The name of the game

For the Week of March 25, 2024
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Everyone loves a good game night! Some Salemites were playing board games while others played mind ones. Be it blackmail, bribery, or sibling bickering, everyone seemed to have an agenda. Let's see who had all the right moves in this week's risky DAYS Two Scoops!

Truth be told, I'm terrible at most board and card games, but I love them, anyway. Game nights are the best. The gathering of loved ones, sportsmanship, snacks, and a Scotch or two. Yep, that's the perfect night. Life in Salem wasn't what one would call "perfect" last week, but many, many games were played. Let's take a look at the wins, losses, and dramatic draws.

Ah, how do you say... ah, yes, well played, Konstantin! The skeevy kon-man made an excellent move last week. He forgave John. More like "forgave" John, I suspect.

Like spanakopita from the freezer section of Salem Mart, his forgiveness didn't taste right. Konstantin is playing his remaining cards wisely, and I don't just mean the magic card that activates John's Pawn Powers! I believe he's doing it for Maggie's sake.

We were reminded of Konstantin's greedy little pact with Gwenresa earlier in the week. He nudged Jeannie-T to nail down knucklehead Alex sooner rather than later. I think he's doing the same with the widow Kiriakis. If she witnesses the depths of his forgiveness firsthand, she may fling herself (and her fortune) at him because of his "kind heart." Oof. As Weezer would sing, "Say it ain't so."

One thing is certain: nearly everyone but Agent Black himself agrees that there's room for error in the "John shot Catharina" saga. The Patch Man and even Maggie mused that there wasn't certainty. I fully agree.

In fact, I think Konstantin killed Catharina. I think he was aiming for John, shot his daughter, then John knocked him out in self-defense, and that's when Steve came in. I believe Konstantin couldn't handle the reality of accidentally murdering his own child (who could!?), so he's been blaming Victor and John all these years. I'm sure Mar Mar would have some spiffy shrink term for it, but let's go with "he's all shades of guilty."

Which leads us to John. The fact that he feels SO guilty proves that he is a good man. There's that. And at first, I was like, "John, my dude, you need to calm down and listen to Marlena." I love that DAYS looped her remorse over her Satanic stints into the conversation. That tracks. I mean, Abe JUST got his memory back, and him losing it has ties to her last Lucifer transgressions when she gave Nurse Whitley McCray-Cray some wonky advice. See, John. Anyone who's been compromised can make some bad decisions, even Marlena.

Speaking of said "compromised" minds, I think John's apologies are fake, too. Oh, I think they would come from John's heart, as he's the above stated "good man," but I think Konstantin and his tricky trigger card scripted John's actions. This all fits into Konnie's narrative that he's a bereaved father full of forgiveness. Well, "forgiveness" for the right price, say, the Kiriakis fortune.

Which, come on, Maggie! Be smarter than this malaka. Konstantin's actions now really don't hurt Victor. They hurt Maggie. She doesn't deserve that. It's clear he knows what he's doing, and that just makes him a giant hourglass. I can't wait for him to be sent to Statesville without collecting any money as he goes.

LOOSE ENDS:

What in the name of Vivian is going on with Stefan. Why didn't the dolt just head to Alamainia!? Problem solved. And if his journey to the motherland turned into a streaming special starring Brandon Barash and Louise Sorel with special guests Bren Foster, Molly Burnett, Michael Sabatino, and Crystal Chappell as Quinn Hudson (Viv's other son), Melanie Jonas, a ghostly Scary Larry Alamain, and Carly Manning, respectively, all the better. "Yes, please!" and thank you.

Sadly, it seems Stefan is sticking around Salem after a sweetheart deal and chess game with Eej. I hate it when he comes out on top. I think the only other game these brothers could compete in is the Smug Olympics, and in that case, the win would be much harder to determine.

My biggest thought during Stefan and Ho-Hum's showdown was, "I love Ava's necklace with that amazing robe!" And that's about it. Watching them fight is like folding laundry. Very tedious, and even the little energy it takes to complete the task is more than I care to give, but I must endure.

Also, I think Harris is up to something super shady. I think even Ava suspects something is amiss. Could he be working with Clyde, too? Could he be out for revenge against the DiMeras? At the very least, I think his sleeper agent chip is short-circuiting or something. Maybe Konstantin is controlling him, too? They have met in Greece. Just saying. It might have been Kon-Man's idea for him to frame Xanimal. After all, he's not one of Mr. Meleounis' favorite people.

Hearing Stefan tell Chad, "Love you, man," and "You make me proud...the good DiMera," was something. Add in the hug, and I was all shades of confused, like Chad was, really. In lesser hands, I'd be in total disbelief that the sinister son has had a thawing of his heart, and I'd be looking for an angle, but I hesitantly believe Stefan because Brandon Barash's performance was so pitch perfect.

What's the opposite of perfect? Oh, "Hi, Sloan! Didn't see you there." The game she is playing with Nicole is just sick. Granted, two wrongs don't make a right. Nicole did steal, um, re-steal Baby Jude. There's that. Still, I can't wait for the reverse of that confrontation when Nicole gets to slam Sloan for stealing her baby.

Though one thing will forever bother me about the Sloan and Eric dynamics. Let's start with the obligatory acknowledgement first: She is wrong on a level so wrong it basically has its own zip code in Soap Hell. That said, if I didn't know my friend did the horrible things Sloan has done and she came to me with the stories of things Eric has done to her, I'd supportively, yet strongly suggest she break up with the guy.

But, yes, honey, by all means, let's have your ex who kidnapped our child plan his christening because she's had a rough go of it of late. That would be super. Super, I tell you.

When Sloan and Leo were squabbling over his attendance at the christening, was I the only one left shocked that she didn't offer him her ringside seat? I mean, we know she doesn't want to be there. It's not about her, after all.

I heard the best joke ever on DAYS last week. Again, while squabbling with Leo, Sloan stated that Melinda helped her steal the baby "out of the goodness of her heart." That's hilarious, Sloan. Add that one to your future stand-up routine when Statesville hosts an open mic night. Mel will get a chuckle out of it, too, since she'll likely be in the audience.

"This isn't fair!" Really, Holly? Let's run that statement by Tater Tot down at the old Salem halfway house.

Brady "Who Me?" Black needed just to say, "Yes!" to Eric's offer to be Hey Jude's godfather. Dragging Eric to his pity party was just exhausting. After all, Eric has enough people who don't want to be in his child's life. Like, you know, Sloan.

"Mrs. DiMera" and the return, "Mr. Dupree," will never not be totally adorable. Johnny and Chanel kind of win romance and a healthy partnership these days. Take notes, Salemites of all ages.

Yes! A barbeque for Paulina must happen. As Liz Lemon would state, "I want to go to there." I also adored Abe calling Roman "Partner" and the use of "shenanigans!" Heard and love the throwback. I'm totally in on celebrating everything Abe and Paulina -- and encouraging them to throw Johnny and Chanel a surprise wedding reception! With "Elani" and the twins there, too, of course.

Still, I'm a bit lacklustered by "the miracle." I fully agree with Laurisa's "NOT" from last week's Two Scoops. Looping in Lexie was not the answer, and I say that as someone who loved Lexie. Paulina gasping for air like a goldfish that jumped out of their bowl while Abe held up the grocery line, catching up with the cashier who was an old flame, did not spell out "OUR great love healed us!"

The speedy wrap-up of Paulina's condition also felt un-miraculous. Convenient and neat, sure. But miraculous? Not so much. Laurisa had it right. It was a missed opportunity. I love the Price-Carver family, but I hope we move on to something splendid and less, uh, miraculous soon.

Sorry, Marlena and Steve, but someone should have called Timothy and Paul to put John back on track. If those two pure plucky souls couldn't convince him he's got a lot of livin' to do, I'm not sure who could. Maybe a heavenly visit from Isabella? I hear current spouses love it when former ones come back to save the day.

Extra Scoops

HOT
I may sometimes be snarky and a wee bit harsh toward Stefan, but I have nothing but love for Brandon Barash. He is all shades of brilliant. Always. He took us on a particularly epic journey through Stefan's many emotions last week. It was a captivating showing of his vast talents. Bravo, Mr. Barash. Bravo!

NOT
Question for Nicole: when she eats her words "Holly would never lie!" would she like that in scone form or on a sheet cake? Maybe cupcakes, as she's made such statements several times. I was headed to Sweet Bits, anyway, so I just wanted to make the most of my time there. You're welcome, Mrs. Walker-DiMera.

Also, I don't love the labeling of "toxic relationship" for teens who are not even in a relationship. Nicole's coming across a little -- lot -- E.J.-ish right now. Brady and Nicole surely had their blowouts over the years, but their best friendship was always something special. This needs to be remembered more prevalently than a throwaway line, "We're close friends."

Let me break this down for you, Nicole. You and Brady once went on the run to Canada together and pretended to be husband and wife with your two kids in tow (you know, Tate and Holly). We endured Scooter -- Scooter! -- for you four, for soaps sake. Shut it down and be better. You love Tate, too. Act like it.

LINE OF THE WEEK
"Do you have divine powers now or something?" Roman to Abe

EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK
Paulina: "I'm a real handful."
Kate: "I'm no walk in the park, sister."

RANDOM THOUGHTS

I thought Tony and Anna were coming home. When, when, when!? I kind of want to sit between Anna and Julie at the christening because you know it will be the Olympics of snark and tea spilling. Those two ladies just KNOW things.

Paulina said, "Okay, Leo. Take it down a notch." Isn't that just Salem's new town motto?

Speaking of, Chad and Leo's "panache chat" was hilarious.

While E.J. has absolutely no moral legs to stand on, I love it when he slings snark at Stefan. Dan Feuerriegel's delivery is impeccable. I could watch this all day.

Oh, silly Steve. You can't fool Sweetness. She knew something was up.

While I still find it ridonkulous that Nicole is hosting the christening reception, I adored that she thought of Roman in all her awkward planning. Basically, stating it would be nice for him to sit and enjoy the event instead of catering it. Agreed.

Just how miserable is Stefan without Gabi? His wife isn't even the last person he's slept with. Methinks he exaggerates a bit.

I love Paulina's friendships in Salem, but I surely want to meet some of her girlfriends in Miami. I know she lived on Star Island, and I'm fairly sure she mentioned being friends with Gloria Estefan. I think I remember that. But, yes! Let's get some of these friends to visit Salem.

Since so many Salemites seem to move with one suitcase and a carry-on, it was fun to see Abe have stuff. Maybe not so much fun for Patch and Johnny, though. Still, I'd like to go through some of those boxes with Abe. The stroll down memory lane would be fun.

I wanted to flick Konstantin in the throat when he exclaimed, "What are they doing here!?" Umm. It's not your house, Kon-man. Maggie can invite in anyone she pleases.

It was kind of fun to see all those reporters showing up to shower Paulina with questions.

It's cute that Stefan "loves being a DiMera." Most of us don't find that attractive. At all.

"My sister is the chief of staff." And mic drop, Roman!

Seeing that picture of Chad, Abby, Thomas, and Little Lotte made me miss Marci Miller all over again. Grieve on, Chad. We get it.

First Sloan insulted the pub's clam chowder. Now she scoffs at scones!? You can't afford to alienate more Salemites, Ms. Brady-Boloney.

Though, if I'm being fair, I do love Sloan's curtains and general style. There's that. Don't let it go to your head, lady.

DAYS needs to diversify when it comes to names. From "Ajax" to "Zabelle," there's an entire alphabet of them to choose from. With Konstantin's daughter named "Catharina," that makes the third of her type. Carly Manning was really "Katerina Von Leuschner." Stefano affectionately called Kate, "Katerina." Names obviously overlap in the real world, but in the Salemverse, make them unique.

How about this. We trade Ho-Hum, Stefan, Alex, and Konstantin for "Elani" and the twins? I miss them already. Plus, Leo loves kids now. He could co-babysit with Julie. I'd watch that show on Bravo!

Steve and Johnny are super quick to set up a shindig! With Black Patch possibly on the rocks, the Patch Man might want to think about party planning. He has an in with Roman for pub food, and with Jo-Ro involved, he could probably score a bit of a sweet catering deal at Sweet Bits, too!

Oh! "Shindigs By Steve." Or "Parties by the Patch Man." Let's make this happen. Stephanie could do the PR until she gets distracted by falling in love with a centerpiece she'll eventually grow upset with because it won't marry her and she'll find an ex to fall back on, and Kayla might even throw in an apple pie or two. *wink*

Steve could also hire Ava as a catering chef. Well. Maybe.

Kate's suit was amazing. I know everyone hates Sloan, but Kate taking her daughter-in-law shopping would be fun to tag along with. These ladies both have style.

Is it weird or not weird that it's never mentioned that Abe is (sort of) Johnny's uncle? He was married to Lexie and still cares for Chad and his kids. E.J. was his brother-in-law, too.

It totally clicked with me last week that Ashley Puzemis (Holly) reminds me of Heartstopper's Rhea Norwood (Imogen), and my heart grew two sizes because I adore them both.

Was Obi-Wan Kon-obi Star Wars cosplaying in that robe? Nope. Shut it down, Meleounis. He is not invited to, how do you say, thee re-bell-onion.

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow fans, that's it for March 25. I'm off to add "Konstantin in a robe" to Salem fashion I never want to experience again. It'll be near "Alex's glasses" and "Taylor's scarf." After that, I'm going back to work to bring you next week's Two Scoops, as Laurisa is on special assignment in Arr-e-ah digging for dirt on a certain Konman to ensure we can get him out of our lives sooner rather than later.

As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."
Tony

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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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