T.R. was a marked man since the second he stepped foot in Salem. But whoever guessed Lani, in Paulina's living room, with her service revolver wins the game.
As far as we know, T.R. didn't know Dr. Rolfe, so, yes, ding-dong, the dastardly dude is gone.
Furthermore, I tend to think he really is gone because his death leaves more storyline. For some strange reason, Paulina confessed to shooting him. I say strange because I don't think Lani needed to be afraid to admit the truth here. And that's because I don't believe she was on-duty.
When she learned the truth from Eli (welcome back from coma-land, Eli!), she was clearly off-duty. She tried to call in the threat, but no cops were available. So, she went to protect Paulina, herself -- as a civilian. It seems like her "mistake" here was having inside information that no cops would respond to her call.
When she entered the room, she saw her father in a pool of blood on the floor and T.R. -- the man who shot her husband and abused her mother for years -- raising his hand to her mother. Then, she protected her mother. I'm hard-pressed to think of any other civilian who may have felt compelled to do otherwise. Would it have been better if she'd knocked him out with that bat rather than shoot to kill? Sure. Though I don't know if 110-pound Lani would have been able to take a swing at more-than-110-pound T.R. to make that a possibility. I honestly feel Lani was protecting her family here. Sure, she was mad that T.R. shot Eli. But T.R. had Paulina in his hands and Abe on the floor. Those facts had nothing to do with Eli's shooting.
Nevertheless, Paulina confessed to shooting T.R. to protect Lani. This is on brand for all things Paulina. Though, with Steve already throwing side-eye and that a-little-too-random mustached cop on the scene, I don't think Paulina's confession is going to stick too long. Here's hoping Lani at least comes clean to Eli. But I'm crossing my fingers there, not holding my breath.
Elsewhere in Salem, the devil storyline is still going on...and on...and on. My notes read, "Oh, sweet Jesus. Charlie Dale again?" I'm exhausted. But, ugh, for documentation purposes, here goes.
The devil's plan all along was to possess a baby, since babies haven't learned to love anyone yet. The absence of love means the devil doesn't have to worry about its host having any connections strong enough to fight off the possession via those pesky exorcisms. That thought is extremely dark, but then again, this is devil logic. It checks out.
Let me pause here and state for the official record -- of all the demonic things Satan's done in Salem, this is by far the scariest. Do you know how trying kids can be as toddlers and preschoolers? Now, you're going to let the devil call those shots on top of that temperament? Goodness, Satan. You are not playing around. Horrifying.
Back on track, the devil called up Charlie Dale from the grave to raise the baby as his own. Because while the devil can move inanimate objects and change forms, it would just look flat-out weird for an infant to be ordering DoorDash.
However, thanks to the twin-ternet, Johnny was able to figure out where AllieDevil had the baby. He, Ben, and Ciara all showed up for the showdown that will (please, oh, please) take place next week.
Considerably way-far-less-helpful were Grandmas Marlena and Susan. They did a lot of chanting and way too little calling of Erin or John -- the only two other people in Salem known to have performed successful exorcisms. I don't understand this. That's like having a doughnut emergency and thinking, "Nah, I'll wait on calling Alice."
Finally, Gwen got four offers.
Leo came first. He offered Gwen a partner in revenge on Abigail and Chad. Okay, I know I said that I liked these two together, and I sincerely do. But I have no tolerance for this utter egocentric nonsense. Both of them are complaining about getting called out for crimes they actually committed! There's no gray area here. Despite the affection for their portrayers, these two characters are grating. The self-righteous ranking on these two is through the roof, and that's saying a ton, considering they're up against the House of Horton!
Ava came second. Motivated by the fact she didn't want to be a total drag, she offered Gwen a burner phone and an escape from jail. I was waiting for a condition on Ava's part, but it appears Ava did it because she genuinely feels bad for sending Gwen up the river. How disappointing.
Next was Jack. Our dude picked a fine time to not turn his back on his family. (Too soon?) He offered Gwen a lawyer and his faith. Justin is going to represent Gwen. For some reason, after trading Ava "Crime Family" Vitali for Gwen, Trask is going to cut a deal for five years.
Finally, Xander visited Gwen. It was here that Emily O'Brien tore my heart out. She really is the best thing Gwen has going for her. For the first time I can ever remember on-screen, Gwen did something purely unselfish. She wished Xander the best with Sarah. I actually think she meant it. This is progress.
Make no mistake, this is not repentance for the loads of wrongs she's committed. But at least she's familiar with the muscle movement now, in case she wants to continue this "being a human" thing she kicked the tires on in this scene.
Seth Burns showed up to give Kayla her job back. She made him promise to stop trying to fire Marlena. Cool. Now, Seth baby, how about actively trying to hire some folks so Kayla and Tripp have some help at that hospital. Want me to get Val's number for you? I'm pretty sure Max is done with med school now. I hear Carly's doing well these days.
E.J. apologized to Chad for being a general asshat and asked if Chad wanted to team up to oust Gabi from DiMera. I like E.J. and Chad working toward being actual friends. Dan Feuerriegel and Billy Flynn are great in scenes together. The fact that Chad could actually help E.J. come between Sami and Lucas is an interesting card to play later down the road.
Speaking of Sami, well, there was just frankly a lot of talk of Sami last week. I still vehemently disagree with Roman and anyone else who thinks Sami would just disappear and not check in with her kids. It's like they've never watched the show. Since Sami became a teen mother, her brand has been her kids -- involving herself in their lives, fighting with their fathers, confessing to crimes for them -- you name it. Sami doesn't give anyone space, including herself.
Can Joey come back to Salem? Tripp's talk with Steve and Kalya was touching, but it's kinda clear that Tripp could use a friend. Tripp says he's still in love with Allie because of course he is. This dude falls hard and means it.
Thanks to Rolf's antidote, Sarah is back to herself...from the past. We're talking pre-pandemic, Sarah -- before the time jump, and when she still thought she and Eric had a living kid. I worry that I may need snacks to get through this storyline. I hope Sarah's memory lapse is short-lived.
I'm standing and applauding William Christian. T.R. was a pile of trash, but William is a king. He almost made you root for T.R. at times (I said almost) with his infectious charisma. I'm not at all sad to see T.R. go, but Sir Christian is a gem. He will be missed and welcome back any and all times it's determined T.R. had a good twin!
There's a lot of postpartum tomfoolery that we look past on soaps. Form-fitting dresses? Sure. Perfect hair and makeup? Okay, fine. But Ciara riding a motorcycle hours after giving birth was utterly insane.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Ben: "You just had a baby."
Ben: "So, you're in no condition to go chasing after Satan right now!"
LINE OF THE WEAK:
Paulina: "You're not getting another word out of me until I talk to my lawyer!"
This was approximately ten seconds after she admitted to shooting T.R. Auntie P, usually lawyers want you to stop talking before you make a confession.
The bonds Rafe has with his former stepkids are adorable.
With Johnny back to normal and T.R. dead, please let it mean the movie storyline is also finally done-zo.
Okay, for real, why isn't the DiMera crypt locked or watched 24/7? To date, five Salemites have been held captive there, and one zombie made an appearance.
Why is Charlie surprised there's an awesome gym in hell? Has he ever heard of hot yoga or burpees? There's no doubt in my mind where those exercises came from.
I really need to up my fashion game the next time I plan to run away from home. Anna set the bar high.
How does Abigail feel indebted to Ava? Ava got her freedom in return.
I like how Emily O'Brien says "hurricane" like "HURrri-con"
If you were just tuning in to DAYS, you'd have a hard time telling the difference between Johnny, Evan, Sonny, Ben, and Charlie. If anyone is missing a hunky, 20/30-something brunette with slightly messy hair, DAYS has some we can loan you.
Can we talk for a second about how confident Lani had to be in her marksmanship to take that shot at T.R. when he's standing a few inches in front of Paulina?
On what planet is Xander mad at Abigail? She's the one who found Sarah.
I thought Gwen intentionally killed Laura from the start. Come on. The woman Gwen deemed responsible for her entire traumatized childhood (which led to criminal activity as an adult) ends up dead after their first meeting in private. Sure, Gwennie-boo-bear, that's "an accident."
The police didn't find the pacifier that Tony and Anna did. I believe this.
That's it for this week! Tony will be back next week with rosaries, crosses, garlic, and possibly salt circles to help protect us all from AllieDevil. He might just have some heavenly help on his side.
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