I have to give the writers credit for making Ben sit in his own self-awareness for a while. Sure, there are some fans that will never believe him, and this storyline will never be for them. (That's okay! That's why there are multiple storylines happening at once!) But I think a lot of Ciara's protesting is more so Ben can continue carrying around his badge of dishonor.
There are slight Steve/Kayla parallels here, which I like very much -- mainly the son of a monster falling for a princess but not wanting to corrupt her. Kayla's navigated that road to grow into her own strong woman rather than the damsel in distress. I have high hopes that Ciara can follow the same path.
There's no universe where Ciara would be considered as screwed-up as Ben. But, I loved Ben asking her if she wanted to talk about it when she brought it up. Just like with anything else in a relationship, comparing or keeping score on anything is a bad idea. I love that Ben didn't go there.
But Ciara and Ben didn't get a chance to sort out too much of that stuff because bullets started flying, which brings me to my WTF moment of the week.
Really? The DiMansion doesn't have bulletproof glass windows? Or at least that hockey glass stuff? You'd think with the amount of fantastic wine in that cellar, Chad or Stefan would have taken measures to protect it! And you know someone is just waiting to steal that top-shelf brandy sitting next to those awesome cobalt blue water bottles. I'm just saying, if Kristen were in charge of the house, she would have known this, fellas!
Alas, the fantastic four ended up in a storm of bullets because the cartel is after the Chloemeister. Victoria and Nadia actually do resemble each other a bit, so it was a nice touch! And maybe, just maybe, the combined magic of Cin and Chloe will help nudge Stefan in the right direction.
Well, that and Brandon Barash. That squeal you heard was me doing a happy dance when he showed up. His sizzling chemistry with Camila Banus and believable menacing presence as a mob boss were both on full display. I'm not at all surprised, since I watched him on GH. But I held my breath for a second, just because you never know if roles will work for actors. Luckily -- so far, so phenomenal for NuStefan! Welcome to Salem, Mr. Barash.
On the other side of my joy is Haley. Look, Haley seems like a nice kid, but girlfriend needs a reality check. She can't Blanche Dubois her way through life. She moved in with J.J. after knowing him for approximately seven minutes. But their relationship seems tenured to this stance that she's going to marry Tripp after three scenes? That will play well with I.C.E....and Claire.
Of course, this will trigger Claire's psycho mode. But you know what? I'm pretty sure even Alice would give Tom the side eye if he pulled the, "I'm going to marry this other girl I just met even though I could go to jail for it, m'kay, bae?"
So, on that point, half of me is on Claire's side. The other half of me is also on her side if it means this storyline will end. Sorry, I'm just not here for any of it. Haley's more of a plot point than a character. Tripp's reverted back to the Jade days of acting like a scarecrow without a brain. And J.J. decided now is the time to go through his save-a-troubled-soul phase, but when perfectly flawed Bev was around, he offered nothing!? At this point, I'm ready to get Claire's lighter for her. Get 'em, Claire Bear!
Speaking of crazy chicks, Sarah...oh lord, Sarah. Look, I was with her for throwing Rex out of the mansion. I thought she was spunky for standing up for Eric with Chloe. A little misplaced passion, sure, but her heart was in the right place. Have a fling with Xander just because she wanted to? Go on, girl!
But lately, she's been on such a downward spiral that I find myself wanting to warn both Rex and Eric to run! Okay, maybe Rex deserves a bit of karma. But Eric's tried to be pretty decent toward the whole situation here. I think he deserves better than a girl whose whole pitch was, "I love Rex, but the reason I haven't accepted his marriage proposal is because I'm falling for you." Dude, Eric. You have great hair and can cook. You do not deserve someone who's maybe, sorta, willing to think about leaving her boyfriend for you.
Luckily, he dropped the "f" word on her -- "friend." In soap world, I worry that means it won't be long before these two end up in the sack, which will make church super awkward, since Eric just promised God he'd keep it in his pants. But I can't be the only one watching this storyline and covering my eyes with one hand. The other hand is frantically dialing Nicole to get back to Salem right away, if not sooner.
LOOSE ENDS: Ding, ding! Who had 15 weeks in the "how long until we visit green card marriage" pool? If so, you're the winner! Really, the shocker here is Haley had two marriage proposals in one day, and neither came from Brady! Come on, Bradster! Step it up!
I have to give J.J. and Claire an honorary "Hot" this week for the amount of truth they dropped on the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Dalton. There are tons of good reasons for Haley to marry J.J. There's little to no good reason why Tripp should have offered when J.J. already had. Haley and Tripp are both behaving like dolts in this situation. Although, Claire's hug facials are steadily giving me life. I grit my teeth at this, too, Claire Bear. A lot.
Kristian Alfonso and Gilles Marini have chemistry to spare! Rafe's tried his best with candles and remembering their forgotten anniversary, but he's running out of gas. I find myself drawn to the commissioner and the counselor more and more.
Just between us, I'm not so sure Eric treated Sarah any differently than he would most anyone else. Eric is a sucker for lost souls. That's literally his job. If everyone who confided in Eric suddenly fell for him, he'd have to hire Chris Harrison to follow him around and carry his roses.
"Hello, Diana. Looking for this?" Awww, Johnny P.I. is back in black! I was thinking Diana's had it a bit too easy recently. Things just seem to fall in her lap. I'm glad Crockett and Tubbs were playing along with the Pawn to trap the evil queen!
The Leo/Gabi/Stefan/Brady corporate espionage is quickly becoming my DAYS guilty pleasure. Part of me wondered if Brady was so eager to square things away with Leo because he's sure Leo won't ever steal his girl. Ha! But then I remembered the throwaway scene where Gabi called Brady from the DiMansion. Yes, please! I still worry a bit that they'll "go there" with Brady and Gabi, but I'm enjoying Stefan/Gabi, Stefan/Leo, and Brady/Gabi so much right now, I'll clap along and hope for the best!
Thanks to my mom (who did not care for this episode!), I knew Monday's show would be a standalone episode. That warning absolutely led to my enjoyment of it, as my standards were below ground from the start. So, in that spirit, here's my take on the Very Special Marlena Episode.
I always love seeing Thaao Penghlis! Not for nothing, but there was an "A.D." on one of Kristen's doors. Would totally accept that to be Tony's body, as well!
If Marlena predicts the future, is she picking up on Will's chemistry with Leo? No? Just me?
Ugh, even dream Brady and Eric were annoying.
Andre wore a tiger shirt. If that wasn't written in the script, someone give that wardrobe angel a raise for knowing her DAYS history.
Devil or no, the idea of being able to levitate over a Beyoncé wind machine is something we all want.
Belle! Hey, girl, hey! Oh, Martha Madison...how I miss your face!
Excusing Princess Gina's bad deeds by saying, "She had a mental breakdown," was a nice way for DAYS to poke fun at itself. Indeed, between Abigail and Ben, there were a lot of "get out of jail free" cards used at one time recently.
I'm sad Andre isn't around to interact with Diana. If they wanted a believable love interest for him, she'd be a much better choice than Kate ever was.
I kind of want Claire and Brady to have a "love of my life" off. Seriously, these two fall hard and hold grudges like nobody's business!
Marlena's urn was fabulous! Very stylish!
Melissa Reeves and Matt Ashford are everything. I get it, Jack and Jen fans. I totally get it. These two could read user agreements back and forth, and it would have the perfect blend of youthful charm and timeless romance. I've never liked either Jack or Jennifer separately as much as I do when they're together.
We heard Roman was resting up for it. The Monday after it was a stand-alone episode. One of the main Salem families touts their Irish heritage. This family owns an Irish pub. Yet we got no St. Patrick's Day party?! Not even one green beer?! Ridiculous.
If you do want something charmingly celebratory, the DOOL app does have a fantastic video of Bill Hayes and Kyle Lowder singing "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral." It was the most charming thing I saw all week! Go check it out!
LINE OF THE WEEK:
John (to a flatlined Marlena): "If this is really the end, and you're not coming back, please take me with you."
Aww!!!! Drake Hogestyn is coming alive these last few storylines!
Line I refuse to acknowledge:
Tony: "I'm dead, Marlena."
Nope, no, la la la la. I'm not hearing that. #bringbackTony
LOVED the touch of the white hourglass in Marlena's dream.
I like how Stefan is in Leo's phone as "Stefan D." -- like he's the other "Stefan" in the third-grade class.
If I was deadly allergic to penicillin, I don't think I'd make my daily office in a soap hospital. I'm not sure their safety standards are that high.
I so want Nancy to take on these El Noodle goons. My money's on Nancy.
I wish Melanie was around to talk to Ben about not becoming your horrible father.
Claire drives an imaginary car. Not only did Hope not notice it outside the cabin, but Tripp didn't notice it outside the Salem Inn, either.
Tripp wondered how Jack could get to the café so fast, yet Tripp had time to go home, change clothes, and get to work. You guys, I don't think Tripp knows how time works.
Do you all think Hope and Rafe live in her house with the awesome green vase or his house with the huge bathroom? It just occurred to me that their marriage is the joining of the two best non-mansion houses in Salem.
A cop eating doughnuts is a bit on the nose. But I'll give Hope a pass, since she's a Horton.
Jen's hair was on point this week.
Think Brady and Gabi would ever talk about Arianna? Not little Ari. I mean big sis/one-time love of Brady's life. I know, there's a lot to keep track of.
When Ciara said, "Ben, you're bleeding!" who else really wanted him to respond with, "It's only a flesh wound!"
That's all for this week! Tony will be back next week to tell us all about his day of pampering. He took Maggie up on her offer for a spa day. Just because Sarah's a dummy, doesn't mean Tony is!
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