Uncomfortable conversations with Salem's best

For the Week of January 9, 2023
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Is Kate really dead? Does Alex have a point? And if both are true, is this an indication of the end of all common sense in Salem? Let's discuss it all in this edition of Two Scoops.

I'm sorry to report that Kate "died" this week. But don't worry. She's off to a better place, or hopefully a place where the chef knows to put enough seasoning in the chowder. The fall previews showed all three of these ladies on the heaven set. So, it's only a matter of time before Marlena and Kayla join her and we find out who they meet up there. DAYS slammed on the gas for this storyline -- mercifully rushing through Rachel's kidnapping.

Technically, I'm not sure if a dad who has full custody of his daughter allowing his brother to babysit the daughter for a night actually is kidnapping. But, for argument's sake, it was. At least, it crossed the line when Rachel asked to see her parents and Eric told her no.

That scream you heard during this whole storyline was Sami -- who has to be outraged that her brothers are so laugh-out-loud bad at scheming. From Eric walking out with a sandwich to Brady not knowing which way to face when he's having a secret phone call, these two Keystone Kops were bad at kidnapping. Eric didn't seem to have any plan outside of grabbing Rachel. Was Sloan an afterthought? Did he not have a destination for her? Even Brady seemed irritated about Eric's choice of babysitter.

But all that was to lead us to the discovery that someone stole the orchid from Kristen. Orpheus is the number one suspect here, as Kristen stole the orchid from him in the first place. But the race is on to see if people can find the orchid before the trio of heaven's angels take up permanent residence upstairs.

Back on earth, the Alex/Stephanie/Chad storyline is showing shades of the Rafe/Nicole/Eric storyline that we just wrapped up. For starters, Nicole...er...Stephanie isn't being totally honest about which fella she wants. Sure, Steph thinks Alex is swell and admires his stuffing muffins and Christmas trees. But it's very telling that she counters Alex's assertions about flirtations between Chad and Steph with statements like, "Chad isn't over Abigail" or "Chad knows we're seeing each other." She doesn't say, "It doesn't matter what Chad thinks because I don't have feelings for him."

That's part of the reason why I saw a lot of merit in Alex's conversations with both Chad and Stephanie. I do wish Alex had talked with Stephanie first. But the actual substance of his argument was right on. Chad was taking advantage of each situation. Him offering to rub her feet and have her spend time with his children was extremely intimate. Yet Stephanie actively chooses not to see it that way.

At the end of the day, Chad gets every benefit of the doubt that Alex doesn't. Perhaps, that's fair. Alex hasn't exactly been trafficking in decency with Steph since he showed up in Salem. Still, I have no doubt that Steph will lose her mind when she learns Alex silenced her phone when her mom was "dying." Chad knows she's with Alex and could just as easily call Alex. I hope he does so and doesn't just show up.

Speaking of people who aren't being quite honest with themselves, Sonny tried to explain to Will why Leo is staying in the Kiriakis mansion. Sonny brought forth the argument about seeing sadness is Leo's eyes.

Mmkay.

I'm all kinds of on Will's side here. Sonny is being naïve about Leo. It's worth noting that the day after this conversation happened, Leo started off sneaking into Alex's bed to watch him sleep, then hightailed it over to Gwen to tell her that their participation in Xander' kidnapping scheme snowball was about to crash down around both of them. But, sure. Leo's changed. Even if he had, there's about ten million miles of middle ground between Leo living with Sonny and Leo eating at the soup kitchen. Will's argument was to find something else.

Will's not one to balk at forgiveness. Heck, he was the best man for the dude who strangled him to "death"! I wish Will would have mentioned Ben as an example of someone who actually went to therapy and did some work. Not just someone who has sadness in his eyes.

Loose Ends

Rafe signed his divorce papers and mentioned three divorces. Still no mention of Emily, though-- the fiancée that mysteriously died on their wedding day. Weird.

Gabi charged into Stefan and Chloe's room to explain that Stefan was brainwashed. Stefan seemed to shrug this revelation off, but Chloe's response was much more measured. It's hers that interests me. Not only is she the veteran character here, but now that she knows Stefan doesn't have all of his mental faculties, continuing a relationship, specifically a physical relationship, with him feels a bit dangerous and inappropriate.

Li's always felt a bit cold, even with Gabi. But his scene with Wendy gave this empty suit a ton of depth. Remington Hoffman and Victoria Grace were wonderful together. I felt bad for Li for the first time. He didn't seem like a plot point here. He felt more like a person. I'm not sure who the show could ally Li with, but surely the guy with this much influence over DiMera Enterprises could find a friend somewhere.

Gwen found a hungover (still drunk?) Xander on the floor and talked him back onto his feet with some utter nonsense about how she always looks on the bright side of life. Pfffffttt. Ha! Sure, she has. Gwen rolled with all of the hits life dealt her by giving out extra hugs and blankets to the homeless.

Anyway, to her credit, she does a pretty selfless job of convincing Xander to go back after Sarah. (See how that's done, Leo?) But that may not matter because Sarah is bound and determined to divorce Xander. I can't see her putting the nail in his clown car and testifying against him, but divorcing him seems like a no-brainer.

Extra Scoops

HOT

Lookie there! Nicole used her brain for once! I was relieved when she stopped things with E.J. to remind him that she's not over Eric and still not technically divorced from Rafe. I'd love to see Nicole return to her former scheming glory. To do so means that she needs to take stock and think about current situations, not just react to them. This showed that Nicole is keeping her wits about her. It also reminded us that Nicole knows a secret about E.J. In Salem, secrets are leverage.

NOT:

I will always love Maggie and Xander's relationship. And I'm not one to think Bonnie is a victim of anything. But Maggie went a bit overboard waving her Xander flag when Sarah was struggling. I'm glad Maggie ended up offering Sarah support, regardless of Sarah's decision. But Maggie just wasn't hearing Sarah for most of this conversation. Sarah is 1-800-Fed-Up. And who can really blame her at this point?

LINE OF THE WEEK:

Chad: "I dated a physical therapist for a few weeks."

Ha! Chad was referencing Jordan here, and I love it when the show remembers history!

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Johnny's usual is the same drink everyone else has. I would have pegged him more for an appletini kind of guy. He seems like someone who would drink something extremely high maintenance and unrelatable.

Wendy asking Li if he "plugged Stefan back in" was a funny way of putting it.

Hearing Maggie say "my darling girl" was as lovely as Marlena saying "my dear boy." It made me happy.

I'm not sure a doctor should be smashing her phone. Isn't "on call" an actual thing for doctors?

Marlena campaigning for a back rub whenever possible speaks to me.

It's still really hard to hear Bonnie described as "that poor woman."

Johnny was home way after midnight with his bow tie still tied. Don't men usually take the first opportunity to shed those things?

Thomas and Charlotte are seven and five. Where is Stephanie sending the video? I can't see either of them having cell phones already.

Kristen screaming, "How could you do this to me?" at Eric was actually enjoyable. Oh, Special K. Never change.

That's it for the first week of 2023! DAYS always kicks it up a notch in January. This week shows we're headed for another blockbuster month again! Tony will be back next week to hopefully cover just who is waiting at heaven's door for Kate. Happy New Year!
Laurisa

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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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