll be able to watch her clutch those particular pearls.

Meanwhile, Kristen was at her own crossroads of character development. Kristen is a tricky character right now. I'm an easy audience when it comes to reformed baddies. I'll ride for Sami and Nicole any day. Xander's one of my favorites right now. But Kristen? Something keeps me from accepting her as someone who could -- not just would -- but literally could change.

Her speech to Brady and John about being shocked that Stefano turned out to be a creep fell utterly flat. My goodness. Kristen is a lot of things. Stupid isn't one of them. She sounded like an utter airhead in that scene. (A side effect of hanging out with the Bradster? Possible!)

However, her conversation with Tony rang very true. She said she used to like the way people were afraid of her. She associated fear with power and strength because Stefano was the undisputed master at blending all of those things. That scene was the first time I saw a real possibility that Kristen could change. Still, I think the biggest takeaway is that she's most believable when she's not with Brady. I think the only way for that character to go forward is if they find her a different love interest, if for no other reason than that she can share scenes with someone who isn't a constant reminder of how off the rails she can go.

Speaking of off the rails, Stevano is close to mercifully coming to an end. Thanks to Anna and her stiletto, Stevano was arrested and sent to the hospital to recover from probably losing his eye. (How convenient!) The check on this storyline was overdue for me. As soon as a brainchipped Marlena became part of it, the soapiness transitioned to sexual assault. I felt very uncomfortable watching any of it.

I hope Rolf does get that chip out of Marlena's brain. I want the old Marlena back. But the residual mystery of this storyline is actually quite good. What happens to the "essence of Stefano" if Steve comes back? Gina was a personality that took over Hope's body. The (ugh, sorry) Queen of the Night was a personality that took over Marlena's body. Steve and Stefano are two separate people. We were always left with the notion that Stefano's body was still alive somewhere. Did he take over Steve's because he wanted a newer model? Is that Stefano body dead and thus this "essence" could find a new host some other time? So many questions!

It was a tremendous, stand-up thing for Justin to stand up for Steve, reminding Kayla it wasn't Steve doing those things. But then he confessed that he's scared to lose Kayla if Steve does come back. And he's right. Kayla made declarations of her gratitude and love. But, she made no mention of the future. It's very telling.

There's a lot I don't understand about Eli and Lani. First, why are they talking like they don't have a place to live? Did Eli sell the Martin house sometime back? Second, why didn't Lani jump at the chance to be a cop again? Hands down, the absolute best thing about Lani's character was when she came to town as a plucky copy, eager to advance her career and be a detective. I loved this Lani. I saw a shot to have her back, and the show didn't take it. Boo.

How excited do you think Ben and Ciara were to share a bed actually built for two people? No wonder they didn't want to leave it! Something tells me they won't have much of a problem finding a job. Ben could always be a manny! Apparently, no one checks references in that field.

I always love a Marlena/Brady scene. But the one when he said, "You're my mom, and I love you," was downright charming. I could have gone without him giving another Kristen 2020 campaign speech. All this "how crazy she was" would mean a lot more if she hadn't killed a woman a few months ago. But still, Brady and Mar for the win!

I would watch an entire show of Anna and Abigail. Anna's camp and Abigail's spunk are a fantastic combination. When Abs looked at Anna and wondered, "Who are YOU?" my fandom was locked. Kate Massey is an amazing straight man next to Leanne Hunley's comedic timing. I want all the Anna and Abigail. All the time.

First Abigail fully integrates in two weeks. Now, after one night of intense therapy, Chad is healed. Are we sure these two aren't X-Men?

Nicole's promise not to tell Xander that she spoke to Dr. Raynor would probably hold up a lot more if there wasn't a flight record of Nicole traveling to New York.

Even though it was just for a second, it was fantastic to see Brandan Barash on DAYS again!

I was glued to the TV, watching how Abe would be asked the direct question about Nicole's secret. He's honest Abe! Yet, he can't rat out Nicole! And then my guy nailed it. He told Eric that he can't betray Nicole's confidence and that Eric needs to talk to Nicole. Take note, students of soapville. Professor Abe just gave a master class.

Holy hell. Is there a worse idea than Kristen volunteering to hold babies? I mean, other than me volunteering to hold salted caramel brownies.

Brady: "That's it, right? That's the end of the story?"
John: "It's the end of a very sad chapter. But you and Kristen will make more chapters after this."
There's no way the writing team could have known eight months ago how much the world would need to hear that perspective at this very minute. This is why I love soaps.

Sarah's looking more and more like Julia Roberts circa Mystic Pizza every week.

If I did jumping jacks every time Steve said "My Queen," I'd lose my quarantine paunch pretty quick.

Abby, Anna, and Sami are all sisters-in-law. Man, I want to see that reunion. Though I'm sure Sonja would sit that one out.

Lani's pink outfit was stuh-ning.

Can anyone else hear the line "ease his pain" and not think of Field of Dreams? I cannot.

Marlena had time to change clothes before fleeing the captivity of a madman who brainwashes people. Cool.

Nicole's hair was very distracting last week.

Should John have been punching so hard on the shoulder where Brady just took a bullet?

Tony's cream suit was something only Tony could pull off.

There are two types of people in the world -- those who put nuts in banana bread and those who don't. I think Dr. Raynor is the former.

I howled when Tony handed Anna a gun for protection, and she responded, "Do you want my shoe, Tony?"

April Fool's Episode I was the Judge Judy meme when I saw Daniel. I know there are 20 different memes. Pick any of them. It would have been applicable.

On the positive side, Shelia and Leo are welcome to pop back to Salem whenever they want. I forgot how great it is to have them around.


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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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