Happily ever after (finally!)

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Did you love Ciara and Ben's wedding? Is Johnny headed for success or failure? And is Nicole's relationship with Rafe worse than her indiscretion with Xander? Let's talk about it all in this edition of Two Scoops!

Last week in the real world was rough. That's on par for the last 17 months, but still. The weight of the world seems to divert our attention to being thankful for the smallest joys. Because maybe, if we string enough of those together, we can have a moment of relief...or at least distraction.

I found this at the end of DAYS last week when it ended on a fade-to-black of the Cin wedding kiss. I know not everyone is a Cin fan, and I'm not here to sell you on the couple. But it was nice, for all of us, to not end on a cliffhanger. We ended on an actual endpoint. There was clarity. There was finality. There was order. And it felt good.

Ben and Ciara got married. Successfully! Marlena officiated. Claire was the BFF/MOH. John, Allie, Shawn, Belle, and Henry all attended. It was a memorable DAYS wedding because it was successful. No explosions or crashes occurred. I liked it.

Of course, that left Theo brokenhearted, which I still have conflicting feelings about. I love Theo and think he's a nice kid. On the other hand, I thought he was an absolute toddler to Ciara when she explained that she got her memory back but didn't want to hurt him. He refused to hug her, even though he took her out of her hospital bed to start the relationship with her. It's just an all-around bad look for Theo. He confessed this later to Claire, but Ciara really deserved more grace than he showed her.

Speaking of DiMera men who may need to show some grace, Johnny came back to town! Welcome to DAYS, Carson Boatman! Johnny sure made a splash coming back. There are two types of soap entrances. In one case, a character is introduced in a secluded situation and gradually gets acclimated to the scene. (This was Rafe's entrance as Sami's guard.) The other case is where a character gets thrown into the deep end. Johnny got this intro. His first week saw scenes with E.J., Chad, Allie, and Chanel -- all bringing out different parts of his character.

With E.J. and Chanel, we clearly established that Johnny is a privileged, entitled, overconfident playboy. Sound like anyone he might be the son of? The interesting thing about pairing him with these two characters is that it was endearing in one sense and grating in the other.

E.J.'s never been the model of good behavior (putting it mildly), but Johnny came across as a flat-out brat with E.J. Pretty rich boy wants to be a racecar driver...err...I mean elite director. When his dad says no and offers him a real job, his reply is, "Fine! I'll go to mom!" Oy vey.

However -- somehow -- when this same privileged energy met with Chanel's own royalty, it worked like a charm. I loved Johnny and Chanel together. All their millennium ridiculata meshed and made something entirely entertaining. They're meeting at a time in their lives that makes sense for them. They're both coming off their parents cutting them off and having to do something on their own. Much like how I understood how party Allie and party Chanel would have hit it off, time-to-grow-up Johnny and time-to-grow-up Chanel make sense now.

That being said, I need more adorable scenes with Johnny and Allie because I have so many questions about Johnny. First, does Johnny really not know what's gone on with Ben these last years? Will was the best man at Ben's wedding! Do Will and Johnny not talk? Second, the conversation about Henry someday asking about his paternity had me baffled. Does Johnny not know the situation around his own paternity? From the conversation, it seemed like he didn't. This means Sami may still be holding a total nuclear card against E.J. if she ever needs to play it.

Loose Ends

I'm always here for Tripp and Kayla scenes! Basically, I'm here for anytime Kayla gets to give advice to the next generation. And yes, secretly, I want to pull up a chair in her office and have her tell me how I'm going to get through my own days!

Xander took the fall for Gwen's drug dealing because...I'm not really sure. He said he did it for Jack because he didn't want Jack to lose a daughter. That does align a bit because Xander's north star has always been a desire to be part of a family. I think we're supposed to think he did it out of some affection for Gwen, as well, but that's something I've not seen. An angry make-out session does not equate to this type of loyalty.

Sami's seriously still missing. Allie is starting to put the pieces together. The fact that the one clue is the necklace E.J. gave Sami seems to clear him from being involved. Reason seems to dictate that at some point, E.J. will see Gabi wearing the necklace and realize Sami's gone. The question of who took her still remains.

I'm not feeling great about Nicole/Rafe/Ava. Yes, Nicole did wrong by sleeping with Xander. But Nicole's relationship with Rafe was always more problematic, as it had actual emotions tied to it. Likewise, that same relationship looks like it's going to sink Rafe and Ava, which is a shame. Rafe and Nicole are great friends. But I'm not convinced their romantic pairing is worth tanking Ericole and Rava.

Claire is leaving Salem to go work for Theo and J.J. as their social media person. She's qualified because she uses social media. Sure. That's like hiring me to be a chef because I like to eat, but whatever. I get it. Claire has run her course for a bit on DAYS. And since Ben and Tripp (the only non-main-family fellas in her age group) are spoken for, Claire might not be in the best spot to have storyline. Hopefully, she'll be back soon...say, when J.T. comes back to Salem.

Extra Scoops

With all due respect to Tony and Anna, Chad is quickly closing in on the number one DiMera spot in my heart. Snarky Chad is my favorite. Snarky Chad was in full force this week. I loved him counseling E.J. that maybe infidelity has some nuances that come with it. I laughed when he and E.J. were commiserating about parenting. Chad's "thumbs-up" to E.J. when Johnny stormed out was a chef's kiss move. Best of all was when he asked for support for his own kids if he influenced Johnny entering the business. Smart, Chad. Very smart.

(not NOT yet) Olivia Price showed up and set Salem on fire. Marla Gibbs is 90 years old, and I only wish to have a fourth of her charisma now. She commands a stage with one look. It's truly a privilege to watch her work. And Olivia brought a whopper of a secret -- Lani is Paulina and Ray's daughter, not Tamara and (this one hurts) Abe's daughter.

Now we're into NOT territory.

I love Aunt Paulina. She's the best. I will champion Auntie P to the end. But this rewrite where Abe -- one of the most tenured veterans on the show -- is stripped of half his family is maddening. Abe loves Lani. Abe loves Carver and Jules. One of those kids is named after him. I know that Abe will still love everyone regardless of genetics because he's Abe and he's the best. But why do this to him?

Paulina had an awesome hold on Salem with plenty of storyline. We didn't have a female mogul! Would it hurt so much for a woman to interrupt the DiMera/Kiriakis boys club? (Spoiler -- NO!) I do not like where this is heading for Abe.

E.J.: (about his son) "He's not fond of any idea that comes from me."
Chad: "This is a parental phenomenon I'm familiar with."
I feel seen.

Line that crushed me:
John: "What am I going to do without my little Claire Bear?"
Yup, I cried too!

Line that gave me hope:
Jack (to Gwen): "Actions do tend to have consequences."
Please! Please, let this come true! I'm a patient woman, but Gwen needs to have some consequences dictated by the people who she wronged.


I love that Paulina serves her iced tea with a straw and a sliced lemon.

Dan Feuerriegel got to throw a glass. Welcome to the real soaps now, my friend.

OMG, Allie desperately needs a new alarm. That sound was horrid! Make it stop!

E.J. is still wearing his wedding ring.

Why is Gabi so mean to Ava, again?

I loved Johnny calling her "Allie Cat"!

Does the mention of Belle having a business meeting with E.J. mean that Belle still does some work for DiMera? I hope so!

At some point, I want Chad and Sami to have a conversation about Grace. I feel like they're in a place where adult Chad can have a serious conversation with his sister-in-law about what it was like to raise his daughter.

That's it for this week! Tony will be back next week to see what happens after happily ever after, or -- as we know it -- every day in Salem.

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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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