The swallows returning to Capistrano. Pumpkin spice showing up everywhere. Then there's an annual tradition that all good soap fans can get behind: the releasing of Days of our Lives' holiday preview video at the Day of DAYS fan event.
This year's video definitely lives up to the hype with teases of at least two weddings, a baby theft, and ... murder!
While audiences are left to speculate which Salemite is slain, it looks like the bloody killing takes place in the apartment shared by Tripp Johnson (Lucas Adams), Wendy Shin (Victoria Grace), and her older brother, troublemaker Li Shin (Remington Hoffman). While Tripp's life has recently been threatened by incarcerated mobster Clyde Weston (James Read), Li also has a long list of enemies, including ex-wife, Gabi Hernandez (Camila Banus), who's seen next to a body holding a bloody knife, proclaiming, "He's dead."
Meanwhile, audiences are left to wonder if Ava's (Tamara Braun) new romance with Harris Michaels (Steve Burton) will be cut short when he's seemingly shot. A new hire at the Salem PD, Harris was ordered to investigate the abduction of Susan Banks (Stacy Haiduk), and fans recently discovered Clyde was the culprit. Clyde's also blackmailing Ava into doing his dirty work "on the outside," so we're left wondering if Harris got too close to the truth.
Seeking truths from his past, long-suffering John (Drake Hogestyn) is seen lamenting over his time as "the Pawn" while Theresa (Emily O'Brien) and covert cohort Konstantin (John Kapelos) discover that Xander Cook (Paul Telfer) is really Victor's (the late John Aniston) long-lost son. If that truth surfaces, it'll be another upheaval in Xander's life, as he's facing a vicious custody battle with ex-wife Sarah Horton (Linsey Godfrey) -- though it appears their on-again, off-again relationship may rekindle.
In dual wedding action, we see Eric (Greg Vaughan) and Sloan (Jessica Serfaty) tying the knot, as well as the very-pregnant Nicole (Arianne Zucker) and E.J. (Dan Feuerriegel). Between Eric and Nicole's lingering feelings for one another and the explosive paternity truth about the baby she's carrying, wedded bliss doesn't seem like it will last long, especially when Nicole's baby is stolen shortly after she survives a car crash. Both Sloan and Melinda (Tina Huang) are hellbent to keep this baby bombshell hidden but must deal with blackmailer Leo (Greg Rikaart). Will the truth be exposed for a Christmas miracle, or will this baby bombshell last into the new year?
You may also want to hold on to your heirloom holiday ornaments because the Horton tree trimming might look a little different this year if the trailer is any indication. Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) and Chad (Billy Flynn) discover the familial living room ablaze! Though loyal DAYS fans will know that most teasers are just that -- there's a lot of teasing and trickery involved, especially as the show airs their special, often one-off, Halloween episode later this month.
In addition to the romance, revenge, and all-out rowdiness in Salem, fans are sure to notice a family face not seen since earlier this year! Blake Berris, who's played the tortured, often villainous role of Nick Fallon on and off since 2006, will be rejoining the cast very soon if the Halloween-themed bowl the character is holding is a clue.
While a ghostly visit from Nick isn't out of the question (especially this time of year), it seems clear from the teaser -- and Nick's residence in hell when audiences last saw him -- that Berris will be joining the likes of Emily O'Brien (Theresa Donovan, ex-Gwen Rizczech) and Robert Scott Wilsom (Alex Kiriakis, ex-Ben Weston), to name a few, in pulling a quick character switch. O'Brien even made the transition in the same scene of an episode.
The teaser indicates that Berris will now be playing Everett, the ex-husband of Detective Jada Hunter (Elia Cantu) and possibly the man Stephanie Johnson (Abigail Klein) was seeing in Seattle. That relationship ended when she was "ghosted," which made Steve and Kayla's daughter hesitant to move forward with Alex then later Chad DiMera. Everett's arrival in Salem will surely stir up trouble for both Jada's romance with Rafe (Galen Gering) and Stephanie's recently rocky one with Chad.
Now that you've gotten the scoop on what's ahead (and you can get DAYS teasers and spoilers every week right here on Soap Central), here's the video for you to check out.
What did you think of the preview? What are some of the standout surprises and what are you most eagerly awaiting? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.