I love a whodunit. And we got the kickoff of a really delicious one on Friday! Stefan walked in to find Gabi holding a bloody knife and kneeling over what looked like a very dead Li. First, congratulations to Stabi. They finally earned their nickname! Second, congratulations to us. This is such a fun start to a storyline!
With all due respect to Remington Hoffman, Li is the perfect character to murder. He matters just enough to have high stakes, but he's not a devastating loss to the canvas. (#RIPAdrienne #NeverForget)
My initial gut feeling is that Gabi clearly didn't stab him. It's not that Gabi is above using lethal force to defend herself. But she didn't have any reason to be at his apartment. She had his shares now and could forget about him. Plus, his wound did not appear to be self-defense.
So, that leaves two possibilities -- either someone wanted Li dead, or someone wanted Gabi framed. I think the latter is entirely more likely than the former.
1. Vivian -- She doesn't have qualms about murdering someone. And she's got to be livid with Gabi for turning her in. Framing Gabi for murder would get revenge on her and get Gabi away from Viv's baby boy.
2. Wendy -- This theory assumes that Li is able to fake his own death, because I don't think Wendy would murder her own brother. But she did say she was furious with Gabi.
3. Stefan -- Turning on his Lady MacBeth to avenge his mother feels like a very Stefan thing to do. Plus, maybe the big reveal will be that he's really always been in love with the Abigail-in-a-wig Gabi.
4. E.J. -- He did say he'd get revenge on Gabi and Stefan. Considering this happened within the hour(s) he was supposedly in the secret room with Nicole, he probably didn't do this himself. He also probably has a gift credit at 1-800-Assassin from the last time they didn't fulfill his order in 30 minutes or less.
5. Clyde -- Because nowaDAYS, it seems like it's always Clyde. One of his henchmen could have mistaken Li for Tripp. As we know, good hit men are hard to come by.
In addition to Salem losing Li, Marlena lost almost all her dang mind with her supposed grown-up son. The level of restraint she showed trying to guide him, as both a mom and a therapist, to realize that he does not want to marry Sloan was admirable -- as was Deidre Hall's performance when Marlena was visibly trying not to vomit while performing their ceremony.
Look, Eric's always been a relatively smart dude, but this is baffling. One, he admitted from his own face that he'd be with Nicole right now if he was the father of Nicole's baby. Two, he didn't flinch at all when Nicole said that once he and Sloan are married, their case on paper for adoption would look better. Finally, he reached Jon Snow levels of brooding/melancholy when he sat on that park bench and stared into space after learning that Nicole was getting married. Yet, he suited up and demanded to get married so fast that I'm not entirely ruling out a doppelgänger here.
For her part, Nicole really doesn't seem to get it, either. She admitted she and E.J. probably wouldn't be getting married if Eric was the baby's father, but that's where they are now. They claimed, "I'm happy if you're happy," and I don't believe either of them. I think they want to mean the things they're saying. But neither does. And again, I am in awe of the restraint Mar showed this week to not knock these two knuckleheads right together.
Speaking of men who spoke their truths, both of Chad's scenes with Kate and Nicole were delightful. I really appreciated how compassionately both women listened to him. And if he listened to himself, he would have heard himself say that he moved too fast with Stephanie and that he can't see himself marrying anyone but Abigail. Chad, my guy, you don't even need to buy a vowel. This puzzle is solved.
Li had a fast-forward plot stop just minutes before he died. Turns out, one of his former flames -- one who could have been "the one" -- was from a lower class than he. So, Papa Shin decided to offer this girl's dad a job 2,000 miles away if she agreed to stop dating Li. Thus, Li becomes instantly and proactively furious with anyone who appears like they're going to take away his girlfriend. Don't think too hard about this one, folks. It only mattered for about half an episode.
Excellent use of Dr. Rolf here, who came back because he's Team DiMera, no matter what. Stefan convinced Rolf that Stefano would be livid that a non-DiMera was holding DiMera Enterprise shares (he would), so Rolf agreed to help get Li off the voting board. That all checks out.
Our man Tate can't seem to keep a secret. He's blabbing all over town that Holly is into an older guy. And he's picking the craziest people to tell. First, he tells Nicole -- Holly's mom. Then he tells Eric -- the closest thing Holly has to a dad. Sheesh, man, use some common sense. You're Theresa's son, after all! I know you have some thinking skills!
Johnny overheard and brought this up to Holly. Holly is very slick and lied her way out of it masterfully. E.J. is the only other person that made sense for her to cough up, since she already said Nicole's marriage would ruin her chances with her dream man. Her Mr. Darcy reference was a stroke of genius, as well. I'm so utterly impressed with Ashley Puzemis' performance as Holly. This girl is on the right path.
We got the standard Halloween episode again this year. I hope there are folks out there who really enjoyed this. And I love it when soaps take breaks to celebrate holidays. But this tradition isn't my favorite. I would rather see the holiday celebrated in context of the current storylines. Maybe if I was a fan of horror movies, I would have appreciated this year's completely stand-alone episode. But this wasn't for me. On the bright side, it took up a whole episode, meaning the Ava/Harris/Clyde nonsense was mercifully not shown this week. So, I'm counting that as a Halloween miracle.
Welcome home, Blake Berris. I'm okay with this new role because Nick is really, truly dead. Each time he's appeared as Nick Fallon, it's been as a spirit err...more accurately, a demon. So, we're conditioned that Nick is dead. And really, he shouldn't ever come back. Between the raping and the homophobia, we've had enough of that dude.
So, enter Everett! DAYS rolled out the red carpet to make sure we know Everett is a good guy. They could have just made him a guy who ghosted Steph and is now back to win her back. But, no. That would make him questionably bad. Instead, he was in love with Stephanie and willing to do mundane errands like mail things for her. (A dangerous endeavor; just ask Don Craig.) This lovestruck loyal fool was hit by a car and fell into a coma. He had no ID on him! His cell phone was damaged beyond use! He had amnesia when he woke up! Man, this guy sounds like he's from a soap opera.
Don't look too hard, or you'll find loopholes. Like, Everett worked as a reporter, and when he suddenly didn't show up for work, not one of his coworkers who investigated things for a living thought to look for him? None of them happened to get assigned the story of a John Doe who gets hospitalized after a horrific car accident? Furthermore, the daughter of a P.I. and niece of the head of the ISA doesn't think to ask for some help in locating someone who fell off the face of the earth? Okay, okay. So, we look at loopholes for one paragraph. Now back to greatness.
Blake Berris takes about three seconds of screen time to draw us in. Sure, it's hard not to see Nick here. But the benefit of seeing Nick (for those of us who remember the first version of Nick) is that there was an earnest geek who just wanted to be loved. Somewhere between that guy and the psycho stalker Satan stan is, well, basically any character ever. So, they've got the right man for the job. Proceed, Lord Berris.
Boo! And not the fun Halloween kind! Marlena and Chad both opted for "as long as you both shall live" when the correct line is "all the days of your lives." This is a personal flaw on their parts, and they need to correct it. Sheesh! I wouldn't be surprised if both of these marriages are doomed. Thanks a lot, you two!
LINE OF THE WEEK
E.J.: "I admire you, Chad. When all is said and done, you are the type of man I wish I was."
Dan Feuerriegel is killing it as E.J., and scenes like these are when he shines. E.J. can be a sinister soul, but there are spots of brightness in there. He is Susan's son, too. I appreciated this whole scene, and I truly did believe E.J. when he spoke this line.
Tate and Johnny are related twice through Sami. Shouldn't they be closer, or at least acknowledge each other when they see each other at the pub?
I call shenanigans on E.J. not knowing what a pig-in-a-blanket is. He's raised small children.
Update on Shawn -- he's in rehab and doing well. Stay strong, Sailor Man!
Holly inherited her mom's bad habit of talking out loud to herself in the middle of the DiMera living room.
Since this DiMera board continually comes up, I'd really like to see the rules of who gets a vote. Sydney has to be of age to vote now.
I wonder if Billy had Chad's actual speech on that tablet. I would hope so!
I knew Eric's middle name was Roman. I think I knew Nicole's middle name was Stella. I could have sworn E.J.'s middle name was John. And I'm utterly not surprised that Sloan "Mia Sarah" has two middle names, because this gal wants everything.
Also, man, is it a miss not to have Sloan come back to town as Mia McCormick? Chad's high school ex whose baby Nicole stole to swap with Sami's?? And now that same woman is about to swap Nicole's baby??? Gah!!! All the possibilities!
I often picture poor Theo just trying to go about having a nice day when suddenly *ding* his phone rings for yet another shareholders' vote. He rolls his eyes and thinks about signing over his shares just to have some peace and quiet in his life.
Ari Zucker looked beautiful in that wedding dress.
Chad's nod to Stefano as the fourth loved one in the room was adorable.
Li tried to trick us into thinking he's a changed man by wearing that grandpa sweater. We see right through you, Li.
I adored that Kate offered to keep Thomas and Charlotte for a movie night. What do you think Chad's kids call Kate?
Everything about Sloan's wedding look -- from the curly hair to that flirty pink dress -- was right on. I loved it!
It was Halloween eve when Marlena told Li, "We'll start tomorrow." I thought for sure he'd be murdered in the Halloween episode.
Really, E.J.? Never once did you doubt that Stefano's family was number one to him? Have you run that theory past Tony?
Nicole, E.J., and Sloan should all have an easy time remembering their anniversaries. I bet they traditionally celebrate All Saints' Day.
Is it odd that Johnny is in his mid/late 20s, lives in Salem, and has never been a best man in a wedding? This week, Brady literally walked into a room at the wrong time, and BOOM! he's the best man.
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