Welp, we ended the week with a DAYS landmark literally up in flames. Little did they know how on-brand that scene would be. I thought about texting Dan (our Soap Central editor) and seeing if it's possible for me to scoop Is this Cake? on Netflix for a while. Of all the silly, frustrating things DAYS has done storyline-wise, this week put everything in the past to shame.
By now, you've probably read the news about Arianne Zucker (Nicole) suing Corday Productions, Ken Corday, and Albert Alarr for harassment and wrongful termination. A few Google searches will lead you to her full press statement and some truly disturbing details outlined in her lawsuit. Knowing that the independent investigation into Alarr's actions resulted in him being fired from the show lends a ton of credibility to Ari's claims. The idea that she and other female employees had to endure that type of toxic abuse is both horrifying and not at all surprising. And now, Ari is off the show. Because that seems fair.
I believe this man behaved abominably. I believe people who could have stopped him chose not to. And I believe the former won't change until we force the latter to. It's hard to see how it wasn't the show's intention to proceed without Ari. While there may not be anything illegal about her contract expiring, the whole thing feels like dirty pool, considering how critical her character is to the current storyline and canvas of Salem.
Full stop -- the show is hard to watch right now. People were harmed in the making of these episodes. Some of the recent scenes are downright stomach-churning in retrospect. I truly hope for the rest of the cast and crew that real, systemic changes are in place at DAYS. Firing one man isn't going to be enough. DAYS needs to do better.
It appears from Ari's statement that she was written off the show and her lawyer had to get involved for her to come back. I suspect Nicole going to Italy with Holly was the first time she was written off, so Nicole will probably be back at least one more time. But we've got a massive secret on the table -- the centerpiece of November Sweeps -- that needs to come out! Would they recast Nicole to play out the Sloan confrontation? Would they work things out with Ari and bring her back in the role? So many questions that all boil down to one main idea -- how is DAYS going to fix this?
There's no easy way to pivot to the on-screen storylines. So, we'll just move on to a lighter topic -- watching a gaggle of concerned citizens try to bring down a drug ring that's leaving kids in comas. It's fun for the whole family!
First of all, what kind of contract did Harris get with the Salem PD? He's not even out of his 30-day probation period, and he's able to stash witnesses and make deals with the media -- all without the police commissioner knowing about it. It's entirely possible that Rafe is the one who shot Harris for the sheer fact that this dude is making him look so bad!
Speaking of men punching above their weight class, Lucas managed to sneak out on Kate to get himself a burger (Dude, I get it. Snacks are my love language, too.) and eluded Harris enough to swipe a cell phone and conduct a full interview with the press. I'd believe he even dodged a literal bullet if that's what was coming for him at the end of Friday's episode.
E.J. came back to Salem, and I didn't realize how much I'd missed Eeej until I heard his voice in the DiMansion. He's an interesting wrinkle in this story. He does genuinely care about Holly and Nicole, and I do believe he wants to make someone pay for her coma. But he hates Stefan more. He'll just sit back and let Clyde take down Stefan and Ava...and then get his revenge on Clyde.
Speaking of Stefan and Ava, they decided on the always-reliable plan: "no one can ever find out." When has that ever not worked? Brilliant, you two!
At least they have the Salem PD on their side. I'm glad we saw Ava and Harris' conversation -- about how she told him everything. It's the first smart thing Ava's done in months. Officer Goldman is clearly the mole. Officer Phillips tells Jada he saw how most of the shooting happened, so I'm not sure if he's not mole #2. I mean, Salem is a big territory. They might need two people to cover the whole city.
Finally, seeing the flames go up in the Horton house was heartbreaking. We'll have to wait until next week to see the extent of the damage, but oh, my goodness, there are so many memories there. Someone better have stored those ornaments in a fireproof safe. That's all I have to say.
Sloan's campaign for Mommy Dearest had another pep rally this week when she accused Eric of rocking and soothing their ten-ish-week-old baby to sleep when she needed a foot rub. It's difficult to watch this selfish creature exist, but it does fit in with the Sloan we first met. Eric needs to wake up and realize that this isn't normal behavior for a new mom. It's almost like she has no connection to the child or something like that.
Paulina's surgery was moved up to tomorrow -- whenever tomorrow is in soap world. But it seems like she's going to have her tumor removed as well as watch a wedding at the same time. Johnny and Chanel seem determined to get married and determined that Paulina be there.
I'm looking forward to watching Drake Hogestyn play the Pawn, since I didn't get to see it the first time around. I was around for Robo John, so I feel like I had a bit of a preview. However, the Pawn apparently has messy hair. In that vein, I have to wonder how long it's going to take Mar to realize that John walking around looking like Doc from Back to the Future is an indication that something is bad wrong here.
Remember when Brady went through that phase where he couldn't stop proposing to people? He was also just kind of dumb about every relationship he was in? Stephanie's going through her Brady phase. It's not a bad thing that she falls instantly for fellas. She loves love! And with Steve and Kayla as your role models, it's hard to blame her for chasing happily ever after as fast as she can. And make no mistake, she is chasing this as fast as she can -- making it hard to root too much for this couple.
Now...for Jada and Everett to finally meet...that I can't wait for!
I'm not mad at Johnny for pointing out that Chanel did pick Allie at one time, only because I wanted Chanel to say that was a mistake. It really was. Their "always and forever" is the stuff that keeps soaps enduring for years.
I guess it was only a matter of time before Alex and Kristen teamed up to keep Brady and Theresa apart. These two love bad choices as much as fish love water. And Kristen didn't bat an eye when Alex suggested using Rach3l as bait in this game, too. Stay classy, Kristen.
Everett and Clyde are questionable characters. Their performers are not. I'll pay double admission to watch Blake Berris vs. James Read. Both actors can ooze sinister power and control. Their characters are clever without being aggressive. Chad lost his cool with Clyde. Harris didn't quite meet Clyde's wit. But Everett? Oh, Clyde. You have met your match. I want to see more!
WARM AND FUZZIES
Storytime with Julie was wonderful. It reminded me of many times with my own grandma. Charlotte and Thomas' wonder was adorable. Chad's declaration that this house feels like "home" was infinitely relatable. I even loved Julie's self-awareness to make the throwaway line about how Aunt Julie didn't always make the best decisions. In a week where our DAYS world turned upside down, it was nice to remember why we fell in love with this show decades before and why it's crucial that this ship be righted.
What in the world is the show doing to my precious Wendy?
First, her attitude against Ava was out. of. line. Did Wendy forget the months she spent playing The Bachelorette with Johnny and Tripp? And was it not four minutes ago that she was leaving Tripp to go halfway around the world? Sure, she picked Tripp in the end on both accounts, but it's perfectly in line for Tripp's mother to be a little worried about the pattern she's seeing. And unlike Wendy mouthing off about Harris and Stefan -- two men she couldn't care less about -- Ava does have a vested interest in seeing Tripp not hurt. Ava had every right to ask Wendy what her intentions were.
Second, can we see this tech wizard at work, please?! Clyde has a working cell phone (!!) inside the prison. There's an army of assassins getting messages to mobilize. Why is the best IT person we've had since Paul sitting around planning geocaching fundraisers?
Finally, the show is missing a ground ball here with Ava and Wendy. Both of these women share a common history of being raised by powerful men who kept them in a cage. Ava's was, of course, more extreme. But Mr. Shin sure didn't allow Wendy to shine. In fact, he put her in positions where she was at an extreme disadvantage compared to her male sibling. There's a shared experience here between these two women. They should be bonding over that, not having Wendy behave like a brat with a complete lack of self-awareness.
LINE OF THE WEEK
John: "Listen here, Konny!"
I laughed out loud when John called Konstantin "Konny." It ranked right up there with Nicole calling Sloan "Sloaney bologna."
Who leaves bread upside down? Are they worried the Italian birds will eat it?
I can't hear Steve or Konstantin talk about Aria and not think about Game of Thrones.
Oh, good lord. Kristen is on dating apps. What would her headline be?
Bad things happen when people exercise. The last time Nicole went out to get some cardio in the fresh air, she wound up kidnapping a baby. Now, Xander goes out for a jog, and someone dressed in his same workout duds shoots Harris. This is why I don't work out.
Paulina still wears her wedding ring.
I haven't had avocado toast with sliced avocados. I'm so behind. I usually crush mine like guacamole and make a spread. I have so much to learn.
It seems like a lot of people are forgetting about Johnny's Brady/Evans side -- including Johnny! We get it. He's a DiMera. But a lot of his demons -- specifically the devil -- came from Johnny's mama side.
Wait a minute. Black Patch has an office?
For the record, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend co-sleeping. Baby should sleep in the same room with the parents, but definitely not in the same bed. Considering Sloan's place is just one large room, baby Jude is fine.
Yikes, Theresa. I'm pretty sure that second "A" stands for anonymous. Which means you have absolutely no right to open your big mouth and tell anyone that Brady was at that meeting, lady. Shut that down now! Otherwise, people may start thinking you're selfish and make poor decisions.
I typed the name "Johnny" tons of times in my notes when referencing Stefan. I think it's because this version of Stefan is a lot like Johnny Zacchara, with E.J. playing the role of Anthony Zacchara.
Paulina's favored son-in-law might be the most coveted position in all of Salem.
What in the name of Tron was Ava wearing?
Was Alex serious? Valentine's Day is traditionally a day when men make a big deal about the women in their lives and shower them with flowers and attention. Of course, Theresa likes Valentine's Day! This is The Theresa Day!
I love that there's still a photo of Maggie in the Horton house.
Yo, Chad. When Julie asked you what you and the kids were doing for Valentine's Day, shouldn't you have responded with, "Attending Johnny and Chanel's wedding -- I'm the best man"?
Ava went to college? I always thought she spent her early adulthood drugged by her dad and kept in the Vitali Crime Bubble. But who knows? That bubble is big, so maybe it contains a Big Ten school.
Wendy's fashion has gotten noticeably better since committing to Tripp.
I sincerely hope that the cognac Julie poured for Chad is a bottle of the type of cognac and not the actual bottle Tom was gifted -- making that cognac at least 30-ish years old.
Ava walking out of the room waving her hand at Tripp and Wendy while saying, "You know what? No! NO!" was lowkey one of the most hilarious moments of the week.
That's it for this week. Tony is currently running into the Horton house to grab those ornaments and bring them to safety. After that, he'll be back to see what else is left next week.
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.