Games of clones
For the Week of July 31, 2017
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Dario is making trouble for both Chad and Abigail, but could another Salemite suffer most at his hand? Is Angelica's evil twin plot "two" much? And is the battle between Eric and Nicole finally over? Let's sort it all out in this edition of Two Scoops.

Lots of movement in one week! I sincerely hope this faster-paced DAYS continues. We got a fantastic Friday cliffhanger, some much-needed forgiveness, and a pair of doubles!

Let's talk doubles first. There are two topics to address with the Angelica/Bonnie/Hattie stuff -- the actual plot and the doppelgängers.

I'm cautiously optimistic about the plot. I did like the Orpheus, Xander, Clyde trio from last year. I don't mind Hattie, Angelica, and Bonnie getting a chance to take a female turn on things. Plus, this change had single-handedly saved Morgan Fairchild's purpose as Anjelica Deveraux. As comedic relief in a C storyline, I'm perfectly fine with it. If it starts taking over other storylines, we're going to have a problem.

As a fan of campy soap fun, I kind of love these doubles. If written well, it's a hoot. DAYS is one of the few soaps that can really pull it off, since it has a big footprint of lookalikes and multiple personalities, thanks to storylines from Jessica Blake and Tony/Andre.

Better yet, this current storyline gives vets Deidre Hall and Judi Evans good screen time. I'm rarely against that. Best of all, these doubles come from actual show history. Bonnie's recap of her feud with Maggie was pretty accurate. (Though Bonnie was a wee bit more interested in Mickey's money than in love.) Still, as soon as I heard Bonnie mention Maggie, I got excited! Maggie needs something more to do than be the doting wife and token grandma. Again, as long as this is all contained to a minor storyline, I'm more than happy to grab my popcorn and watch.

In fact, the biggest problem with bringing back Hattie and Bonnie now is that their scenes, where they remembered their history fairly well, makes other places where history is clearly forgotten terribly infuriating to watch.

Exhibit A: Every time Nicole breaks into tears over the injustice of not being around her child, I feel very conflicted. She kept Sami from Sydney, Chad from Grace, and Daniel Rafael (boo on me for remember that kid's name) from E.J. -- just to start the list. Every word out of her mouth is both completely true…yet…completely hypocritical. I wish DAYS wouldn't give me such an obvious reason to be annoyed with one of my favorite characters.

Exhibit B: Rafe and Hope judging Dario for counterfeiting money. Um, you two completely skated on hiding and destroying a corpse. "Killing" Stefano was one thing. Covering up the crime was another. Rafe's forged legal documents himself (hello, Grace's birth certificate), too. I have no problem with Dario being in handcuffs. But it's hard to stomach Hope and Rafe looking down their noses at him. Why Lani and Eli weren't the ones making this arrest is beyond me.

Luckily, Eli stepped in and took over the case. Dario quickly bargained his freedom in exchange for some big news. Interestingly, it wasn't related to Deimos' murder. I wonder if Dario's boss is Victor. Remember that whole scene where Victor told Sonny he wasn't mean enough to be CEO? Victor has to know Sonny would never do anything to hurt Chad. I can see Victor hiring Dario to take down DiMera Enterprises and then turning on Dario after he does the dirty work.

Speaking of Dario, I don't want this to sound like he's good for Abigail. But I find Dario and Abigail scenes entirely entertaining. I liked Abigail going toe-to-toe with Dario. Jordi Vilasuso is delicious as a sinister villain. And while I know DAYS is bound and determined to make Abigail into Salem's noble heroine, I like her so much better when she gets a little dirty and doesn't need someone to save her.

She really does believe Chad will go to prison. Sure, it's a completely stupid conclusion on her part, but she's committed to it nonetheless. She also assumes she'll figure out, or more specifically, Andre will figure out, a way to get her out of Witness Protection. So in that moment, I get why she agreed to go with Dario.

I also get why Chad was furious with her, though his argument is a little off. Abigail's not running away because she thinks life will be easier. She's running away because she's not that smart. It's not as vindictive as Chad made it out to be. But it's hardly as noble as Abigail would like to think it is, either. Abigail's "conflict" does nothing to endear her to fans who've always complained she's a little responsibility-deficient.

What does draw me to this storyline? The performances are fire! Billy Flynn is never better than when Chad is at his breaking point. That this-shouldn't-work blend of anger and desperation makes me simultaneously want to hug him yet fear he might punch me in the face. Jordi Vilasuso's Dario is finally the proper adversary for Billy's Chad. It's a damn shame the show is getting rid of him. Chad might have the advantage genetically, but Dario's willing to play smarter and dirtier. I could watch these two for years. Finally, Marci Miller's portrayal of Abigail with a stealthy furiosity has been spot on. She's the perfect complement to the two hotheads around her.

And what a cliffhanger! Things were finally looking up for Abigail! The last dude she picked over Chad kidnapped her and set her on fire. This one at least blackmailed and asked nicely for her to come with him. Better yet, she found out she didn't have to go! Just as she was going to get her bag, someone certainly looking to off Dario caught Chabby in the middle. The lesson we should all take away from this is to never, ever stand next to a Hernandez kid in the street. #RIPArianna

Speaking of characters who shouldn't be dead, Tripp was still lamenting over his missing mama. Joey is a bit of a loveable doofus, but darn it if he doesn't speak the truth. I may have cheered when he defended Kayla to Tripp, saying, "Look man, you can't buy into everything Jade tells you about her." Word, Cosmo Joe. Word.

This started out as a Steve storyline, and the removal of Jade refocuses it back to the Patchman. I don't like what Tripp is doing to Kayla. That little twit could have really hurt Hope! But -- and I say this with love -- Steve did set this all in motion. He covered up a crime and has been lying to his son from the second they met. That chicken has to come home to roost.

I can think of no one better than the fabulous Stephen Nichols to play this out. It's such a nuanced and complicated situation. In order for Steve to "save" Kayla, he's going to have to give up one son or crucify his relationship with the other. I genuinely like all four characters (five if you count Ava!) in this conflict. Writing Tripp off as a bad seed would be the easy way out. But that would not have been accurate. I'm optimistic that Ron will do better!

LOOSE ENDS:
Hey Brady and Gabi, if your gut is telling you that you're the third wheel, you're probably right. Or in this case, you're exactly right. For his part, Brady can be both jealous of Ericole and a good friend to Jennifer. Those things aren't mutually exclusive.

I find it hard to believe that former Police Commissioner Roman Brady isn't attentive to paperwork and detail. But it was an excuse to get a happy Stayla scene. I'm okay with that.

Another week, and still no sign from Abigail that she gives two flips about what happens to Sonny. My jaw hit the floor when she said she couldn't tell Chad the truth because then he'd try to save Sonny. Honestly, I don't know why she doesn't go to the police and confess herself. That would save them both and pretty much halt the investigation, since the defense for this case is pretty easy -- Deimos drugged everyone, multiple people confessed, and the same amount of circumstantial proof is applicable to everyone.

A lot of people have legitimate objections to the DiMeras. But Abe's fit about Theo working for Andre was a smart touch. Outside of Sonja Hawk, Abe probably has the most reason to fear Andre, as Andre was largely responsible for Lexie's death. Abe is scared beyond belief of Andre getting his talons around another Carver. That checks out. Though he's on questionable legal grounds, taking Theo's laptop.

Really? They didn't restrict Kayla's access to the hospital's computer system while she's on suspension? Huh. I could have sworn electronic medical records were at the center of her investigation. The Salem P.D. must be handling this thing.

Easy there, Jenny! Isn't "a drugged-out moment with Eric" pretty much what your whole mini-relationship is based on?

HOT:
I exhaled and maybe jumped for joy when Nicole finally said to Eric, "I forgive you." Please, please, please let Nicole's anger be over. It wasn't good for her. It wasn't good for Eric. And, most importantly, Arianne Zucker is too good an actress to be put on auto-repeat for months, which is exactly where she was. Now, let's get some forward momentum to send this lady out in style!

HOT (1A):
Greg Vaughan was spectacular in those scenes. Eric shows more remorse for an accident than people who killed with intention. Every small move of his face conveys that blend of grief and self-loathing. I just want to give Eric a hug and tell him it's going to be okay.

NOT:
Oooouuuuch! Gabi went from thinking Chad was going to propose to learning he'd been carrying around Abigail's ring. Talk about a pendulum swing! Ooof. This whole storyline makes Chad look like a pretty big jerk. He's lying to Gabi when she asks him direct questions. That's not cool. Gabi's the closest one to innocent in this whole trio. Abigail thinks so much of her, she even asked her to raise Thomas! Gabi does not deserve this. Man up, Chadsworth. Cut it out with the sister wives.

LINE OF THE WEEK:
Andre (to Abigail): "I didn't raise you from the dead so you can go out to the middle of nowhere with that little rat."
I am so here for the DiMera family rallying around each other. I love Kate, Andre, Theo, and Abigail working together. Ron brilliantly found a way for the DiMera family to be cohesive without Stefano around to anchor them.

RANDOM THOUGHTS
Dear my local NBC affiliate,
Anytime something preempts DAYS, you should automatically replay the episode overnight and tell my DVR to record it.
Thanks,
Laurisa

I forgot how much I want one of those chambray shirts they call "prison uniforms" in Salem.

Come on, Vic, soap characters don't break figurines when they're mad. They throw glasses!

A few weeks ago, Tony told me he thought Nicole would leave because she realizes both Eric and Brady are in love with her, and she doesn't want to make them fight. I can totally see this happening.

Does Abigail not watch the show? Even guilty DiMeras don't go to jail.

Restaurant patrons totally get hosed in Salem. Club TBD and Brady's Pub close early an awful lot.

I'm living for Bonnie's first run-in with Julie.

I adored Kate's lace blouse.

Much like the blue community office, I think all the cops have to share that one desk at the Salem P.D.

I really want to know what that calendar thing is on the kids' fridge.

Eli's on his way to being the richest person in town. He's collecting rent money from half of Salem!

Roman's comment about Johnny and Allie being "all grown up" in that photo makes me wonder if they'll return to Salem to take the place of Ciara and allegedly) Joey in the teen scene when Sami comes back later this year.

Marlena (to Roman): "I get lonely sometimes, you know?" Cold, Mar. Super cold.

Claire and Tripp shared a scene. Yes! I #ship #Clipp!

You guys, you guys! Shelle is coming back!

That's it for this week! Tony's on a mission to find Theo to help him with a tech issue, so I'll be back next week to deal with the fallout of the car accident. Something tells me we'll need tissues and snacks. Good stuff!

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.

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

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