Total eclipse of the smarts

For the Week of April 15, 2024
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While several Salemites were using their noggins, many seemed directly in the path of totally dumb decision making. Why were so many smart characters acting foolish? Did they look directly into an eclipse without protection and fry their brains? From love lives to large lies, put on your safety glasses as we discuss the bright and not-so-bright in this week's DAYS Two Scoops!

To be a true soap fan, you must embrace a certain level of suspension of disbelief. Things like, "Sure he died, but he's not dead." "...but no, they couldn't tell that was their significant other's identical twin" or "so-and-so in a mask that fools everyone!" "Wasn't that teen a wee kid last month?" From "death" to "SORAS-ing," there are no absolutes on soaps. We must be flexible and move forward with whatever wildness is thrown our way.

Still, when a typically smart character starts to act like, well, "not the brightest gemstone in the Alamainian Peacock," it's a harder pill to swallow than "brains on disks" or "Sami was Stan." Sans satanic possession or a mind-controlling cue card, "Out of Character" is harder to forgive than even the soapiest of situations. While some of our fair Salemites stood strong in the smarts department, last week was a bit weak for several others. Let's start with Maggie...

Muh-gee! I know she still has grief brain. I know she's typically very smart. I also know her heart is huge. Like Julie said, she's one of the best. I always enjoy Julie and Maggie's chitchats. Their one about the past lives of their husbands was great. Though it worries me how much consideration Maggie has toward forgiveness and change. This can lead to clouded choices, say, like marrying a con man.

Maggie was very smart to suggest that they utilize all of Titan's vast legal resources to help Konstantin. Yes, do that, Mags! Well. Really, don't do that. Do nothing. I'm with Xander on this one. Let that devil be gone, and don't let the "mew-zack in his heart" waltz you down the aisle to a wedded miss. Nobody wants that for you, Maggie. Nobody. I believe only her compassion for a wounded soul would lead her to the choice to say, "I do." Not love. Let's hope she says, "Nope!"

Luckily, Maggie has Xander in her corner as well as smarties Steve and John. They do believe Konstantin's scamming Maggie. They don't believe in his forgiveness. They also suspect someone else could have been there the day Catharina died, like her mother. I enjoy that they're digging into that hunch, and more on this later.

Meanwhile, John and Steve still feel dumb for being duped by Clyde and Ava, but I hope Ms. Vitali is smarter this time when combating Pa Weston. This is a groundball. She knows exactly what he's looking for: Gil's little black book of secrets. She needs to make a copy -- all the copies -- of this smoking gun. She needs to share the duplicates with Black Patch, Cousin Angelo, and everyone else with a horse in this race. Clyde's reign needs to end. She can do it if she remembers one important fact -- she's Ava Freakin' Vitali.

Oh, boy! Ava is moving in with Ho-Hum. This is a dumb decision. Ava has a habit of replaying the same scenarios with men, and I'm not sure he can be trusted. At all. He knows all her horrible and more, but she holds him up on a pedestal. He's so brave and boring and blah, blah, blah. Look, I'm not the smartest Two Scooping sleuth in the land, but I believe Ho-Hum's working with Clyde. The ultimate mole in the department. If not, I still think he's using Ava to get what he wants, just like Clyde is. She's Ava Freakin' Vitali. She can take him down, too, if she stops being blinded by his dazzling blandness.

Meanwhile, Xander is determined to take down whoever is framing him for Ho-Hum's attempted murder. Yes, please. Of course, we know the who (Hi, Stefan!), but I encourage the Spectator crew's group brainstorming. Xander, Chad, Everett, and even Leo are entertaining coworkers with the smarts to get the job done and the inner conflict to make it interesting.

About Everett. He's struggling. Stephanie's struggling. I'm struggling to care at this point, to be honest. I need some facts, and right now, it's just a bunch of dumb in a blender. This storyline needs to start being a delicious shake instead of a confusing mix of partial storytelling and overreactive feelings.

Speaking of "feelings," Steph's conflicted. How about we make it easy on her and get a giant red flag, hot glue Bobby-Ev's face on it, and do a little routine for her, color guard style? Nah. She still wouldn't get it. Sometimes "Sunroof Steph" is just going to emerge and embrace some silly ideas, despite logic being right there with said giant red flags. I guess we'll see her in the hot tub soon. *sigh*

Though, Sweetness swung in with a smart suggestion. She shared with Stephanie that Everett might be faking everything. This would not shock me at all, especially after the way he snapped at her. Obvious fact, something isn't right with him. Steph should step back, send the occasional "Thinking of You" card, and refocus on her PR career and loved ones (not love life) like she suggested she'd like to do months ago.

I loved that Jada apologized to Stephanie. That was a smart move. She did so full of self-awareness and style. THAT is the Jada we've grown to know and adore. And just as gracefully, Stephanie accepted the apology, knowing that Jada came from a place of pain. Yes. I loved all of this. Sure, feuds are nice for some, but a strong friendship is even better (and rarer on soaps).

Also rare on soaps, math! Who would have thought a hand-written spreadsheet might take down a storyline!? Eric had on glasses and exclaimed, "I'm going to get to the bottom of this!" He's serious, y'all.

I applaud Eric's vigor but worry that he'll be duped yet again. Sure, Sloan made the super smart and believable excuse that they needed diapers and bolted before she answered his inquiries, but I still question if he's sharp enough to see through the wool she has pulled over his eyes -- unless "wool" is on that super handy spreadsheet and accounted for. That I do not know.

None of Sloan's questionable behavior has landed an "Aha!" moment for him yet. It's a bad look for him. While Eric has one of the biggest hearts in Salem, I'm beginning to question if his brain is big enough to add up the colossal amount of Sloan's shady slip-ups. Holly's good at math, right? She tutored RACH3L, I think. Holly also knows how to scheme. Maybe she could deliver Eric an abacus and help him with the word problem: "If your wife is scheming at 200 miles an hour, and you're standing there with zero clues, when will she be exposed?"

Here's another question: "Do you know what works best to keep two teens, well, really, two anyones apart?"

Let's let brain-trusts Nicole, E.J., Brady, and Theresa give you the answer. It's "Tell them they can't be together." Sure. Sure. "That works every time!" said nobody. Humans can't resist touching a hot plate that a server just warned them about. Do you really think two smitten teens will stay away from each other because mommies, daddy, and stepdaddy told them so? Oh, Theresa, Brady, Nicole, and Eej, you're funny.

Still, our young Spudward, Tate, must be color blind. Much like how we'd like to warn Steph, Holly is doing an entire choreographed color guard routine with the largest, reddest flag on the face of the earth, and he's still oblivious. I mean, she literally said, "Our parents not wanting us to be together, it only makes me want to be with you more." Sounds like a smart, solid foundation for a relationship.

While Tater Tot's liked Holly since the moment they reunited at the park as teens, that hasn't been the case for her. Considering she spent months in a coma after they made it through part of their first date, I'm not sure at what point her interest in him really bloomed. Methinks she might just not have a current crush to cling onto and he's, well, there in the meantime. Welp. At least we have what "The Real Slim Shady" taught us, "Yeah, but he's so cute, though!"

While I feel like Brady is the brightest of the bunch and has the most honorable intensions when it comes to his kids, I can't help but feel spending time with Alex, Theresa, and Kristen makes him and all of us a bit dumber. Add in Konstantin bugging Gwenresa, and I just can't with the lot of them. For example...

The lingerie-folding scene called and wants to know which seventh grader who came up with it thought Alex would fall for this. Oh, wait. He did. And he even had a Lenny and Squiggy palm-biting-like reaction to accompany it. It's hard to believe he runs an international billion-dollar company. Let that be hope for anyone, and I do mean anyone, with a single brain cell and a dream. You know, like Kristen these days.

E.J.'s pretty smart to know that Kristen is going to Kristen. His sister is twisted and is always going to be. He knows she doesn't give a flip about Stefan. He knows she's deplorable. He knows that how she's raising RACH3L isn't in her daughter's best interest. Yep, Elvis J has her number, which I'm pretty sure is 6-6-6.

Still, Special K was smart to call Mr. Shin. Like the company, he's in a vulnerable state right now. Taking advantage of people at their lowest is what Kristen does best. She might end up DiMera Enterprises CEO until, you know, she gets in her own way. Enjoy that 15 minutes, Kristen.

I was popping popcorn for Nicole versus Kristen until E.J. broke it up. Thanks, Eej. Way to ruin a good time. They were volleying hurtful, yet not all that untruthful, things at each other. While Special K went right after Holly for being a "drama queen," which, really, lady!? Are you pot or kettle in that scenario? But I digress...

Kristen took aim at Holly from the start, but I think Nicole delivered the harshest blows. Oh, Ms. Walker-DiMera weighed in on RACH3L, but the bigger hit was to Kristen's ego. She loves herself more than anyone. She brought up that the only reason Kristen has a daughter with Brady is because she tricked him into sex while wearing a Nicole mask. Ouch. I loved it. I don't mind either of Kristen's rapes being thrown into her face until she finally has some regrets of her own.

Though, Nicole might be the smartest Salemite. She knows RACH3L is a "bad seed just like her mom," a current "entitled brat," and a future terror. True, true, true, but tread carefully, Ms. Walker-DiMera. RACH3L can strike at any moment and knows the mansion inside and out, from the tunnels to the attic. I'm also fairly convinced that she stays up all night, talking to her Nonno's portrait in the living room because she doesn't need sleep. Ever.


Forget Everett's dad, let's talk about Catharina's mother! My first thought was Marina Toscano. She's Steve's ex-wife, Brady's aunt, and Tate's great auntie. She was also the daughter of Ernesto, one of Victor's greatest enemies. This would be a twist. Sure, she's "dead," but there's dead and Salem "dead," of course.

My brilliant Two Scooping partner, Laurisa, came up with Megan Thee DiMera! I love this idea. It works in the greater timeline and would connect the families well.

Briefly, I thought of Vivian, but...well. She would never name a child anything close to "Katerina." If you know, you know. So, I buried that thought alive.

A Greek mafia princess would be a solid guess. Has DAYS had one of those yet? If not, I'd like to meet her.

There was the passing note from Konstantin that Holly reminded him of Catharina. I'm sure it's just the "young, blonde woman-ness" of it all, but my overactive thoughts jumped to Fay Walker! Was she in Greece before she hit Salem!? Could she have left heartbroken after her daughter died? That would mean Catharina was Nicole, Taylor, and Brandon's half-sister and explain the resemblance.

If not Fay, did she have a twin sister who lived in Greece? Maybe one who turned out to be a Greek mafia princess? I'm just saying the wonderful Valerie Wildman could rock that role.

All guesses aside, Black Patch need to suck it up and invite Xander on this search. He knows a thing or two about Konstantin, Kiriakis, and the Greek mafia. I feel like Xanimal's an unexplored resource for John and Steve at this point. Loop him in, gang.

Kayla was justifiably steamed at Steve last week. She's right. Nothing good ever comes of Ava in their lives, especially with a side of Clyde. I also loved that Kayla was big enough to accept his apology but tuned in to her needs enough to state she needed to be mad at him all day. I so get that, Sweetness. All in all, I'm glad she knows the truth.

I'm also glad that Ho-Hum was able to help John. They do have a lot in common in certain regards. In others, well, you're no John Black, Detective Michaels.

At first, I was a bit annoyed with Julie for being so annoyed at the "chaos" at the Kiriakis mansion, but by the end of the episode, I softened. The fire threw her life into chaos. Although welcomed at the mansion, it's not home. Most folks just want to be in their own bed at the end of the day, and she's in a strange house, filled with a mix of loved ones coming and going and not-so-loved ones like Konstancreep. Ugh. Bonnie lives there, too. Add in running Julie's Place, Horton House restoration, and spilled wine, and well, I'd want my "Calgon, Take Me Away" moment, too. So, Jules, we good.

I found Julie showing up at the cabin hilarious! She came in strong and strongly annoyed but was able to humble her thoughts and be gracious. Again, we good, Jules.

Though, despite the abundance of how adorable Johnny and Chanel are, I'm worried about them and Julie. Everyone was chattering about this snowstorm on Friday. They're at the Horton cabin, where five out of four times when people are there, something horrible happens. This sounds like it's turning into a Smith Island Snowpocalypse! I hope Julie finally gets that glass of wine to steady her nerves. It sounds like she'll need it.

Extra Scoops

Team DAYS taped its 15,000th episode last week! That's mind-blowingly incredible. I'm thrilled (and thankful) for everyone who participated in making this monumentous event happen, and just as much for those who paved the way for it. The episode won't air until December, and the storyline is somewhat bittersweet, but can we just start the "stomp-stomp clap" of growing excitement now!?

Also, the staggering list of actors returning for the show is amazing. I don't want to ruin any surprises for spoiler-free folks, so click here if you can't wait until the end of the year to know. I surely know I can't wait to catch up with all of them again.

Congrats, Team DAYS, and thank you for the memories and the more to come!

With the above "HOT" comes a preemptive "NOT." A few familiar -- dare I say one in particular "fancy" -- faces were not included in initial news about the 15,000th episode. The show's just keeping some returns a secret, right!? That MUST be it! Right? Stay tuned to see if this very preemptive "NOT" takes up permanent residency in December at the 2024 Alex North Memorial Awards! We hope it doesn't.

"Look, I know that my freedom is the big news here, but I would just like to point out that, I, Xander Cook, was just congratulated by that prick, E.J. DiMera." Xander to Sarah


Okay. I'm bursting a bit. I have to cyberly scream a name or two regarding the 15,000th episode. So, spoilers! And hello, Gloria Loring, a.k.a. LIZ CHANDLER! And our Martha Madison will be back, too. Truth be told, I could literally squeal with excitement over every name on the list of returnees (Hi, Stephen Schnetzer and Maree Cheatham!), but I'll let you have your own moments of joy by reading the rest of them for yourselves. It's a very, very good list.

Was I the only one who almost choked on his non-iodized bear claw when Leo said something like he was one man with one name!? Matty say what, Lady Whistleblower?

Theresa said to Konstantin, "How many times can I say, 'No, thanks.'" Oh, Ms. Donovan. We've been basically asking that since he showed up in Salem.

John's excitement each and every time he sees Brady is one of the best things about the character. There's so much love there. And I love it!

Oh, Holly Jonas! Tsk, tsk, tsk. You do not lie to your grandmother Maggie over the sanctity of her lemon bars. That's Salem blasphemy.

The look on Leo's face when he turned to Everett at the end of Wednesday's episode was hilarious. Le Leo loves the dramas!

Or -- and hear me out -- to help his family, maybe, just maybe, Eric could also pick up a few shifts at the pub to help supplement their income? I'm pretty sure Ro-Ro and Kate would babysit for free while he worked.

"Mrs. DiMera" and "Mr. Dupree" are relationship goals at this point.

I adore that Abe's ready to jump into action if needed by being at the hospital, but couldn't he have video-chatted from anywhere? Like from the comfort of his couch, or while enjoying a cup of chowder with a side of chatting with Roman. He's a true gentleman through and through.

I loved the Smith Island establishing shots! That looks like my ideal getaway for the evening, too, Julie.

While RACH3L might be AI, I still think she could also be a Stefano clone. Dr. Rolf wanted one of those so badly. Just ask Kayla. And just putting that back out there.

Maybe once a certain secret comes out and Theresa's life explodes, she could refocus on her fashion career. She could also take on Ava as an intern. They both need fresh starts and a few new friends. If Anna or Kate wanted to fund the fashion house operations, even better (and more fabulous)!

While I can't see Eej enjoying Cannibal Corpse as he lounges in his silk sleepwear and smoking jackets, I guess I could see a young Elvis J. speeding around a racetrack while thrashing to death metal. Though, I wonder in E.J.'s case if "resurrection metal" is an option.

After Maggie praised Julie's amazing view on despair and general awesomeness, she playfully replied, "Tell me more. I'd love to hear it." That so reminded me of my friend Joyce, whose coy comeback after a compliment was always, "Go on." Lots of love there!

Leo's bolstering of Everett was very nice...for him. Leo's still compliant in a baby-stealing scheme and is a blackmailer (though 25% less of one), so I can't give him too much credit for doing the right thing, but telling Everett to show himself some kindness was swell. Again, for Leo.

John, Brady, and Tate really need to invite Timothy to the Cubbies game and have four generations represented. Though, I could see the three of them show up to find Timothy and Paul already there. They'd greet them with a huge smile, and "We've been here since 8 a.m. Where have you guys been!?"

Ava's Indiana Jones-esque outfit was amazing.

Greg Rikaart and Blake Berris might very well be on the short list of favorite Salemite sparring partners. Their snark and sassiness know no boundaries.

The Titan marketing department calling Gwenresa "T-Boss" made me think of "T-Boz," and that made me wonder if we'll ever see Sheila again. I hope so!

I feel like Ava "quitting" the Bistro is like someone stating they "resigned" from their job as a pager salesperson. No shiitake mushrooms.

My arms are getting sore holding up this "Welcome Home!" banner for Tony and Anna. When do they get back!? I keep hearing about them, but we need a proper catch-up with Count DiMera and a mahjong and Chardonnay day with Anna.

I don't think Tater Tot fooled "Jarlena" with that study excuse. It's spring break, fool. They know you're not preparing for a test. Then again, his grandfather is a super spy and his grandma a super shrink. Those two would be hard to fool...typically speaking, but not always.


So, friends and fellow fans, that's it for April 15. Be smart and read Laurisa's all new Two Scoops next week. 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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