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Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (5)

Can anyone come out of this untarnished?

Well, it finally happened. A week after Chanel’s arrest on Days of Our Lives and following weeks of build up over this big, mysterious scandal of hers, we learned what happened. It wasn’t a complete surprise, of course.

Fans had been zeroing in on a death as Chanel’s big secret. And in order for Chanel and Paulina to be salvaged as characters, it had to be one that could be explained, and it had to be unintentional. But now that we’ve gotten the truth about Chanel’s affair with her professor and killing his wife — and Sloan’s mom — during a confrontation when the woman lunged at her on a rooftop, the show may have some heavy lifting left to do to salvage these two women.

Because not everyone is having it.

Maybe Paulina and Chanel panicked — though let’s be honest, Paulina’s not really the panicking type. But as Allie, Paulina and more than a few folks online pointed out, what happened seems like a pretty clear-cut case of self-defense. Granted, with no other witnesses, it’s not that simple.

Sloan spreads her hands as she faces Paulina and Chanel in the conference room

But instead of being honest about what happened, Paulina made it all disappear and Chanel went along with it. The problem folks are having isn’t necessarily with what happened during Chanel’s confrontation, but after. It was using money and influence to cover something up and hurt more people in the process.

Yes, Paulina was a mom willing to do anything to protect her daughter. But the woman who died was a mom too. With a daughter of her own. And because of what Paulina arranged, paying off the college, burying the incident report, the statement — everything — Sloan spent years not just having to deal with the loss of her mom, but thinking she took her own life. And thinking that her mom’s suicide drove her father to drink, leading to his own death.

Losing someone you love to suicide is devastating. Those left behind have to deal with crushing guilt and “what ifs,” wondering if they could have done something to save their loved one, wondering if they had anything to do with it. And losing your parent or child to it?

The anguish Sloan had to have gone through… well, as Sara tweeted, “Sorry, I love Chanel and Paulina, but I’m on team Sloan. She has every right to be upset.”

And sixxers was even more blunt in their assessment, calling Paulina’s actions outright “villainy.”

“I really hope Abe is in character for this story,” they tweeted, “and that he’s disgusted by Sloan’s side of the story. But make no mistake, I love this heel turn for Paulina, and I hope we don’t pretend it’s right.”

But still, it’s not a cut-and-dry issue. A fair number of folks (as well as Allie) pointed out that Chanel’s professor was a predator who groomed her and abused his position of power. And he did his part on keeping his daughter in the dark about her mom and his own affair. He does not seem like he was a good man.

Paulina pointed that part out to Sloan — but she failed to bring up the fact that the suicide angle started with her own actions when she started throwing her money around. And it still seems pretty vicious to blame Sloan’s mom for what happened.

Still, as Matthew Smith tweeted, “This Chanel/Sloan story actually makes sense on both sides.”

And that’s where there’s still hope. A well-told story will have us feeling for everyone, even the supposed villains like Sloan. Plus, it might not all be over for Chanel’s character. She didn’t mean to kill Sloan’s mom and even though she made some bad decisions on that rooftop that may have contributed to what happened, this is a road soap viewers are all too familiar walking down. But we are on some shaky ground here.

As Michelle M. Suau wrote on Twitter, there’s the risk of “Days ruining yet another great character by taking them way too far like they’ve done so many times and I don’t want that for Chanel.”

But Liz Capobianco was right to point out that “it’s too early in the story to say that she’s going to be ruined.”

Paulina, though, is a lot tougher. She could have used her money to get Chanel an incredible team of lawyers to get her off. And maybe get her some therapy while she was at it. Instead, Paulina threw her money around in a way that would cause more pain for others.

Hopefully, to make it through this, Days of Our Lives won’t just double down and insist she did what was right or necessary. There’s blame enough to go around, and good people and characters recognize that, own up to it and grow from it. Let’s hope that’s what happens here. Either way, though, we should get some compelling television out of this!

Is there hope for Sloan to be redeemed after all this? Check out our photo gallery of 10 Days of Our Lives baddies turned good while you ponder.