Are you afraid of the dark?

For the Week of October 26, 2020
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A power outage plunged Salem into darkness and a new trio of terror has rained havoc upon the shaken city! Though Orpheus, Clyde, and Dr. Rolf may not be the scariest of evils lurking in the shadows, as Gwen isn't afraid to get ghastly, and Jan is certain to make anyone jumpy! So, lower the lights, and let's share some scary stories in the dark in this week's DAYS Two Spooks!

Drats! I was going to begin this column by holding a flashlight under my chin like Jan Spears and asking in a ghoulish voice, "Whhheeerrreee arrre myyy Frenccchhh Friesss, Romannn!? Ahhhhhh!" but then I ran out of batteries and got locked in my office and tripped on a crystal, and, well, it's been a day. So, let's just grab a safety blanket and some cider and discuss what things go bump in the night!

In a bit of welcomed déjà vu, there's been a blackout and another prison break! A new trio of terrifying States-villain inmates have emerged to scare their Salem nemeses. Oh, but that's not all! Both Gwen and Jan have proven they can be just as chilling, and they didn't have to escape prison to do so. A-yo, you shady ladies! Yep. Last week was a perfect Halloween warmup into the creepy and crawly.

Let's start with the mastermind behind the plans: please welcome Orpheus! I'm all-in anytime I can watch George DelHoyo's work. He's wonderfully wicked, and Orpheus had a wonderful stroke of luck! He was transferred out of Super-Max, which let him craft the Statesville escape plan, and, boom, he gone. Of course, Orph then rushed to see his grandson, David, and make amends with Zoey. Ha! I kid. I kid. He scared the strawberries and cream right out of Marlena! Now, she's missing -- which never, ever...ever happens -- and at his mercy. Cliffhanger! Where's Mar Mar, and what's his agenda!? I don't know, but I can't wait for Monday.

Though I do have one gripe before we move on. Oh, Orph. He gives himself way too much credit. He bragged that he was Marlena's worst nightmare. Honey. Honey. You go get yourself in line behind the literal frickin' Devil and Queen of the Night (Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah) obsessed Stefano or whatever operating system he's been downloaded on now. You might beat out Stella Lombard and Dr. Charlotte Taylor, but you'll definitely lose out to vintage Kristen, too. So, maybe Orpheus is her fourth worst nightmare? Wait. Fifth! Aqua Net was not kind to our fair Doc in the '80s. Anyway...

Meanwhile in Crazy Town, Dr. Rolf's pretty put off because he really wanted Stefano's essence back, but, whoopsie, it's been burnt. Nope. We're not done with the essence thingy just yet. That's chipping fabulous.

Admittedly, though, I loved, loved, loved the Chad and Tony flashbacks! Billy Flynn is always brilliant, and a chance to bask in some Thaao Penghlis magic is never an unwelcomed experience. And together, these two powerhouses share such a fun sibling chemistry. I'm giddy. More, please!

Still, I must wonder. Is the chip gone-gone, or could it have slipped under the charred remains of that napkin, only to be swiped by someone with a sinister scheme to essence some other Salemite sometime down the road? I vote for Baby Henry to be essenced. He'd be hilarious and adorable as a little miniature Stefano in a suit and ascot with that tiny Phoenix crest on the lapel. Kind of like Pubert Addams, yet narrating like the baby from Look Who's Talking. But I digress...

An amused Chad took down Big Willy like a champ, but Gwen let him escape. Oh, gal. This has the makings of your downfall. Chad and even the Salem P.D. -- repeat even the Salem P.D. -- are suspicious as to how a tied-up psychopath managed to escape so easily. Gwen's cover of, he just sort of did...he palmed a letter opener, and now he's in the wind? Weak sauce, Gwennie. I thought you were better at being bad than this.

So, Gwen's evil agenda now has an expiration date. I'm guessing that date is Jen's Comaversary Party. I'm okay with that. It's not a Salem shindig if things don't go south. More so, I'm wildly curious as to why Gwen hates Abby so much. Though recent chatter of Jack's dual abandonments has made me agree with others that he might have met someone abroad, which led to a little bundle of bad news named Gwen.

And speaking of fatherhood, Clyde is out of the clink, too. James Read! That's all. He just gets every exclamation point for his powerful performances. Clyde should never be forgiven for his heinous crimes, but James layers him so profoundly I can't look away. He's simply captivating. And to combine that mastery with Robert Scott Wilson's flawlessness, it's just flat-out wowing. Hat tip, fellas.

This time around, Clyde is out to save Ben from himself. Again, their scenes are just that good. Watch them. Re-watch them. That's how drama's done.

Will Ben listen to his old dirtbag daddy and not seek vengeance against Vincent? That's the question at hand to be answered by, well, probably another ghostly visit from Ciara. Look. I'm all aboard the "CIN" and Victoria Konefal trains. She's solid-gold amazing. But these dreams are starting to get to be a little too much of a good thing, maybe? Stretching a mint into a meal? That type of thingy. I have lots of love for the lot, but I'm ready for the next step. Will that happen at the long-awaited memorial everyone's talking about? No, really. They were. It was on everybody's hot topic list. I was expecting a Salem version of Les Misérables' "One Day More" to be performed in Horton Town Square, which, okay, that'd be kind of awesome. Again, anyways...

That leaves us alone in the dark with Jan Spears and her crystal. Oh. My. Jan. She's amazingly unhinged. The way Heather Lindell completely embraces Jan's craziness is perfection. Like, I can't get enough of Jan versus Salem right now. There's a lot of depth and history under the campiness, too, which makes it the perfect storm for Belle and Shawn to weather right now. And, of course, it keeps "Shelle" safely on our screens, and that makes me one happy Two Scooper. So, thanks, Jan, you crazy, crazy crystal-carrying cuckoo.

A peek into the future: it looks like Jan is, perhaps, willing to, say, bash Belle's head in with her rock. Sorry. Her crystal. I have a terrible feeling that it might turn out to be Jan's noggin instead, setting off a murder mystery. I don't know why I suspect that, but I hope I'm wrong. I really want Jan around for a while longer to wreak havoc upon Salem, even though I'm sure John would say of my wish, "Oh, that's twisted." Eh. He's probably not wrong. *insert evil laughter*

Kayla is 1-800-a terrible liar. Wowza. She couldn't have said, "I accidentally dropped it on the floor while cleaning and threw it out." She stuck to the "maybe I..." Oh, Sweetness. How has she survived in Salem this long? Heck. She could have just said, "Sami stole it," and nobody would bat an eyelash, as Sami does everything -- everything! -- even when not in town. Think, Kayla. Think!

But before we go on any further, let's address the Greek elephant in the room -- what kind of wonky security does Titan have going on over there at the headquarters!? A new intern is allowed to work in the CEO's office? No, not just in it, but alone and after hours in it? I think there's a strong chance for a "No" response there. Also, Chuckie couldn't have called the security desk from his working cell phone to have somebody sent up to let him out? It's just all so weird. Former Corporate Me had some strong reactions to that lax security and such, but back on track...

Aw! Charlie and Claire were super cute last week, and she even agreed to a dinner date. Yep. It's on, which means it's only a matter of time until it blows up in Claire's face. We know her crazy, but not Charlie's, and something seems foreboding about him, so, yep. There's that. Boo. I liked their budding something-something.

I'm giving Lani a standing ovation for her strength and an overall, "Good job, DAYS!" for not letting a healthy pregnant woman be treated fragilely. Gosh, that has always been a maddening trope. I hope that the show permanently scraps it. While one can appreciate a gentlemanly gesture, unless it's a high-risk pregnancy, a woman who's expecting will let you know if she needs to take a beat; otherwise, get out of her way and let her do her damn job, fellas. Go, Lani, go!

My Spidey Senses are tingling. It was brought up that Shawn and Belle aren't married at the moment. Yep. I'm worried! Though I dig the entire Goldie and Kurt of it all, and maybe this is Shelle's way of avoiding the usual you-know-what storm that sours many a Salem wedding.

On the Tink topic, Martha Madison's performance as Belle spoke to John about a mother's pain of watching her child suffer, and her anxiety about Claire's future was phenomenal. Martha gave me goosebumps. It was so sincerely portrayed and utterly heartbreaking. I'm glad John was there to encourage Belle, but I was left boohooing alone on the sofa. In this case, that's a compliment!

I love that Shawn-D. is the acting police commissioner! Well, at least while Hope is unavailable. So, you know, he may get the Gilligan's Island treatment, and this three-hour tour might last a long, long time. Yes, please. What a perfect place for him to end up, as it's a great nod to "Bope."

Since Stefano is "Salem dead," or at least a crispy chip at the moment, he can't weigh in on Chad's claim that he's papa Phoenix's favorite son. I think Andre would have the biggest beef with that because, well, it's Andre. Of the sons, Chad might be right, though that, umm, honor might have been bestowed to E.J. at times, too. It was a flip-flop title based on Stefano's mood, when it boils down to it.

If one -- say me -- were to act as a devil's advocate and suggest Chad open his statement up to Stefano's favorite child, well, sorry, buddy. I think we all know it was Lexie. Sorry, Renée, Megan, Benjy, Eej, Kristen, Pete, Chaddy, often Tony and/or Andre, Stefan, Jake, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, and *deep breath* Sleepy. Whew. And if you've ever wondered about Stefano's stance on safe sex, I'm guessing his take was a hearty belly laugh, turning on some opera, and an Austin Powers-like, "No. Only sailors use condoms, bellissima." Oh, Stefano. Behave.

I appreciated Abigail's line, "I don't want to live with Cain and Abel." She really does need to get those knuckleheads under control. I'm not a fan of their rivalry. It's fairly forced. It also paints Chad as a snob we never knew him to be. Chad is much better than that, and, for reference, you can see the rest of his scenes last week. He's sly, witty, and charming. Let's keep it that way.

I think Clyde already has the best tribute for Ciara's memorial service. He said of her, "She won me over with her loyalty. The way she fought for you when you were on Death Row. Storming into the prison like that to stop your execution. She is the stuff of legends on the inside, you know." Boom. Mic drop. Clyde's take on Ciara wins it all. He's totally right. She is that much of a badass. Miss you, C!

Extra Scoops

I'm still marveling at all of the epic performances last week from our stars and guest stars. Applause, applause, applause, Team DAYS. And thank you for being your amazing selves, one and all!

I feel like Sarah and Xander are becoming that couple you don't want to invite over for game night anymore, but all the other gamers are having a silent standoff and waiting for someone else -- anybody else -- to cancel them, as they don't want to be the bad guys. That makes me sad. They were so fun and cute in the beginning. Now, it's a lot of the same old-same old Sarah scolds Xander then he must grovel and apologize "OR ELSE!!!" thingy! Ugh. Where's Roman with that Scotch refill? Oh. Right. He's playing poker. Damn it.

While Sarah wasn't wrong by stating that Xander gets in his own way most of the time, she needs to pump the brakes on the ultimatums and general scolding him like he's a child. "If Xandie wants a cookie, he has to eat his broccoli." Doctor Horton, please. It's maddening. Stop. You're above this.

Xander needs an honest chat with his advisor, Jack, or someone who's brave enough to speak out against Sarah and say, "You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you." As it is, he's basically been reduced to jumping through fiery hoops for her like a circus Xanimal, only for her to light another two and raise them higher. I understood her hesitations about reconciling with him, as he hasn't always had "being a better man" at the front of his agenda, but she did get back together with him, knowing his crimes, nonetheless. Her choice. Now, she's lording over him, and it's rather frustrating. I feel she goes back to his past sins every time she deems something "Not Sarah Approved." She needs to find a way to either move on from said past sins or end things, as status quo for those two at the moment is more a hard, "Hell no."

Chad (to Dr. Rolf): "I don't think God has anything to do with this."

Xander (to Sarah): "I wasn't trying to do that. I was looking at you with love. It's not my fault I'm so sexy."

Ben (to Clyde, regarding Eli at the door): "Get rid of him!? The guy's here on a manhunt, not selling Girl Scout cookies."

And one for the heartstrings...
Clyde (to Ben): "You be the man she helped you to become."

Dr. Rolf (wielding a gun): "If Stefano is truly gone, then you're right. There is nothing for me here, except for the task of avenging his death."
Chad: "[amused] Okay. Listen, I don't think you've really thought this one through."
Dr. Rolf: "I've had nothing but time to think."
Chad: "Really? And this is the best idea you got?"

Hmm. I think Jennifer got a new blazer. Oh, right. And a new face! Welcome to Salem, Cady McClain! I'm eager to experience her take on Jenny Bear. I think she'll be as fantastic as she's been in everything I've watched her in so far, and, you know, no pressure, only sincere welcomes aboard!

With the exception of Stefano and probably Vivian, Orpheus is one of the only other Salemites who can get away with phrases such as "the cloak of darkness." He's such a drama queen. That's a compliment in this case. In Brady's case...well. I'll be nice. It's almost Halloween.

Sweet Tink, I scolded Rafe for this months ago, so now it's your turn -- lock your damn door! Thank goodness for Shawn's trusty doorbell app. Though, speaking of security, I would have expected them to check on Claire, who really should not have been running around uninformed.

Even after hours, is wearing skinny jeans with holes in the knees really the best way to impress your admittedly fussy bosses at a corporate-type job? I'm going to lean toward "No." Sorry, Charlie.

Why do I feel like Lani's next best friend will be Gwen? She just seems like a very Lani choice. Not that Lani makes bad choices in besties, of course. Though, she might have to fight Dr. Rolf for that honor. He believes they're practically best friends.

It dawned on me this week that Philip and Sarah are technically stepsiblings. This could get all Greg and Marcia A Very Brady Sequel-ish. Eek.

Also, another odd relation I remembered -- Orpheus and Clyde share a grandson in common. David! With those two as granddads and Evan and Jordan as parents, this kid is going to grow up to either become Lexie Carver-like and denounce the familial evil or be all shades of depraved. I'm expecting the latter.

Heather Lindell's delivery of, "It was $39.99 plus tax!" was hilarious.

I also howled when Belle told Jan, "It's the middle of the night, go home," and "Take your damn rock." Ha! Then, later, a hurried yet dumbfounded Shawn asking, "What is that -- a rock!?" Again, "Ha!" Martha and Brandon Beemer's comedy chops need to come out more. Love them!

My DiMera-loving heart went pitter-patter when Chad mentioned working with his father and E.J. Man, I miss those days. RIP (for now), Phoenix, and get well soon, Marshmallow Head.

On topic, Chad said his father will likely rise again. Yep. I agree. I know he was trying to speak in crazy while confronting Dr. Rolf, but that very well could be a possibility. It's Stefano, after all. Then again, what do I know? I'm no Celeste, darlings.

I find it amusing that Xander came downstairs to sleep on the sofa and was wearing business casual attire while, for years, he's practically never worn a shirt.

When Nicole said to Allie, "I heard the wedding ceremony was beautiful," my kneejerk reaction was, "The one that blew up!?" To be fair, sans Julie's odd stray cat shtick, the ceremony part, more so the vow exchange, was beautiful. The rest? Well. Kind of smoky and scarily intense.

Since sunlight wasn't an option, I wish Belle had fed her father after midnight or gotten him wet. There's no telling what kind of Gremlin-like frenzy the now easily triggered John would set off on. Watch out, Salem!

I love that Roman goes to a poker night! That explains some of the time he spends away from the pub. I want to know more about this. Who else plays? Where is it held, as you'd think the closed pub would be the perfect place. Why is he not bringing treats from the pub? Does Abe know about this!? Roman sharing Salem stories while playing poker could be a one-off episode idea or web series.

The little hanging curl in the front of Chad's hair made him look like Superman. Swoon! Well, Superman wearing Lex Luthor's silk robe.

We can all agree that Jan is that person who offers to help you clean up after a party, and you basically are crawling into bed before they realize they should probably go, right?

I definitely don't hate that Gwen celebrates Christmas by watching slasher flicks and drinking a bottle of vodka. Hello. Want some company this year, Ms. Rizczech? We can even safely socially distance in the real DiMera living room. It's huge and has French doors we can open for fresh air flow, and nobody seems to be using it! Wins all around on that one.

So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for October 26! I owe you all my feelings on Kristian Alfonso's departure. I have plenty of them, trust me. They were promised this week, but not a shock to anyone who's read my work before, they got a little big! So, I'm putting something special together and will unleash it soon! In the meantime, my initial reaction when I learned she was leaving DAYS was sobbing on the floor. So. You know. Fitting, as it were. With that...

I need to replace the batteries in my flashlight, and then, well, somebody should start eating the frozen Halloween candy before it thaws and goes bad. No. No. You're welcome. I'll take one for the team. Stay tuned to see what Laurisa conjures up in next week's spooktacular Twooooooo Scoooooopppppssss! As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."

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