Precious illusions
For the Week of January 22, 2018
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DAYS Two Scoops: Precious illusions
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Someone is certain Andre should be dead! Lani believes she's doing what's best for J.J. Jennifer is sure Eric's no longer that into her. And Stefan trusts that he's not a sleazebag. Let's travel down de'nial in this week's DAYS Two Scoops!

There's a Navajo proverb that goes, "You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep." Yep. Denial has come to Salem, and it's not pretty, but let's start in a better place. That is, a Friday cliffhanger that was pretty darn shocking...

Death has also come once again to Salem! And, oddly, once again to Andre. He was found dead in his office. The shock of a dead body was spot on, and Marci Miller did an amazing job with the material. However, Andre being dead again, eh, that's sort of like beating a dead horse, as it were. We've been there before. I suspect we'll be there again. That lowers the ultimate boom a little, but let's talk some suspects...

Anna is probably the most obvious choice. She's been known to be a pistol-packing mama not afraid to fire at will. She even has Tony's urn as a constant reminder to ensure Stefano and Andre get some comeuppance. She's also one of the most expendable characters on the list, as she comes and goes. If she went to jail or the loony bin, it wouldn't upset the day-to-day in Salem that much. Though it would upset me. And Roman. So I hope she didn't do it!

We should believe Gabi is high on this list. Andre fired her from her own company, and she even vowed to kill him. I'm betting she didn't. She seems like another red herring.

Vivian killing someone wouldn't be all that shocking. She even wanted to kill Andre, but Stefan seemingly talked her off the ledge. Or did he? Auntie Viv's been known to go rogue before. She's also been known to be a smidge murdery. That all makes me believe she's innocent. Dead in an office doesn't have the same flair as buried alive, or shooting someone then casually stepping over their body. Plus, Vivian wouldn't leave things so messy. The way his body was discovered seem more like a crime of passion, so...

How about Kate? We don't know what Andre confessed to her! They were talking, and the next scene was cut to the next morning. An emotional-looking Kate was sitting in the DiMera living room, Chad walked in, and that's about it. Though, unless someone could smell brownies baking, I think Kate's off the hook, too. I don't know why I crossed her off the list so quickly, but it just doesn't seem like a fit. Then again, I'm no Salem P.D. officer, so what do I know? Oh, wait. I've solved a crime before. I have a better track record. Moving on to...

Stefan! He made a call beforehand and needed a job done. I wouldn't count him out. We don't know enough about him yet. We know he's a creeper, but a murderer, too? Maybe. Just maybe.

I hardly think Chad belongs on the list. He's ticked at Andre. Still, I don't believe Chad would murder someone, let alone his own brother. Though he makes boneheaded decisions from time to time, Chad is a good guy.

And here's where my suspect list gets random...

Abe? He's still sore with Andre, and if it was exposed that Andre was the DiMera saboteur (as we don't know what happened in those hours between work time and the next morning), well, I've seen Abe mad. We all have. It's a bit scary. Though he's still Abe. One of the good guys. So let's hope he's not a killer.

Abigail? Her mental illness has been brought up a lot lately. I know that Stefan is trying to get under her skin, but did Abigail snap upon learning that she and Andre aren't the besties she thought? Ron Carlivati does have a hankering for doppelgängers and multiple personality plots.

Hattie! On the topic of doppelgängers, do we know Hattie is, in fact, in her cell at Statesville? She did hate Andre. Like, she hated him a lot.

Stefano!? Andre has been his greatest creation and biggest disappointment at times. Plus, Andre did "kill" Stefano once, maybe twice. Not to mention Andre killed Benjy and had a hand in Lexie's death. More so, I'll never not believe the Phoenix is out there, ready and able to strike!

Sonia Hawk? That's a long shot, but Benjy's widow still deserves some revenge on Andre.

Tony DiMera? I'm not all convinced that Tony isn't alive. Would he kill Andre to end his reign of terror? Perhaps.

As this list could go on and on...and on... as Andre wasn't everyone's favorite Salemite, let's end it with Andre himself! Could this be another fake-out so that he can resurrect just as Stefan and Vivian's plans implode? Framing an enemy would get them out of the way, too. I wouldn't put this past Andre. At all.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Lani decided to let J.J. keep on believing he's going to be a father. Oh, Lani, Lani, Lani...Lani. Listen to Kayla. Doc Johnson delivered some of the best advice ever. Ever. Now, not only is Lani lying to, well, everyone, but she put Kayla in a bad place, too. Sweetness is filling the Tom Horton role like when he knew about Mike's paternity and couldn't tell Mickey. That eventually got messy. And this is going to get messy, too. See, Kayla's right, Lani -- woman up and tell your man the truth.

More so, Lani is doing J.J. a major solid by carrying a child she doesn't appear to want just to keep him happy and stable. I admire her love for him. I do. But it's her body. She should be free to choose what she does with it. This isn't a time for her to put on a happy face and agree to see his friend's band or a community theater production of Our Town. Those can be terrible, but they only last a few hours. Pregnancy is a nine-month commitment to a lifelong commitment.

To her defense, it appeared that Lani was about to tell the truth -- maybe, for a second -- until Abe found out about the baby, too. Yep. This is snowballing into the worst-kept secret in Salem. Everyone is going to know by the end of the pregnancy. Well, except jolly ol' J.J. He's just over the moon now. Poor guy.

Whereas I don't believe Lani has any type of malice in her heart, she's going for the gold in dumb decision-making. Kayla's right. She brought up the long-term consequences, which will make things horribly worse for all involved the more this goes on. I know this storyline will be dragged out for a while, but I'm not sure I can take nine months of this, and I don't think Lani will be able to, either. She's basically trying to hold back a breakdown every time she sees Eli.

Though maybe we won't have to wait the full term. Val knows about the baby. Val also knows about Eli and Lani's holiday hookup. And Valerie isn't stupid. I could see those wheels spinning as soon as she found out. Expose it, Val. Expose it all!

Speaking of exposing things, Stefan is still being a bit inappropriate toward women. By "a bit," I mean "a lot." Like, the dude definitely needs to go to that sexual harassment seminar, or at the very least, he could watch the Saturday Night Live sketch "Welcome to Hell." I want to, but I'm not warming up to Stefan yet at all. I like Tyler Christopher. He's a good actor, and he's playing one heck of a sleazebag, so me not-liking Stefan is actually a credit to Tyler, but I want to love-to-hate him, not just wish Stefan would trade places with dead Andre.

LOOSE ENDS:
I knew Theo's exit was coming, but I still got all misty as he said his goodbyes. The acting was all solid, but it was Billy Flynn and Kyler Pettis who got me. Those Chad and Theo scenes were simultaneously heart-breaking and -warming. While everyone in Salem seemed to love Theo, you could absolutely tell everyone in the cast loved Kyler even more, and he them. Art and life certainly seemed to collide on that one as there weren't dry eyes left on the set. Best of luck to Kyler!

Hmm, Anna got a mysterious letter dropped into her purse next to her Altoids, compact, and Tony's urn. It was even written in fancy block lettering. We don't know the content -- yet! -- but this could have either driven Anna to murder or saved her from making a terrible mistake. I repeat, "Hmm!"

While I'm enjoying Anna being back (and I am!), I wish she would be more involved in the DiMera Enterprises storyline. As in, she would fight for a seat at the table, claiming she has Tony's shares in the company. Not only would that yield more Anna/Kate and possibly Anna/Kate/Vivian catty squabbling, which could never be a bad thing, but it would also revisit Anna's past as a fashionista, not just a loon carrying around an urn. I could totally see Anna and Gabi being a chic ensemble.

Roman and Eric are downright charming together! They're hysterical, too. I'm just sort of sad it's wasted on "Jeneric" shipping. *sigh*

It's not even the redo factor of Eric and Jennifer's, uh, relationship that's tedious, it's the fact they're being written as juveniles getting pep talks from their besties while braiding friendship bracelets and sipping malts at the sodie fountain. Eric and Jennifer have already had sex -- drunk, druggie sex in a sleazy motel. The cat's out of the bag. Eric talks through things with people for a living. Jennifer investigates facts for a living. These two just need to sit down and talk because, as of now, they're saccharine courtship is void of facts and reality, making them both look rather childishly asinine.

Here's a good example. Eric suggested meatloaf, as Jennifer loves it. She replied, "I thought I'd try something new." Ugh. What grade are we in, Jenny Bear? Oh, right. The friendship bracelet might be confusing her. I suspect Jennifer and Eric had a much more mature relationship when she babysat him and Sami.

Riddle me this: Roman said he has daily regrets about not fighting for Marlena. Um. That's not what he told Hattie (who was posing as Marlena) a few months ago. Ro basically said that ship had sailed. I think he should revert back to that way of thinking. Even Sami's let go of Roman and Marlena reuniting.

Vivian talked a lot about being lonely pre-Stefan. She even claimed family came around but grew tired of her antics. She was isolated. Shunned, maybe. But what about Quinn? You know, her other son? Has he been brought up yet?

Lucas hasn't met Stefan yet but summed him up fairly well. He told Kate, upon learning of Stefan's paternity, "Wow. What a combo. He must be a delight." Yep, Lucas. He sure is, um, something.

By the way, welcome home, Lucas! He's completed rehab. He's ready to work again and date again. He asked Chloe out. She said, "Yes," but was I the only one who picked up a little more "Okay, sure," than "Yes!"? I want Lucas to be happy. I want Chloe to be happy. But I'm not sure yet if Lucas and Chloe would equal happy. Then again, we have two months until we find out because Chloe has a new opera gig and is heading out of Salem. Boo. Hurry back, Chloemeister!

Extra Scoops

HOT
I don't condone violence, but there was something immensely gratifying when Abigail attempted to slap the sleaziness right off Stefan's face. You go, girl! She also said she wished she'd had a baseball bat. Me, too, Abs. Me, too. Though Abigail was pretty terrific by herself, I also loved the Abby/Gabi team-up to take Mr. Vain down a peg or two. Marci Miller and Camila Banus did great work!

NOT

You know that old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words? Yep. That. I'll save my word count for more fun, less redundant Two Scooping, so please just reference above photo. Though, I'd give it about ten more "Oh, brothers!"

LINE OF THE WEEK
Roman (to Anna, regarding Tony): "The vows were, 'To death do you part.' He died. You parted."

EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK
Vivian: "Yes, John! Oh, John. I know our genealogy was revised, but I still think of you as my dear, dear nephew. [Pause] Wasn't your father Yo-Yo Ma?"
John: "Yo Ling."
Vivian: "Oh. The basketball player?"
John: "That's Yao Ming."
Vivian: "Ah! The vase. Well, the mysteries of the orient are so, mysterious, but I still think of you as family."
John: "Well, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside."

RANDOM THOUGHTS
I don't want to burst Vivian's bubble that Dr. Rolf is dead (again), but I do love that she brought him up. Him and Dr. Wu! Wow. That was a blast from the past. Nicely done homework, dear writers!

Speaking of the DAYS history books, Kate told Andre about her nine months on the fishing boat. I enjoy these nods to the past. As well as Kate's story of how every fish head she cut off, she just pictured Vivian. Ha!

I also enjoyed Vivian giving Lawrence's watch to Stefan, but it would have been a much bigger shocker if, when Vivian found him, he was married to Carly!

Casey Moss's adorableness knows no bounds! How cute is daddy-to-be J.J.? Err! Thinks-he's-a-daddy-to-be J.J.?

Should Jennifer be ordering white wine, given her semi-recent Judy Garland diet of booze and pills? And should fellow drunkard and A.A. pusher Eric allow her to without a fight? I'm shocked Maggie didn't spontaneously materialize and invite them to a meeting.

Kate's "Annie Oakley" line to Anna was amazing.

Um. Yes, Jenny Bear. When someone looks like they've been crying, it's safe to assume you were interrupting.

It's hard to believe that neither Abigail nor Chad has ever been to South Africa. Don't Salemites go there as much as they go to Chicago?

Vivian got her moment to talk to the Stefano portrait! I feel like I need to work on something to say to it should I ever be in the DiMera living room again.

Eric's "Dad, doesn't Anna look great?" was fun. As was Roman stating to Eric once he saw Dr. Shaw, um, Henry, "Damn. You didn't tell me how good-looking that guy was."

Lani told J.J. that "You and I are going to have a baby." Well. Part of that is true. Sort of.

If Jennifer isn't going to do anything with Dr. Henry, maybe he should meet Hope. As it stands, I can see the Jeneric tread marks on this guy already. Plus, Hope might be a free agent soon. Sorry, Rafe.

Was Abigail "steady as a rock" before Ben, Stefan? Was she...?

Sure, Eli and Gabi's love-making was steamy, but there wasn't a floating bed, so how hot could it have been?

As I wrote about Hattie hating Andre, it dawned on me: Anna should have been Hattie's secret partner instead of Anjelica! That would have cleared Anjelica to come back just to cause trouble for Justin and Adrienne (where are they, by the way!?). And that would have left Bonnie in jail, continuing never to be heard from. See, win/win/win.

Maybe Auntie Viv should run Gabi Chic. I adore that Vivian isn't afraid to rock a Princess Leia hairdo. Yas, queen.

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of January 22, 2018. Laurisa will be back to solve the caper of the murdered-again Andre! And, "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!
Tony

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