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It's time for some soap math. We had to say goodbye to two fan favorites. But, three more characters returned! Will that add up to trouble? Will it clear up storylines? Let's take attendance and get ready for the latest edition of Two Scoops!

Romance is one of the foundation stones of soap operas. We watch and root for our favorites to be happy. Battle lines are frequently drawn between fans during love triangles. And justifying what you did in the name of love will get you out of a lot of tough spots.

However, despite how much we love love on soaps, there aren't that many couples who get to walk off into the sunset together. So, in that respect, I'm thrilled for WilSon. They're off to Arizona with the door wide open for them to return for any and all visits.

Their goodbye tour was touching on all stops. Victor threatened to rent an RV to come see them. Marlena got the promise of a guest room, which Will declared no self-respecting gay couple is ever without! (Ha!) Lucas and Kate got heartfelt hugs from both fellas. But it was the two closest parents that made me tear up.

One of the biggest downers about Sonny leaving is that we lose one reason for Justin to be on-screen. The Justin/Sonny chemistry is some kind of magic, and I will miss it terribly.

Then, there was Sami. I am glad they gave them a bit of an extended scene. Because in addition to WilSon leaving, Will is leaving, too. No disrespect to Sonny, but Will has been driving storyline and has been part of our lives for decades. Will and Sami are integral parts of each other's characters. They've grown to where they are now, where the child is much more the parent than the parent is. I teared up when Will said, "I love you, Mom -- mistakes and all." Don't stay gone long, WilSon! We need your type of sunshine in Salem every once in a while!

Elsewhere in Sami land, we had another good week of soapy courtroom drama. Desperate to prove Nicole was bad news, Sami dragged Victor then Jan Spears (Jan Spears!) in to testify about Nicole's dirty past. Of course, this begs the question: why didn't Justin bring up any of Sami's bad deeds? Is old Nicole so gone that she didn't push for that, either? Sami's whole family has been training for this for months! They completely exalted Nicole to sainthood while calling Sami to the carpet for every hangnail she's ever had. Where were any single one of those people?

From what we learned, Sami bribed Shadybrook to accelerate Jan's release. If -- and I really need DAYS to confirm Sami's claim -- Jan really was set to be released, anyway, I have less of a problem with what Sami did. It's arguably similar to Marlena talking to the doctors to release Claire before Claire had the official green light.

However, I have to side with Belle on her justified anger at Sami. Jan being released is one thing. Sami fast-tracking Jan right back to Salem is another. This is where Sami is a step behind the true villains of the show, as they strategically think out their moves. Victor would have brought Jan to testify, but then he would have paid her to go live her life on a tropical island somewhere and threatened to derail the money train if she ever went near Belle or Shawn again.

(Speaking of Victor, he's probably not going to be too thrilled when he learns Sami brought back to Salem the woman who kept Shawn in a cage. Whoops!)

Still, I have to give it to Sami. She backed up her case against Nicole. She wasn't making up anything here. I'd like to say that it's ridiculous that a decades-old diary produced by one of the parties in the hearing could be admitted as any kind of evidence. But we definitely just had a Supreme Court justice approval where the subject's hand-written calendar was waved around like gospel, and that man is now a member of the highest court in the country. So, in this case, DAYS is literally pulling from reality.

I still wonder if, at the end of the day, this is going to change. The judge was going to give custody to Nicole and Eric before the Jan and Victor Show started. Sami may have just bought a small about of time for another game-changer.

Forget all the nonsense about radios in the bathtubs. The most ridiculous thing about this whole hearing is that the judge didn't immediately put out an order to try to find the child's father. He's the one closest to getting "default" custody.

And I'm pretty sure he just walked back into Kayla and Steve's apartment. Welcome back, Tripp Dalton! He could have crossed paths with Allie. Though, considering how good of a guy he was when he left -- forgiving Claire and heading off to medical school -- the return of a good guy being the dad could confirm this fan's suspicion that "Princess" Allie Horton's crown might not be so shiny. Finally, this week, Lucas expressed frustration that his daughter ran out on her family. Let's hold onto that and stop blaming everything on Sami. (Sami's only responsible for part of everything!)

LOOSE ENDS:
Victor's kind of the worst boss ever. Co-CEOs haven't worked in the past, and that was when the co-CEOs weren't head-butting each other. You have to think that somewhere in Titan, there's a VP who's really been in charge of the company all along, since the CEO position is just a merry-go-round of nepotism. There has to be someone in a second-in-command spot that's been consistent, keeping the whole thing afloat, and super irritated right now.

Oh, sweet, stupid Brady is back intown, and not an ounce wiser. Eric asked Brady how he thought life on the run with Kristen could work. To be fair, I think that's too tough a question. Our guy doesn't even know that putting the "do not disturb" sign up on the door could keep housekeeping from coming into a hotel room. He's got to take small mental steps, Eric!

It was a brief minute, but it was so nice to see Kate with her boys. I chuckled when Philip questioned her current work as Abe's publicist, "I hear you can make hundreds of dollars doing that." Kate needs someone to reality-check her sometimes, and no one does that better than Philip and Lucas.

Drunk Jake was a full country song into Gabi. There were tears in his beers, y'all. At one point, he told off a suit. It's weird he thinks Gabi is a high-class gal. I guess she is, but she got money about five minutes ago. Before that, she was just a poor kid from west Salem who grew up to share an apartment with her gay ex and his husband.

In news I could not be happier about, Big Mama Vitali is coming back, too! I haven't forgotten that there was a door marked "AV" in Xander and Kristen's House of the Undead.

There were a lot of "Sami won't stop until she gets what she wants" and "Sami pulled out all the stops" statements. I wholeheartedly do not understand these. Sami's mortal enemy is about to get custody of her grandson. While Philip got custody of Claire, Belle and Shawn went on the run -- internationally -- and their parents helped them!

Marlena hypnotized Ben, allowing him to remember that the super creepy guy who's been making his life miserable for the last few weeks is still being super creepy and miserable. Now, there's something no one could have seen coming. Oof. Luckily, the twist here was great! Vincent isn't just Eve's money-crazy mad doctor. Nope. He's Wendy the midwife's fiancÚ! Finally, this storyline makes sense! Naturally, he hates Ben. But it makes sense for him to be furious with Ciara, too. To him, she's nothing more than Ben's cheerleader. Ridding the world of her would be fine with Vincent, too. And this gives Ciara a chance to really have to wrestle with Ben's past with someone who isn't predisposed to trust her or know her as a legacy kid.

Yassss. Marci. Miller. Is. Back. I've always loved what she's done with the role. I can't wait to see what she'll do next. I'm also a little excited to see her in scenes with Brandan Barash. Will Jake and Abby be friends?

Extra Scoops

HOT
There aren't enough superlatives to use to describe Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith. They both earned Emmys for playing these roles -- a true rarity in soaps. They've had to grow their characters from boys into men, fathers, and pillars of the DAYS community. They both handled this transition with class. I wish them both all the luck in the world. And, of course, look forward to seeing them again!

NOT:
Oh, boy. The Salem PD has never been a pillar of objectivity. But Lani outright said her friends are above the law. Since Kristen helped her get dressed on her wedding day, Lani's cool to hide a criminal. Maybe it goes back to the fact that we never saw Lani and Kristen become friends. But this terrible oversight on Lani's part is a tough part of her character to deal with, especially since she rejoices that Gabi is gone in the same breath as she's willing to let grief excuse the crimes Kristen DiMera committed.

LINE OF THE WEEK:
Sami (um, defending(?) herself against Belle's accusations): "I wasn't thinking of you."
Lucas: "That much is clear."
I want Lucas to be in the background of every scene to give color commentary on the action. Bryan Dattilo is a comedic gem.

LINE OF THE WEAK:
Sami: "What happened between Jan and Belle was years ago!"
Um, so is what happened between you and Nicole, Sammers. How's that working out for you?

RANDOM THOUGHTS
The visual of Kate standing at the airport with balloons is downright delightful, topped only by Maggie and Victor traveling in an RV.

Sorry, Sami. Nikolaj Calder Waldau is Greg Vaughan's twin.

"I guess it's just second nature for me to try to be a pillar of strength when times are bad." Stay humble, Marlena.

Alison Sweeney's hair and dress this week were on point.

The background off Marlena's balcony confirms her penthouse is indeed multiple stories high!

It's probably not a terrible idea for soap characters to carry around paperwork proclaiming their sanity.

All women wear leather pants home from the hospital after giving birth, right?

That camera trick where Jake's reflection was in the mirror over Stefan's suit is way cool.

Elani has the same calendar thing on their door as Claire/Tripp/Ciara did on theirs.

The bar in the DiMera living room switches from desk to desk.

"I could sleep for a week," is absolutely something a father of a toddler would say. That was the first time I've related to Brady in years.

The swelling on his brain hasn't gone down, so they couldn't wake him up last week. Insert joke about John having a big head here.

Rather than running for help after Vincent drugged Ben, Ciara mouthed off to Vincent -- a move so silly, I almost have to love it. I think she actually called him "dude" at one point.

Sarah is one of the few women to get Victor's approval!

I wanted to hear the conversation between Sami and Victor to get him to testify. Of course, he's always up to ruin Nicole's day. But considering he's still trying to get in Brady's good graces, something else would have to sweeten the deal to get him to betray Brady's bestie.

Stephanie has a new boyfriend in Hawaii! I sincerely hope he doesn't own an airline...or a car with a sunroof.

That's all for this week! Tony will be back next week to hear the judge's ruling. For real. It's really going to happen this time. I don't think Sami managed to find Colin Murphy, so we should be good.
Laurisa

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

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