I take notes when I watch DAYS. Most of the time, it's a bullet list of thoughts underneath each storyline's heading. But this week, a good 30 percent of my notes were the all-caps declarations of returns. BELLE IS HERE! OH, SHAWN IS BACK! OMG, LUCAS! Wait, ALLIE'S OLD ENOUGH TO GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE?!?
We're obviously setting up for a wild summer. So, let's dish about all of the roller-coaster storylines we're in for over the next few months!
Want to talk about someone under pressure? Let's talk a little Doc Evans. No biggie, but everyone looked to her to decide if Claire was ready for daytime again. I didn't have too big a problem with this, as Marlena has proven to be a very sound doctor. However, what was with everyone asking Hope and Ciara if they were okay with it, too? What kind of double-standard shenanigans is that? I don't remember anyone asking Will if he was cool with Ben being released. And, definitely, no one asked Kate, Marlena, Vivian, or Gabi if they felt safe with Abigail returning to society. Why does it suddenly matter with Claire?
Furthermore, this whole permission slip quest was problematic because it left
Princess Gina Hope and The Necktie Killer Ben to try to convince Ciara it's okay if she doesn't believe people can recover. It was a tough sell. The characters had to qualify everything they said. Ben: "I know I got better, but..." Ciara: "I know I forgave Ben, but..." Hope: "I know Claire's my granddaughter, but..." I didn't think this was necessary. When Claire left, there was that sweet scene where Ciara and Ben both wished her well. This anxiety scene negated plot we'd already seen, which made me a little sad.
However, nothing cures the blues like some sunshine, and that's exactly what Olivia Rose Keegan's Claire is. Obvious joke about her being a ball of fire aside, I love the jolt of energy Claire brings to Salem. John was utterly adorable buying flowers for his Claire Bear. Marlena is at her best when giving pep talks to her troubled grandkids. And I don't know if there was a creepier "Hello" this side of Hannibal Lector than the one Claire delivered after sneaking out to see Ciara.
Again, I have to pause here for the same questions about Jarlena's magically shrinking building. Two weeks ago, it was Hope running that bomb out. This week, it was Claire sneaking out the window and down the side of a building. Did she take Spiderman classes at Bayview? Or do they actually live in a ground floor penthouse? Someone help me!
Anyway, it's clear that Claire's got an agenda when it comes to the wedding, mainly when it comes to Ciara. The problem is, Claire's always been an all-in kind of gal. She was that way when she kidnapped Chase, tied him to a chair, and presented him to Ciara as punishment for him raping Ciara. So, I'm interested to see if this new Claire can still be that passionate without, you know, setting people on fire.
She's got some competition in the troubled blonde department because her cousin Allie is back in town! (Welcome to Salem, Lindsay Arnold! And yes, every time I type your name, I will hear it pronounced by the Dancing with the Stars announcer.) As I pointed out at the top of this column, I almost spit out my tea when Eric mentioned Allie has graduated college. That's the first time a SORASing actually made me feel old, too. Ugh.
Anyway, it took Allie all of about seven seconds before she started in on the trauma of being Sami's kid -- a sentiment Nicole was all too glad to eat up. And ask for seconds.
I dunno. I'd have a lot more sympathy for Allie's "my mom won't let me live my own life" plight if Allie wasn't an unemployed possible alcoholic who just fled a continent using her grandma's credit card because she didn't want people to find out about her surprise pregnancy. Yes, Sami is a hurricane. But Allie's not exactly striking me as someone who's killing it in the decision-making department. Even Father Eric gave her the side eye.
Lucas did, too. The only nice touch here was Lucas asking about the father, a very legitimate thing for Lucas Horton to ask, considering his past with paternity (his own and his kids'). I'd be totally against this type of questioning in real life. It is none of my business what a woman wants to do with her time and body.
However, this is soaps. We wouldn't be soaps without speculating just a little bit on...who's the daddy. Tony and I texted back and forth about some possibilities. Assuming it's someone we know, here are three possibilities we came up with:
A) J.T. Rieber -- This long-lost son of Salem was the baby Hope and Bo raised, thinking him to be their son Zach. It turns out he was the son of a poor couple Stefano scammed, giving their baby to Bope and Bope's baby to Abe and Lexie to raise. (Lexie had lost the baby she was carrying.) When the switch was revealed, J.T. left town with his folks...never to be seen again.
B) Theo Carver -- Things happened off-screen. Theo is off-screen. While improbable, if this was the case, it may get Ciara out of the hot seat. I worry for Allie once Claire Bear finds out Theo's got a new gal pal.
C) Steven Hawk -- This one seems the most likely of these three ideas, as Steven is technically Johnny's cousin. (Their fathers were DiMera brothers.) It's entirely plausible Allie would have hung out with Johnny's cousin sometime.
Then again, maybe the daddy isn't that important right now. It didn't escape me that there's one pregnant woman in Salem talking about giving up her baby. And there are at least two families (Wilson and Rafe) who can't stop talking about being fathers. Hmm...
Ben lying to Wilson about Gabi bummed me out. Not only is Will one of Ben's only friends. But, hello, Sonny's family has ways of tracking down people who don't want to be found. One call from him could have sped this whole thing up! Mr. Mob McGoonman said no cops. He didn't say no Kiriakises. Come on, Benny. Think.
I was heartbroken for Rafe having to give up David. (Also, can Justin please win a case? Just one?) Hope was very kind to be there for him. When Rafe stopped mid pizza order to say that David didn't like mushrooms, and then caught himself, my stomach dropped. This is so unfair! If Zoey got custody because she's a blood relative who had no choice but to do bad things, it sounds like Ben should have thrown his hat in the ring for custody then, too. Then, maybe Rafe would still have his son.
I wished I could have hugged Lani through the screen when she started spiraling out of control about another miscarriage. I've been there, and it's awful. I hope DAYS lets Lani have a healthy baby this time.
I'm worried about my Nicole. Not about her fashion, as that purple ensemble was regal! However, there were a lot of declarations that she's not like Sami, which is funny because she's one hundred percent, completely, totally, like Sami. Sure, it's been a while since Nicole schemed. But her martini was just as dirty back in the day. There's at least more than a little part of her that wants Sami at the wedding so Sami will have to sit front row while Nicole marries Eric. She's not going to pass up that win.
Xander's been Salem's punching bag for months. To be fair, he deserved many of those punches. But still, it's been hard to see him be public enemy number one on such a regular basis. So, it was utterly spectacular when Jack didn't take the road all-too-much traveled and offered the Xanimal some real, helpful advice. Better yet, he actually treated Xander like a person, sympathizing with him over the helpless feeling you experience when someone you love is hurt. If Xander's looking to be a reformed bad boy, he came to the right place. Agreed, gentlemen. Let's do this again.
I agree with Maggie. Brady is toxic right now. I don't like this plot to take down Titan, especially -- as Ciara rightfully pointed out -- since it means thousands of people will lose their jobs. I was equally not cool with his assertion that Ciara doesn't have the experience to see the future of Titan. Pffffft. The only "experience" Xander, Brady, Sonny, and Philip had before they took over as CEO was the experience of being male. Keep fighting the patriarchy, Ciara. And do it in a fabulous animal print dress. Go on, lady!
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Kate: "Lucas, she's a grown woman. You have to let her go."
Lucas: "What?! Is that coming from you because you let your children live their lives and make their own decisions? Nah. I don't think so."
You know that basketball player who comes in off the bench and hits six three-pointers in the four minutes he plays? That's who Bryan Dattilo is for DAYS.
This is the path my mind went down when Belle said she'd quit her job: Wait, she can't quit! She's got a career. What's Shawn going to do to support them? Hang on, Shawn's the best cop the PD's had in a while. If Belle quits, he'd have to work at the Salem PD and stay in Salem. Okay, I'm on board now.
David's favorite meal was mac and cheese. Good choice, my man!
I'm trying to keep track of these wedding dates, but it's getting confusing. So far, I've got Elani on July 4, Jalya on July 10, and Cin on July 24. That's a lot of toasters to buy in a row.
Maybe it's my personal denial, but I thought Belle and Shawn were planning to stay in Salem the whole time Claire was in Bayview. I guess I blocked them going back to Hong Kong.
I loved Hope's pink blazer.
John: "These last few years, we haven't seen enough of our grandkids."
Me: "In your defense, John, Brady does keep sending them away."
There's a direct flight from London to Salem? Cool.
That "What da hell?" scream you heard was Roman when everyone was running around saying Eric was the only relative left Allie could be staying with.
The Ben "Success Story" Westin propping in the Jarlena scene was a lot, even for this Ben fan.
I know they told us it was because of the string of bad law enforcement deals. But, I'm still not sold on Abe needing help in the PR department. They guy is one of the most respected men in Salem.
There were points last week when Ciara seemed far too nervous for a woman who's been lit on fire twice and is engaged to a reformed serial killer. Once you've been through that, you'd think you could handle the pressure of almost anything.
It's time for Melanie to make a visit and check in on Maggie and punk-check Brady.
Gwen said she faked a breakdown to get herself committed to Bayview. When she pointed out the free yoga, food, and lodging, I wasn't all that quick to disagree with her. She even left out they get to hang out in pajamas whenever they want and have access to a truly talented manicurist. Claire's ombre nail color looked fabulous!
That's all this week! Tony will be back next week to see what exactly Claire has in store for Ciara. It will take him a week to climb down Marlena's building because, unlike Claire, he does not have arachnid qualities allowing him to walk down the side of buildings. We all have our faults.
Finally, on a serious note, I want to add my voice to the chorus of protestors standing up for our Black community. Protests continued through this week. In my area, most of them were organized by high school or college students -- a humbling lesson to all of us "adults" trying to run the world. There's so much from my privileged vantage point that I have yet to understand. But I promise to keep listening, watching with clearer eyes, and taking action by continuing to vote and support the community. I can do better. We can do better. We must do better.
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.