Days of Our Lives 2012 Year In Review image


She's just "mean mean mean." (NBC)

A look back at Salem in 2012.

2012 may have brought new love interests for our Salemites but we saw much of the same scandals happening. Besides the never-ending love triangles, we had the return of Kristen Blake Black DiMera, Caroline's Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis, and we sadly said goodbye to Peter Reckell after playing Bo Brady for 23 years.

The SAFE-EJAMI love triangle continues.
Sami's become the woman of the year. She's suddenly a successful businesswoman with two men fighting over her. After Sami and EJ's one night affair was exposed and Rafe left Sami for Carrie, Sami moved on to EJ, then to Lucas. Although it's hard to really remember the two-minute fling Lucas and Sami had again until Rafe came back for Sami's attention once Carrie chose Austin. While the rivalry between Rafe and EJ vying for Sami is endearing, it just seems like one big carousel ride that probably won't stop in 2013.

Secrets revealed.
We always learn more about our characters' past each year. This year, Ian McAllister, Madison's husband, came to shake things up in Salem. He, like many men, had a past with Kate and their rekindled flame broke up her marriage with Stefano. Meanwhile, we learned EJ wasn't really Stefano's biological son. A brief 'whodunnit' mystery had Stefano shot and "killed," but the not-so-charming Ian admitted to Kate he was responsible. Of course the phoenix rose from the ashes and Stefano and EJ learned that they were in fact father and son biologically. Not totally a roller-coaster, but a sigh of relief to see this former estranged father and son somewhat reunited, probably to cause trouble in the new year.

Things get explosive.
Literally, explosive in August, when a gas leak from Salem's tunnels caused an explosion that ended up killing Jack while he saved his daughter, Abigail's life. Madison also died on her and Brady's wedding day. A shattered Jenn found herself drawn to Daniel again, who she had to let go since she had chosen Jack over him earlier in the year. This didn't sit well with Nicole who at that point had fallen for him.

Nicole goes loco.
Nicole's always been one of those characters that you're expecting to get into a mess. She reunited with EJ briefly until she found out about his night with Sami. She then learned she was miraculously pregnant with EJ's son and got Rafe to pretend to be the father. Meanwhile she snagged her best friend, Chloe's ex when she got together with Daniel. Sadly, Nicole lost the baby but hid the truth to hold on to Daniel until she fell down the stairs during an argument with Jennifer who had come back in the picture. Even though she tried to blame Jenn for her miscarriage, the truth came out and Nicole got so desperate she threatened to end her life. With the recent return of Eric Brady, now a priest guiding her, Nicole is trying to make amends. Seeing that Eric was a previous lover of her's, this should make things more interesting.

Young love.
Young love was in the air this year. Days had a more realistic storyline with Will coming out and having to deal with parents who are adjusting to him being gay. He's fallen in love with Sonny and now he's fathered a child with Gabi from a random night of sex before fully accepting who he is. Earlier in the summer, Gabi channeled Jan Spears and had Melanie kidnapped in order to have Chad to herself. When Melanie was finally rescued after the explosion, she learned that Nick Fallon was released from jail and eventually left Chad and all the drama in Salem behind. Now Nick and Gabi are planning to marry and raise her child together as Chad continues to make her miserable for what she did to Melanie. We'll have to see how Gabi's pregnancy goes with Chad stirring up trouble and whether Sonny and Will's relationship will last once the paternity of Gabi's baby is exposed. It's just a matter of time, right?

Welcome back to the "mean mean mean" vampire, Kristen.
Eileen Davidson reprised her role as Stefano's daughter, Kristen DiMera. While she swears that she's not back to stir trouble for Marlena and John, she's now got some action going on with his son, Brady! On a side note, isn't it weird that Eileen played Susan Banks, EJ's mom, back in the day? This would kind of mean that Kristen is old enough to be EJ's mom. I know soaps are notorious for randomly aging characters, but when I see EJ and Kristen in the same scene, it makes me chuckle. Whatever Kristen's intentions are, it's definitely exciting to have this wickedly conniving and entertaining character back in Salem. Looking forward to all the drama she'll cause in the New Year!

Unhappy endings.
Probably the saddest moment this past year was watching Lexi Carver, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor, pass away in Abe's arms in June. The tumor supposedly might have been caused by fumes from the underground tunnel that Lexi was hidden away in by Andre a few years back. The heart wrenching build up and preparation to her imminent death was probably one of the most painful things I've ever watched happen on "Days". And while I secretly hoped that she'd somehow come back to life, this was probably one of the more realistic endings to a character that we've seen in a long time.

And last but not least, our hearts were saddened when Peter Reckell exited the show after playing Bo Brady for 23 years. It all started when Bo left the force and while he had dreams to sail around the world with his family again, he ended up making the move to California with Caroline for experimental therapy when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. While Caroline has returned, Peter Reckell is not back as Bo, leaving his character off screen. What will the New Year bring for Hope? Will Bo and Hope's love survive even without Bo on the show?

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! Here's to a scandalous 2013 in Salem!

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Photos courtesy of NBC Universal Inc.

- Rolla Bahsous