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Did you ever think Brady would wise up? Will Claire and Chloe team up? And is Xander the worst blackmailer Salem's ever seen? Let's talk about it all in this edition of Two Scoops!

You guys, it's finally over. We made it. We can breathe easy for at least a minute. Brady finally told Kristen what we'd all been saying for months, "I can't anymore! It's all too much!"

Yes. Yes, it was.

I realize accusing Kristen of being too much is like accusing the Pope of being Catholic. So, while I rolled my eyes at the masks, schemes, and total nunneries of it all, that was all in form for Krissy. No, it was always the relationship with Brady and his baffling defense of and reverence to her that made me batty.

She's not a good person! She's not a stable person! She hasn't been one for decades. The past few months weren't Kristen acting out because (insert whatever excuse Brady wanted to trot out here). She is a villain! And she's one of our great villains, at that!

But having Brady, John, Marlena (Marlena!), and Lani all come to her defense time and time again was the most exhausting element. I am sure as I type these words that Kristen will be back in Salem again. In fact, I hope she is! She's a welcome fire starter. But, please, let's be done with Brady and Kristen. Let's mean it this time. Pinky swear? It's maddening to watch Brady be so very stupid, and we all know that's a low bar to begin with.

This week's worth of shows was fantastically cathartic. Finally, the bad guy didn't win. Sure, we learned she's got some sort of mad ninja skills where she can knock people out with literally the squeeze of one hand! (Side note: How did we not see Kristen deploy this move before?!) But for just this one second, the world seems to be righting itself.

And that feeling extends to the other fabulous baddie, one Janet Spears. Of all the stolen cars in all the parking lots in all the world, she had to pick the one with Chloe Lane in it. You know, Chloe, who killed an international crime lord the last time she was held hostage.

Add in the fact that Shawn and Ben are both on the case to track down Claire, my money's on the good guys here, too. I loved the scenes between Jan and Claire in what may end up being the real point when Claire went from teenybopper to believable lead. They've continued to layer Claire with nuances that make her both a rootable hero and a sympathetic victim at the same time. It's very well done, and Isabel Durant executed it masterfully.

And Jan's just entirely entertaining to watch, again, because no one is suffering under the delusion that she's anything but a total cartoon villain. Her confession speech to Claire was right out of Scooby Doo. I almost expected her to shake her fist and curse the collection of kids who busted her!

LOOSE ENDS

Tripp's in a tough spot because Kayla should fire Dr. Snyder for a multitude of reasons. But Tripp can't ask his stepmom to handle it. Especially not after Ava already tried to mama bear Dr. Snyder once.

For being such an accomplished villain, Xander sort of sucks at blackmailing. And I found the whole thing entirely entertaining! He struck out with Sami. He's fumbling with Nicole. And, thankfully, that's all going to end up with him crashing on Jack's couch.

Lucas visited Kate in the hospital, and she acted like she couldn't feed herself. Ironically, she was able to apply her makeup flawlessly. Truth be told, there wasn't a second I believed Kate was blind. Not only did Ciara get a very similar amnesia storyline, but we all knew Kate wasn't going to allow herself to be dismissed so easily.

I'm not saying she doesn't have hope. But it infuriates me that Gwen thought of her pregnancy as a fast pass to redemption. What work was Gwen putting in before she got pregnant? None. What work is she putting in now? Nothing. The show can't mistake sympathy for Gwen's pregnancy loss for actual growth as a person. Being sorry she lost the baby and hating her past deeds are not mutually exclusive.

E.J. canceled payment on the ransom check two hours after issuing it, which, I have to say, sounds exactly like the sort of thing he and Sami would have as standard operating procedure in their relationship. At any given time, both of them are prime hostage candidates. I'm shocked they didn't have this scheme planned out already.

Extra Scoops

HOT
Lucas Horton for president! When he went into Brady's room and finally screamed at that fool for being a total dunce, I stood in the middle of my living room and applauded. Tell him, Lucas! Wake up and smell the lunatic, Brady!

What's that, Lucas? You need a VP? Well, come on down, Chad! I loved how he took Kristen to task, too, exclaiming, "That can't surprise you!" in retort to Kristen's complete shock that Brady decided not to continue their romantic relationship. Maybe I've got it all wrong. Maybe, on some level, those two completely deserved each other. But for this week, it was wonderful to see Lucas and Chad tell them to snap out of it!

NOT:
While it's always a pleasure to welcome back Chrishell Stause, Jordan's return this time left me scratching my head. Sure, we all have that inner monologue that perpetuates our own levels of imposter syndrome and self-hate. Mine doesn't happen to look like the former Ms. Kentucky, but Ben's does, and I support that! What I didn't support was Jordan still being Crazy Jordan. That characteristic was the result of an injury and wasn't the Jordan we'd known for years before. The real Jordan loved Ben and would not want him to suffer. Hat tip to my brilliant partner, Tony, but if the show really wanted to use Crazy Jordan, the scene should have played with Crazy Jordan and Real "Tammy Sue" Jordan, devil and angel style.

LINE OF THE WEEK:
Jan: "My big heart has always been my Achilles heel."

There is no end to Heather Lindell's dedication to this role. The sincerity with which she delivered that line was perfect.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Bangers and mash sounds delicious. This is the first time I've been on Gwen's side!

I don't think it's strange to take your wedding ring off to sleep. I rarely wear my wedding ring inside my house at all. I take it off when I sleep, shower, exercise, do dishes, or work in the yard.

"Grammy Sami" is kind of an adorable name!

Oh, Chadsworth. If someone -- anyone -- looks at you and asks how long you've been standing there, you immediately follow up with some sort of probing question. There's always some secret there!

Wouldn't Gwen follow up with her normal OB/GYN and not the hospitalist?

Ari, Holly, Parker, Rachel, Charlotte, Thomas, and Henry are all primed for an awesome teen scene in a decade or so!

Note to self: add the word "castigate" to my vocabulary.

Dr. Snyder's gotten more airtime in the past two weeks than poor Roman has all year!

I laughed out loud at Brady protesting hiring Xander. My guy, you are in no place to judge character.

Let's do a quick job roundup in Salem. Xander, Ava, Gwen, Allie, and Chanel are all looking for work. There's an opening at the Spectator (Abigail's job), the garage (Jake's job), nannies for the Grant and DiMera kids (new and Gwen's job, respectively), the mayor's office (Kate's old job), and at Titan (Charlie's job). Also, I'm pretty sure Kate's current job at DiMera is going to be posted soon, as well. Get those LinkedIn profiles updated, kids! I'll be a reference for three of you!

Poor Chad. He's surrounded by some, um, eventful women everywhere he looks! Gwen, Kristen, Abigail, Gabi... Remember a while ago when we kept insisting Belle and Chad should be friends? Let's try that!

That's all for this week! Tony will be back next week after he's made sure someone at the station got that delicious lasagna. Snacks do not go to waste on this man's watch.

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.

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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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