The things we do for love

For the Week of November 20, 2023
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Did Nicole get what was coming to her? Is it time for Stephanie to be honest with herself? And will either woman suffer as much as Maggie will if Konstantin is successful? Let's talk some girl talk in this week's Two Scoops.

The first three episodes this week were downright soap delights! Sure, there were a lot of shenanigans and silliness to get the baby swap happening. But for the most part, the show pulled it off!

First, a speeding Dimitri and Leo ran Nicole off the road. Of course, they did! Haven't you ever been late for your escape submarine? Those things don't wait for anyone. You have to speed if you're running late!

Then, of course, the accident caused Nicole to go into labor. And, of course, Leo and Dimitri had to deliver the baby. Of course, Dimitri doesn't care at all about his new cousin and was ready to abandon tiny cuz and stepaunt on the side of the road. That all checks out.

Surprisingly, so did Leo's reason for not taking Nicole to the hospital with the baby. Adrenaline surely kicked in for the labor. But it probably was risky (or at least, soap risky) to move her from the side of the road. I loved the touch of Holly remembering that Nicole's location tracker was turned on and sending Eric to rescue Nicole. True to form, E.J. showed up a few minutes later and excused Eric in the most smarmy gracious way possible.

When those pesky cops were all over the hospital, Dimitri's only option was to show up at the door of Leo's old ambulance-chasing lawyer buddy, Sloan. Showing no desire to ever do the right thing, I guess Dimitri can smell his own kind here. And it makes sense that Dimitri was all too happy to drop off a newborn with these strangers. Again, he's got an uber punctual submarine to catch. And it's just dumb luck that he knocked on the door at the exact moment that Sloan proclaimed that the only way she wouldn't tell the truth is if she had another baby to present to his Royal Highness, Lord Eric of Chowdersville.

Heck, I even buy that Sloan had connections with a shady doctor who she defended enough to keep his license while committing insurance fraud. So, everything came together perfectly here! Well, mostly perfectly.

What in the actual world was Melinda doing telling Eric and Sloan they were getting a baby when that wasn't a done deal? I think it's probably safe to assume that Sloan would agree to bribery. She's done worse thus far for this baby. But still, Mel, what are you doing?

In fact, why is Melinda so willing to help here? Is she secretly in love with Sloan? This is a huge crime to commit in furtherance of making a friend when Melinda could just as easily join a spin class. But, alas, Melinda was there at every turn to talk Sloan out of every good instinct. What do you call an anti-Jiminy Cricket? A Consuela Elephant?

Yes, Consuela Elephant came up with the plan to pay off the doc and then present the baby to Sloan to raise with Eric. Both Consuela and Sloan made passing remarks about how terrible this was to do to Nicole, but sorry, that's not enough. There's a well-upholstered spot in hell for the two of them.

It was apparent when we were left to watch one of the harshest scenes in all drama -- parents finding out their new baby didn't make it. The levels of utter failure that Nicole felt were soul-crushing. When she started pleading that she'd never missed even one vitamin? Gah! Those of us who watched Nicole suffer through this two times before couldn't help but ache for her. At that moment, I'd never despised Sloan more.

At least, when Nicole did this to Sami, Nicole swapped the baby with a live baby. I can even make a case that when Xander and Victor did it, it was an in-the-moment decision to save Maggie and Sarah from heartbreak. Melinda and Sloan did this purely as a means to the end they wanted. The alternative is to tell Eric that the adoption fell through and try again. I'm just saying. There were options.

On the other side of town, it didn't take long for Chad and Stephanie to get in a fight about Everett. I really like both Chad and Stephanie. However, I thought Chad had a point here. I don't think I'd go so far as to say she's hanging around Everett to put pressure on Chad. But Chad's right to call out Everett especially, since Chad pulled this exact same stunt.

When Alex and Stephanie were together, Chad was constantly around -- under the legit excuse of working with her. While that was true, it was also true that Chad was harboring feelings for Stephanie. As a result, the second Alex messed up (which, come on, we all knew wouldn't take long), Chad was ready to act on his always-there feelings.

I think Stephanie is a strong woman and rightly believes these men surrounding her should give her enough credit to make her own decisions. I also believe that she's human and loves the fact that now three handsome men are sniffing after her.

She's shortchanging Chad a ton here, too. She knew going into this relationship that he's still grieving Abigail. I don't think it's fair for her to keep making that his problem. However, she never brought forth that she would demand that it be acceptable for her to test the boundaries of comfort with her exes. I'd like to claim that Chad is going all Neanderthal by buying the Spectator -- and he is. But Stephanie's not going to change her stripes at his point. And I really don't want the Spectator to be in Gwen's hands forever. So, I'm #TeamChad for now.

Loose Ends

Alex, Theresa, and Brady are going to take their lust triangle into the corporate world as Theresa and Brady both agree to lead Bella magazine and Basic Black, respectively, under the Titan umbrella. We know that Theresa isn't staying long-term, and it's realistic to assume that she leaves around the same time Alex is no longer head of Titan. But I like this move, as it gets Bella and Basic Black back on the game board. Plus, Brady's got to be exhausted with the constant changing leadership at DiMera Enterprises.

Stefan stopped Paulina in the middle of the square and offered her two of her favorite things -- threats and demands. It's like he read her journal or something. She loves those! My money's on Paulina here.*

*I reserve the right to revisit this decision if Vivian returns to Salem.

Congrats, baby Victoria! You earned an important infant merit badge -- the Salem Kidnapping Badge! It'll look so cute on your favorite blanket! Truth be told, Victoria was a late bloomer in this space. What is she, at least a month old? Sheesh. Anyway, Konstantin turns out to be even more of a shyster than we thought. It's one thing to try to scrape a few millions of a Greek fortune. But to target Maggie's heart to do it? No, sir. Nope. Even Theresa knew this was a bad idea. Here's hoping Steve and John step up their investigation to run this poser out of town right away, if not sooner.

I just can't with Xander and Sarah's constant "what about"-ing each other. I used to be a huge Xarah fan, but they're becoming insufferable together. I think Sarah annoys me more. At least Xander never claimed to be a boy scout. Sarah has to suffer multiple nosebleeds a day living so high up on Mt. Superior. Her line, "It is what I have to do to keep my daughter safe" shows she's not selling that property for a while, either.

Tate asked Holly if they were about to kiss before E.J. walked in. Oh, our sweet Tater Tot isn't actually great at this love stuff. This is the second time Holly ended up kind yelling at him when it came to his interpretation of a moment.

Extra Scoops

This week was a tour de force for Dan Feuerriegel. E.J. played frantic (looking for Nicole), furious (confronting Leo), relieved (finding Nicole), overjoyed (learning she had the baby), and despondent (learning the baby died) all in the span of three episodes. E.J. was the connective tissue between this whole umbrella storyline, and Dan handled it all with flare to spare. Whether it was E.J.'s rage with Leo or his smarm informing Eric that he could leave, all the emotions felt authentically E.J. Amazing work!

I'm sorry, Everett. "You really get around" for dating two people in the last two years? Oh, no no no no no, friend. There's absolutely no way to say that and not sound judgmental. I dunno, guys, this Everett guy is a little too confident for his own good.

(Stll, Blake Berris and Abigail Klein have wonderful chemistry together. And Blake vs. Billy Flynn is downright delicious. So, I'm still interested to see what Everett will do in Salem.)

Paulina (to Stefan): "I'd remove your hand from my arm if you don't want to draw back a nub."

I chuckled out loud. I don't think I'll ever tire of Paulina putting DiMera men in their places.


It seems a cruel choice of words for Melinda to phrase the adoption not going through as "You lost the baby."

As someone who frequently scolds her partner for aggressive driving, I felt a certain connection to Leo this week.

Allow me a moment of pure self-indulgent joy -- Sloan said the baby mama was in St. Louis! My town! A shout-out on my favorite show!

Does it make Theresa a worse or better soap mom that at least her kid is in the same town, yet she completely ignores him?

I know that Sloan's reputation is not great. But I'm surprised that between her and Eric, there's not more concern for Eric raising a baby. I'm pretty sure he spent time in jail for manslaughter. Oh, and there was that time he got kicked out of the priesthood for performing an unauthorized exorcism. But, sure. The shady lawyer is probably the one who looks worse in a Google search.

I didn't hate Leo and Nicole together. Not one little bit.

Why in the world did Maggie stop to see if Konstatin is okay when someone is running out the back door with Victoria?

When E.J. told Holly to stay home and wait by the phone, I wondered if the DiMera mansion was perpetually trapped in 1984. That would explain how Tony and Anna never seem to age!

Score another one for the universe. I was actually happy to see Gwen on my screen!

I have concerns about the security at the Kiriakis mansion. Did Alex forget to pay a bill?

Was Holly really about to light up in the middle of the DiMera living room? Hasn't she lived there long enough to at least find a place outside or in a tunnel somewhere? Oh, blerg...imagine if Rach3l had caught her!!

Hopefully this one won't be named "Daniel Rafeal."

That's it for this week, DAYS fans! Tony and I are teaming up for a special Thanksgiving column next week that we hope you'll enjoy. Have a wonderful holiday!

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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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