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For the Week of January 11, 2021
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From the paranoid to the poisoned to a postpartum nightmare, life in Salem, USA, is problematic! In fact, it's downright disastrous, but at least we have each other, right? So, let's burn some sage, seek Abigail on Gwen, steer clear of Charlie, and attempt to solve a kidnapping squared in this week's DAYS Two Scoops!

...and to think! Last week was just the first full one of our little hellscape known as 2021. What a world it is out there, I tell you. I mean, happy New Year, friends and fellow DAYS fans. While there's a sense of hope on the horizon in the real world, I think I'll stay in Salem for as long as I can with all of you. I can't say it's less dangerous, but at least we're in good company, sans Bonnie, of course. There's that. So, grab something to sip on, and let's see what these sneaky Salemites are up to...

Oh. Right. It's not such a great start to the year for our fair Salemites, either. For viewers, though? It's amazing! Like, really, DAYS is on fire right now. In the good sense. Not the literal sense. These days, you have to be clear. Simply put -- the show is amazing to watch, but not so amazing for those in town. The dramas run high in Salem. Take Chad, for example. No. Take Chad. He needs to be taken out back to the guesthouse and deprogramed or something. The man hasn't been the same since he was hypnotized.

I mean, really, Chad. Stop. Stop, bud. I know. I know. "Gwen said...Gwen said...Gwen said..." The dude was one more repeat away from committing Gwensaidicide.

Then again, he's going to wish he died when Abby finds out about his affair. Seriously. I'm already anxious. Between Billy Flynn crushing the role with such conviction and Marci Miller being utterly incredible, too, I'm bracing myself now for this eventual reveal, as it is sure to be a perfectly acted agonizing punch to the heart. It's going to break any "Chabby" fan, even the casual ones. I suggest stocking up on tissues and Scotch sooner rather than later. Like, go now and come back to finish Two Scoops later.

Okay. So, what did we learn last week? One: Don't. Funk. With. Abby. Seriously, I want Marci Miller as my life bouncer. If someone shades me, I'll just turn my head and nod. She'll know what that means. Smash! It was amazing. I love when Abigail is fired up. Something tells me she'll be that way for a while.

Another thing we learned is that Gwen might be getting away with things now, but Jack and Jen are on the case together. When in investigation mode, they're unstoppable. Sucks to suck, Gwen. On my off time, I'll be helping, too. By that, I mean I'm going to drink Champagne with Tony and Anna and come up with more Gwen theories so we can shut this storyline down. It's time. Oh, and remember, Abigail is angry, and Gwen, girl, you're not gonna like her when she's angry. Again, Abby, smash!

On the topic of "smashing," Tamara Braun, am I right? Wow. She's amazing. Add in the brilliance of Mary Beth Evans, and I could watch the two all day long.

Ava, coincidentally, needs observation, as she's all shades of messed up right now. And she kind of messed Kayla up, too, by revealing she has another son. Well. We know Kayla can make apple pie -- just, you know, don't offer any to John -- but will she be able to make a humble one? Tripp is due an apology -- or two. Or, like, lots and lots more than that. He deserves all the apologies. And Brady Pub fries from Roman. They should come with every "I'm sorry," but I digress...

John and Steve finally kicked the rust off the old Black Patch mobile and went to Philly. There, they managed to crack the case. Imagine that, boys! Working together worked. Pin a rose on their noses. They sent the word back to Salem. Poor Claire was not amused to be intruded upon as she and Charlie were about to get all, um, soul-matey. I think it was too soon for both the soul mate conversation and the brown-chicken-brown-cow of it all. Good job on interrupting them, Mr. Weston. Actually, Ben was both intimidating and hilarious, aren't I right, Chuck?

I totally feel like Marlena Old Yeller-ed Claire when she said, "I don't think you should be around Charlie anymore." The fact that Claire recognized that neither Mar nor John would lie to her made it sadder. It'll be interesting to see how Claire Bear's recently mended psyche handles this one.

Looping back to Philly, if Grandpappy Vitali had thirteen children, well, something tells me that down the road, history can be rewritten or that we haven't really gotten the truth yet as viewers. It also tells me that every other person in Salem could be part Vitali. He's like Genghis Khan of the DAYSverse. Then again, Stefano was once lauded as the seventh son of the seventh son, so there are a lot of DiMeras, too. It now seems odd we don't have a Vitali-DiMera hybrid. Or do we and we just don't know about them?

Speaking of unknown relatives, Charlie's dad? I originally thought Jake, then switched it to Stefan. Maybe Peter Blake? Who's to say he didn't spend time in Philly. But I'm still not ruling out that he's part Vitali and part Stefaclone. Dr. Rolf had access to Ava and was all about that essence and resurrecting the Phoenix. Of course, there's Quinn Hudson, too. He was in love with a gal who looked an awful lot like Ava at one time. *wink*

Still, and I shared this before, RoboJohn did date Ava for a while, and that was after Steve. Charlie and Claire's connection would be rendered icky -- um, ickier -- but it would be kind of ironic as John had been mad at Steve this entire time when it could turn out his son was the rapist. It's all very soapy. And icky. So, let's move on to more devastation and sorrow in Salem.

Finally, we've reached the big cliffhanger -- Eli and Lani's newborns have been kidnapped! Taken by Dr. Amanda Raynor, of 2021's Mother's Day Baby Swap infamy. Snap! And, hello again. What a surprise reappearance. Did you bring us banana bread this time, or were you too busy stealing babies? I'm guessing she didn't bring us treats, as you always lead with baked goods. So, thanks for nothing, Mandy.

Though something tells me that Raynor isn't the ringleader. She's too "deer caught in the headlights" to stay calm enough to be in control. Heck, the dinging of an elevator would probably cause her to freak out, run into a wall, and accidentally knock herself out. Nope. She's not in charge. So. Who is? Here are my initial suspects!

Kristen: She's not too happy with Eli and, if we go back a few years, Kristen wouldn't be too happy with Lani, either. She'd irrationally blame her for ruining her life. Could payback be a bitch? Based on Kristen's mood with Brady and her more cunning side peeking out when she spoke with Ava, I'm guessing Old Kristen isn't entirely gone.

Brady: Eli isn't on his Amazon "Wishlist," either. Brady still believes Eli is the reason his family is not together because of the crimes Kristen committed...yeah. It doesn't get less stupid the more you hear it. Brady is an idiot and has a baseless chip on his shoulder when it comes to Eli. Brady can also be a brat and has proven vengeful before. And Dr. Raynor was once on the Kiriakis payroll. Maybe she renegotiated with Brady this time, or he pulled out the big "You Owe Me One!" Card. And she kind of does. For real. Anyway, he has motive, money, means, and meanness. So, maybe?

Vivian: I mean. It's Auntie Viv. She's the queen of conspiring. Snatching a few newborns would be a breeze for her. And she hates Lani very much. Very. Very. Much. I get it. Up until the holidays, I wasn't thrilled with her either, Viv. Add in that nobody in Salem knows she's still alive, and this could be a hard case for the police to crack -- otherwise known as "any case" for the Salem Popo.

Gabi: Speaking of "hate" and "not being thrilled with Lani," Mrs. DiMera doesn't exactly shy away from grandiose schemes. Still, I think Gabi is now (mercifully) removed from the "Elani" orbit, sans the occasional snipes they'll exchange when their paths cross, I'm sure. So, would Yo Gabba Gabi get her hands dirty now? I'm going with unlikely. As a mother and as a woman who wants to get Jake back, she has better things to do with her time.

FBI Billy: Was he super upset about the breakup and decided to take it out on Eli, Val's son, and his former FBI mentee? I'm sure he'd have the connections and such to pull it off. The desire? Probably not. He seemed on the up and up. Or did he? Hmm...

Sheila: She did have a thing for Eli once, and, when backed into a corner, she can be a fighter. Still, she left town on good terms with her once bestie. I don't think she's the culprit, but being connected in some way is something I'm not ruling out just yet.

Mrs. Watkins: Didn't Sheila have a brother who died? And wasn't said dead brother besties with Eli, too? I seem to remember a story about the three of them being incredibly close growing up in Baltimore. Does Mrs. Watkins blame Eli for her son's death? Revenge is a solid motive and doesn't have an expiration date. In fact, stewing in hatred can make one go big time mad. Again, "Hmm!"

Julie: She might be upset that Carver wasn't named Julian. One homage might not have been enough. I kid. I kid.

And those are my initial guesses. Now, can somebody please get me a spray bottle filled with cold water? No. No! Bad, Bonnie! You do not pick up a stranger's baby, especially without asking. That said, the Grant twins' fate may rest in Bonehead Bon Bon's hands, as she's currently the only eyewitness. Oh, boy. And baby girl. Soap Gods, help us all.

LOOSE ENDS:
Prison has really mellowed Kristen out. If she'd seen a photo of her man (or man she believed to be her man) before, she would have rained holy terror down upon the town, might have drugged and assaulted someone, and/or could have tossed said someone in a secret room. Is it wrong to miss Old-School Dame DiMera? This "Year in a Convent One" is certainly not Kristen from the block anymore.

Chloe outed Philip's troubles to Brady. Um. She's usually the smart one, so was this the best move? I guess, maybe. He could talk Kristen into talking to Ava. That. Maybe.

I know Nicole is saddened and frustrated by the entire "Eric in Africa" situation -- aren't we all? --- but she's a bit much toward Rafe. The guy comes bearing gifts, and she jumps down his throat for not doing enough to find a missing mobster. I loved that he got the call when he was visiting. In your face, Crabby Nicole. Have a martini and call me when you're back to normal, thankyouverymuch.

In a scene carried over from the week before, Jenny Bear and Kate finished their coffee talk. Okay. Sure. Lions and lambs and all. It was odd, but I didn't mind-mind it. It was interesting to see Kate's vulnerable side and Jennifer's growth (she actually "got over it!"). Mrs. Deveraux is also good at dishing out advice. So, why not? I'd rather see her hang around her husband's one-night stand than day drink with Bonnie. There's that. Sadly.

Conversely, 2022 (in Salem) needs to be the year we have a Bachelor like contest called The Bestie in order to snag Jenny Bear a new one, since Hope is still on her Ciara-tracking walkabout thingy. The nauseating nuisance that raped her brother and the lady that slept with her husband need not apply.

Damn, Abe is smooth! That "guy like me" comment was sly. I also loved that he complimented Valerie's personality, intellect, and overall being as opposed to simply stating how beautiful she is. Which she is, of course! But the ease with which he listed things others might not see at a glance was swoon worthy. He knows her. He gets her. It was sweet. Annoyingly, she's dating some dude back in DC (who will never be as great as Abe), but at least the mayor made the move. As they say, you miss all the shots you don't take, Abe! I'll matchmake for you, don't worry. My success rate is high.

But, really, Val. You think you can do better than my Abe? Long-distance, schmistance. Come over. Bring wine. We'll put out a spread and talk about it.

Extra Scoops

HOT
If the first full week of 2021 is any indicator of what Ron Carlivati and Team DAYS has in store for us this year, I'm all in! Well. I'd be all in regardless, but I'm, uh, aller in right now! The all inniest? Anyway. From the writing to the acting and everything in between, it was a nearly flawless week in Salem. Congrats, Team DAYS, and more, please!

NOT
Um. Yeah. While it's cute to watch Sarah pout as Xander tries to save his career, shouldn't she be more worried that Titan Industries Presents: Sarah and Philip's Holly Jolly Holiday Jamboree went the way of the dodo bird or Don Craig!? I want my money and my excitement back. Boo. Or should I say, "Bah humbug!"

LINE OF THE WEEK
Jen: "You're Kate Freakin' Roberts. Since when have you given a damn about what people think?"

EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK
Chad: "Do you have any idea how paranoid that sounds!?"
Abigail: "You don't really get to talk to me about being paranoid right now."

RANDOM THOUGHTS
Cady McClain is like the Cadillac of recasts! I'm loving her as Jennifer. We needed a hit in a pinch and she's a pinch hitter that's hitting out of the park. Again, more, please!

Ms. Lane said to Bonnie, "Move along. Go ruin someone else's day." And this is why I adore the Chlomeister. Two peas in a pod we are.

Sal Stower's performance was heartbreaking. I misted up while watching her. Stay strong, Lani!

Though, really, didn't John used to call his private plane the Black Bird, or did I make that up?!

No. I'm not guessing that Ben and Claire will become a thing, and it will become official just as Ciara reemerges; you are. I kid. I kid. I think we all are guessing that.

Fine. John can have a few points back for deducing that Ava's son Charlie is the same one dating Claire. A few! He's still a year-plus deep in debt due to the Princess Gina debacle.

Abe's "Do you and Billy cook much?" line was so smooth I might have to borrow it. What a great way to find out if someone is single. You know, aside from asking one's son-in-law.

Nicole needs to dial it down a notch. She's actually lucky. As of late, it seems that every time she hangs up with Eric, Rafe shows up with a gift! I'll take that consolation prize, especially if he brings more cookies.

Logic tells me Ben and Mar Mar's relationship shouldn't be a thing, but I love their dynamics, nonetheless. They should join Black Patch.

I enjoyed the Philly set! We need to spend more time there. Something tells me it would lead to more information about Jake, Gwen, and Charlie -- and maybe a cheesesteak sandwich or some cheesecake. But, you know, the important investigation stuff first, of course.

Allie was super when speaking to Claire about relationships. Don't play games. It's really a simple rule to follow.

Also, Allie and Nicole's New Year's Eve popcorn party while watching the ball drop makes mine look exciting.

Angelo said, "...not with a girl named Allie. Not with a girl at all." That can be interpreted many different ways. Interesting.

I don't know why, but when Chad screamed, "Get out of my house!" at Jake, I kind of cracked up.

Steve stating, "Here's the thing, Ange," also made me giggle.

And I totally lost it when Ben said things like, "We worked that out, Chuck," and, more so, "Actually, I'm going to be staying, and you're going to button that shirt."

Hey! Brady can work a printer. Maybe not all hope is lost on his intellect.

On my last day of work at a certain company, I had a cranky coworker use the "low blood sugar" excuse as she apologized to me for being repeatedly hostile toward me for years. Angelo used that line last week. I'm going to have to look into this. It seems a lot like John's Ran-itis, and a "Get Out of Bad Behavior Jail for Free" card.

I fully support the twins' names, but I also respect Valerie's disappointment. I kind of choked on "Julia" for a second, too, as, like Doc Grant pointed out, Julie hasn't always been a beacon of awesomeness. Though Eli and Lani made valid points, too. Respect. We'll talk about this later, too, Val. And don't forget the wine.

I would love to see Billy brought back to Salem just so he and Rafe can cross paths. I'm convinced that he's one of Rafe's "I Know Someone" contacts. I'll have to call Rafe to confirm. I know a guy who knows Rafe's number.

I had to watch DAYS online one day. You know, preemptions. As a result, I kept seeing "The More You Know" commercials. First, it's been 30 years of them! I feel old. Congrats, though. And second, I clapped when I saw Chandler Massey's PSA.

On a scale ranging from Sarah (mild) to Sami (well, Sami), how neglected do you think Tater Tot feels, and how big will his rage be if he ever returns to Salem?

I'm begging here -- Bonnie for Jan Spears? Please, Soap Gods, make this trade. Please.

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's it for January 11! I hope that everyone had a great and very, very safe holiday season and continues to stay healthy throughout the new year. As Laurisa and I have been given the Herculean task of going to Salem to organize The Trippapalooza Apology Tour, one of us will be back next week. The other will be marking off miles of six-foot spaces, as this is sure to be a very, very, very long line to say, "Sorry, Mr. Dalton." Who will be first? I'm guessing Kayla. And you!? 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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