days summer preview mashup ben ciara jake gabi eric nicole

Jill Johnson/JPI (3)

“What we have planned will blow people away!” 

This year, summer in Salem will be a little bit different than in other soap towns. Why? Because thanks to the Summer Olympics, Days of Our Lives‘ headwriter Ron Carlivati and his crew had to come up with ways to keep people buzzing when the NBC sudser is knocked off the air for two solid weeks beginning on July 23.

So big is what the show has coming up that it can’t be contained by just one season. “Trust me, this will be great,” executive producer Ken Corday recently told Soaps.com. “What we have planned will blow people away, especially around the Olympics and as we head into the fall season.”

Which makes what’s about to unfold on screen must-see TV as the storyline fuses are lit in preparation for the explosive developments to come. Want to know what’s going to unfold? Read on!

• In case you haven’t heard, EJ DiMera is coming home… next week, in fact! And while he’s now fully healed, the same can’t be said for his marriage. Will he be able to win back true love Sami… or will it be tougher for his ex-wife to give up what she and Lucas have rediscovered than either of them imagined? When not trying to reclaim Sami, EJ will work with Chad and Tony as they attempt to wrest control of DiMera Enterprises away from an entrenched Jake, who knows a thing or two about fighting to keep what’s his.

days chad jake mansion JJ

“Did you really have to draw a literal battle line in the living room? With paint?”

More: Meet EJ and Sami’s all-grown-up son

• Nicole should probably be focused on the state of her own troubled marriage, given that she recently cheated on hubby Eric with Xander. But instead, she’s out to prove sister-in-law Sami’s infidelity in order to blackmail her into silence. But what happens on Nicole and Eric’s wedding anniversary will change everything. (Given that we now know his portrayer, Greg Vaughan, is heading home, seems pretty likely Nicole’s going to have a reason to pop some bubbly for the occasion… )

More: Is Days setting Eric/Nicole fans up for disappointment?

• Speaking of anniversaries, believe it or not, we’re already coming up on Eli and Lani’s first! This, of course, is cause for celebration… which in Salem-speak means “things are not going to go as planned.”

Eli and Lani enjoy a light moment at home on Days of Our Lives

“You know, throwing a party always sounds like a good idea… until the screaming starts and a body falls out of a pinata or some crazy thing like that.”

• And while we’re still speaking of anniversaries, it’s worth remembering that Ben and Ciara tied the knot last summer. And although their marriage quickly went up in literal smoke, there’s good reason to think things might be looking up. After all, Corday told us “maybe it’s time for Ben and Ciara to have a little happiness.” It won’t be easy, however, given that Ciara comes back to town in order to drop a major bombshell on poor Ben. On the plus side, this motivates him to take an “It’s now or never!” approach to winning her back. What he does just before the Summer Olympics break will be a major game-changer!

Ben and Ciara reunite on Days of Our Lives

Ben’s big plan? Engage Ciara in a staring contest and then never, ever look away.

More: All the details on Victoria Konefal’s return as Ciara

• Gwen’s been keeping some pretty awful secrets from dad Jack, and he’s inching closer to uncovering them. She and Xander — a scheme team if ever there was one — will work to keep a tight lid on things, but his involvement could only make things far worse for his fellow conniver.

• Even a truly blind person could see that Kate pretending to be visually impaired is probably going to blow up in her face. But desperate people do desperate things, and Kate really, really wants to keep Jake by her side (and, not coincidentally, away from Gabi’s).

• Paulina and Abe get much, much closer… but it could wind up being too close for comfort. Why? Because like most people in this town, she’s keeping a secret. When the truth comes out about her plans for Horton Square, Abe’s not the only local who’s likely to feel betrayed!

More: Former Days villain takes on a manipulative new role

• Trend forecasters are predicting that triangles will be summer’s hottest shape. For example, while Rafe and Ava are moving full steam ahead with their new romance — or would that be full steamy ahead? — he’s still having lingering feelings for Nicole. And while she is a married woman… well, did you read some of the previous preview? That might not be an issue for long!

Meanwhile, Chloe’s lucky enough to have both Philip and Brady vying for her attentions. And even when it appears that one of them has scored a major victory, it’s safe to say the battle will be far from over. And Chanel hopes to mix business and pleasure when it comes to her new partnership with Allie, who is trying to figure out her own feelings for Tripp!

days lucas allie tripp kissing JJ

“Move over, boy, let me show you how it’s really done!”

So which of the many plots brewing in Salem are your cup of tea? Share your thoughts on what’s coming up — or what you’d like to see unfold — in the comments section below. Then, check out the gallery below in which we offer not only summer preview for all four soaps but also our own predictions. That’s right, you get both what will happen and what we think will happen, all for the low, low price of free!