Will's back, with secrets! (NBC Universal Inc.)

Salem Shenanigans from December 8 – 12:

Themes of the week: Shame and flashbacks, though the two had nothing to do with the other. It looks as though things in Salem could be picking up. It’s dish time!

Move over Kim Kardashian.
Eric’s story being told in Sami’s movie of the week would boost the ratings for Sami’s movie. A priest who was defrocked while drugged by the town pariah? Yeah. Who wouldn’t watch that? It’s a soap within a soap. Sami’s producers must be congratulating themselves on the pure gold that her story is. I’m pretty sure the Kardashians don’t have exciting episodes like that.

Is there more to Melanie’s story?
So after all this excitement over the two casino marshals chasing Melanie to Salem for that 70K, we really don’t know why Melanie swindled them. Did she need the money for something important or did she just think it’d be fun to see if she could get away with it? And why return to the same casino that she was caught in? For someone smart enough to count cards that was sort of a boneheaded move. Many have speculated that she had Chad’s baby and wanted the money to bring little Chadsworth II up but now that she’s been in town a few days it doesn’t fit. Last Deconstructing “DOOL” I suggested that the storyline would have worked better if we followed Melanie in Europe for a few weeks and knew her secret before anyone in Salem did. Maybe if the goons weren’t good-looking, young or stylish and if it didn’t end so abruptly, it could have had us invested. Is that document Daniel made the marshals sign even legal?

Friends without benefits?
Jennifer and Daniel’s scene was … not annoying whatsoever which was unexpected. It was really good to see them laughing and being so open with each other. They could end up being better as friends.

Shrinking his head.
JJ saw Dr. Richards regarding his father raping his aunt but it’s unclear of why after all this time he finally saw someone when we all thought he was over this. I really did think he was using the rape as a crutch so he didn’t have to explain to Paige the real reason he dumped her. You know, that he had sex with her mother? Maybe I missed the point. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Non-couple flashbacks.
Serena and Eric weren’t the only non-couple who were flashing back to past pillow talk. Paul and Sonny did this but these two had some obvious chemistry between them. Paul could give Will some serious competition if he came out – knowing the only reason Sonny left Paul was because he’s in the closet. It’s both exciting and worrisome because nobody really relishes seeing couples facing dark times that we can see are about to come. It makes sense that Sonny can’t tell Will about Paul because he made a promise and nobody should out anyone else. Sonny is also keeping a secret about his mistake in buying this second business. He can’t really blame Chad “the snake” for screwing him over when he didn’t read the agreement before signing. Friends or not, business is business and should be treated as such. Sonny must feel ashamed. Will, too, is feeling some shame after being dumped by the studio. There’s an intriguing story to come and just because many like it doesn’t mean the powers that be should have written another ‘reunited and it feels so good’ story with another character…

Nicole who?
Serena blew into town, gorgeous flaming red hair flying, all teeth, and happier than Brady on cocaine. She was a bit scary. She calmed down when she reconnected with ex-lover Eric and literally ten minutes later, we were in the midst of a new (old?) love story – with flashbacks. Just like with Sonny and Paul, the flashbacks were a nice touch though I am still not sure how to feel about Eric and Serena. There’s the question of whether or not he’s still in love with Nicole to be addressed. Seeing Serena could mean some major changes for Eric to come. Wait until our feisty Nicole gets wind of this!