Give heaven some hell

For the Week of January 30, 2023
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"It's (nearly) Groundhog Day!" And just like the movie, Salem seems to be stuck in a storyline loop. Marlena's dead -- again! Susan and Satan are back! Sorta. Plus, Sloan slings shade at Roman's chowder, and Allie agitates everyone. So, let's grab some mourning mocktails and sip away our sorrows in this week's DAYS Two Scoops!

And just like that, several times Satanically possessed, former faux-serial killer, and one of the world's most respected shrinks once held in a giant gilded birdcage is dead. Sorry! Is "dead." Again, sorry. Is "dead" again.

At this time, we must ask ourselves, "Do all good Docs go to heaven?" Susan, uh, Satan suggests that "the answers will all be revealed." So, let's discuss where things stand in the meantime, but forget the "mocktails." We'll need something slightly stronger to sum up this storyline...

They say things happen in threes. There've been three recent deaths. Once "Dead" Mar Mar got to the big hourglass in the sky, she was met by none other than a "Dead" Susan Banks...where she was handed a mocktail...and then Susan turned out to be Satan. I think. That's another trio of terrifying turns of events. Susan, a mocktail, or Satan -- which one's worse!? I can't answer that yet.

Right now, I can't tell if this storyline is brilliant, bonkers, or both! It's embracing how silly deaths have become on DAYS. Like, sure, there are some sad sacks sniffling around Salem right now with tissues in hand, but at least viewers are in on the joke this time -- Doc, Kay, and Kate are likely going to be returned to sender once their little afterlife adventure has wrapped. Is it "meta" or a "miss"? Again, I can't answer that yet, but I have my suspicions.

What I can say is that the cast was without a doubt brilliant last week! There's no questions about that. Everyone shined, but Drake Hogestyn especially delivered the devastation entirely. John was simply gutted. Agent Black admitting to Belle that "I'll need you" was a beautiful thing. John rarely relies on others for strength or support, particularly not his children, so that was a huge moment for him. I also adored his chat with Abe and his realization that going home to face his grief was what he needed. We know you're a rock, John, but we're all here for you, big guy.

Belle and Eric's goodbyes to their mother were also touching! Greg Vaughan and Martha Madison were epically moving. They both have some Emmy submission material for next year, just saying.

Still, this storyline has all the feelings of a blind date. You trust the friend who set you up. In this case, that "friend" is Team DAYS. You believe they only want what's best for you, yet you're still unsure of the entire idea. It seems stranger than the strange the show sometimes embraces, and if things don't turn out well, it's going to be hella awkward. We'll end up having to tell our "friend" that we still love them, but what the hell where they thinking!? I guess we just must cross our fingers and hope for the best (and real cocktails).


I'm a planner. I even schedule relaxing, as it helps me, well, relax. I get tense when things don't go as planned. So, it's a bit of a struggle, but I'm trying to adopt a more "go with the flow" and "let it go!" attitude this year. Because of that, I'm curious to see what happens between E.J. and Nicole, who've settled on a "figure it out as we go along" attitude toward giving it another go. That kind of feels like the "heaven" storyline, too, but I digress.

If I'm holding up the hard truth mirror, with Sami gone, it's much easier to accept E.J. moving on. Racecar driver Mr. Wells was basically brought onto the show for Sami, in most regards. So, there wasn't much space for others in the "EJami" orbit unless it was "EJami" versus "Lumi" or "Safe" or "E-Cole" or...or...or. You get it! So, without Sami, E.J. has a fighting chance to see if he believes in life after love, to paraphrase Cher.

Not so hard truth, Dan Feuerriegel and Ari Zucker are absolutely amazing together. They have chemistry to spare. For two scheming liars, I adore the honesty between E.J. and Nicole right now. Oh, I have no doubts they're still going to make mistakes and dumb decisions, but they'll do them in a much more mature way than they've done in the past. Gone are the days when they shock each other. From Sami to Eric and everyone in between, they're both fully aware of the other's operating manual. So, yes, indeed. Let's "figure it out as we go along."

Speaking of Eric, or should I say, Eric "God Isn't Listening to Me Anymore" Brady, he will be in his room if anyone needs him, but be sure to read the "Go away!" sign before knocking. He's edgy like that. Considering Eric's been a priest most of his adult life, I guess it's normal he's late to the Emo party. He's already got the overly sensitive and emotional thingy down. Let's just keep him away from jet black hair dye, okay?

Seriously, though. Greg Vaughan is crushing the angsty Eric role. While it's a 180, I get E-Rock's need to recalibrate his life, question things, and make questionable choices. Eric's mostly been one thing -- a good guy who others relied on. While he's swinging the pendulum too far the other way, I get it to a degree. He was one extreme, and now, under extreme circumstances, he believes he must be the opposite of "Father Eric." Again, let's keep away the black hair dye and stand firm with a solid "No!" when he ponders taking up the bass guitar, otherwise Roman and others have proven that Eric has a support system ready to strike if goes too far in the terrible twin direction.

Besides, Sami will probably sense the shift if it goes too far and immediately show up to reclaim her "Twisted Twin" title. Still, the only other time Eric needed forgiveness was when he was under the influence. It will be interesting to see if he's forgiven this time around now that alcohol isn't his only device for his divergence into the dark. Though, just to be prepared, he should probably start writing apology notes to Belle, Abe, and Paulina while scribbling "Life sux!" in his sticker-covered journal.

Sloan might make some mistakes and missteps. Okay. A lot of them, but I'm here all day for her sex positive stance. You'd think of all people who've been slut-shamed over the years, Nicole would not throw so much shade, but I'm glad that Sloan stood up for herself.

Otherwise, I'm just shaking my Two Scooping head over Sloan and Nicole's latest interactions.

Also, sometimes, all I can do is shake my Two Scooping head over Johnny, too. That guy is the definition of "That Guy." As in, Johnny, don't be "That Guy." Do better. Be better. He's two steps forward and a moonwalk back about half the dance floor.

I'm glad Johnny and Tripp made up after their punchiness. They're in a swell place now. This should last until -- one second, what time is it, Wendy?

Boo! I hated hearing Tripp say he felt like he'd be intruding on the family if he went with Steve, Steph, and Joey to make arrangements for Kayla's funeral. Given the beautiful goodbye between him and Kayla a few weeks ago and the loads of love they grew to share over the years, this stance was a tragic misfire.

In "Oh, SNAP!" news, Allie said to Chanel, "I think you'd avoid roofs." Who else screamed, "Damn!" at their screens!? She later dismissed Chanel's suffering by stating, "The charges were dropped." Again, "Damn!"

I mean, sure. Allie's upset-ness was justified, as she was already triply upset about Mar, Kate, and Kayla, and Johnny's actions were inappropriate, but Allie-gator snapping like that was vicious. It was one of those odd times when a character was mostly in the "right" but acted so wrong, I didn't care that they had a valid point. It also loops back to my initial take on Allie and all her relationships: she's simply too immature to handle them.

Conversely, I don't think Chanel really minded heading out of dodge or giving Allie some time off work, too. I think we all needed this space. Let's get some cookies from the bakery on the way to Paulina and Abe's place, okay, Chanel? You know. Comfort food. Definitely not celebrating with sweets and wine. Nope. Not at all.

Some things in Salem just trigger me. Like, I spontaneously fly into a fit for no real reason. I mean, just don't tell me I'm overreacting, of course. That's never a good idea, but one of those things is Stefan talking to Stefano's portrait.

I know. He has every right. That was his father, but he didn't know the guy. It seems hollow. This is a good example of why the show should've given Tony, Andre, or Megan a pop-up offspring instead of saddling Stefano with another one. That way, Stefan and Jake could have interacted with their parents. As it is, it just looks like a random interloper talking to the Phoenix. Sorry, surprise son, you need to earn that right. Okay. Back to more rational thoughts...

Gabi lied to Li to get to Dr. Rolf. Wait! Did I say, "rational thoughts"?! Again, I digress. After a pep talk (and apology) from Wendy, Gabi got her gusto back and decided to smash Stefan over the head and un-scramble his brains. She needed Wilhelm for that, and now it's a wait and see game if the mad scientist will return to Salem. In the meantime, someone should probably check Stefan for concussions.

Can we please get more of Paulina and Stephanie scenes? I loved their talk. "Your phone is none of his business!" was just the tip of the top-notch advice Paulina placed upon Steph's doorstep. Her and Stephanie's relationship reminds me of the working one she had with Anna years ago. Maybe Auntie P and Mrs. DiMera could co-life coach Stephanie. She might end up being over the top, but she'd be fabulous while doing so.

We have not had newborn drama in a while. Something tells me someone is going to get preggers soon, and sometime down the road, say, November Sweeps, we'll have some bigtime baby bombshells. Who do you think that someone will be? Or will it be more than one someone!?

And since we have a case of the wonders, let's loop back around to this great soap beyond business. Will Doc run into Samantha Evans!? Like Hope did with a grownup Zack, will she meet an adult version of her son with Don Craig? Oh. Oh! How about the grown version of her child with Alex North? There are a lot of other of souls Mar could meet up with in heaven. Or, well, down in hell. We're still not sure which mothership she's landed on, but this storyline best be besieged with cameos of fallen Salemites, please and thank you.

Extra Scoops

Ari Zucker is a treasure. When you think about all her on-screen pairings over the years, there are some big differences -- not the same actor is playing Brady, not the same Eric, not the same E.J. -- yet one remarkable constant has remained the same, and that's Ari. She has flawless, natural chemistry with all her costars from the ones playing friends, lovers, enemies, and those in between or a mix of the aforementioned. Moral of this "HOT" is: Ari Zucker is the GOAT!

Just like the "NOT" from a few weeks ago that kvetched Kate should've had a chic blue urn, Team DAYS missed another groundball by not having Samantha Evans meet Mar Mar at the pearly gates, um, pearly double doors. Let's hope sister Sam shows up sometime during Doc's afterlife adventures. If not, heaven help us if Satanic Susan is our only tour guide.

Johnny (regarding "Jarlena"): "It's like the days of their lives was written by Emily Bronte. Directed by Hitchcock."


John and Marlena's "pier reunion" will never not give me a case of the warm fuzzies. Such an iconic DAYS moment. What's your favorite of all time!?

With all the death and drama, Belle was the first Salemite to make me cry. Damn you and your endless talents, Martha Madison!

I feel like Anna should be Sloan's long-lost real bio mother. There's something very "Anna" about her. I mean that in the best way possible. Oh, if Tony was her dad, too, that wouldn't be a bad thing at all!

If Roman is roaming around delivering clam chowder, I'm just putting it out there that he's welcome to stop by the Two Scoops offices, especially if he has some Pub fries and, perhaps, a side salad with just a splash of dressing. And maybe some of that apple pie for dessert. I mean. If he's not doing anything else.

You'd think Gabi would be more upset about Kate's passing. Along with Sami, she and Kate made for a tremendous trio there for a while.

Sloan's father was an alcoholic who drank himself to death. Sloan's dating an older man who's sliding off the wagon. Methinks a shrink would have a field day with that.

"Wilson" in New Zealand sounds more fun than, say, other storylines. Can we see that instead? Please!

Johnny's statement of, "All right. Stop it, Allie!" just needs to be made into T-shirts at this point.


So, friends and fellow fans, that's it for January 30! Are you ready for the biggest February holiday ever in just a few days!? I mean, Groundhog Day might not come with all the heart-shaped chocolates and love declarations as Valentine's Day, but at least there's a 50-50 chance of being a winner. C'mon, early spring!

In the meantime, as Laurisa will be traveling internationally on totally normal Two Scooping business -- and she is totally NOT on a top secret joint venture assignment between the ISA and Black Patch -- I'll be back next week for all your Two Scooping needs and hopefully some Brady Pub clam chowder, if Ro ever gets here. 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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