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Who is spying? (NBC Universal Inc.)

Guess who is alive! (NBC Universal Inc.)

Deconstructing "DOOL" from January 20 - 24:

We certainly saw an abundance of flashbacks this week but the biggest highlight other than someone taking snapshots of EJ cheating on Sami was learning Nick really is alive!

EJ and Sami saga.
Sami was thisclose to forgiving EJ and moving on. She admitted she let his family come between them and took his love, support, and "loyalty" for granted and was ashamed. I can agree with a few points but not entirely. It was a bit of a surprise and felt a little forced. The Sami we know always defends her reasons and especially with family – as she should. This was unnatural – said just so they could momentarily make up only to fight and get back to square one at the hospital when she learned Kristen's henchman attempted to kill her brother. Bleh. It’s hard to see how these two will resolve this especially now that we know Alison Sweeney's leaving.

We’re still no closer to finding out who took those photos of Abigail and EJ kissing at the cabin. My first guess was Nick. I am not sure there is anyone else who would care. If EJ really does want Sami in his life, why meet Abigail in the same secluded spot he cheated with her at? As soon as I ask, now that we know Sweeney's leaving I wonder if EJabby is going to be written as more than just a fling. This is exactly why I dislike knowing what's going to happen months in advance. It ruins the character and the story for me.

I keep having to remind myself that Gabi's essentially supposed to be a good person but the whining and whimpering and droning on about Nick is starting to get to me. I'm with EJ. I don’t really have the patience for her and Abigail’s coming off more and more neurotic each episode as well. It’ll be nice to see this story wrapped up! February Sweeps is on the way...

Hot flashes save the day.
I love how a woman’s hot flashes are essentially what prompted Daniel to save Eric and Nicole’s lives. I guess the flashes were so strong even opening a window in the dead of winter in Salem wouldn't help! It was a funny bit of reality thrown into an otherwise serious situation. Not that I'm poking fun at a woman’s hot flashes which aren't funny for the woman going through them! Brady sure felt guilty for ignoring Daniel’s frantic calls while he was binge-drinking and planning to take off to Vegas. It’s true, if he hadn't ignored the calls he may actually have gotten a clue when he saw Eric’s rosary fall from Chyka's pocket.

Eric finally professed his love for Nicole in a moment that we flashed back to 394 times. Now what? He’s going to live; he wants to be a priest. He sadly can’t be both. He’s got some soul searching to do. My only beef: After months of waiting, we didn't get that one glorious kiss that Nicole would flash back on for weeks to come. It’s a bit of a let-down!

Did anyone notice the eye contact Daniel and Nicole made when she was released from the hospital? Does this mean they could get close while Eric's searching for answers? Ruh roh!

I just don’t like Jordan. I think Rafe could do better. She’s a bit of a mousy drip now, isn't she? And Sheryl’s not a heck of a lot different in personality. Sort of bland. It’s been nice seeing Rafe and Lucas’ friendship develop a bit but couldn't their dates be just a little more fiery? Not Sami or Theresa cray but I thought Jordan was a little snarkier.

Princess Jasmine of Aladdin.
What the hell was Gabi wearing to Arianna’s christening? Was it a Disney costume theme and she just forgot to tell everyone else? The christening was quite the fiasco with Hope and Julie looking to grill Gabi and EJ sexually teasing Abigail while Sami's in the other room. It was pretty juicy drama and ended on a perfect note with a very much alive Nick walking into the church!

Who can't wait for Monday?!

Theresa is wasting her time.
Really, Theresa chasing a man who isn’t into her is getting old. The way she used Brady, practically draining that flask down that sick man’s throat only to pretend she was trying to take it from him when Daniel showed up was pretty vile, even for her. She’s gotten so bad that I’m assuming her comeuppance is coming soon at JJ’s hand. Speaking of JJ, he is just as bad. He used Bev’s friendship and obvious interest in him in order to get her to help take down Theresa. Not nice. Theresa and JJ might make a fine pair at some point if they don’t throw her with Brady. I like that this is taking time.

It looks like Theresa's getting her sister back in her life when "One Life To Live" star Kassie DePaiva arrives in Salem as Eve Donovan this summer. I didn't watch the show when Eve was on it so I don't know if she'll be good for Theresa or if they're two peas in a pod.

Meet cute.
Obviously Aiden Jennings is meant to be Hope’s new love interest. I’m no longer a fan of this type of plot device having two potential romantic partners hating each other on sight. It’s been done a lot on this show but I am a fan of getting Hope some loving. Bo’s gone. I’m over it. Time to move on and give Hope more story and a life outside the cop shop and caring for bratty Ciara who apparently is the next coming of Sami.

We heard this week that Alison Sweeney’s leaving Days as Sami. What a shock! After 21 years it's going to be a great loss for the soap but it's admirable that she wants to spend more time with her children. Sweeney’s done a great job with the character over the years. She has made me like and loathe Sami from one day to the next. The show has used her so much that in the past I've commented that the other characters in Salem are often disregarded. Things will certainly change in that department and especially with all of the new characters from other soaps getting face time. My hope is that the show stays recognizable.

It's time to weigh in on the exit. Days poll: Sweeney's exit as Sami...

Best lines of the week:

Tad says, "Sonny's a great guy. I would marry him if I swung that way."

Sami assures Gabi, "He's fish food."

Brady tells Chyka, "They're one of a kind but I know this one isn’t his because you'd have to pry it out of his dead cold hands for him to give it to ya."

Theresa tells Brady, "My uncle Roman would say you look rode hard and put away wet."

Gabi to EJ, "I know you'll handle Julie the same way you did Abigail." EJ mutters under his breath, "Heaven forbid!"

"I'm Brady. I'm here to get this party started," Brady tells the AA members.

"She's like the 12-step drone," Brady says about Theresa.

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- Christine Fix