Goodbye my friends?
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We said ''Goodbye, Sami Gene,'' and Eric's left the scene, too, but have we seen the last of them forever!? Plus, the arrival of autumn is ripe with potentially powerful storylines! Let's sip some cider as we tackle change in this week's Pumpkin Spice Flavored DAYS Two Scoops!

I have a confession to make. Well. There's two, actually. One, I bought my first pumpkin flavored something a few weeks ago. By "a few weeks ago," I mean early August. I really can't say no to this one local bakery's pumpkin cookies. They're delish. But now I don't have to hide my fall-flavored shame, as it's officially autumn! I love this time of year. Pumpkin spiced everything, comfy cardigans, apples and squashes, ciders, chilly mornings, crunchy leaves, and fall television premieres. And even in Salem, a new season is dawning as several more storylines wrapped up last week and several more picked up some major steam.

Before I go on, though, I should get confession number two out of the way. This one places me firmly on the party bus to hell, but I am loving the new John Black. As Laurisa pointed out in last week's Two Scoops, John's "Rant-itis" is amazing. It's very shades of RoboJohn. I want it. But since it's a one in a bazillion malady, I'll just have to do the next best thing. You know, sneak Agent Black out of the hospital and wheel him around Salem while triggering him into going off on residents that need a stern -- yet forgivable -- scolding.

Alas, Mar Mar was watching him like a hawk all day and I couldn't wheel him away. I even tried to lure her from his room with some gloves and macaroons, but she wouldn't budge. So, I'll have to tell anyone I want John to go off on that he specifically wants to see them, and, really, how can they refuse a man who's been through so much? That's right. They can't. Okay. I'll be right back. I have to see Brady, Kristen, Lani, and Bonnie about something, uh, totally unrelated. Just imagine Grover's "near and far" footstep sounds for a second.

Okay. On the topic of "near and far," Eric's gone far, far away. Sami has, too. The Brady-Black family was devastated about one of these departures. Anyone want to guess which one? Let's just say, had one of the twinsies told their family they were leaving sooner, I'm guessing Mar and Ro would have asked Elton John to re-re-record "Candle in the Wind 2021: Goodbye Salem's Rose" for one of them. Hint! It's Eric. They are not so subtle at hiding their favoritism. I mean. I can't blame them. Sans some suspect behavior sometimes, Eric's fundamentally a solid, saintly dude. He even looks like Greg Vaughan, and I'm sure he always smells like friendly smiles. Yep. He just wins it all.

Sadly, Eric's decision to do all these stupid nice things for humanity means that we lose him for a while. He promised to be back. I believe him. He's Eric, after all. He must keep his promise, right? Plus, he has Nicole to come home to. And let's talk about Mrs. Walker-Brady for a second...

Nicole has handled Eric's departure exceedingly well. Sure, she's sad like the rest of us, but she was encouraging and, more so, believes their love is strong enough to survive time and distance. Let that one sink in. Nicole truly believes in their love. Finally! Cue fireworks and pop some Champagne.

Really, that's majorly major for Nicole, whose storylines have largely revolved around her doing something shady due to relationship insecurities. Heck. Eric and Nicole's last breakup was because she doubted their love. So, for her to grow into a person willing to share Eric with the world (and a beautiful Congolese woman named Angie) with little hesitation, that's big growth, Nicole. Give me a socially distant high five! I'm proud of you.

In addition to some great goodbye-ing with Nicole, Eric shared many bittersweet tears and a lot of hugging with the family. I misted up and wanted in on it all, especially the Eric, Belle, and Brady lovefest. It's so rare to see them all together. Of course, Eric and Sami playing nice again was swell, too. I'm glad that happened on several levels. Yep. There was good stuff there all around.

Well, almost all around. I do have one big grumble about said goodbyes, well, lack thereof, and that's Holly. Umm. I'm not an expert with the tiny set, but even as a non-parent I'm pretty sure Eric not flashing a peace sign and saying "Smell ya later" to the child he thinks of as a daughter and who calls him "daddy," is kind of bad. Like, microwaving metal bad. Kaboom and all.

Again, not a kid expert here, but one would just think it would completely disturb a child to be told their father left on a prolonged trip without saying goodbye, especially a child that, say, lost a father already. I'd think -- think -- having a farewell to remember would be something for a child to hold onto when they missed their parent. But, what do I know?

Hold up. I do know one thing. If Eric accidentally killing Dr. Dude isn't someday going to be fodder enough for Holly to rain teenage angst down upon the House of Walker-Brady, this will be another accelerant. Oh, it's basically written in the stars that Holly will make Sami look subdued when this all comes out in time. Enjoy the sweet child while you can, Nicole.

Okay, I joked that the Brady family was more torn up over Eric's departure, but to be fair, Sami didn't tell most of her family she was leaving. As she put it, she managed to piss off most of them, so they'd likely be glad to see her go. I mean, she's probably not wrong-wrong, but, like Lucas, I'll miss her. There's that.

What I won't miss is all the Baby Boy George Horton custody drama. Damn it. I mean *drumroll* Henry Lucas Horton drama. That's a cute name, but cuter still was Lucas' reaction. He's so darn proud and cute. And he's a One Direction fan. Ha! We just always, always need more Lucas. Always. But I digress...

Don't get me wrong. The court scenes were fun. I adore all of the actors and characters involved in this storyline. It brought Sweeney home! Amazing performances have prevailed and, hello! Rock star Lindsay Arnold is an astronomical addition to the cast. Yes. Sincere cheers and applause to all of that, but I'm not even a bit sorry this part of the storyline is wrapping up.

For one, it was exhausting. Like a newborn crying all night exhausting. Only the babies making all the fuss should have known better because they're adults, and that includes Allie, who is a young adult but an adult, nonetheless. Sure, I think it's wise that someone is keeping an eye on her and the baby she might consider selling for some magical beans based on some of her actions, but Allie's wishes should have always been more respected by all parties involved. That was not only exhausting, but infuriating.

Though, side rant, Allie really needs to drop the teen angst thingy, as it's not cute when one's in their twenties. Maybe next time Sami comes to town, we'll get more insight to their relationship, as there must be some big "spotting mom on the Titan conference room table with someone other than dad" scenario that's keeping Allie so rageful. Right? Otherwise...

Taking SORAS-ing into consideration, has any one of Sami's family considered that, yes, *insert Sami's done bad things disclaimer here,* but she's also basically raised three children while mourning the death of her husband and eldest son, only to find them both alive with long-term medical needs, and she eventually spent -- actually, is actively spending -- years nursing a comatose marshmallow head back to health while dealing with said rapidly aging children? I'm hedging on "No. No, they haven't."

Also, Allie seemingly loved that comatose marshmallow head stepfather, based on the times we'd occasionally see them together when she was a child. So, considering all of that, I get she was dealt a rough hand, and I sympathize that her upbringing was unorthodox, but I need to know what that "Titan conference table" moment was to explain her level of resentment. There must be something more. We'll see, but if I were Sami, I'd probably always be extraordinarily exhausted and a lot "extra," too, most of the time. I've witnessed that while caring for a loved one with long-term medical issues, it's often easy for a person to attempt to control what little they still feel they can, as frail health is frustratingly out of anyone's power. You know, hold onto what's left and all. Again, what do I know? And again, I digress.

In the end, it's sort of ironic that Allie basically got manipulated by one of the twins, but not the one she calls "Mom." Eric's brokered keep-the-peace arrangement wins for Sami and Nicole, who, for the most part, got what they wanted -- Allie with her baby and Nicole with the baby, respectively. Allie kind of gets the baby raised by Nicole part, sort of, but she's still being kind of forced to raise-ish a child she's been trying to pass off to anyone other than Sami since her second trimester. Huh. It's almost as if this young adult, but an adult, nonetheless, kind of knew what she wanted all along. Oh, who are we kidding? It's all a glorious mess.

Though, back to some more praise, there was a lot to love during the scenes between Sami and Allie last week. The amazing acting moved me. Sami's stance on, "You need me to be the bad guy in your story, well, it's okay. I can take it," was on the nose as was Sami's conclusion that they're "right even when we're wrong." That entire "strong and stubborn" "love deep" speech was great. And the hug. Yeah!

Of course, we all know the lovefest will surely shatter upon Sami's next visit. That's a given. I'm guessing it will end somewhere around Sami saying, "Hello, Allie" and her response of, "Hi, Shut Your Stupid Face I Hate You, Life Ruin-er, I hate you." You know, mother/daughter stuff like that. But that hug was a nice end to this chapter, and they were left in a far better-ish place than we found them. There's that, too.

LOOSE ENDS:
As autumn is falling into place, I couldn't help but to reflect on the summer's quartet of couples that tied, or nearly tied, the knot. Oh, how far away July seems now. Justin and Kayla are a dismal distant memory. One way or a-fiery-nother, Ciara seems gone, and CIN is toast. Eric is dodging disease and earthquakes in the Congo, which, let's be real, is probably safer than being in the splash zone of the Sami vs. Nicole show. And Eli and Lani have hit a rocky patch, which is a shame after Kristen worked so hard to get them together. Ouch. Ouch! I hurt my eyes rolling them from that last line. Oh, Kristen, my friend, John and I will be by to talk to you later. Anyway...

"Elani" really is our only summer-lovin' couple left. And they did hit a rocky patch. I suspect they'll keep hitting this same one, too, as long as Li'l Cupid Kristen is around. It can't be said that Lani isn't loyal to her friends, err, friend, that's for sure. So, you know. Sure. As for Eli... oh, buddy, good luck. You'll need it.

Wait! Ben didn't know that Hope thought Ciara was alive until Claire told him!? Whoops. I guess he was in the hospital, recovering, up until that point, and, like C-Bear mentioned, nobody wanted to get his hopes up and all, but, wow. At least he knows now, and he can join Fancy Face, which I'm kind of excited for. I just hope they bring Shawn-Douglas, too!

Speaking of, I'm loving all this Shawn and Belle screen time! They're even in several storylines. Yes, please. More, please.

Philip said he can skirt the rules if Shawn and Belle need help keeping Jan away from Claire. The cop and the lawyer looked as if they didn't know what to say, so I'll take one for the team. I'll partner with Philip and his dreamy dimples, and "Shelle" can keep the legal campfires burning while we take on Jan and Xan. I know. It's a sacrifice, but someone had to volunteer. I guess, somehow, I'll manage.

Also, I enjoyed the subtle nod to Claire's confusing childhood years when Belle said "our" daughter. Sure, she was referring to her and Shawn, but Claire was kind of all of theirs for a while. I'm not sure it was meant to play like that, but I took that nugget and ran with it.

I agree with all. Claire should steer clear of Jan. Sure. Still, this is a pretty juicy storyline, so I'm kind of hoping she won't.

Okay, Sarah, you're hilarious, but I kind of revel in the idea of Xander and Jan teaming up. Xan and Jan. It just sounds right in all the wrong ways, of course. They're both baddies usually used to doing others' bidding, so it'll be interesting to see them work together. And, hey! They both love cages, so they already have another thing in common.

Tripp asking Kayla for her blessing was nice and all, but there's more to it, right? Their hatchet was buried long ago. So, I'm guessing that was to remind viewers that while he looks like a choir boy, he has some seedy skeletons in his closet. That must be it. Right?

Also, Tripp and Allie seem to know each other. What, what!? Sure, it might be too soon to collect a prize if you selected "Tripp" on your "Baby Daddy Bingo" card, but I certainly spot drama a-comin' between these two, and Nicole has once again wondered who Henry's papa is, especially after Allie called him a bastard. Oh. Oh! I'll help you connect these dots now that Eric is out of town, Nicole. We can make it an old-fashioned night. We'll drink martinis and think. Done.

So, Gwen knows Doctor Rolf. Hmm!? This is a mystery wrapped in an enigma dipped in secrecy and drizzled with a crazy ganache just to finish it off. I'm intrigued. At first, Gwen's goal was simply to mind melt Abigail. Now, after a little pep talk from Big Willie Helm, she's set her sights on taking over Abigail's life. Sure. Why not? We've all been there, Gwen, but none have succeeded so far, Crazy Train, so good luck with that. After all, you have a "very good reason to hate Abigail." Yep. I wanna know.

Also, are we sure Gwen's not sampling the product herself? Sure, she doesn't seem to be hallucinating, but it's not all pretty-pretty upstairs. Methinks that stint in Bayview might have been preceded by others before it. Is that how she met Abigail? Was she one of Grandma Laura's patients whose therapy was placed on hold while Abs got her two-week-or-so treatment? A friend from Europe she doesn't remember...? Again, "Hmm!?"

I'm still placing money on her having a DiMera connection other than Dr. Rolf. An Andre DiMera connection, that is. I don't know why I suspect that, but, after taking a few swigs of the pumpkin spice latte that Gwen gave me, I do. I just imagined Andre having a child and my family photo with someone else's face on my body and visions of myself riding a disco ball-plated pony like in Goldfrapp's "Ooh La La" video. Wait a second! Oh, you, Gwen. Such a prankster. I'll have to walk this off.

Extra Scoops

HOT
I'm going to accept Eric's promise to Nicole. That is his voyage to the Congo is "not forever," and there'll be "no goodbyes," just "see you laters." But, still! I will miss Greg Vaughan gracing our screens. He's simply one of the best out there. And whereas Ms. Sweeney has left the building, as well, we've learned we'll be seeing her again soon, thankfully, but Greg, well, that remains to be seen. We can, however, raise our cyber glasses of cider to Greg to wish him all the best and a speedy return to Salem someday. Cheers, good sir!

NOT
Unless Bonnie is somehow really Adrienne with amnesia or a microchip, can we bid Felicia adieu? I'll even spring for the FedEx to ship the cowboy hat she gave to Justin. Throw her a goodbye party? Sure. If it gets her out of Salem -- sure.

LINE(S) OF THE WEEK
Abigail: "Okay. Technically, Sami is going to let her grandson be raised in Nicole's home. Did hell freeze over while I was away?"

Marlena (to Sarah on Sami): "It's not like I don't know my daughter. She's a world-class provocateur."

Lucas (responding to a Sami outburst a moment after he praised her for her maturity): "So much for the high road."

EXCHANGE(S) OF THE WEEK
Sami: "I still hate you. You are still the worst person on earth. You are just...a necessary evil right now."
Nicole: "Oh. That's the nicest thing you ever said to me."

Philip: "Look, I don't want to butt in --"
Shawn: "Then don't."

RANDOM THOUGHTS
All things Sami and Kate, as well as any and all Sami and Lucas scenes last week, were pretty "HOT" worthy, too. You know it's been a great week of DAYS when you have too many options to rave about.

Yet another contender for "HOT" was Ali and Ari chemistry! They make the Sami vs. Nicole maniacal magic seem so seamless. I love these two, especially when a scene basically begins with Sami saying, "A word of warning, baby snatcher." They fire back and forth like no others.

Well, played, DAYS. I loved the soapiness of the Kate Mansi as Abigail picture used as Marci's Abby hallucinated. Ha! Just, "Ha!"

I'm just throwing this out there, but a dream sequence of both Abigails singing "The Boy Is Mine" over Chad would be kind of fantastic.

I love that Emily O'Brien got to ask, "What's up, Doc?"

There needs to be a place we can read Jack's articles like we used to read Will's.

Is Dr. Rolf also Dr. Morris? I was confused if he was in disguise using an alias or if they're two different people. It might have been said spiked latte Gwen gave me.

If Tripp is that worried about finishing his degree in Salem, he can always go to Brookville. I hear they're not that particular there. And that's a Brookville slam. They know what they did.

That Jan Spears smirk when Claire exclaimed "Wait!" was everything.

I wouldn't have pictured Dr. Rolf as a cheeseburger guy, but, then again, an outside of the proverbial box thinker's got to eat something. Just remember, don't call him "evil!"

I'll take some poolside yoga, please. And the "yoga" part. That's code for snacks and a Scotch on the rocks by the pool, yes? Okay. Just checking.

Sarah's crack about the radio needing a soak was hilarious, as was, "Hi, Jan. Long time, no see. Try to blow anyone up yet?"

Belle cracking up over the cactus was great!

Wilson update! They're settling into life out west, and the ground's been broken on the center. No word on Ari Grace's puppy yet. Again, stay tuned.

Eric update! He made it to the village. And it seemingly has good cell reception.

I enjoy that Abigail calls him "Uncle Lucas."

I'm going to channel Shawn's slickness next time I want to get rid of someone overstaying their welcome. That was amazing.

Kayla making an apple pie gave me an idea. Sure, the DAYS App already has a great culinary segment with "MB's Kitchen," but they should do an in-character series like The Great Salem Bake-Off. Kayla's pies versus Maggie's lemon bars. Statesville cheeseburgers against Hattie's cheesy hash brown bacon more cheese casserole thingy. Jordan's cupcakes versus Kate's brownies. Brady Pub chowder and fries against CIN's favorite Chinese takeout. Victor and Hope could host. I mean, he's made for snap judgments, and she loves to snack, just not cook. Perfecto.

Speaking of sustenance, for Rory's next birthday I'm going to get Gwen to provide the drinks *wink* and J.J. to provide the brownies. If that menu doesn't scream "Rory!" I'm not sure what does. I miss that dude.

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for September 28! As I need to go pick up some martini supplies for my think tank drink night with Nicole, Laurisa will be back with an all-new Two Scoops next week. As always, thank you for reading, and "That's a fact."

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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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