Okay, here's the thing. I was strongly encouraged to issue an apology to Rafe, as I came down hard on him in my last column. I may have accused him of being a dirty liar spreading fabrications about Vivian's trip to the big post office in the sky. As it turns out, Madame Alamain is alive and well, and will live to raise hell another day. Whew! So, sorry, Raferoni-And-Cheese. We good? A scones and cappuccino party of two do-over tomorrow at the square? I mean, you should be free, Claire's solving cases for you now. Whoops. Yeah. I heard that. Sorry again, commish. We good. See you tomorrow.
Though, really, Claire is made of win. Within a short time of being cleared of any wrongdoing, thankyouverymuch, she concluded the culprit was Eve. And she's right! But before we get into that, how much fun was Claire and Ciara's guessing game? Pre-game started earlier in the week when Rafe and Ciara put Clyde on the radar, and she met with him. Clyde! He's the worst, but James Read is the best and brings so much depth to the character. He's far from the one-note creep who slithered into Salem years ago. I always enjoy these pop-ups to bask in James's talents.
After Clyde was out of the hot seat, it was time to warm Orpheus' tush. This one never felt right to me, and Shane -- Shane Donovan! -- informed Rafe that the Mad Bomber of Salem had been moved to a supermax prison. No joke, I recently watched a documentary about the supermax experience, and I will never, ever do anything to warrant myself going there. They don't have DAYS or, well, a lot of windows. So, yeah, have fun with that, Orph.
Next came a string of names being thrown out by Claire and Ciara. Names like Victor, Sonny, Tripp, J.J., and finally Eve. This showcased the differences between Ciara and Claire perfectly. Mrs. Weston was quick to see the good in people. That checks out, as her husband was a serial killer, and her on-off-on-again-off-again-on-right-now-best friend tried to turn her from original recipe to extra crispy a few times. Ciara is sharp but forgiving.
On the flip side, Claire was swift to see somebody's conceivable crazy. She had conspiracy theories down as to why someone like Sonny "Care Bear" Kiriakis would blow up a church full of loved ones. It was an amusing back and forth, though I'm disappointed in both of them for not starting with the loved ones of Ben's victims. I mean, that's sort of a ground ball when dealing with a reformed serial killer, but I digress.
With the next step for Ciara and Claire: Team Awesome being to get Hope's help, I'm fairly convinced Claire's mentally healthy now, or as mentally healthy as someone in Salem can be. An upset Ciara has been downright savage to her lately, and Claire's held it together. So, she's either processing it well or holding it in to unleash a nastier plan down the road. I believe it's the former. That hug seemed too legit. With that, I'm eager to see these two back to being besties and taking on the world together like they used to.
Meanwhile, in a warehouse somewhere, Ben is tied to a chair, being abused. I'll be honest, that Vincent guy was well cast! He's pulling off sinister seamlessly. Eve made me wonder about him when she spoke of his effective brainwashing abilities. Has Vincent been a lab tech for Dr. Rolf at some point, or did the mad scientist sire a spawn who's equally adept at mind control, resurrections, essence-ing, and, well, you know, all that evil sciencey stuff. Hmm!
Right. Lead buried once again. Vinnie -- can we call him that, or is it too soon? -- is working for Wile Eve Coyote. Yep, Eve is back and is the big bad here! I'll admit that when the doors first opened, I thought the culprit was some sort of Lost smoke monster, as there was just a fog in the air. Nope. It was Eve! She sashayed and shantayed herself in that shimmery red getup like a boss. Hello, Ms. Fabulous! Welcome home.
And Eve's mission is simple. Unadulterated revenge! Sure, I get that. Ben killed Eve's "Paigey." Still, is brainwashing Ben into once again becoming the Necktie Killer, which kind of makes me think of "Bowtie Killer," who's like a Chippendale dancer gone bad, but, again, I digress...
Is making Ben kill Ciara couth? I mean, Eve's justified to hate him forever, but Ciara is someone's daughter just like Paige. It makes me wonder if she thought about this elaborate plan's outcome. Ben would be sitting in jail, hating himself forever for killing Ciara, but another daughter would be dead, and a lot more people would not only hate Ben, but Eve, too. Okay, the Ben part clocks. THAT would be tortuous, but the rest doesn't scream "an Eve scheme!" Yes, she's a blackmailer, a revenge-minded sadistic diva, a greedy con artist, and sin on and sin forth, but a killer? I don't know about that, unless Eve has totally gone off the rails or was brainwashed by someone herself -- is Vincent Wendy's widower out for revenge, too, and wanting to pin it on Eve in the end? Again, "hmm!"
Also, Eve was stewing in prison for nearly a year. I'm sure Hope's apology was well intended, but losing that much time would be a lot for anyone, especially if you're innocent (for that particular crime, at least). That's months and months of hating everyone, hating the predicament you're in, and maybe even hating yourself a bit, too. A time, also, of reflecting on life, loss, and everything in between. When she was sprung from the slammer, we didn't get to spend much time with her. She sort of peaced out of Salem with a middle finger and some snark.
I believe it breaks down to a fifty-fifty split with Eve. She does legit hate Ben, but she hates herself, too, for the hurt she put Paige through before her death -- a hurt that Eve would never be able to make better because of Ben. It's kind of a circle of hate thingy, but it sadly won't bring back Paige. Only Dr. Rolf can do that, of course. Maybe Eve should have started there. In any event, Eve is back, and this twisted revenge plot is about to get much more twisty, like, you know, a necktie around someone's neck twisty. Eek!
Off-screen, a lot of casting bombs have been dropping the past few months! Seriously. It's a daily blitz of comings and goings and, well, mostly goings, it seems. There's actually a rumor about the rotating Hourglass leaving the show. It allegedly taped its last episode in March 1996, which, because of the tape-to-televised lag, will be airing sometime next month, but maybe negotiations will work out, and it can go on recurring status. I dunno. It's all crazy! So, cross your fingers and check out Soap Central's DAYS page for daily updates.
Back in Salem, I had a blast at the DiMera mansion. First of all, hi, Li Shin *giggle* He was celebrating a Gabi-won victory where she secured investors for DiMera Enterprises. Though, when Chad walked in and asked, "What's going on here?" I was kind of like, "You go, Chad! But, yes, what is going on here!?" All that I'm saying is, Gabi, we've gone years without issues. I might also add that I have chutzpah like Julie (minus the racial slurs), vintage Kristen's determination, and Vivian's ability to think outside the box (or put someone in one), and I know the whereabouts of the big gold birdcage where Stefano stuck Marlena. So, pal, keep things professional with Li. That is all.
Also, if I haven't said how much I love Billy Flynn lately, let me remind everyone that I do. That talented man cracked me up during the DiMera mansion scenes. Nobody does good guy Chad like Billy, but snarky, "love watching Gabi squirm" Chad had me in stitches. More, please.
Alas, as amusing as Gabi and Gwen are at the moment, I'm not as taken with Gwen and Jake. I like them both. There's that. Just together, they have that toxicity and immaturity that makes you turn down their invitation to couples' game night. You know that if you go, they're either going to fight or make out, and you don't know which one is worse, but you know you outgrew couples like them somewhere in your early-to-mid-twenties. Jake needs to stand in a cold shower and finish his "this is where we stand" conversation with Gwen from there.
And, Gwen, if sex is the only way you can make him stay, shut it down. There's a ton of nice guys out there. Hi, Lucas! Hey, Rafe! Hello, Justin! Just don't even think of Li, or we will have bigger problems, sister. My point, Gwen -- self-respect is in this year. Try it on.
Otherwise, Chad and Gwen teaming up could be fun, and I like what's going on between Jake and Gabi. Brandon Barash is such a strong actor that his layered performances are enchanting to watch. Overall, I'll be at the DiMera mansion if you need me. They have food, wine, tunnels, turmoil, and the occasional Li Shin spottings.
Elsewhere in Salem, Steve and Kayla are back in town! They're smitten, and it's sweet for everyone but Justin, who, of course, caught them cute-ing it up. He was, of course, a gentleman about it, but I feel bad for the guy, nonetheless. Justin is the best. All of the interactions were classy, and the awkward tenseness of the scenes were perfectly portrayed by the actors. Like, anyone who's had a breakup and then run into an ex with their new you knows how well those scenes were nailed. Bravo, Team DAYS.
Of course, then poor Justin's day got worse by bumping into Bonnie. Ugh. That character needs to go. I can't even sugarcoat that one. Call me when Judi returns as Adrienne, and I'll put on a Super Bowl-sized happy dance routine. There will be sparklers. You don't want to miss that!
I'm going to be honest here, I'm not sure what happened after Shawn-Douglas said he was sticking around to help solve Ben's case. Yes, please! Shawn-D and Belle should always be stuck in Salem. Like, legit. They're the next gen Salemites we've been missing. More, please, and always.
As for life in Allie Land, she had a healthy, loud baby boy! That's the great part, as were some tender scenes peppered in there. The rest was a bit redundant, exhausting back-and-forth between Sami and Allie and, well, everyone and Sami. It boiled down to this for me -- "Forcing Rafe's hand?" This is the big "How Dare Sami!" storyline!? Lame. Call me when Sami sells someone on the black market...again.
But, and this probably won't make me popular, but really, Salemites? Sami strongly suggested that Rafe pass on becoming the papa of Allie's baby has all of you so worked up? Listen. This is Sami. I'm not excusing her actions, by any means. She should have respected Allie's wishes, but, at the end of the day, she did not blackmail Rafe. She didn't even threaten him. She shared her loud, overreactive opinion, and he ultimately chose not to go forward. That's on Rafe. Though, to prove Sami shouldn't be meddling in Allie's adoption, Nicole meddled in Allie's adoption. Sure, Allie should have all the facts, but let's look at one fact Allie is keeping that could one-thousand percent uproot Rafe's life should he have gone forward...
Who's to say this baby's father won't be a psycho who fakes being a manny and takes this kid away from him, too? Allie should have been willing to share the who's the daddy info with Rafe (just Rafe, even) so he could have made an informed decision. But she didn't. So, yep, Sami wanted the baby kept in the immediate family for "selfish" reasons and might have gotten what she set after, but I don't think that's the worst outcome ever, as it is, in fact, complicated.
Wilson adopting the baby? Oh, yeah. That's super complicated, too. And I'm bracing myself for that blowup happening in five, four, three...
Finally, is it cute that Ari Grace knows about bribes? I'm pretty sure giving in and indulging her with a puppy is how the Regina Georges of the world are made. I get the entire eat your peas and get five more minutes of screen time after dinner thingy, but a major life event bribe is risky business and opening the door for said later in life Regina George-ing. More so, you'd think that Will, who literally wrote an article that included a strong narrative that Sami is a horrible parent, would avoid bribing his child and taking the easy way out. Look, I'm not saying Ari G will turn out bad, but I did see her rummaging through Sami's purse to see if her grandma still has the black market baby broker's card. That's all.
Boom boom boom, let me hear you say way-oh! Kassie DePaiva is back!!! Yes, that's worth three exclamation points. Three! At least three. Whether or not you love or hate Eve's antics, Kassie brings the magic each and every time she returns to Salem, and I can't wait for more...please!
Bonnie suggested that she and Lucas have sober sex as a redo of the time she raped him while he was drunk. As Jordan might muse, "I believe she believes" that's a thing, but, umm, no! No. No. Not even a bit, Bonnie. You do not get sex do-overs when you rape someone. Please, just go and do not touch any of the nice hand towels on your way out the door.
LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Sami (to Lucas): "When I was that age, I wanted Austin to be Will's father, and you remember how great that turned out."
Eve (to Ben): "You can't make a revenge omelet without cracking a few eggs."
EXCHANGE(S) OF THE WEEK
Sami: "They lock up the wrong people in this town all the time. Look at me. I almost got executed."
Belle: "Not helping."
Eric: "I got you a little something. A souvenir."
Nicole: "I hope it's not an elephant statue."
Okay. Now there's competition. The look that Sarah shot Xander at their would-be wedding after she found out what he did was one of the most deadliest looks I've ever seen shot, but the look that Sami gave Nicole when Allie chose "Aunt Nicole" to be her coach was pretty scornful as well. Like, ouch! So, who did dead-shots the best -- Sarah or Sami!?
Lucas telling Sami that she's like one of those inflatable clowns was everything. Ha! Bryan and Ali's banter-filled rapport only gets better with age. It's so nice to have them back!
Oh, and Bryan and Lauren are pure delight, too! Lucas and Kate's scenes were all shades of hilarious with a side of heart. It's easy to forget sometimes that before she had a brood, it was simply Kate and Lucas versus the world. Warm and fuzzies abound right now.
For real, I want Sarah to be my doctor. She's so sweet and compassionate. She also knows when to sidestep crazy like Sami vs. Allie. Sarah, you win. You simply win!
Shouldn't Shane be like the king, president, Grand Poobah, or whatever they call the head of the ISA by now? He has been in it for decades, has a great track record, is always on the other end of the line when a friend phones him, and is just so suave and handsome. Then again, his daughter is Eve. That might take some ticks off his track record. Still, Shane for president!
Admittedly, Gwen's stock did go down a bit when she expressed her eagerness to read Bonnie's book. No, pal. Head to Victor's library. He has the classics, not the crap.
And, Gwennie, that's a hard no on disrespecting Lucas. I'm pulling out the parent countdown to punishment by saying, "Two!"
At least Ben's captive chair looks more comfortable than, say, a metal fold-out chair. There's that. Yay.
I'm not wishing her ill, but why do I have a feeling there's someday going to be a "Whodunnit!?" involving a dead Gwen and several suspects such as Gabi, Abigail or one of her personas, Jake, and, well, all 50 inhabitants of the mansion. Maybe like a live Clue murder in a mansion type thing, and this time not starring Deimos.
Nice "Maternity: Labor and Delivery" sign and set, DAYS! This must mean more is going to go down there soon, eh?
I enjoyed Sami's little "welcome to the world" moment with baby boy Brady-Horton. The softer side of Sami is adorable.
On the topic of baby boy Brady-Horton-Baby-Daddy's-Last-Name, what would you like to see him named? I'm sure Allie might pick something like Jim Beam Horton, Johnny Walker Horton, or Jose Cuervo Horton. Maybe Jameson Horton. Eh, that one's not terrible. Anyway! What would you like to see the baby named? And let's rule out Samuel Lucas Horton, as I don't think Allie's ready to pay homage to her parents just yet.
Okay. Now I'm mad. It's confirmed that Henderson texts. I've been sending him messages for years, and now I know he's just ghosting me. Not cool, man. Harold and Mary, get back to me. Just saying.
Well played, but no, Nicole! We do not even joke about elephant statues. Too soon. Way too soon. But, again, well played.
My heart swells with happiness while watching Ali Sweeney and Martha Madison together on-screen. Their charming sisterly chemistry runs deep. Love. Them!
I also still love Hope's gold dress and red shoe combo!
Eve being the cunning culprit is shocking, but I was pulling for wildcard Chase Jennings to be involved, too. Eve could have totally manipulated him. Then again, with what the last writing regime did to Chase, it's better that he lingers in a Portland psych ward for a while longer.
Speaking of people who might hate "CIN," I'm shocked we've never seen any of Midwife Wendy's kin coming after Ben or both of them. Maybe she was a loner, or maybe we already have seen this revenge-set Salemite and just don't know it yet, which I kind of hinted at earlier. Thricely put, "Hmm!"
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for August 3! Laurisa is back next week, as I'll be busy moving into the DiMera mansion to, you know, help broker peace and keep an eye on investments and make sure stingy hands don't linger on Li. Stuff like that. In the meantime, stay healthy, stay masked, and stay beautiful! As always, thank you for reading, 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.