Hey TVFanatics! I'll be covering for Jack Ori this week. Not to worry, he'll be back next week to give his views on the happenings in Salem, but until then here's my take on this week's Days of Our Lives...
The mask finally came off!
Usually, when people mention wearing a mask, it's metaphorical, but not in Salem where Kristen has spent months parading around town in her Nicole mask fooling everyone, including Nicole's best friend and former lovers.
With her real face now revealed, it should be a game-changer for Kristen and her victims.
Although it feels as though we've been waiting forever for this climax, and I had my doubts about who would do the unmasking and when, it was still pretty darn satisfying.
They called this the most "John and Marlena party ever" and it was hard to argue with that. It certainly wasn't the first time Kristen has turned up to one of their events uninvited or trying to kill Marlena.
Kristen went for the trifecta, she attempted to kill Marlena, steal away Brady, and humiliate Eric all at the same celebration.
But the two people who got to take Kristen down were apropos.
Considering John and Kristen's history (and the mention of them coaching Little League was a nice segue to that) it made sense that John could put all the pieces together and have the guts to pull a woman's face off in front of half the town.
And then there was Susan.
Usually, I cringe when Susan Banks hits town. I only find her entertaining in very limited doses, but thankfully, this was one of those times.
Having Susan chew her way out of her rope restraints using her buck teeth was a hoot! A true twist worthy of Susan Banks.
My only complaint, and it's minor, is that Susan deserved a hug from her beloved Dr. Evans after she smacked Kristen in the head and saved her.
John and Marlena took it all in their stride. After 33 years of this kind of drama, nothing should surprise them any more.
So far, Brady's initial reaction has been anger, which is understandable, but I'm curious to see what happens when the shock wears off and it really sinks in that he was tricked into having sex with Kristen.
And although he never truly suspected that Nicole was Kristen, he had a bit of a heads up that Kristen might still be alive...
Will: I know it sounds crazy the idea that Kristen can still be alive.
Brady: Well, it’s hard to stand here in front of you and make a case that coming back from the dead isn’t possible.
Will: That’s a good point.
But it was Eric and Sarah's reactions that confused me. Then again, there isn't much about Eric and Sarah that makes sense to me.
On the upside was Chloe's spot-on response to Sarah when she whined about fighting with Eric...
Sarah: We got into a fight.
Chloe: Seriously? Didn’t you leave your husband for him like two seconds ago?
I find Sarah and Eric cooing over one another pretty nauseating, so I'd rather see them fighting, but I'd really choose not to see them at all.
I don't understand why Salem still seems to look to Eric as though he's some kind of moral authority. He frequently loses his temper and becomes violent, and he just bedded his brother's wife the same day their marriage ended.
I use the word "ended" loosely. You'd think Sarah would have enough respect for her vows to at least file the divorce paperwork before having sex with someone else. Heck, she didn't even get a good night's sleep before running from Rex straight to Eric.
But I digress, this is about their reaction to Kristen and her "Nicole" mask.
Despite Kristen doing her best to humiliate Eric in front of the crowd and blaming him for Holly's death (whom she carefully left out was still alive), Eric simply seemed relieved that Nicole was actually Kristen in disguise.
He and Sarah appeared almost happy that Nicole was really dead, and I get why but it's still disturbing.
For Eric, it means he's free to have a relationship with Sarah without feeling guilty over pining for someone else who no longer loves him.
And Sarah only has to worry about coming in second to a dead woman, not a live one.
What this has me craving is the real Nicole to wander back into Salem so she can blow up this horrible romance, and I hope she has Holly with her.
Tony is now free to be with Anna, but I hope she gives him a bit of hell for putting her through all of this and then I hope we get some happy scenes between the two.
Susan: Andre Dimera? I thought you were dead.
Tony: No, it’s Tony, dear.
Susan: Wait, Tony, I thought you were dead too.
Tony: Rather hard to keep track.
I can't imagine what type of storylines could keep these two in Salem but I'm hoping the writers come up with something because I do find them entertaining.
But with Kristen getting hauled off by the Salem PD, and Lani earning the Days of Our Lives quote of the week...
Kristen: Who hit me?
Let's hope that Eli has upped the security at the station or I don't expect them to be able to hold Kristen for long!
I find Sarah and Eric the most cringe-worthy couple, but Tripp, Haley, and JJ are the most boring love triangle.
The only positive, and it's shown so rarely that it's not nearly enough to be worth it, is Tripp confiding in Kayla.
In spite of their rocky past, Tripp and Kayla do feel like family and considering Tripp has no one else and Steve, Stephanie, and Joey are all out of Salem, these two need one another.
I just wish they had a better story. Maybe something that focused on them instead of Haley and JJ.
Because I don't care at all what happens to Haley. No offense to the actress, but the show never took much time to establish her character, never mind her romance with JJ. They just jumped into that horrible immigration storyline and never bothered to develop these relationships.
All of that leads us to the most engaging couple in Salem right now.
In the hands of different actors, their story might have made me recoil, but as they are, Gabi and Stefan have chemistry to burn.
And the best part...they've got great banter and it's funny!
Stefan: Okay, Gabi, the reason I stopped my sister from killing you is that I’m a decent human being.
Gabi: You are?
Stefan: Yes, contrary to popular opinion, I would have done the same for anybody, even a dog in the street.
Gabi: Okay, so you’re comparing me to a dog.
Stefan: If you were a dog I would have moved faster.
Usually, seeing yet another couple locked in the Dimera basement makes me groan, but this time, I'm hoping we get a few more steamy scenes with these two, and I hope it culminates with Stefan truly apologizing to Gabi for all he put her through.
Because that's the only way I can see Gabi being willing to give him any type of a chance, although I doubt she'll hand him back Dimera Enterprises any time soon.
So what do you think TV Fanatics...
Kristen: You know I’d kill for an aspirin right now.
Eli: You’re done killing.
Is Eli right? Is Kristen's current spree in Salem over with?
Will the real Nicole pop up sometime soon?
Am I the only way who is sickened by the Eric and Sarah romance?
Let me know what you think in the comments below and then check back in for our Days of Our Lives round table this Sunday!
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.