Into the Salem-Verse

For the Week of November 22, 2021
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From Satan to stopped weddings to la Sweeney herself, DAYS delivered a Sweeptastic week, but it surely shook up Salem to do so! Are you ready to face Kristen...times two!? Are you able to accept Abe's not the father!? Do you dare to believe Gwen made another bad decision!? Let's dare to dive into the multiverse in this week's DAYS Two Scoops!

So! Let me get this straight. The week begins with not one, but two Kristens -- Kristi? -- and moves along to bring back Marla Gibbs. Midweek, we learn DAYS is releasing a Christmas movie on Peacock on December 16, starring Chandler Massey as Will and featuring the Divine Ms. Davidson. And, yes, that explosive jingle bell sound you heard was Laurisa bursting into red and green glittery excitement, as DAYS and Christmas are two of her favorite things. Okay, in addition to the powerhouse performances as the wedding exploded, we ended the week with more Eileen and Alison Sweeney. I'm done. Just done. That was one hell of a week, Team DAYS. Check, please. I'm satisfied. Compliments to the chefs.

Okay. Now that we're done applauding (for now), it's confession time. Not only was I into soap operas in high school and dreamed of writing one someday, but I also liked comic books, as well. And I was in Art Club. So... Oh, yeah. I was a triple threat of cool. By "cool," I mean like the pre-makeover Kathy Terry in the "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" video. Oh, well.

As a result, I grew to accept ridonkulousness in storytelling early on. I mean that in the best possible way. It's truly one of the reasons I love both genres. Soaps and comics often go to the absurd yet (mostly) keep one foot on the ground. Marlena can be possessed by the devil, yet her loved ones keep the storyline rooted. Spider-Man can help save the universe, yet Peter Parker worries about impressing the girl next door. Of all the soaps I've watched, DAYS does this delicate dance the best, and now it's added "multiverse" to its résumé. We not only have one Kristen roaming around Salem, we have two. Sort of...

If you haven't heard my screams from the cyber rafters, Eileen Davidson is back! That means we have two Kristens. Well. Technically one Kristen. That's Stacy Haiduk's version. She was locked up with Gwen, and Stacy was owning the role like the boss she is, stating, "I'm Kristen DiMera." Stacy's smokey swagger brings out the straight-up gangster daughter of Stefano DiMera side spectacularly. I honestly think even E.J. knows who would be in charge of the family if she were free to roam.

Meanwhile, in the crypt, we had Eileen's version of Kristen, um, KriSatan. It's the devil donning a "John's version of Kristen" disguise. I mean, Special K is the "Mistress of Disguise," after all, and the devil comes in many forms. So. Yep. This checks.

Or as Satan simply explained it to John, "I'm your Kristen." Whatever the reason, Eileen's back for a stint, and we get vintage flashbacks, too. That's like, win, win, win, and win. So, don't overthink it. Just enjoy the beautiful chaos and brilliance of two amazing actors crafting one crafty character.

Still, I'm left wondering, will Satan seduce John? He says, "Oh, just stop it," and "He's not in the mood." Satan replied, "I'm not even sure that matters." Eek. No means no, Satan. I hope this doesn't get rapey. We've had enough of that. So, I'm crossing my fingers for the best. John really said goodbye to his feelings for Kristen long ago. I don't think a Satan-guided trip down memory lane will make him that nostalgic.

Then again, at this point, John might just say anything to get de-shackled and escape. I know I'd feel a little crusty after weeks of hanging in a crypt, and I'd want to clean up. Oh, right. And he wants to get to that saving the love of his life thingy, too. Oddly, I think Sami will end up saving the day (and John's virtue) once Satan senses Doc is now receiving calls.

Sidebar, Drake Hogestyn is killing me! John's complete "over it" reactions to the devil as well as Susan are hilarious. There are so many memes waiting to happen here.

Across town, Abe's dream of a perfect wedding was perfectly blown apart by Satan. It "compelled" Chanel to drop the bombshell that we've all known for a while. After seeing that crazy hypnotizing scene at the church between them and Chanel's claims after, I don't hold much against her. The devil made her do it. Literally.

Before we dive deep into Salem's latest would-be wedding, let's cyberly stand and applaud the cast involved! From James to Jackée to Sal to Raven and everyone in between -- wow. Simply, "Wow!" What a magnificent showing. My eyes were certainly misty as I watched the Carver and Price family trees get chopped and more twisted. Even though I knew what was coming, still, my emotions went right along on the roller coaster with them.

For starters, Lani was a mixed bag of emotions. I totally get that. Ironically, I was a mixed bag of emotions with Lani. Foremost, I felt for her. She lost Abe as a dad. That would be crushing. Sal Stowers gut-punched me with her performance as Lani stood at the altar and calculated that if Paulina was her mother, Abe wasn't her father. Oof. That moment is going to haunt me for a while. It absolutely depicted Lani's shattering loss. Bravo, Sal!

Actually, Lani lost a lot. I felt bad for her. I felt a little less bad for her when she brought up the pony and Paris...again. That took me out of the moment for a bit. It's like, yeah, not going to Paris when you're seven is sad and all, but you had a pony. I know it was a Shetland Pony and not a Welsh one, but still, you got a pony for at least a little while. Sorry. I lost track.

Even though I knew this secret for a while, I'm still torn. As we heard more of the story, I do believe the Price women's hearts were in the right place at the time. Protecting a child from a monster is what grownups do. Big Mama also seemed to rule with an iron fist and was the respected head of the household. If she thought it was fit, it seemed her daughters did, too. Olivia certainly has some strong yet strange and shifting senses of duty, but that's a discussion for another day.

I also don't blame-blame Tamara for putting in the clause that she's Lani's one and only mother. For what they were attempting to do, that makes sense. This secret is the definition of "go big or go home." It couldn't have been a casual thing. If or when it was exposed, everyone would lose. I guess there, Tamara did the right-wrong thing?

Of course, I also can't blame Paulina for longing for her daughter. Lani was given to Tamara out of love to protect Lani, not because Paulina didn't want to be her mother. I'm sure having a front row seat to watching Li'l Lani call Tammy her mommy wasn't easy, especially under Olivia's watchful glare and warnings not to cross the line. Still, at a certain point -- say when Tamara decided to tell an adult Lani that Abe was her father -- Paulina could have pulled the plug. Instead, Paulina let that lie grow, too, and consume innocent people outside of their lie circle. She's certainly steeping in that stew of lies with the rest of the family.

True, we don't know if "Dangerous Ray" was still a threat at that point, but that shouldn't have mattered. They did Lani, Abe, Theo, Chanel, and everyone else related (or not so related, as it were) wrong. And even if we fast-forward to the current state prior to the reveal, Lani would have been fine even if D-Ray is out there. She's a kickass police detective, married to another kickass detective, the "daughter" of the kickass mayor, and she'd have Big Mama and Big Julie on her side. Even if the truth had come out, nobody in that crew would let Ray mess with Lani or the twins. Roman would join that team, too, to ensure that. So, yep. Lani could have been told.

So, currently, my biggest (not only) issue with Tamara is letting Abe believe he was Lani's father in the first place. Okay. Obviously, a history rewrite happened here, but I'm sore that it did. It makes Tamara kind of terrible. The lie didn't need to be added onto. Lani had already grown up without a father. Abe never assumed he had a daughter out there. Letting them bond on a lie was cruel, no matter the intentions.

In fact, Lani could have easily bonded with Abe, much like Nicole. Sure, there's no blood connection, but they're firmly family. Lani could have been his next "daughter" instead of his daughter, but not really. Tamara let an already big lie grow out of control and crushed a lot of Salemites in the process. And you don't crush Abe Carver on my watch, Tammy. Sure, I'll cherish the memories of our drinks together at the wedding, but don't expect a holiday card this year.

Abe. He is crushed. He's also angry and confused. Let me reiterate, James Reynolds is a legend. His performances are what actors strive for. They're genuine and appear effortless. When Abe loves you, you feel it. When he scolds you, you feel it, too. And I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be Paulina during those scenes, as all the feels were out in full force. When he started with, "Do you think there's going to be a wedding?" I knew it was on.

All in all, this will be messy for a while, and I'm eager to watch the story unfold, as the cast is crushing it! I do hope Tamara visits, though. She deserves to take her licks, too. In the meantime, I'm glad Abe has Roman and Theo, Lani has Eli, and, well, Chanel has Johnny. The verdict is still out on the last one. Still, this all leads me to an important question. Um, why isn't anyone over at the would-be reception venue, sobbing and rage-eating the wedding cake!? Chanel did spend almost all night on it. I may have to look into that. You know. It's terrible to waste good cake and all.

Okay. Maybe there's another important question, too. Probably several, but we'll focus on this one. I have to know. Ray Charles, Ray Liotta, Ray Romano, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ray Donovan, Beta Ray Bill? Who is "Dangerous Ray," and have we met him before under a different name!?

I mentioned this back in the summer, but I'd love there to be a DiMera connection here, like Peter or Andre. Old Scary Clown Andre pulled a like, um, prank on Hattie. He's not above a false name. There's also Deimos Kiriakis to consider. Being an abusive, threatening creeper is right up his alley. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Eddie Hernandez. He wasn't so much abusive as we knew him, but he lived dangerous and was shady. Finally, Clyde Weston? I think he would have been too busy ruining Tammy Sue and Li'l Ollie's lives to destroy Paulina's, too, but abusive and dangerous are two of his favorite things. In any event, something tells me we'll eventually meet D-Ray...again!

LOOSE ENDS:

"Chowder!" It's chowder. Kate and Roman are officially on again-again...again. I'm more than okay with this. They both seem fully aware of what they're getting into this time. She warned him. He knows her and thinks she's worth the risk. I concur, Ro-Ro.

Julie wants Belle to sue Marlena!? Um, yes. I'll take any storyline that puts the marvelous Martha Madison front and center. I'm loving all the Belle and Shawn time lately, in general. Not to sound greedy, but "More, please!"

Gwen decided to make another bad decision. "No way!" said nobody. Good grief. She really could have played the hero here, but nope. Not so much. Oh, Gwen. You're going to tick off Maggie and Sarah. This will not win you any favor. Enjoy Xanimal while you can.

Talk about Dickens-ing. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." I absolutely adored the beginning of Xander and Maggie's reunion. From "My best girl!" and that hug to his compassion toward her loss, it was all warm and fuzzies. Then. Then! He went and asked her to put in a good word for Gwen. Oh, buddy. This will not end well for you or Maggie. Granted, she really is the fairy godmother of second chances, but even a fairy can't change a liar into a...well...in Gwen's case, a mostly functioning adult who doesn't do dumb things. So, I wouldn't be upset if Maggie reneged on her offer.

While E.J. clearly isn't over Sami and I thoroughly enjoyed Nicole throwing back "live and let live" in his face, Eej certainly does know Nicole. From pre-ordering martinis to remembering her favorite ice cream through death, resurrection, and marshmallow heading, I'll give him some swoon points. Still, Nicole knows what's what. He can make all the claims he wants, but as soon as the Sami Train rolls back into Salem, he will be the first onboard until it wrecks again. It really is their tale as old as time.

Oh, right! The point. Nicole and Rafe are quickly becoming Salem's worst-kept secret. If Ava doesn't figure it out within a few conversations with not-at-all-good-at-hiding-things Rafe, I'll be disappointed in her.

Not disappointing, we were cliffhung on Friday -- Alison Sweeney is back! I'm putting on the bells in eager anticipation of Sami's abduction storyline. Who has her? Where is she!? Why is she being held captive? Has Susan the Cat visited her!? These are things I'm ready to know. Welcome home, la Sweeney!

Extra Scoops

HOT

There's an entire opening paragraph describing what was also very "HOT" this week, but Abe and Roman's hug kind of stole the show! James Reynolds' performances were pure perfection. Our hearts broke for Abe. Josh Taylor did a terrific job at portraying the helplessness a friend feels when a loved one is suffering and you're really unsure of what to do next, yet you wouldn't be anywhere else. When Roman asked Abe what he needed and the mayor merely responded, "Just a friend" and then they embraced, I lost it. Their friendship has always been special, and last week was a great reminder of why. Way to go, partners.

NOT

I'm disappointed that Nicole wasn't at the wedding! With such a special scene between her and Abe a few weeks ago, I thought they'd gotten the memo to see each other more. Eh. At least they'll have plenty of material to catch up on during their next heart-to-heart. There's that.

LINE(S) OF THE WEEK

Abe: "Marlena has a cat?"

John (to Susan): "No. I'm not possessed. I'm just annoyed."

Paulina (to Lani on knowing the amount of damage she caused): "Yeah. I have an idea."

RANDOM THOUGHTS

BeelzeDoc is a hoot. I know I shouldn't be encouraging bad behavior and all, but Satan needs to take its show on the road. "Quite the little sprinter." Ha!

I'll give Olivia credit. She knows where to throw shade! I would not want to be on the receiving end of that. She called out the devil within ten.

Why doesn't the Spectator have an opinion or advice column titled "Just Julie" written by Ms. Williams!? It would outshine "Dear Abby" within weeks.

Yes! All the yesses. Steve phoned Paul in San Francisco! Can we please get a visit from Paul and Tori soon?

There was a very kickass "Lois Lane" vibe when 'Tink answered her phone, "Belle Brady."

If there is a Salem multiverse collision, will we be seeing any Vivians anytime soon!? That would be kind of epic. And scary.

Did anyone else add "Unlike Brandon!" when Theo told Abe, "I wouldn't miss your big day."

Is it wrong that I want Olivia and Victor to meet!? That's like Big Mama Shade meeting Big Daddy Snark. This. Needs. To. Happen.

Speaking of Olivia, who is Paulina's father? Maybe Olivia and Victor have met before. Hmm.

Laurisa texted me a very valid point: there are fresh flowers in the DiMera crypt! Someone must be visiting or maintaining it. So, isn't it inevitable that someone will find John and Susan/Cat Susan?

Is Sami in Ben and Ciara's indestructible cabin!? If so, I don't expect her to be found anytime soon. That shack should be the first place anyone looks, but, alas, it always seems to be the last.

I love the vintage John and Kristen flashbacks! Yes. Please.

"Make it clear" Julie wants her something borrowed item back from Paulina. Hilarious! I'm shocked she wasn't waiting outside of St. Luke's to snag it after the ceremony.

I loved the besotted look on Kate's face when Roman stated he'd be downstairs if she'd like to come back.

That must have been one heck of a Doctors Without Borders offer for Rex to leave Little Emily behind, since he'd moved to Chicago to be near her. Then again, maybe it wasn't so much leaving Emily as it was getting away from Mimi. THAT I could understand.

Just how will Steve and Kayla make up missing Abe's wedding, or did they know it would likely head south and figure why bother?

Did we know that the cemetery, the DiMera crypt, and the mansion were so close to one another? In terms of creepy places where dark things happen, that tracks.

Also something that tracks, the DiMeras installing shackles in the crypt.

I enjoyed Lani and Theo joking about the ridiculousness of their family tree. Oh. That would come back to bite them, but the moment was fun nonetheless.

"Susan Banks" the cat reminds me of "Binx the Cat," and a Hocus Pocus throwback is never, ever a bad thing.

If that decorative blue bowl goes missing from Nicole's apartment, it was not me. I was, um, at Sweet Bits, sampling baked goods. Yep. That's where I was. You can ask Gwen. She'll cover for me. She spotted me there just as I was about to tell my friend Xander about Marah Sorton. Right, Gwennie!?

How cute were Julie and Eli!? I love that relationship.

Susan the Cat should meet Jordan's cat, Arthur. Wait. Who's been feeding him!?

I'm well versed with DAYS family trees, but there's something still offbeat about Marlena and Susan sharing grandchildren. It's sort of like if Jodie Foster appeared in Ernest Scared Stupid. Jo Fo doesn't have time for that buffoonery. Then again, it's not like we can pick and choose our families...unless we're Paulina. Whoops. Too soon? I can never tell.

PARTING THOUGHTS

So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for November 22. The merry and brightened by the big DAYS Christmas spectacular news Laurisa will be back next week. I hope everyone has a fantastic, safe Thanksgiving in the States, or elsewhere, you know, a great Thursday! As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."

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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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