Oh, really, Julie? You cleaned up the reception all by yourself!? Huh. That's what she told Hope, but she had me elbow deep in dishwater as soon as Eli and Lani left the venue. I guess I shouldn't have been late, and that was the price I had to pay. Still, pre-wedding cocktails weren't going to drink themselves, and Tamara and I needed time to catch up. Whoops. I meant she fainted *wink* and had to go lay down, and I checked on her. We were not slamming Gabitinis on the balcony of the Bistro as we made fun of Salemites walking through the square below, Statler and Waldorf style. Nope. Not at all. And at the end of the day, I really blame the slow new bartender at the Bistro. It's not my fault he couldn't keep up with Tam and me, but I digress, as we have cheerful things to celebrate!
It was a happy time in Salem last week as Eli and Lani tied the knot! Well. It was eventually a happy time in Salem last week when Eli and Lani finally tied the knot. That's better. Their wedding had more starts and stops than the season finale of a reality show, but I'll get to that later after a word from our sponsor.
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So. True story. I was taking Two Scoops notes during a commercial break while watching Friday's episode. When I realized it had come back on, I looked up as Eli had started walking toward the table, stating, "That will possibly confirm it." It being an envelope divulging who made their apartment all romantic, but knowing it was probably Julie. Well, since I had just quickly glanced up when he said that, the first thing that I noticed was a peacock standing behind the roses on the table, and I yelled, "Eli watch out! What the hell, Julie!?" Nope. She didn't leave a peacock in their apartment. It was a prolonged pop-up promo advertising the new Peacock streaming service. My bad. Sorry, Jules, and, Tamara, next time we stop at two. Okay. Maybe three if Billy's buying. You're right.
But enough stalling. We had plenty of that once the nuptials began, so let's talk all things "Elani: The Wedding!"
Monday's episode was filled with fun and warm, fuzzy moments prior to the actual event. Eh. Mostly filled with them. Julie clutching her clipboard while bossing Abe around got very old very quickly. That's Julie, true to form, but man, it was exhausting and not fun to watch. I cheered so hard when Abe shut her down. You go, Mr. Mayor. You just go!
Plus, doesn't Julie have a staff that could have helped? I know they tried to explain some of her busybody-ness away by highlighting her dedication to making things perfect for Eli and Lani, but for me, that fell short. Doug really is a Julie whisperer, and, without him around, we get a well-meaning but distracting "Julicane," which is like a sharknado, but with more Julie, and it lasts longer. Anyway...
Despite the Julestractions, there were plenty of fun and warm, fuzzy, feel-good moments! I loved seeing Val, Billy, and Tamara again and enjoyed their interactions with their various loved ones. I adore Eli and Val's bond. College buddies Tam and Mar always make me smile. Abe and Tamara were charming. I even enjoyed Kristen catching up with Lani and presenting her with the remaining "Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue" gifts. While their friendship was suspect at first, I'm rolling with it now, as the friend chemistry between Sal Stowers and Stacy Haiduk is rather infectious. There's love there. Why pick it apart. Best friends until the end, indeed, you two.
And then the wedding began! First and foremost, let's gush about the groom. Eli's delightful disposition wins everything. How charming was he!? Very! Heck, his wedding win can be narrowed down to one moment that set every other gush about him into motion. "That moment" being his radiant, sincere, love-struck smile and that little, adorable, excited jumpy thing he did when he saw Lani walk through the doors of Julie's Place in her wedding dress. I'll let you recall that moment and "aww" all over again for a few...
Seriously, though, some actors couldn't pull that type of absolute adoration off naturally, but Lamon Archey leapt into the material, and it was magical. I think most of us swooned and were a little jealous of Lani at that moment. Yep. He brought the love, and she brought the loveliness. Done. They're gonna make it, after all. Hats in the air. And that was just the first minute of her march down the aisle.
Admittedly, after the first few minutes, I started to get a little antsy for the actual vow exchange. It's a Salem wedding, so I knew things wouldn't go smoothly, but there were a lot -- I mean a lot -- of interruptions. One was an "Oh. My. God!" bombshell while the others seemed like ceremony speedbumps that took me out of the moment instead of taking me on a roller coaster of emotions.
Some of said ceremony speedbumps were standard Salem fare and stalling, but some, ooph. Like, Julie constantly commenting on the action as if she were a host on Mystery Science Theater 3000 got, let's say, frustrating at times. Just ask Val. She seemed annoyed, too, especially about the Gabi jibber-jabber (prior to Gabi actually showing up to jibber and jabber herself). The looks Val occasionally shot Julie were priceless, though. I know Jules didn't mean any malice, and, while I don't know if Julie has a big heart because I don't even know whose heart she has anymore, she does love hard. She meant well. Yep. We'll go with that.
I also liked yet was a little confused by the micro-storylines included. Val's dating Billy now, but Tamara had her heart set on seeing him again? Sure. Though I'm still shipping Val and Abe as endgame, so this one stung, although it was a cute nod to Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.'s real-life relationship. Then Tamara fainting felt out of the blue, as did Billy's super more important than the wedding phone call. I was worried for Tam, but she seemed fine later, so, yay! It was ultimately a reason to have them off camera, but the old "their flight was delayed" would have been less distracting and made their eventual entrance more dramatic, as each time the door opened, we were left wondering what bomb would drop next.
Oh, those bombs! Gabi arriving was more like a firecracker than a grand finale. I suspected she's saunter in to say something sassy and gloat a bit, especially after Julie didn't mention her three times at all. Oh, wait. Yes, Yo Gabba Gabi was expected, but Vivian's entrance brought down the house. THAT was a grand finale. La Madame Alamain has returned! Yes and please!
I know loving Auntie Viv is wrong, but I don't wanna be right. She is the best. By "best," I mean the worst, which, in this case, is the best. She's mean, vengeful, and sadistic. She's also delusional. And I love every second of her being back. Yes (and more), please.
Of course, dreamy Eli texted heroic Rafe, and the dynamic duo saved the day, sending the wedding into a "will they or won't they" standoff. Spoiler! They did. Tamara and Billy even made it back in time! And the biggest shocker after that -- no more distractions.
No, really, the rest of the ceremony was smooth sailing and sincerely sweet. And long -- very long -- overdue in many senses of the term "long overdue." Eli and Lani's marriage marked the first time a Black couple has been married on-screen in DAYS' 54-year history. Let that one sink in. It's one-part maddening that it took so long, and another part joyous that it finally happened. Still, there was no official announcement or tune-in alert from NBC. I'd imagine it would have to be really hard in 2020 to try to tout something as "historic" when it should have happened decades earlier.
Being a lifelong viewer, I remember the tears I had in my eyes when Will and Sonny got married. For ages, I'd cheered for straight characters (ones I sincerely adore, mind you) as they tied the knot, but I never dreamed I'd see "someone like me" get married on-screen. It makes me wonder if, while we get swept up in all the things we love about Salem, how many of us stop to think about others who have never seen themselves or their dreams played out on-screen.
I hope that this corner has finally been turned for DAYS, and inclusion becomes more of a priority for the powers that be when crafting storylines.
So, yes, like at the Wilson wedding, I got choked up several times when Eli and Lani's ceremony finally started. Their vows were very genuine and perfectly delivered by Lamon and Sal. They not only effortlessly conveyed Eli and Lani's love and commitment to each other and their growing family, but their friendship, too, which is endearing. I also loved that, when the vows began, the scene kept going, and the focus remained on Eli and Lani until the end of the episode. That was a classy touch, as was ending the ceremony with the custom of "jumping the broom." I was proud of DAYS for including that!
Now the soapy, interesting part: what's next for "Elani"? because, couples in Salem seldom stay happily ever after, especially with mad vengeful madams lurking about. In the meantime, I'd wish them a fun honeymoon, but I don't think I have to, as their first night as husband and wife got so hot, they made fireworks happen, which was a well-played nod to their engagement, too. So, may their future be as sparkly as fireworks or Marlena's blazer. Mazel tov, Eli and Lani!
Side note, it's best to keep on those fancy getups you're wearing because next week, you're invited to July Wedding Number Two -- Justin and Kayla!
I'm not sure how I'll feel in the long run, but several weeks in, and I'm still fascinated with Gwen. She's a hot mess in the snarkiest, most unstable way possible. I mean, if she were to ask me to dress up like John while she wears a blonde wig and one of Marlena's sparkly blazers to look like doc so we could drop water balloons off the penthouse balcony, I might not say no.
Gwen also earns a lot of Two Scoops bonus points for defending Claire Bear and calling out others on their hypocrisy. Sure, she's as stable as that makeshift bomb Hope sprinted out of the penthouse with, but she means well. Well-ish. Maybe not really that well. She's a bit of an instigator, too, but I'm willing to overlook that until she gives me just cause to kick her out of the Balloon Bunch. That's what we're calling ourselves. It's silly, but you know Gwen. So cray.
Right. All that to say Gwen stuck up for Claire, who was getting side-eye from Ben for possibly ruining Ciara's perfect dream wedding gown with nail polish. The show is playing Claire's sanity or lack thereof close to the vest, and Olivia Rose Keegan is doing an outstanding job at keeping us guessing. An Emmy-worthy outstanding job? Yes. Yes, I think so (and congrats again, Olivia, for your completely deserved win)!
Also, while I get Ben's position of being a concerned spouse-to-be, his 'tude toward Claire is verging on, say, hypocritical. He knows the, uh, magic that Bayview can perform firsthand. It's one thing to keep an eye open while keeping an open mind, but to be closed off that she's really recovered is about as fair to Claire is it would be if some nervous nelly asked him if there'll be neckties at the wedding. People change. Sometimes. Plus, the guiltier someone looks usually means they're innocent.
Speaking of the way things look, the DNA tests are in! It looks like Jake is a one-hundred percent perfect match for Stefan. The proof was in the lab results. Results from a lab in Salem. So, yeah. That could change quickly. I'm not sold on this solidification yet, but I love that it means Jake's snappy 'tude is facing off against Vivian and Gabi. Like Jake said about Stefan's mommy and wife, "It's like watching a car wreck. You can't look away." Agreed, Mr. Lambert-Possibly-DiMera.
I'm doubling down on Chad still not being Chad-Chad. Not only have I suspected this since Patch was the Fauxnix, Hope was Gina-ing, and Chad was brainwashed, but super sleuth, day-drinking buddy, and all-around awesome partner, who's never tried to blind me the John Black way, Laurisa deduced this in her last column. She was right about Vivian, and I suspect she's right about Chad, too. Boom.
Some puzzle pieces? Sure! "Steveano" had one last request of Dr. Rolf before he was de-chipped. Chad destroyed the microchip off-screen, there's that, but it's not like Big Doctor Willy Helm couldn't have created another one. There's that, too. If Chad's still Manchurian Candidate-ing (or has been injected with Essence by Rolf to believe he's his own father), maybe he's on a Stefano-sized scheme to save the family. That would explain his recent more roused demeanor, perhaps.
Plus, here are the players. Chad had already secured Kate's share of DiMera Enterprises, and now he has Kristen's, too. He wasn't threatening her, per se, but the strong arm was out, and she folded for the good of La Famiglia. Chad could have drugged Abigail to get her out of the way. She's been his Jiminy Cricket before and talked him out of some shadowy corners of his soul. With Abs out of the way, Chad could fully embrace his microchipped dark side. He also could have framed Gabi, hoping she'd be imprisoned. As for Jake, well, Stefan, he may not have been the one to keep him away, but if Dr. Rolf accepted him as the heir apparent, Chad would be privy to his journal of mysteries, and that could include Stefan's secret resurrection as Jake. Keeping him Jake -- or, now, keeping him busy with Gabi attempting to snap him out of it -- Chad would have time to secure DiMera. Hmm. I say. Just hmm.
Oh, yeah. Back to this. Now that Jake is allegedly Stefano, whose heart beats in Julie's body!? I can't totally recall anybody else of importance who died around that time, but between Salem's Time Jump and drinks with Tamara -- I mean -- checking up on Tamara earlier, my mind is a little too fuzzy for details.
In baby news, otherwise known as things we're still not telling Sami and will certainly regret later, Allie attempted to get Rafe to adopt her little bundle of mystery while Wilson tried to stake claim. Rafe needs more time. Seriously. Give the guy a second. He's a proven awesome dad. I respect his choice, either way.
Luckily, Allie did. She was pretty patient with him, but I doubt Wilson, more so the "Wil" part of the "Wilson," will be as much. Her bro seems eager to plant a little tiny "Mine!" flag on Allie's belly. Will even, kind of, came close to bashing Rafe in the process, stating he "isn't family." Really, dude? You, of all people, are going to comment on what constitutes a real family after having to defend your family to small-minded twits? And Rafe really was his stepfather and is Ari Grace's uncle. Shut it down, Will. Like your vest phase, hypocrisy is not a good look on such an otherwise awesome guy like you. If you want to make amends, make "Rope" not happen again. And thank you.
Really, though. Rafe and Hope are like Nicole and Brady -- much better off as best friends and business associates. That's all.
Speaking of Brady, Kristen's cameo at Lani's pad prompted her to pursue him to the park and pensively peer at him while he pined away for her. Their eyes locked, so did their lips, and he basically decided to run away with her temporarily, since Tater Tot is spudding it up with Theresa. It's not one of Brady's worst moves. There's that.
Conversely, I do wonder who Kristen trusts enough to watch Rachel? Lady DiMera is a bit, you know, paranoid with a side of the occasional crazies. That must mean she really trusts that special someone sitter. A nun, perhaps, or is this how we are introduced to Peter Blake again!? Fingers crossing in five, four, three, two...
DAYS has been on for 54 years, and Eli and Lani are the first black couple to be married on-screen!
DAYS has been on for 54 years, and Eli and Lani are the first black couple to be married on-screen!?
LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Jake (to Gabi): "Shouldn't you be, uh, I don't know, in prison, or in a psych ward, or in an ice-skating competition?" [LATER] "Go. Shoo. Skate away, Nancy."
TRUE 'DAT LINE OF THE WEEK
Claire (to Gwen): "Okay, look, I know it sounds crazy, but, in Salem, you'd be surprised how many people survive death."
OH SNAP! LINE OF THE WEEK
Abe: "Julie, how about you get it yourself?"
While he was talking to Marlena, I wonder if Brady was wondering where she got her sparkly blazer. Those two really should go jacket shopping together, especially if Gabi casually walks by and sassily states, "I have that in a jumpsuit" while they do. Yep. I'd so watch that web show.
Ben referring to Gwen as "the jealous, possessive, roller coaster from hell that [Jake] can't quit" was amazing.
Move out of the way, Ciara, I'll gladly get with Claire!
Somewhere, Stefano is proud that Kristen is still keeping tabs on Salem.
I never suspected nail polish, but when Claire and Ciara came in with coffee cups and handfuls of boutique dresses, I was nervous.
Umm. I actually may have missed a moment, but, yeah, why wasn't Theo able to make the wedding?
If one really wanted peace in Salem, maybe Li Shin should return to referee Chad and Gabi. I'm just thinking of logical ideas to ensure DiMera Enterprises keeps a good public fašade. I mean, unless Li asked about me, in a professional way, of course. Then he could just call and check in. If he wanted to. No pressure, Mr. Shin. I can handle Chad and Gabi myself, I guess.
Next time I part ways with a nemesis, I'm totally borrowing Gabi's, "Places to go, people to see, bye, loser."
I'm still chuckling a bit at Vivian's response to Rafe when he told her she should probably lawyer up. She simply asked, "What for?" Only Vivian Alamain can pull off a delusional yet sincerely casual response like that when told that by the police commissioner as she's handcuffed to a chair at headquarters. Ha! I love her.
Watching DAYS, well, anything, really, in the age of COVID-19, makes me uneasy at times. So, I quickly had to remember how far in advance the show tapes when Julie said that Doug just had a little chest cold. It freaked me out for a second.
And, boo! I wanted Doug to sing at the reception, too. Then again, double boo. The reception was off-screen. Not cool.
I had to watch DAYS On-Demand a few times last week due to news interruptions. As a result, I had to watch commercials. Eek. But! They did have several "The More You Know" ones with DAYS stars. Mary Beth Evans and Chandler Massey were great! They totally made my Team DAYS heart beat with pride.
Speaking of "the more you know," it's not cool to slam mechanics, Gabi. Not cool at all.
I'm giddily anticipating the next Vivian and Kate scene! I cannot wait!
I liked that Jake was concerned about Ben's feelings and, after apologizing, asked him what he should call a mental hospital. That was classy.
Ciara's outfit with the red top and the black under-stuff under it made me think she should be one of the six merry murderesses in Chicago. That's not a complaint. I also don't know the technical fashion word for the under-stuff. My bad, again.
Eli and Lani's comical diagnosis of Vivian was hilarious! I've never heard, "Up where the buses don't run," but that's going in the rainy-day comeback file. I adore the fun side of Elani.
Could -- or should -- Dario be added to the list of potential baby daddies? Hmm.
I mean, if Eric's making snacks, the Two Scoops office is right on the other side of the square. Just saying. Maybe some apples and almonds, like he made for Allie...and a little Brie on the side would be yummy -- maybe some homemade sangria and some sort of fruit tart or lemon bars, too. They'd pair nicely with a summery salad and something sandwichy along with leftover wedding cake. That's all. You know. Keep it simple and snacky, E Train. Thanks.
Ciara should borrow one of Hope's wedding dresses! She's had a few of them, like the glammed-out '85 one, the princess-like Christmas one, or, oh, oh! the gold one was styling! Heck, even the dress Hope wore in New Orleans could be updated into a wedding one. You know, if all of Hope's gowns didn't wash away in the flood that changed even the layout of her home.
Hi, Li *giggles*
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for July 6! I know things are more spooky than celebratory right now in the real world, but please stay safe, mask up in public, and be patient with one another. We will get through this together. With that, I'm off to buy Eli and Lani a peacock for their apartment. I figure I can't be fooled again if there's really one living there, so Laurisa will be back next week to walk two more of Salem's sweethearts down the aisle. As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."
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