We're sittin' on a bomb that's about to explode
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Holy hot potato, DAYS Fans! Who will end up with the Nicole mask once the music stops? Which schemer will be the first to crack under pressure? Which baddie will score? And what will Salem do with TWO Susan Bankses!? So, come on, everybody, gather 'round, and let's discuss DAYS in this week's Two Scoops!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Life is a journey, not a destination." The same can be said for daytime storylines. It's (usually) inevitable that the "bad guy" will get theirs in the end, or the estranged couple will reunite for a moment or two of bliss until the next plot starts poking holes in their "happily ever after." So, with the payoff mostly secure, the journey is what soap fans watch with zest and, at times, frustration. We pick a team. We put on our foam fingers and face paint to champion our characters. And then, we weave and twist around storyline roads that often leave us on a cliff's edge.

Last week, well, storylines didn't exactly explode, but the countdown has sped up for ensured destruction. Life in Salem was a bit like an entertaining, action-packed caper movie. There were many wheels in motion and hot potatoes being tossed about. One almost needed a flow chart to keep up with all the lies and cover stories. Add in the brilliant, biting dialogue, and it was a solid week of waiting for the bombs to explode. So, let's take a look at those sneaky Salemites on the hot seat...

To start, Xander should feel pretty pleased with himself. Well. Except for that knee to the, um, hourglass that Gabi gave him. That had to have hurt. A lot. But on the bright side, Xander has always craved to be important and included. And you know what? He's both right now! His hands are deep in several cookie jars despite promising those he wants to impress that he's only eating healthy these days. Sure. We believe you, Xander. Not.

Still, the Xanimal knows all of Kristen's dirty deeds. He's participated, but he's also not the big bad. That's Kristen. That bodes well in Salem, where almost everyone is practically promised second (and beyond) chances and multiple "Get Out of Jail Free" cards. Unless he purposely breaks a personalized Horton Christmas ornament or sells Alice's doughnut recipe to some delinquent in Port Charles (and they seem to be into pickles, not pastries), he should be fine in the end after some groveling and promises to be better.

Or will he be fine? Xander is on several hit lists right now. The Salem P.D. are keeping an eye on him. Kristen is -- shall we say -- not pleased with him...at all. Gabi's not even a bit about him. Brady wants him bounced from Titan. Will and Sonny don't want to buy him a car. Eve isn't a fan. Ted is uneasy with Xander and also sees him as a threat to his happiness with Hope. Sarah remains skeptical. The only real ally he has right now is Maggie. Sure, that's a good ally to have, but considering his wrongdoings, even Mags might not be so forgiving. That really leaves Xander with a big target on his back and to his own wily devices, minus the Nicole mask.

Oh, and Kristen really, really wants that mask back. She's steaming over Xander's betrayal after she betrayed him as they're betraying everyone in Salem. There's a lot there, and, at the end of the day, Kristen -- the Lon Chaney of Salem -- just wants her face back. Specifically, her Nicole face. She wore many last week, as it were. She donned her Nicole faade and a Lucha Libre mask, and then masqueraded as Susan Banks. I'm debating which was more amusingly absurd -- the wrestling mask or Susan. Either way, it was a fun ride that's certainly not over...

Right now, Brady has Xander's briefcase, which holds the Nicole mask. He got it from Gabi who (impressively) took it from Xander. See, hot potatoes everywhere! Actually, hot taters and Susan Banks everywhere. Kristen-Susan set out to meet Xander. The (I assume) real Susan showed up at the Kiriakis mansion! And fade to black. We've been cliffhung again.

Meanwhile, several other Salemites have grenades in their hands. Kate and Ted are playing with fire. They're under Kristen's watchful glare. I get their fears, but, come on, Kate. Use those scheming skills I know you have. Kate could come back with a plan to neutralize the New Phoenix. With Sami's help, she did it to the O.G. version one, and Stefano was a lot more stable than Kristen. I mean, not stable-stable, as no one in their entire right mind would do the things Stefano did, but he was a lot less erratic than Kristen. She lashes out. Stefano kept his cool. And her outbursts, I suspect, will be a key to her downfall that will surely cause a domino effect for those she's conspiring with. Stay tuned for the explosions!

LOOSE ENDS:
Kate remains another obstacle for Ted. In a Kate-like way, she kind of promised to keep his secrets, but Kate does what Kate wants to do. She's like Honeybadger. Teddy's hope for a life with, well, Hope isn't so safe and secure. Kate knows what he did with Xander as well as about their recent kissy face time in the cellar. Sorry, Ted. The odds aren't good for you, my man.

Sure. It must sting to receive executed divorce papers, but seeing that Rafe's already been with another woman and Hope's spent the last few weeks looking for another man, it wasn't exactly a moving moment. Heck. Hope pretty much used her papers as a coaster within minutes. So sad. But cheers to cutting the "Rope" and moving on!

Eve's house of cards is bound to blow over soon, too. I mean, cue some ominous Darth Vader-esque music! Eve claimed, "My marriage is strong." Sure, lady. Sure. Combine that with the fact that Jenny Bear is ready to move on with her life, and, yep, Jack and Jennifer Reunion City is starting to appear on the horizon. So, no. We're not there yet, but if you have another baggie of Cheez-Its and refill your Slurpee, we can pick up the song at "fifty-four bottles of beer on the wall," as we've drowned our sorrows in the first forty-five already. Be patient, Jack and Jen fans. The forever-charming Ashford/Reeves chemistry will be worth it!

Speaking of Jenny Bear settling on a new route, I hope that Dr. Shah -- Sorry. Henry -- I hope that Henry will reply, "Are you serious!?" and hang up on her. Have some self-respect, Henry. And he might not even be single. Who knows!? Look. Jennifer never meant to hurt the guy, but she's been unfair to him, nonetheless. He's never been a serious contender. He's not even second choice. He's a "You'll Do for Now" placeholder, at best. I give her props for wanting to move on, and handsome, smart Doctor Henry is a solid choice, but, considering she'll likely *NSYNC him with a "Bye, bye, bye" as soon as Jackass becomes Jack 1.0 again, I'd suggest Jen Netflix a romcom and drink some wine, maybe invite Hope, or else we might end up with another Liam Frasier situation.

Stefan said to Gabi, "So, the whole time, the threat was right under my nose, and I didn't suspect a thing." Yep. He's totally going to revisit that again when the Gabi bombshell blows. And she's totally committed to destroying Stefan. So committed that she wants to help him out of his current pickle so she can be the one to serve him up on a platter. That's all. She's not into him. At all. She's proclaimed that time and again. She told Brady, Rafe, Kate, and pretty much anyone else who's wondered. My opinion. Well. I agree with Kate. She quipped, "If you say so, honey." So, sorry, Gabs. Better get that aloe ready because when that bomb explodes, you're likely to get burned, too.

Okay. I love me some Randomness. Very much so. But even I thought it was out of the blue that Roman had to fire Ciara. I mean, I don't care that he did. She's young. She'll bounce back. It's just that I barely, like, really had to scramble down memory lane to remember she was even hired there. Still, that might put Ciara in the Soap Opera Book of World Records for being the first character to be fired for having a job she's never been seen at due to, you know, never being at work. Also, Roman put up a "Now Hiring" sign. That has got to mean something! I guess we'll find out when we see who applies. So, maybe it's not only the pub's coffee, but also a storyline brewing for Roman? Yes, please.

Hmm! Roman said that he must close "down Ma's estate in California." One: I didn't know Caroline had an estate in California. I thought she was staying in Kimberly's guest room. Two: I need to know more about this estate! Something tells me from the randomness of Roman firing Ciara and making that declaration, Caroline has more secrets than just the family's clam chowder recipe. A deep family mystery? Yes, please! Roman largely involved? I repeat, "Yes, please!"

Extra Scoops

HOT
With crankiness caused by excessive heat, I needed a good laugh, and DAYS delivered! Will and Sonny's banter totally cracked me up the entire week. I had forgotten how much I love Eric Martsolf's comedic chops. Paul Telfer is playing things deliciously with a blend of menacing, meaningful, and all-out amusing. Stacy Haiduk is sidesplittingly slaying her roles. Lauren Koslow goes in for the sly kill like no other, babe. And, hola! Camila Banus breaking out the comedy is never a bad thing. Let's face it, Gabi's reaction to Kristen in the Lucha Libre mask alone would have sealed the comedic "HOT" this week.

NOT
My only thought during the Eric/Sarah/longing/enter-Rex/awkward scene du jour was, "That pasta looks good." I feel like we've been dining on the same scene for months. Separately, Eric, Sarah, and Rex can be delicious characters. Together, they're bland.

LINE(S) OF THE WEEK:
Sonny (to Susan): "So, you're saying the state of Tennessee actually issued you a license to carry a gun?"

EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK:
Kate: "You're a blackmailer. You're a liar. You're a con man. You're a cheat, babe. You know those dimples? Those dimples are deeper than your conscience."
Ted: "Well, I have reformed."
Kate: "Oh, really? Because you just faked a child's death so..."

TRUE DAT EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK:
Will: "How about your own lifestyle company? Sonny Chic!"
Sonny: "I don't think I have the same eye as Gabi does for fashion."
Will: "Yeah, well, we do need to talk about refreshing your wardrobe."
Sonny: "Are you really going there, Mr. Plaid for Days?"

RANDOM THOUGHTS
I adored everything about the Rafe and Gabi scene. The natural ease between Galen Gering and Camila Banus is just as charming and comical as ever. Sure, he knows she's up to no good. Sure, she knows that he knows she's up to no good (and has the hots for Stefan). But that's part of their charm. He'll big brother her to the end. Plus, Rafe made a Star Wars reference. They win.

Seeing "Susan" aggressively hitting on someone for a prolonged period of time is something I could do without seeing again. Ever. It may have induced a chuckle or two at first, but it quickly got a little "Kevin Spacey after a few drinks" level of creepy after a few minutes. No means no, Susan. Well. Kristen. And that really explains it.

Jennifer's erratic, energized entrance to Doug's Place was everything. Hope was like, "What!?" I was like, "Whatever gets you through the day, Jenny Bear. You go, girl."

Ciara's reaction to Hope and Ted was surprising. Hat tip to her for maturity and support. Though she'll also be right about Ted in the end. So, two victories for Ciara. Yay?

Eric said, "I'll eat in my room," instead of third-wheeling it with Rex and Sarah. Too bad Eric doesn't have a place of his own. Soon, he'll be like Alf being banished to the attic. Oh. Wait! Eric does have a home. And a kitchen table. Maybe Rex and Sarah should look into that, too.

Gabi said to Rafe, "We all know that as soon as Eve Deveraux became commissioner, the police department became a joke." Well. Was it when Eve took over? Was it? Not even a little, wee, bit of a smidgen before, Gabs?

Oh, Kate. Lady. Seriously. If a handsome Frenchman wants to serve you chocolate in bed, the answer is always, "Oui!"

Though Sonny's chocolate chip waffles were pretty on point, too. I wouldn't turn that down. Ever.

I love that Kristen still loves wearing big hats.

Gabi vs. Xander is something I didn't know I wanted to see! I loved their repartee. It was fun and wicked. Befitting, really.

I kind of lost it when Sonny said something to Will about being taught not to snoop in others' belongings, and Will replied, "My mom was Sami Brady, what do you think?"

Dang! Kate remembered to put Patrick Lockhart on the list of shady fellows Hope's fallen for. That's a name I haven't heard in a while. Well, I haven't heard Larry or Aiden in forever, either, but especially Patrick. Oh, Patty. Dreamy but deranged Patty.

I hope Susan repeats that Marlena is her best friend to Marlena. The look on Doc's face every time that happens is priceless. Also, I wonder where that not-creepy-at-all Marlena doll is now.

The border around the column that she printed out for Jack was a totally Jennifer trait. She probably dots her "I's" with a rose, writes the word "mint" in only green ink, and still hums an instructional song while tying her shoes. That's so Jenny. And I love it.

Sometimes I forget that Brady and Gabi were roomies at the Kiriakis mansion for a while.

Does anyone else remember the minor recurring character Lisa, who was a waitress at the Brady Pub? Ron likes to dig into the history books! Maybe now that Roman needs help, she could return, and if it developed into a little romance for him, that wouldn't hurt, either.

Maybe Sonny could join Black Patch! Maybe? I dunno. I feel he might have some investigative flair, but I worry if he's captured, they'll just have to tickle him to get answers between giggles. Oh, Care Bear. Don't change.

Ciara told Ben that Rafe "probably meant it" in regard to revisiting him seeing David once he's the legal guardian. That would make me feel more confident. Probably.

I wouldn't mind a Roger visit (with or without Susan)! He turned out to be a nice guy.

Lani is dedicated to Eli, it seems. There was a time she wouldn't turn down a hunky guy. Or trick one into a stakeout...or take selfies with one when he's passed out. So, yay for progress! Sorry, Xanimal.

Seriously, there were so many choices for "LINES OF THE WEEK!" What DAYS lacked in overall storyline movement, it made up for in bravado. Here are some more zingers to play us out:

Jack (to Jennifer): "Your free speech is making a scene!"

Gabi (to Xander): "Oh, I know you didn't do it alone. You're not smart enough for that."

Xander: "How stupid do you think I am?"
Brady: "Where should I start, Xander?"

Brady (to a gun-toting Susan): "Can you point that down? Just point it down. I've been shot before. I don't want to relive the experience."

Kate (to Rex): "Yes, yes. I'm fine. I'm a little dehydrated, a little hungry, but, hey, it's bathing suit season."

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for July 22! I'm off to apply for a job at the Brady Pub, so Laurisa will be back next week to keep these wacky Salemites in check. And, "That's a fact!"

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.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.

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