Full disclosure, I'm kind of disappointed. I thought E.J. would be wearing a yellow safety helmet with "Eej" written across the front and red lightning bolts on the sides when he returned. This guy needs to take all the safety precautions that he can. Alas, I guess we'll have to just marvel in his reassembled handsomeness, but I digress.
In the interest of more full disclosure, having a new E.J. is like taking off my pandemic mask now that most COVID restrictions have ended. I'm safely vaccinated and knew the day would come, but it's still weird to see the bottom half of people's faces again. It's weird to see a new E.J. Both are good weirds, just weirds, nonetheless. And that has nothing to do with Dan Feuerriegel, whom I welcome to Salem with my full DAYS-loving heart. Seriously, welcome, Dan! And your face is anything but weird, I promise you that.
So, like getting comfy around mask-less people again, it's going to take a beat to get used to a new E.J. for me, but I promise, I'm heading into this with an open mind and an hourglass full of confidence that any weirdness will soon dissipate due to Dan's talents. I mean, if La Lady Sweeney says he's awesome, he's awesome. I will follow Alison to the moon and back. So, that's a good start, right?
Speaking of starts, let's restart this column with a big, "Welcome home, Elvis J.!" He's looking dapper, yet different. So, what did the Artist Formerly Known as Marshmallow Head do during his first 24 in Salem? Let's discuss...
First, he shook Sami to her core. I suspect that was his plan. E.J.'s never been known to be subtle. Sneaky? Yes. Subtle? No. So, sneaky Eej wowed his wife then went a round with Scrappy-Doo Lucas. Oh, how I dislike this affair storyline, which isn't going away anytime soon, I suspect. But at least E.J. walking in on "LUMI" talking or others talking about them is not going to get old. Nope. Not at all. Never. Not even a little bit.
Okay, but...IF I were to play the devil's advocate and look at it from another perspective, I could see how that scenario might be getting old already. You know. Might be. And if that scenario isn't already a tipoff to Old Eej, I don't know what is.
Still, something tells me that Elvis has entered the building with some clue as to what's been shaking in Salem. He's had a ton of pensive closeups already, especially after Sami's left his side. Let's unpack that...
On one hand, E.J. does love Sami. I'm sure he has some remorse for his treatment of her. The other hand, though, that's the, um, underhanded one, as it were. It would be classic E.J. to build up Sami's confidence in their marriage only to pull the rug from under her feet by revealing her affair with Lucas. You'd think his mistakes and hers would be a wash at the end of the day and that they could learn something together, but that's not exactly the "EJami" style. When they fight, it's ugly and epic. God help those in their way.
Honestly, I wish I could get behind this storyline more, but I feel like the show missed the mark with the "Lumi" affair, considering the weight of the drama already between Sami and E.J. Being a long-term caregiver is a labor of love. Sami has been through that hell and back with E.J., and his hellish treatment is being treated as the catalyst for her affair with Lucas. That might be true, but it'll also be a shame if Sami is scorned with a scarlet letter from an unforgiving E.J. This would be a great time for character growth and some forgiveness. Still, I worry that the affair and the desperate acts to keep it covered will take away from what could be a powerful end to E.J.'s long road of recovery. Instead, it might be simply treated as "Sami's done bad...again." Boo.
On a happier note, E.J.'s return also came with a side of Tony and Anna! That's never, ever a bad start. In fact, it was a DiMera homecoming with the promises of more to come. I'm in! I'll even help Harold plan the reunion. We should probably just stick to plastic cutlery, as sharp objects around that group seems like a bad idea.
Though I doubt Jake will feel the same way about a reunion. In fact, poor Jake doesn't even know he's in the line of fire from his bros or his former fling. Or that he's already in the "Stefano Approved" DiMera Brothers' Burn Book. Caption: "Dumb Grease Monkey Can't Be CEO! Possibly made out with a hot dog." I kind of miss the days when characters weren't written so, well, out of character. I never before knew that Tony, Chad, or E.J. had such classist views. But again, I digress...
Foremost, I will say, I would never purchase stock in DiMera Enterprises. Well. Again. Their merry-go-round CEO seat would not make me confident that my investments would be secure. Actually, I may have been CEO for like five minutes in 2005. Anyhow. Sure, it would be like having a front row seat to The Hunger Games, but even that may not be enough. I'll sip on some more limoncello and ponder.
Anna doesn't want Tony in the DiMera Enterprises drama, either, and he agrees -- but it's a bit too late. He's already done enough to stir the pot by getting E.J.'s wheels spinning. That spinning ran over Chad, and it's been suggested that the brothers DiMera oust Jake as CEO. To be fair, Jake did Clark Griswold his way into the position with luck and charm, but this fight is hardly a fair one. So, this will either be a true underdog story or the quickest corporate coup ever.
Though if Jake wants to put up a fight, he has some players who could potentially help. I'm sure Gabi would side with him. He could recruit bestie Ben to do something -- anything -- I mean, please, do this, Jake, as the guy really needs a hobby these days.
There's also some long-lost DiMera kin out there like Peter; Benjy Hawk's widow, Sonja, or their son, Steven, who I'm sure has some stocks; and maybe even Theo. Though I doubt that one, as Theo is close to both Eej and Chad. Kristen can be bought and sold, though.
Also, this might be the perfect time for Renée DuMonde to return with a little help from *whispers* Resurrection by Wilhelm. She was always fierce. And more rounds between legendary rivals Anna and Renée wouldn't be such a bad thing, either.
Or Sami and Kate could align themselves with Gabi once more and show the brothers what the DiMera wives can do. Well. Do again, right, Sami and Kate? They were a dream team with a portrait to prove it. Then again, Kate is probably not going to help Jake at this time, so...
There's the trump card -- Jake could turn to his mother! Vivian could certainly even the playing field. She helped Stefan get the company. Why not do it for Jake, too? Sure, prison could be a hitch in that plan, but when have hitches stopped Madame Alamain before!?
Then again, it seems like Mr. Shin is circling the CEO like a shark already. He seems to want the DiMera Enterprises prize for himself. For the record, Li has told me nothing of this. Oh, Li *giggles* What was I saying? Yes! There might be more than just two sides to this war, so will all the DiMera brothers end up bonding to take down Shin and the board, or will the boardroom bloodshed remain between the bros!?
A little DiMera update? Sure! Johnny is "old enough" to take care of himself and likes it that way. Sydney is happy at boarding schools and will visit Salem on holidays. While I believe both of those updates, I can't help but wonder about what the spawns of E.J. and Sami are up to. Something tells me it verges between "no good" and "damn!"
We have movement! Jan's seemingly in a coma, but her pinky finger has moved. I repeat, "Her pinky finger has moved." And let's be real, Jan has more crazy in just that little digit than most do in their entire bodies. Salem without Jan just isn't as jauntily delusional. Wakey, wakey, Coma Cray Cray.
Still, I hate seeing "Shelle" suffer. They need a beat to recover then a new storyline. Something fresh. Something with no ties to their "Last Blast" past. As much as we all love that era, they need to graduate from it for now. So, since "Shelle" marvelously tracked down the info on Jan's treachery, maybe they need a new case to investigate together.
Or an old, cold one, come to think of it! Maybe "Shelle" could be the ones to finally discover the deets on Alice's African bank account and the secrets surrounding it, as I'm fairly sure that's still open. There's also a potential sibling Belle could be looking for if (and I'm sorry to use this name) Alex North and Marlena really did have a child together. Or they could dive into the unexplained bad blood between Brady and Belle's old nanny and Celeste, darlings. Salem has enough unsolved mysteries to keep them hopping from one cold case to another. Let's just leave anything having to do with Roman and Nicole alone, please and thank you, "Shelle."
So, for her own sanity, Belle had to prove it's over with Jan. She lit up the comatose crazy lady. Um, "lit up" might have been a bad choice of words. She yelled at Jan! I don't blame her. It still gives me chills to think Shawn could have set his own daughter on fire. That one's deeply disturbing. As are all the wheels Jan put into motion to run over "Shelle" and Claire. I'm also glad Shawn got there when he did. Team "Shelle" is made of win. They need to flourish and be front and center more often. And if Philip has anything to say about that, Shawn will tell him to shut up. Ha!
Sorry, not sorry, Sweetness and Justin, but I'm Team Steve. How did the lowlife that ruined Adrienne's life show remorse? Oh. Right. By giving a softer impression rather than a full-blown impersonation. You're awesome, Bonnie. Ugh. I. Just. Can't. With. Her. And, really, Justin? How did Steve humiliate the woman who just humiliated herself by mimicking a dead woman!? I'm not good like Justin. I need help with this one.
Though I don't even know why Bonnie would want to befriend her boyfriend's ex-fiancée and her husband, otherwise known as her victim's brother. That stupid's all on her. Not everyone needs to be besties in Salem. Maybe Bonnie should cut her losses, and Justin should schedule nights with "Stayla" when the Bon Bon's at her Bad Ideas meeting with Gwen. Just a thought.
Bonnie also stated, "Justin is a wonderful man, and he deserves a hell of a lot better than the likes of me." Yes. Yes! Finally, something we agree on, Bon Bon. You are terrible. Congrats on realizing that. I thought there'd be cricket sounds after Bonnie came to that understanding, but she was right again -- Justin proved how wonderful he is by coming to her defense. Oh, Dimples. Blink once if you need help to escape Bon Bon. I smell Stockholm syndrome here.
More than anything, remember when Victor and Maggie had a red shoe moment? Yeah. As sweet as it was, that was disappointing, as that was totally a Mickey and Maggie magical moment originally. Now, remember when Justin and Adrienne met? The bench, the hankie, etc. Yep. That was their magical meet-cute moment, and it needed not be reconstructed by Justin and Bogus -- I mean -- Bonnie. I've said this a million times over, but, seriously, Bonnie needs to turn out to be Adrienne undercover, or else I'm siccing Marlena on Justin for some old-fashioned head shrinking. Adrienne was one of my favorite characters ever. Bonnie has been one of my least favorite ever. This has me sad and enraged. More on this later!
I could list a million reasons why Kate faking blindness is tacky and beneath her and blah blah blah, but, honestly, if she's having fun with it, I will, too. So far, she's having a blast, albeit acting a little sloppy for such a seasoned schemer. Anyway. It's not that Jake and Gabi aren't swell and fine for the most part, but they'll bounce back eventually. In the meantime, since Chad has access to the good Scotch, I'll bring the popcorn and other treats, and we can watch Kate's fabulous fierceness play out together from the DiMera living room, well, if E.J. is done monologuing there for a minute.
I applaud DAYS for working in the pronoun conversation! It did so naturally, given the topic, and without sounding too much like a "The More You Know!" moment. Allie stating that Marlena had problems with the grammatical aspect of it at first was also a nice nod. Though, eventually Doc agreed, "Grammar evolves with society." Well put, Mar Mar. You go, girl/them/sometimes-Satan.
Abe got asked in for a nightcap! This the moment in a sitcom where the entire audience would go, "woooooooo!" I love this for Abe. I'm glad he took his best buddy and forever partner Roman's advice and walked through the door to happiness. How cute was Abe considering everyone's feelings!? There's a reason that he's one of Salem's most beloved gentleman. Abe and Paulina's smiles and giggles were adorable, as well. Treat him right, Auntie P.
Okay. Truth. I'd love this for Abe more if Paulina didn't have a huge secret about the square looming over everything. This makes me a little nervous for Abe's heart.
Snap! Rafe past-tensed Hope. That's a big step. The happiest part of his present is now coming home to Ava. Spoiler: her happiest part of the day is him coming home to her. I guess you could say they're pretty happy. Take it while you can, "Rava." If history has taught us one thing, it's that happiness is a ticking time bomb in Salem. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
I'm with Chloe. If I had to pick between a mansion with Victor, his first edition book collection, Henderson on call, and access to Maggie's lemon bars, or a penthouse with "Jarlena," I mean. Is there a choice? Have fun sucking strawberries with your dad and stepmom, Brady. I'll be floating on a raft in the Kiriakis pool with Chloe while singing show tunes and sipping on ouzo. Anyway...
Logically, I get Chloe's thinking. Realistically, though, if Chloe might want a chance with Brady, she might not want to give him too much time and space. Heck, by the time Philip wheels her to the elevator, there's a possibility that Brady will find a new love of his life if a nurse -- or even Bugs Bunny dressed as a nurse -- walks by and bats an eye at him. Don't wait too long, Chloe, but see you in five for happy hour at the pool!
Sometimes, several little things in Salem set my Two Scooping heart ablaze, and many ingredients made up this HOT cocktail. Hello, Eej is back! Roman and Abe's scenes were delightful! Jan is down, but not forever out, and I pinky swear on that. "Shelle" were at their best! I dug the powerful pronoun dialog as well as an empowering "single mother" speech from Allie. And we got a visit from Tony AND Anna! Mix it, shake it, stir it, and pour it over ice for a HOTini!
Justin loves Bonnie. As SNL's Church Lady shades, "Well, isn't that special?" Which leads me to conclude with a Forrest Gump quote: "And that's all I have to say about that."
LINE OF THE WEEK
Lucas (to Kate, regarding E.J.'s appearance): "Well, if I'm ever shot in the chest and blown up in an explosion, I'd really like his plastic surgeon."
I howled when Shawn said, "Oh, shut up, Philip." I love Brandon Beemer's nonchalant delivery.
I'm all for seeing E.J. and Xander face off, especially given their history. If DAYS wants to do another digital short, they should do a flashback series about the warehouse and the relationships formed there. It would be like if Grey's Anatomy starred Dr. Rolf, Xander, and Kristen. Or just Frankenstein's lab.
I wish Sami's response to Marlena would have been a sassy, "Please. I've caught you doing worse." Then walking away while faux coughing, "Titan conference room table." See! Sami has matured...a bit.
Tuesday Two Scoops Notes: "Yeah, Tony! Wait. Where's Anna!?"
Friday Two Scoops Notes: "ANNA!" and a smiley face.
I wonder who lives in apartment 226!?
Tripp now comes with cannoli!? Yes, please.
And if Gabi doesn't want her Jakeuccino with the delicate heart in the foam, it'll go nicely with a cannoli. Just saying.
I loved that Allie called Abe "Uncle Abe." #wearefamily
To be fair, Bonnie's "all three of their eyes" comment was funny.
Lucas' E.J. impressions still crack me up.
I laughed when Chad quipped, "Ouch! Pretending to be blind makes you mean."
Tulips are Chloe's favorite flower. Good memories, fellas. Now, on to the next round of "Courting the Chlomiester." What is Chloe's least favorite kind of bacteria?
Oof. Was Bonnie planning to audition for a Zsa Zsa Gabor bioplay at the Salem community theater on her way to dinner at Julie's place? Asking for a friend.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for June 21. Are you ready to smear on the gold and blue face paint, grab the foam finger, and cheer on Team DAYS next Friday during the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards!? Laurisa will be back the following Monday with an all new Two Scoops and to hopefully brag about Team DAYS' victories! And, as always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."
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.