The highlight of this week's Days of Our Lives was Andre putting his plan in motion to get revenge on Hope. For the past couple of months, Andre has been relatively tame.
He broke into Hope's house and managed to get away with grabbing the gun she used to kill Stefano. Yet he didn't even try to harm Shawn, nor did he move things around and try to gaslight Hope.
I was wondering when the real Andre was going to come out to play, and he finally did this week!
Andre's plan was nothing short of diabolical. He chose to befriend and manipulate Chase, saying just the right things to the troubled teen to make him sound like his new best friend. He was so good at pretending to be a caring adult that he made me miss Daniel all over again.
And of course, then he planted an explosive in Chase's backpack so that Hope's living room caught on fire.
Rafe: Maybe this was Andre's parting shot.
Hope: No. With Andre, this is just the beginning.
Nobody really got hurt in the fire, but I don't think they were meant to. Andre was just leaving his calling card, so to speak, and Hope got the message loud and clear. She is absolutely right; Andre is just beginning and nobody in her family is safe.
That makes her decision to run off to Jennifer's with the kids a bit questionable. Jennifer and her kids are already on Andre's radar since Chad insists on being with Abigail instead of working to avenge Stefano's death.
Hopefully this doesn't put everyone in danger. However, it was nice for Hope to take a break for two seconds from her crazy storyline to offer condolences to her cousin on Daniel's death.
Too bad she didn't do that weeks ago, like when it happened. Then maybe Jennifer wouldn't be developing an addiction to painkillers.
I was disappointed that JJ was conveniently absent during this late night visit. Pills or no pills, Jen shouldn't be so calm about him being out in the middle of the night, especially since it likely means he's working a graveyard shift at the police station.
Also, he's been exactly where Chase is: feeling neglected and unloved and afraid that he is going to repeat his father's sins.
It would be really interesting to see JJ try to be a positive influence on Chase's life while Andre tries to pull him in the other direction. I hope the writers go there, though I have my doubts.
It was also great to see Hope notice that something is off about Jennifer. Finally, someone who will be believed! Too bad she had to run back to her house to pow-wow with Rafe and didn't have time to pursue much of anything with her cousin.
Both Rafe and Chad seem to think Andre is easily disposed of. I'm not quite sure why, since he's been known to clone people and fake their deaths in order to make their loved ones suffer. Rafe should definitely know better than to think Stefano is the only bad Dimera, since he suffered a similar fate at EJ's hands.
I am nobody's possession!Abigail
During the Valentine's Day dream sequence, Abigail had both the insight and the strength to stand up to Fake Chad. Too bad she probably won't have either in her waking life.
She at least acknowledged that Andre can be dangerous, unlike Chad, who thinks they just need to elope, return happily married and then tell Andre to leave the mansion for good.
I'm afraid Chad is really headed for a fall, possibly one worse than brainwashing and/or what Fake Chad did to him in that dream.
I also think Abigail should pause and notice the similarities between Chad and Ben here. I think Chad is a good guy who genuinely loves Abigail, but once again she is letting a guy call the shots and take her away from her family.
A red flag should be going up, even if it ultimately is a false one, but instead she is determined to continue to have blinders on and convince herself that her brother just doesn't want her to be happy.
Of course, that's nothing new – Abby generally treats JJ like he's a stupid little kid who shouldn't be taken seriously, and until recently Jennifer did too – but I wonder how it will come back to bite her.
Elsewhere in Salem this week, Deimos tricked Philip. He was never really after the serum; he wanted to destroy Philip and Victor's relationship as part of an elaborate revenge scheme.
It worked, too, mainly because Philip has never grown up. Not wanting Victor to know when he did something bad might have been endearing, or at least appropriate, when he was 16, but now that he's middle aged Philip should have left that fear behind a long time ago.
It's especially silly because if Victor had known about Philip's OD situation, he probably would have just hired somebody to take care of it, given Philip a lecture in private about not thinking with his nether regions, and let Maggie calm him down.
Philip: I love you.
Victor: Good for you.
Philip's relationship with Victor is now in tatters and he's lost his job. He's achieved exactly the opposite of what he meant to, and I don't feel sorry for him, because it's more or less his own fault. All he had to do was tell Victor about the OD situation and Deimos' power over him would have vanished.
In the midst of all this drama, we took a break for Valentine's Day for some (mostly) lighthearted dream sequences. The romance between Doug and Julie filled a serious void. Other than Brady playing the ukulele for Theresa, there has been a real lack of genuine romance.
It was great to see Doug and Julie dancing, reminiscing and comforting each other. They are really being set up as the new Tom and Alice and while nobody can really replace the Horton patriarchs, I hope that continues.
The dream sequences were interesting and different. Nicole's dream of Daniel was especially poignant.
What do you want to do? Throw yourself on my funeral pyre? What good would that do, huh? That would just deprive the world of a magnificent woman.Daniel
Nicole is having trouble letting go of Daniel because she feels that his love is the only thing that allowed her to be her best self. She really needs to heed his advice in this dream sequence and honor his memory by living the best life she can.
I just hope that she doesn't take his last message to her about his heart beating for her literally. We've already had more than enough of her trying to hold onto Daniel through her friendship with Brady.
Ciara's dream was definitely the funniest.
It seems like just yesterday we were in fourth grade.Ciara
Her dream was a great spoof both of reality shows and of the way she and Chase were rapidly aged. It's interesting that she's drawn to Chase's darkness. Her dream of Chase drinking a beer reminded me so much of the way JJ used to be that I again hoped that he and JJ will cross paths soon.
Some other things that happened in Salem this week:
- John and Marlena had the same argument they always have, except for that instead of working for the ISA, now he wants to work with Eduardo to bring Winterthorpe down.
- Philip talked Kate into taking an interest in Deimos by telling her how evil Deimos was.
- Finn flirted with Lani in a very sleazy way.
- Steve elected not to tell Kayla that Ava forced him to sleep with her.
What'd you think of the goings-on in Salem this week? Comment below, and don't forget to check out the Days of Our Lives Round Table on Sunday, where we will be debating Steve's choice to keep the truth from Kayla, Andre's next move and more.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.