Let her re-, let her reintroduce herself

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Hey-la, hey-la, Ciara's back! And she's in big trouble. Plus, should Original Recipe Kristen return to cook up chaos in Salem? Let's discuss that and all the Sweeptastic setups in this week's Two Scoops!

Everyone, calm down! Please. Calm. Down. Brady will be fine. The Artist Formerly Known as Oracular Baby Holly -- now Oracular Toddler Holly -- is on standby for moments like these. She's like a Magic Eraser for Brady's boo-boos. I'm sure once she's done making cookies with Maggie and takes a little nap, she'll be brought to his bedside and perform her St. Daniel of Jonas Magic. And done. He good. We all good? Of course not. Kristen is acting up again. Let's address that setup as well as all the others sure to Sweep into Salem this February!

As addressed, Special K is acting all bajiggity. Now, now, now, Sister Kristen. She said she couldn't forgive Xander. Thank goodness, she's never done anything wrong and needed forgiveness. Right, Tony? There's nothing your sister should be sorry for? Something she did lately. Maybe holding you hostage while escaping prison then frightening already frightened people by holding them at gunpoint because she was too upset to listen to reason. Nope. Okay. She's cool. She got a hug from Mar Mar, and the sun shone again. Got it.

But let's just address the elephant in the room before we go further. Marlena and Kristen hugging will never not be weird, right? Maybe Doc is just trying to guide her to another window for a good old toss-a-beoch session, but Kristen wiggles her way out each time. That must be it, but I digress.

Lady DiMera is really digging her heels into this hating Chloe thingy. She even cackled, "This isn't over. Not even close." Whatever she has planned for The Chlomeister could be easily curtailed by a conversation about what really happened. Instead, she's jumping the gun with, well, guns. It's an easy out for Kristen's rage monster, but is this the storyline for that? Her kicking around Chloe is Kate vs. Chloe Lite. Been there. Brownie-ed that. Chloe will prevail. Ask Kate. Ask El Noodle. Wait. You can't ask him. Chloe shanked him. He's dead. So, see. She's a survivor.

That said, I do think it's time for Kristen to become Kristen again. No more of this saintly sister act, hug-it-out stuff. Unleash the Kraken! I saw a bit of that menacing Kristen energy last week as well as when she was talking to Ava last month, I think it was. She's still in there, and DAYS needs a dastardly "Big Bad" again, whose shadow is always felt, even when they're inactive, much like Stefano's always will be. Sure, they might be quiet for a time, but they can always strike, and Salemites live in fear of that.

Vintage Kristen is perfect for this position! She was the worst parts of Stefano in the best way possible. Also, like Stefano, Kristen would have both Tony and Chad as her Jiminy Crickets. Rachel, too! Yet also have Dr. Rolf and an entire army of flying monkey minions at her disposal. Maybe they can even *whispers* Resurrection by Wilhelm Bart Biederbecke back to help! As is, Current Sister Act Kristen is being painfully underutilized. For example...

No joke, I was only half paying attention to the Kristen and Lani scene, and when I looked up from my phone, I literally said aloud, "Oh, God, they're praying." If only my prayers of them forgetting one another would be answered, I'd be in heaven, but the big takeaway here is half paying attention to a Kristen scene should be a crime in and of itself. She defined Must-See TV for much of her earlier tenure. Kristen should not be easy to ignore. Or boring. Right now, she's a bit of both. That's especially disappointing when we have Stacy "Superstar" Haiduk behind the wheel of the Kristen Mobile. She should be hell on wheels, not slowly cruising to Sears to see Kristen's softer side.

Look, Kristen couldn't even help her bestie. Vintage Kristen would have implanted a tracking chip in Dr. Raynor, or something far worse. This version's about to light a candle for the fallen baby doc and pray for her soul. I know we're supposed to be happy that Kristen's become a better version of herself, and in reality, that would be super. I'd give her one of those giant cookies with frosting swizzled on in the shapes of balloons and stars, and I'd hand her a "Most Improved You!" ribbon. In Salem, though, it's Snoozeville.

Kristen should have used her DiMera connections to track down Raynor. The turmoil should have been Law-abiding-(ish) Lani talking Kristen off the ledge from throwing Banana Bread Mandy from one. Nope. Instead, she was helpless. They prayed. Oh, we need to give the Phoenix Jr. an evil pep talk. I'm ready to see her take over DiMera Enterprises from the kiddos and rain holy terror down upon Salem again, not organize the Statesville bake sale and get weepy when she runs out of puff paint while creating her own affirmation cards.

I mean, hands should be for hugging not hitting, but I'm not-not putting some ice in a baggie and chilling some sparkling cider for Abigail "Oh, There's One Thing I Can Do" DiMera! I knew she was blasting "Eye of the Tiger" and practicing that swing. Bitter Abs is funny. You go, Ms. Abby. You go!

Gwen and Charlie chatting. Huh. That's kind of a meeting of the minds, isn't it? They basically compared notes and came up with similar sob stories. And still, sorry surprise siblings, no sympathy there. Maybe hug each other and role-play to feel better? Charlie has a nice place. Go there. I'll catch up with you both, umm, later -- after I pick up Rachel and drop her off with Chad, as he has some free time now, then run some more ice to Abby, recipe swap with Maggie, bring Julie a "Get Well" plant, file my taxes, and, well, yep, I might be awhile. Start without me.

Whoops! Once again, I buried the lead! In shocking news -- by that, I mean not-shocking-at-all -- we learned Ciara is alive! For real alivezies. She even has some "Psychic Friends Network" connection to Ben. He shared that one with Claire. And Congrats, Claire Bear, you were the sanest one in the room! I mean. That's sweet, CIN. If that's what you have to do to compare yourself to "Jarlena" or "Bope," you do you. I'll be with Claire in reality, and by "reality," I mean we'll be getting fries at the pub. Anyway...

Seriously, I do love me some "CIN." They are a super intense, super interesting couple, but are they a "supercouple" yet? I'm torn. Their milkshake certainly brings the "CINNERS" to the yard, but do they have the same impact, as say, "Bope"? I'm verging on "Ask Again Later." Or at least that's what my Magic 8-Ball said.

So, back to the big news, and the big question, is Vincent the real mastermind behind keeping Ciara in this Hannibal Lecter meets Jan Spears-like cage or is someone else the big bad? It's obviously someone who cares to set her up well. They want her healthy. And well read. Hmm...

It wasn't long ago literature was brought up on DAYS, as there were notes in a first edition. Remember Gwen had the classic book Jake stole from the Philly mob family. Ben worked for Jake. Is this a grab done wrong? If so, this Philly don must be someone we know!

Then again, Xander does have a hankering for cages, too, and is well read. But it was Victor's book, and Victor never loved-loved the idea of "CIN." Would he have Ciara taken away to ensure her safety? Maybe he got spooked after Ben snapped due to Vincent and Eve's drug cocktail and slide show scheme.

Then again, uh, again, Vic has enemies like Vivian and so on, and Ben has a boatload after him, as well. Maybe Serena's family wants their crack at him. Or is Clyde behind this? Any which way you cage it, that Brokeback Mountain cosplay guy Rhodes is working for someone sinister. Who!? I repeat, "Hmm!"

Also, yes! Rhodes. Please, Rhodes. Keep telling Ciara she can't do something. Please. I beg you. You have not met the full force of our fierce Ciara yet, it seems. So, please, go on. Just don't say we didn't warn you. #Ciaraisherownhero

Well, Philipgate is out in the open. Vic knows and isn't happy. Maggie knows and is in shock, which leads me to ask, "Really, Maggie?" You "can't believe this is happening"!? Remember "Melaswen," your sarcophagus stint, or a few months ago when you believed you drove drunk and killed your granddaughter but were actually drugged and kidnapped then used a scapegoat? So, really? Is Philip laundering money that shocking? Take it down a notch and save that energy to fight the real enemy -- Bonnie!

I still wouldn't be mad if Philip and Ava developed into a little something-something. Or at least if the waters would be tested. They both tend to have short storyline chains involving the same characters. I like that their alliance shook that up.

Speaking of "water testing," Nicole made sure Rafe had a memorable birthday. She strong-armed him to Mr. Ha Ha's Hot Dog Hacienda. No. That's where Rose took Dorothy on the Golden Girls. Nicole took him to Cowboy Critters Pizza Roundup. She even won him a teddy bear named Duke, though Hop-Along did have nice ring to it, but I digress again. They had some fun banter and deep conversation. I've always been a fan of this friendship, and it's still very charming.

If Two Scoops had a "Hug of The Week" category where we could give one encouraging embrace to a character who needs it, I'd send my February rations to Rafe (Allie got all the January ones). His love for David and just general desire to be a dad is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I kind of hate both of Zoey's faces right now for standing in his way to connect with David.

So. Nicole has rights to see Ava's medical records because Ms. Vitali signed a letter granting her access. Um. Would she be of "sound mind" enough to okay that kind of thingy, considering she's been bound to a bed for the better part of a month under a sanity watch? Salem has some weird rules and regulations. And really, it's a waste of paper. She could just do what I do -- wait by the nurses' station for Sarah or Kayla to openly discuss a case there. That's how I found out about...well, I better not say.

No news about the twins, but I kind of loved Xander helping Eli. That was an uneasy alliance. Yet, I kind of want to see more of it. Xander is at his best when he uses his badness for good.

Jake does not have feelings for Gabi. Got it. And I do not like Brady Pub fries and Scotch. Yep, Jake. This game is fun! Your turn again.

Extra Scoops

The London flashback scenes must have been a challenge to perform, but I'll clap until my hands hurt to give thunderous applause to Lindsay Arnold, Mike Manning, and Lucas Adams for making them harrowingly flawless! The juxtaposition of Tripp's sweetness and Charlie's wickedness was perfectly played by Lucas and Mike, while Lindsay crushed the entire range of emotions from drunk and carefree to cowering and broken. It was hard to watch but very poignant. Well done, Team DAYS!

Seriously, Tripp!? Allie -- the victim -- apologized out of good faith, and you stood there with your mouth open? Not cool, my man. Not cool. Maybe a little, "I understand why you accused me, I would have done the same given the evidence"; "I'm always willing to help by babysitting my nephew"; and/or "your strength is inspiring," would have been nice. Or maybe a simple, "There's no need, but thank you for the thought." Nothing is not an option here. You're better than that, Day Tripper. We've seen the flashbacks.

Claire (to Ben): "Like I'm gonna call you crazy with my history? We're talking pot and kettle here."

Statesville Guard: "You won't shoot your own brother!"
Kristen: "You don't know our family."

I love a week when we get both Tony and Anna, and Belle and Shawn! Yes, please.

John's reaction to walking into Brady's hospital room to find Kristen holding a gun on Chloe was hilarious. I love Drake Hogestyn, and I love how much he loves his job. That's a fact.

Did anyone else want to fact-check Rafe when he rattled on about Kate and May-December romances? You know. Since he was in one with -- wait! Who was it? Oh, right. Kate.

Ben gets fortunes like, "Nothing is ever lost if you follow your heart." I get, "One who eats only dumplings turns into one." True story. That was the sassiest cookie ever.

From one Tony to another, I get it, Mr. DiMera. Had someone asked me about my week, I would have downed a drink before answering, too. Though I wouldn't have had the fabulous Anna to respond, "That good, huh?" Love. Them.

Serious snaps to the set designers! Ciara's cage is literally the most COVID-safe set on the show. On any show, I think! Great work.

Did anyone else notice when Marlena turned on her recorder, the ominous background music started to play? I think it was just coincidence, but I was feeling like that is the worst meditative playlist ever.

I thought Gabi owned the DiMera mansion. Does going away for a while change that? Real estate laws in Salem are odd, too.

Kristen going full DiMera would also give Brady some fresh material to play with! Does he side with his mafia bride or bid her adieu? Total dark vs. light side kind of stuff.

Ha! While Philip was certainly in the wrong, I got a kick when he said to Sarah, "So sweet of you to be concerned." Snap. Go easy on her, Phil, this is her first sting.

Carly should have been Gwen's mother! Boom. Jenny's O.G. bestie and Jack -- say what!? Alas, nope. I don't know why I'm on this Carly kick lately, but I am. We all need more Crystal Chappell in our lives. There's that.

Philip pouting, "By the way, Sarah, thanks for telling my stepmother," cracked me up. There was a Napoleon Dynamite vibe to it. Gosh!.

I totally dig the DiMera siblings' bond. Tony, Kristen, and Chad make it work. In a dysfunctional way, of course.

Shut up, Brady. He's wrong. It's all Mimi's fault. It always is.

Um. Why isn't anyone talking about the fact that Maggie must have barged into Philip's room when she brought him that coffee? How else would she discover his bed hasn't been slept in. Knock, lady. Knock. Wait. Then leave if he doesn't answer. Unless there were lemon bars involved with said coffee. Then barge away.

Spotting Anna at the Horton home was strange. She's not really a quaint kinda gal. Her fabulousity is too big.

Seriously, though, Nicole should work for Black Patch. Maybe in an administrative role while training to be a P.I. She knows how to get things done and isn't afraid to barge into places. This could be an asset to the team, especially while John and Patch are day drinking. Just a thought.

Rafe's a trooper. You'd think he'd be off cupcakes after the Jordan debacle. Not so much. Attaboy!

Lies! I'm calling Ben out. Sure, sure, Mr. Weston. You "accidentally" just always order two Chinese takeout meals. Sure. Wink! I do, too. It's not because I can't make up my mind between Lo Mein and *insert interesting dish here.* Nope. I accidentally order two, too. Thanks, Ben. I can now blame my app instead of pretending someone else is home.

So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for February 1! This is bound to be an exciting month in Salem. There's Sweeps, Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, Presidents Day, the fourteenth anniversary of the fifteenth time John and Marlena got takeout from the food truck on the pier, and so many more. Which one are you most excited about? With that, I'm off to write Zoey a heated letter demanding that she needs to grant more playdates for Rafe and David, so Laurisa is back next week with an all-new Sweeps-sized Two Scoops. As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."

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