Sweeps so far has left me feeling like I should put on a pageboy hat, stand on the street corner outside the Soap Central offices on a crate, and exclaim in an old-timey voice, "Ex-trah! Ex-trah! Read all about it. John Black kills his son and step-grandson!" "Gunnin' Gabi Hernandez 'prime suspect' in murder…again!" "Lani tells Eli: 'You ARE the father!'" Wowza.
But before we get too deep into Salem's shenanigans, here's some amazing real-life breaking news from my partner in
crime Two Scooping, Laurisa. She wanted to share:
"As you may have noticed, Tony is writing this column instead of me. Apparently, he, too, is a secret DiMera and can get anything he wants. (I knew it!) Actually, Tony is writing for a special reason. He and some special guests will be filling in for me over the next few months because I'll be busy with my new baby -- who -- for the record, is not a DiMera, no matter what Vivian claims! I'll still be checking in on Twitter, especially around 3:00 a.m. feeding hours. So, keep in touch that way! I'll be back in a few months (right in time for the Daytime Emmys)!"
For the record, the baby is the cutest ever! I've seen pictures. Trust me, I could gush all day! But I know I have a job to do, and I don't want to acquire the wrath of a new mother who's had little sleep and no wine and is entrusting me with this column, so I'll simply ask…
John. What's up with that? We know he's still working for the ISA. We know that his nameless-so-far contact wants Steve dead. We know John has reservations, but "has to" complete his mission, even if that means killing Will and Paul, too! Lemme just say if there's one thing I know for sure, Marlena will not forgive John for killing her "My dear boy!" Nope. Not at all. And that's a fact, John. Though…
I don't believe John killed Will. Or Paul. At all. Why beat around the bush, err, the mausoleum? I'll just say the reason -- it's DAYS. They have a worse track record of killing-but-not-killing characters than comic books. I don't believe for a second that either is dead, despite the gunshots echoing through the tomb. Sure, we saw Will's motionless body, but, one, he's beaten death before. And two, I think John's reservations and love for his family won out. I think he hastily coaxed Will and Paul to play dead until he can come up with a plan while keeping Agent Nameless-So-Far at bay.
However, we haven't learned why the ISA wants Steve dead in the first place! That's almost the bigger mystery here. Aside from someone brainwashing or reprogramming John's mind (you know, again), Agent Black would have to genuinely believe that the Patch Man holds a threat to his loved ones and/or the world at large for him to go through with the ISA's demands. Prior to this, though, Steve hasn't shown any sort of shady behavior. He pretty much goes to lunch with Kayla, smiles at Tripp, and day-drinks a lot. None of that is shady. Those are fun times, really. So, why, John? Why!? What are you up to. More so, what is Steve possibly up to!? Hmm!
Speaking of "Hmm," Gabi's gone and gotten arrested for murder. Again. That firmly makes me believe that she's completely innocent. As per tradition, the Salem PD has to arrest at least five to ten suspects before the culprit reveals themselves in a "Really, Donut Patrol!? It took you this long to figure it out!?" Scooby-Doo moment. It's not that I don't have confidence in the Salem police, but -- okay. I can't finish that with a straight face. Regardless, this time they have "proof!" A video. A video of "Gabi" entering/exiting Andre's office, complete with what appears to be the top of the urn. Okay, let's break this down…
Nope. I don't think that was Gabi on the footage Rafe and Eli reviewed. It didn't even really look like Gabi. True. It was a woman in Gab's coat, and she had dark hair, but that's not solid proof that it was, in fact, Gabi herself. Hear me out.
Gabi said she was driving around the lake at the time of Andre's murder. Cell phone reception was spotty at best. I think there are still ways she could prove this. She would have had to pass at least one or two places with security cameras, right? A gas station monitor could have caught a glimpse of her car passing by? Grainy surveillance footage from when she stopped at a drive-thru, perhaps.
I mean, we know Gabi loves ice cream when she's upset, and after what Andre did to her, that calls for at least two scoops of something sweet slathered in chocolate sauce. Oh, how about a traffic cam catching her heading out of town? Something or someone had to have seen her. I'm not sold that she vanished into thin air like Don Craig or the Gemini Twins just around the time of the murder.
The "Who is it, then, on the footage!?" part leads me to something I discussed in last week's column, which seems to be building momentum...
We got a few good glimpses of the Gabi Chic office. There were bags and blouses and purses and pashminas and wigs! Yes, wigs. They were on a shelf. Specifically, there was at least one dark-haired wig. Then there's the fact that, after Gabi's initial confrontation with Andre, she stormed out of the building without her coat or security pass. And after said storming, she ran into Abigail in the square. Yes, Abigail! She knew Yo Gabba Gabi didn't have her coat. Abs also had access to the Gabi Chic office. Gabi's pass was there. I'll thrice repeat, "Hmm!"
I should be clear, though, I don't think "Abigail" murdered Andre. I think we're headed for a Dissociative Identity Disorder (the artist formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) storyline, or a blackout kind of thing. I lean toward DID for two reasons. One, there's Ron Carlivati's track record with this type of storyline on other soaps he's scribed. He loves himself some DID, and Abigail's track record with mental illness makes her a prime candidate. Two, if it was Abigail dressed up in a wig and Gabi's coat while carrying her security pass, that means premeditation, which rules out a "heat of the moment" murder and blackout. Well. She probably blocked out the killing Andre thingy, regardless, as Real-Abs seems sincerely saddened by Andre's passing, but I digress.
If, say, someone who cared for Abigail knew the truth, maybe they're covering for her. Stefan surely seems to have a sweet spot for his sister-in-law. Could he have convinced Vivian to put on the wig and coat to frame Gabi and cover up Abigail's (or one of her personalities') crime? This mystery is building, for sure, but I'm not sure I like the idea of Abigail or an alternate personality being the killer. Granted, I have faith that the marvelous Marci Miller would crush the storyline. She's made of win.
Also made of win -- Vanessa Williams and Sal Stowers! Wow. Just wow. They were all shades of brilliant during Valerie and Lani's conversations. I mean, just wow. The depths, truths, struggles, and concerns came so naturally for both actors that I was entirely enthralled by their scenes. Granted, the storyline is a bit wonky, but I'll never mind watching these two powerhouses perform. More, please!
With that, let's discuss Salem's growing worst-kept secret. Eli now knows the baby is his! Oh, but he might agree with Lani that the cover-up should continue. At least that's what I got from his scene with Val when Eli said, "Lani's right. If the truth comes out, a lot of people will be hurt." In fairness, he didn't give his final answer, as he's still weighing options, but something tells me this storyline won't end so quickly and nobly with him admitting the truth. Val's right about Lani, and it applies to Eli if he stays mum; continuing to lie is convenient for her (and possibly him).
In addition to the selfish, convenient factor of the lie, the "for J.J.'s sake" arguments are coming off a little weak sauce. I get the same infuriating feeling from this lie as I get when men on soaps tell the womenfolk they'll handle danger and to stay put in a safe place. It's patronizing. I understand J.J. was going through one of the hardest times in his life and still is recovering from that, but Kayla and Valerie are right -- things will only be worse for him (and everyone else) as times goes on. If certain Salemites keep handling J.J. with kid gloves, he'll end up a sad sack that's so used to being coddled, he'll never move out of his grandfather's house. Wait. That's Brady. Whoops. Back on track…
To be clear, yes, of course, Valerie accessing Lani's file was an unethical violation, misuse of her authority as a doctor, and illegal. Lani was justified to be upset. If there's a suit taken against her by Lani and/or the hospital, that's also justified, and I suspect Valerie would own her actions. Still, I don't blame Val for confronting Lani with the truth and some tough love. Lani was given multiple chances to confess, especially to Valerie, who has sincere compassion for her and who has also acted as a confidante in the not-so-distant past. Lani didn't.
Valerie recognizes how destructive her own lies were. She doesn't want that for Lani or those involved. And while Lani claims to be doing what she's doing for J.J.'s sake, I actually believe Valerie did what she did for everyone's sake. She learned from her own history. Let's hope Lani took notes during their conversation.
If you're walking around town today, please stay on the right side of walkways as Julie has got to be sprinting all over Salem like a silver-haired streak, triumphantly proclaiming, "I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!" while holding up the headlines of Gabi's arrest.
Was I the only one who exclaimed, "OMG! It's Justin!?" I've missed him. Anyways, he channeled his inner Wilson Phillips and told Sonny to hold on. Sure, there's hope for a Wilson redux. Sort of. Will might be dead. Again. So, yeah.
I have another DAYS theory! Remember the entire Stefano/Lexie/Hope/J.T./Isaac(Zack)/John/Glenn/Abe/Bo/Marla baby swap storyline? That! I think something like that is brewing. I'm no Celeste Perrault, but I predict someone else is going to become pregnant soon, and a switcharoo will take place. Chad and Abigail have, let's say, been enjoying themselves as newlyweds a lot. Eli and Gabi also made love for the first time recently. Chad, Abigail, Eli, and Gabi are all in Lani and J.J's orbit. Again, just a hunch. A working theory, really. More so, a guess. Stay tuned!
O-to-the-M-to-the-G! Bella magazine is back in play!? Yes, please! That brought back so many warm, fuzzy DAYS memories. And the icing on the cake -- Christie Clark is back as Carrie right now. The "Face of the '90s" HAS TO play a part in this storyline if there is any justice in the soap world. Make it happen, Ronnie, and you'll get an extra HOT in the future. Deal!?
This is not the "NOTTIEST" of "NOTS," but I unintentionally cracked up when Steve came to and only Kayla was helping him while other hospital staff stood there. Yes, Kayla saving Steve was sweet, but those others looked like chumps. One job, people. One job. Help the incapacitated one-eyed guy on the floor.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Hattie (to everyone then Anna): "Hey, listen! If you're gonna eat a horse, you don't choke at the tail…and I'm dealing with a real horse's ass over there."
EXCHANGE(S) OF THE WEEK
Vivian: "I don't like to speak ill of the dead"
Gabi: "Why do I doubt that?"
The fun you can tell Deidre Hall is having playing Hattie is obvious and infectious!
Lots of D.A. Trask talk last week! She totally has to make a cameo.
I loved the openness between Marlena and Kayla. We need more bonding moments like that between them!
Seeing Steve sick makes me sad. It's also a bit jarring as he's usually such a full-of-life kind of guy. I think I'll send him an Edible Arrangement and some books on tape.
Christopher Sean's sad face is so spot on! He made Paul's reveal that John is up to no good heartbreaking as his hero totally fell from grace. Sorry, Paul. At least you still have Tori!
Bringing up my baby swap theory made me think… a grownup J.T. Reiber and/or his little brother should return to Salem. That age group needs a little shaking up. Bonus! They're unrelated to anyone in Salem and can date anyone.
J.J. brought up taking Lani to Chez Rouge. It's about time we dine there again as an audience. Plus, since Tripp seems to be a culinary virtuoso, maybe he could get a job there!
Another place that I'd love to see again is John's loft! That would be the perfect headquarters for Black Patch. Well, assuming the agency will survive if Steve survives. We'll have to see how forgiving Steve is toward John for that attempting to murder/maybe still going to kill him thingy.
I know John had a gun, but even before that, why didn't Will run as soon as John suggested he knew too much? He stood there like a sitting duck. Will might as well have been in the shower while Jiffy Pop cooked on the stove and yelled, "Who's there?" Ah, well. I guess he doesn't remember horror movies yet, either, or else he would have known to run.
Oh, and why did Paul linger in the alley!? Run, people. Run to the police station!
Still, Will and Paul were kind of adorable working together. Sorry, Sonny.
Anna said she accused Andre of murdering his bother. Was I the only one who expected Andre to respond, "Which one?" #RIPBenjy
Speaking of Anna, I could easily watch her and Hattie go rounds with each other all day. That was a much-needed laugh attack.
Steve and Kayla make me happy. #Stayla4ever
Good on Lani for asking Eli, "What century are we in again?" when he started to treat her delicately because she's pregnant.
Andre's reason for not pretending to be Tony again was valid. He said he couldn't handle pretending to love Anna. Ouch. But given their history, that's probably true.
Nice! Paul and Will mentioned Derrick. He's still in Salem and working administration at the hospital. These are the times I wish Craig and Nancy were still around. Something tells me Derrick would be a fun, mischievous asset to their sometimes-corrupt causes.
Aww! I totally loved the hug-fest between Claire, Eve, and Brady. I also hope that we get more Eve and Claire scenes.
On the topic of hugs, the one between Hope and Abe also made me happy. I'm glad things are right between these two.
Way to make lunch awkward, Val.
Fashion nugget: I want Abe's jacket. Way to style, Mr. Mayor.
Oh! The Brady Pub has an Instagram account. I'll have to check that out.
Hattie's "USDA beefcake" description of Roman was hilarious!
Will kind of threw down the gauntlet when he told John, "I know this for a fact." Boom. You don't mess with a man's catchphrase, William.
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of February 12! As Laurisa is in a secret room behind the wine cellar, umm, I mean, on maternity leave and may not be spotted for a while, I'll be back next week to keep the February Sweeps party rolling! And, "That's a fact!"
As always, thanks for reading!
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