Soapbox

Days of Our Lives Brought Two Storylines to an Abrupt End, While Teasing a Promising Re-Pairing and an Intriguing Dark Side

December 19 - 23

Three photo collage of Eric and Sloan in bed, Abe Paulina Chanel and Allie hugging, and Tripp holding Ava's hand that is cuffed to a gurney.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Two storylines wrapped up with the speed of light this week, leaving us with questions and hopes for what’s to come. We also got a glimpse at characters turning to the dark side and hope for a fun pairing to come. Let’s get to it.

Did You Hear Something?

Johnny, Marlena, Tripp and Nicole gape at a blonde wigged Ava in the church. Under the altar, a digital screen displays the number three.

The bomb went off on Friday, everyone got to the hospital with minor scrapes on Monday, and Ava was carted off to Bayview by Tuesday. That was at least a week’s worth of story to play out that they crammed into two days. Everyone survived, Nicole’s arm in a sling was the only casualty, and there are no lasting effects on the canvas. Sure, Ava was shipped off again, but that could have happened in numerous other ways that didn’t include dropping a church on top of several unscathed characters.

‘EJole’ Redux

Smoke and debris fill the church. A battered Nicole leans back on EJ. Johnny crouches near them.

The best thing to come of the explosion was EJ and Nicole’s interactions — with their lighthearted breakfast in bed as the highlight. Not only because they were goofy and fun, but we also finally learned Sister Mary Moira was safe, albeit three days later. But what about the poor priest?

While I thought the potential for an Ava/EJ pairing was squandered, Days is more than making up for it by putting EJ and Nicole back together. Their chemistry has been evident in the few times they’ve interacted since Dan Feuerriegel took over as EJ, but now that it’s on full display, I can’t wait for more. I’d even settle for them just being friends because they are a delight together, but I’m betting they’ll be more than that.

Christmas Pardons For Everyone

In Allie's apartment, Sloan faces Chanel and Paulina, as Allie and Abe look on.

Another storyline that had tons of build-up, but ended in a blink-and-you-missed-it kind of way is Paulina and Chanel’s legal woes. In one episode, Belle argued their case in London (off-screen), the charges were dropped (off-screen), and Paulina and Chanel looked forward to a Merry Christmas. There wasn’t even time for a scowling Trask to stomp in and make threats.

It seems Sloan will continue to try and make Paulina and Chanel’s lives miserable, but the only true repercussion was that Paulina stepped down as governor. That had to happen anyway in order for her and Abe to stay in Salem. Unless, of course, she changes her mind about her governorship next week.

The Sinner and the Saint

In Sloan's bed, she and Eric lean back on the headboard. Eric rests his hand on her knee and they stare into each other's eyes.

As for Sloan, I am hoping against hope they don’t domesticate her. Salem needs a good schemer who isn’t obsessed with a man or having babies. She can pair up and even fall in love, but I kinda need her to stay a bad girl who likes to drink, have fun, and make people’s lives miserable. All while lawyering once in a while, and scheming with a red-hot lover. Now that Eric is planning his niece’s kidnapping, he could certainly fit that bill. But I’m more afraid Saint Eric will emerge and drag her to the light side.

Speaking of, I am all for Eric unleashing his pent-up anger by using Rachel against Kristen. He’s taking a play out of Kristen’s book, but in a kinder, gentler way. Rachel will be none the wiser so it’s sort of a victimless crime because Kristen is no victim here. Unless it all goes horribly awry and Rachel is put in danger. Which hopefully doesn’t happen if only so angsty Eric doesn’t return.

“This Is What You Got Me?”

In bed a shirtless Xander grins at Sarah. Wearing a robe, she folds her arms and glares at a box with a bow on it.

I agree with Curtis’ previous assessment that they botched Xander and Sarah to the point I am no longer invested in whether or not they survive his latest stunt. At the moment, Xander and Gwen are way more fun to watch, even if Gwen’s acting a little desperate for Xandy’s attention. Though, I do appreciate that Sarah is the one figuring out Xander was the kidnapper and doesn’t seem to have any interest in protecting him — as evidenced by her previously telling anyone who would listen about her suspicions.

On a side note, while it was used as a device to fuel Sarah’s suspicions about him and Gwen, Xander gifting Sarah lingerie for Christmas felt wrong. He’s usually more thoughtful than that when it comes to the love of his life.

Odds and Ends

In the Hernandez kitchen, Li and Gabi peer down at Ari who bites into a cookie. Li wears an apron over a Santa suit. Gabi wears a matching apron.

• I hate how much I enjoy Leo and Sonny’s chemistry. Thankfully, Alex is always around to remind us why we should never ship these two. If only Paul and Andrew could come to Salem to give them more options, it might not be an issue.

• Li was so cute and charming with Gabi and Ari this week. As he was with Gabi and Rafe at Thanksgiving. But then I remember he had Stefan brainwashed, and I feel like I’m watching two different characters.

• In a battle of wits between Rachel and Ari, my money’s on Ari. Rachel is just a brat, but Ari knows all the angles and is calculating her next move.

• Hope couldn’t come to Christmas because she is teaching ice skating in Montreal. Did I get that right? I hope that’s a cover story and she’s really on assignment with the ISA. Either way, that’s why the sporadic pop-ins by Tripp, Rex, Eli, and others add much-needed realism to certain situations.

That’s all I got this time around. I’ll be back again next week while Curtis is on vacation. Until then, tell us below what you thought about the week in Salem! And have a Merry Christmas!

Before you go, check out our best and worst in soaps for 2022 in the photo gallery below!