The awful Yo Ling storyline is over, but it looks like some strong drama's coming out of it.
Paul might have been brainwashed, though right now he's grateful to his father, and John's accepted that his parents were crazy and that life is better lived in the present.
Rafe found his mother unconscious in the same warehouse that John was being held at, and she wasted no time taking her position as head of the family and trying to get rid of Eduardo's influence in their lives. Meanwhile, Nicole and Dario bonded over having had terrible parents and Maggie got sick right after a nice moment with Summer.
Rafe, Steve and Marlena spent a lot of time tracking down places where Yo Ling might have taken John before realizing he was still in the warehouse where the shootout had taken place. You'd think that'd be the first place they'd look, but this is Salem.
Marlena's inserting herself into the adventure was predictable. From the moment Rafe told her not to, it was just a matter of time before she showed up at the scene of the crime. At least she got to assert herself with John afterwards, pointing out that he'd done the same for her and that women have the same right to risk their lives stupidly as their husbands do.
Steve: Don't shoot me.
Marlena: Don't tempt me.
Marlena and Steve's banter provided some comic relief that almost made this storyline tolerable. From there, things happened quickly. For some reason, John restrained Yo Ling's hands in front of him instead of behind his back like the other thugs arrested at the scene, allowing him to take a poison pill.
Yo Ling seemed pretty dead, but the number of times the camera focused on his body made me wonder if he was faking. Hopefully not. He's tormented viewers enough with his anti-Americanism and stereotypical behavior.
The real fun began afterwards, as Adriana "Mami" Hernandez came back to Salem. I know many viewers are reluctant to embrace the Hernandezes as a core family, but I'm really enjoying her so far. She's feisty, takes charge and doesn't put up with her kids' attempts to pull the wool over her eyes.
We have to get him to leave town as soon as possible!Mama Hernandez
Too bad she already has the Salem attitude that if you don't like someone they are obligated to leave town. I often wonder where everyone got this idea. It's obnoxious and annoying. Besides, it's probably only a matter of time before she forgives Eduardo, given how much she hates the sight of him right now.
It was easy to feel sorry for Eduardo this week. Sure, he had an unsavory past as a hired assassin, though he may have been brainwashed too. He came back to mourn one of his daughters' deaths and reconnect with the rest of his children, but now nobody wants him.
It seemed he and Rafe were making headway til Rafe's mother reappeared. Then Rafe apparently forgot that his attempts to protect Gabi have got him nothing but trouble and decided the best way to protect his mother was to go back into hateful mode around his father.
Dario's anger is understandable and gives his character depth. His father's abandonment probably has something to do with why he gets himself into trouble. Hopefully having Eduardo to yell at in person for a while longer will help him turn himself around.
It's not fair, is it? The people who shouldn't be parents are and the people who should be parents never get a chance.Nicole
It was nice to see Nicole being herself around Dario. She's able to express her pain without regressing back into immature behavior. The fact that she's able to mourn Daniel and her own inability to have kids without resorting to alcohol to cope is a big step forward for her.
No one can touch me. No one can hurt me.Ciara
Too bad the same can't be said for Ciara and the other teens involved in messy storylines. Ciara was slightly tipsy, which Hope dealt with by sending her friends home and telling her again to go to therapy.
Supposedly there were consequences involved but we never saw them, unless Hope telling Rafe that Ciara was way more drunk than she was is meant to embarrass her.
Hope then let Ciara go to Claire's for the night. While Ciara's reluctance to stay at Jennifer's was understandable, letting her stay with a friend after breaking a bunch of rules was questionable.
It would have been far better for Ciara to get to talk to Jennifer, who has used her own experience to counsel rape survivors before, since they're staying in the same house. If Ciara really couldn't stomach the Horton House, perhaps Aunt Kayla could be helpful, since she's also a rape survivor.
Meanwhile, Roman looked the other way, pretending Joey didn't confess to murder. How many crimes can Roman cover up before he loses his badge? At least Joey had the sense to realize something was off about his friend Jade, who found his murderous ways to be attractive.
Chad: What do you think?
JJ: It's very risky.
JJ and Chad came up with a plan together to trap Ben. I'm looking forward to seeing them work together, but I'd like to know when JJ became so conservative. The JJ I know and love is a risk taker who can't stand waiting around for things to happen. I'm all for him maturing, but that seemed very out of character for him.
He also should be involved in this storyline around Claire becoming a musician. It seemed odd that Philip was talking about wanting to be a rock star when he was younger. That seems more appropriate for JJ, both because Casey Moss has a band in real life and because until recently guitar was JJ's passion.
Now he's never seen playing, which is weird.
I was stunned. I had no idea I had a child out there all these years.Maggie
Maggie should be having deja vu. Didn't she already discover a child she never knew she had? This contrived backstory about a teen pregnancy that she thought resulted in a dead baby properly belongs to Nicole. Nicole's last child was stillborn and fans have wondered for years whether he could possibly still be alive somewhere.
It's also odd that Maggie's parents and her son both died in car accidents.
Anyway, Maggie's scenes with Summer were surprisingly touching, considering how ridiculous this story is. Hearing about Melissa and Pete after all these years was a nice surprise. Summer's backstory is awfully similar to JJ's, including how Daniel helped turn things around.
Too bad Maggie didn't mention that her nephew the cop also used to be a shoplifter and spent time in jail for various things.
I've got germs to share. Enter at your own risk.Victor
Victor didn't seem all that sick, so at first it seemed like his cold was just an excuse for Maggie not to go to Abigail and Chad's wedding. However, this has now been going on for almost two weeks. Since Deimos is busy poisoning Maggie while Victor's cold seems to be central to his story, is it possible he's poisoning Victor too?
Maggie's symptoms are likely due to the pills Deimos switched on her, but she had similar symptoms months ago. Daniel insisted on taking her to the hospital and running tests after she became lightheaded. Could those scenes, which seemed like filler at the time, be relevant to whatever's going on now?
Her insistence on going home was very odd. It seemed like she'd been programmed by Deimos. She didn't seem any more capable of driving than Eric did on the night of the accident, so it's a good thing she ran into Nicole and Dario.
So now it's your turn! What do you think is wrong with Maggie, which of the teens is in the worst situation, and how are you liking the Hernandez family so far?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to check back on Sunday for the Round Table Discussion!
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.