The Olympics are over and Days of Our Lives is back!
This week in Salem, Ciara remembered that she didn't hate Ben, Sami was abducted after her blow-up with EJ, Abe and Lani argued about Paulina, and more.
Our TV Fanatics, Jack and Christine, are joined by Silvananoir from MyHourglass a Days of Our Lives fan forum to debate Ben and Ciara's reunion, whether Philip did the right thing with that letter, whether they like Rafe with Ava or Nicole and just who do they think kidnapped Sami?!
Ben and Ciara are finally back together? Rate your excitement from 1 (I so don't care) to 10 (I couldn't be happier!)
Silvananoir: A solid 1. I'm just not invested in Cin, but I'm happy the storyline is over. It swallowed all the air on the show, and now hopefully, we can all move on.
The only positive is that many characters were involved, which is something the show is always missing.
Jack: Meh. I'm giving it a 3. In the past, this couple has been boring and annoyingly clingy. They seem to go back and forth between not being able to spend a second apart and having lots of sex, to someone kidnapping one of them. I hope the writers have something different planned for them now, but I have my doubts.
However, I am adding 2 points because lovey-dovey Ciara is better than obnoxious shrew Ciara. I was pleased that she admitted she'd been cruel and deliberately planned to marry Theo on her anniversary with Ben out of spite.
Christine: I'm giving it a 5, mainly because it means Ciara will finally stopping screeching at everyone.
I hope that Ben and Ciara will finally have a real story together, something more than rolling around in bed or someone being kidnapped or arrested for a crime they didn't commit.
I can't deny these two have chemistry, and lots of fans are rooting for them. So if they're sticking around, I'd just like the writing to be more interesting moving forward.
Who do you think kidnapped Sami and why?
Silvananoir: EJ. I can't think of anyone else that would want Sami gone. And I don't think either of them had enough time to make an enemy that would resort to kidnapping.
Kristen is dealing with her own stuff and wouldn't interfere. EJ did it, and he's punishing Sami and Lucas both with this move.
Jack: I think EJ was behind it, perhaps with some encouragement from Kristen. He told Stefano's portrait that he had his revenge planned.
Ava is the only other possibility, but I think that's a red herring. She just found out about what Sami did and was with Nicole the whole time after that -- there was no moment where she stepped out and could have made a phone call to order a kidnapping.
Christine: I'm going out on a limb and saying it's Kristen. Much like Philip giving Nicole that letter for his brother, I think Kristen got Sami out of the way for hers.
It would be fun if Sami ended up on the same island as Sarah and the two of them had to work together to fight their way back to Salem.
Did Philip do the right thing by giving that letter to Nicole?
Silvananoir: No. It wasn't his place to do. But Sami deserved it. This whole thing could have been avoided if she hadn't exposed Nicole.
If Sami had left her alone, Nicole said it herself; she would never have given that letter to EJ. Philip was 100% wrong in this situation, but I'm glad he did it.
Jack: I'm with Sami on only one point: Philip had no real reason to do it. I'm glad that he did. Sami deserved to be taken down a peg or two.
But I felt like this brotherly relationship between Philip and Lucas was contrived for the sole sake of this plot. They barely have shared scenes until now, so it's hard to buy that caring about Lucas was Philip's sole motivation here.
Christine: I think Philip did the wrong thing for the right reason.
Philip grew up like an only child, but he probably craves a sibling connection, and Lucas is one of his only half-siblings actually in Salem. I think it's entirely in character for Philip to make this type of grand gesture to show Lucas that he wants him to be happy.
Again, it wasn't the right thing to do, but I understand why he did it.
Is Lani right? Should Abe be wary of forgiving Paulina?
Silvananoir: I think so. He will eventually, and he can't hold it over her head forever.
But we can't forget what Paulina did. Abe traded in his good name used a lot of money and his political cache only for Paulina to screw him over. She could have cost him his political career.
Jack: Not for the reasons she gave. That failed trip to Paris had nothing to do with the current situation. It's equally likely that Tamara told Paulina that she didn't want her taking her daughter to Europe and that if she didn't mention it again, Lani would forget about it.
And in any case, that's no reason to hold a grudge for 20+ years! Paulina's behavior in the present is suspicious.
I think she really does care about Abe and wants to make amends, but the question is whether she can help herself next time some opportunity comes along that would require her to screw over the people she supposedly cares about.
Christine: Lani is absolutely right, and Abe is naive. From Lani's perspective, Paulina has a long history of making promises she doesn't keep and telling people what they want to hear.
Paulina knew she was lying about her plans for the Horton Square, and she knew what she was doing would hurt her daughter, Abe, Lani, and Eli's entire family, but she went ahead with it anyway until the consequences felt too great and then she backed off.
Abe doesn't have to treat Paulina like she's a pariah, but if he chooses to trust her with his heart or his reputation again, then he's a fool.
Do you prefer Rafe paired with Ava or Nicole?
Silvananoir: I really like Rafe and Ava. She lightens him up a lot, and they are fun together. My girl Nicole needs someone a little more passionate in her life. Rafe/Nicole gives me the Daniel/Nicole vibes, and I do not want to return to that torture.
Jack: It's a tough one. I have shipped Rafe/Nicole forever and was annoyed that the writers put Rafe with Hope instead of giving them a try a few years ago. But I also enjoy Rafe and Ava as a couple, and they have decent chemistry.
Whatever happens, I hope Ava and Nicole's friendship can remain intact. I really like the way they support each other and are two reformed schemers who have each other's backs, and it would be a shame for them to become bitter enemies over Rafe.
Christine: I used to root for a Rafe/Nicole pairing, but I already feel the boredom setting in that enveloped Hope and Rafe's relationship.
Surprisingly, Ava and Rafe have much better chemistry, and Ava still has enough of a bad girl streak to keep things interesting. But honestly, I think either of them can probably do better than Rafe.
What disappointed you the most this week in Salem?
Silvananoir: We saw a bit of Gwen and Xander, and I did not care. In fact, I kind of completely forgot about that storyline and wish the writers had as well.
But Jake and Gabi are the worst. I hate the storyline because it doesn't make sense. I don't care how much they sabotage Philip.
There is no way Victor would ever approach Gabi to run Titan. I think Victor would even put Deimos in charge before Gabi. Titan is not like Dimera Enterprises. There is no Mr. Shin that can be CEO. Gabi does not understand the power structure of Titan.
As far as we know, the power runs through Victor. This is a stupid story, and I can only hope that Phloe teams up to take Jack and Gabi down.
Jack: Lani's awful backstory about why she can't forgive Paulina. Lani was never my favorite character and did a lot of things that were just as dishonest/bad as what Paulina did (e.g., lying about who the father of her baby was, luring Shawn to a fake stakeout so she could come on to him, etc.).
Lani's been a lot more likable lately, but this story was awful. Lani came off as so spoiled and entitled. Most kids do not have the opportunity to go to Paris, and the fact that Lani resented not being able to go for all these years made it seem like she was ignorant as to the real suffering in our world. Ugh.
Also, why is Shawn such a terrible cop all of a sudden? How could he not have figured out that Ben took Ciara to the cabin when he knew...
1) Ciara had been taken to the cabin by several previous kidnappers, and 2) Ben was obsessed with the cabin and begged Shawn to be allowed to stay there after finding Claire held hostage there?
And when Shawn told Paulina and Theo he couldn't do anything about it if they'd been scammed, he seemed lazy. He's a cop, and they were reporting fraud to him. Of course, he could do something!
I also couldn't believe that super successful businesswoman Paulina would even consider giving someone money BEFORE they gave her info, and the fact that that scam turned out to be legit was ridiculous. So THAT was how they got Shawn and Theo to the cabin? Come on.
Also, three days of the Ben and Ciara show was way too much for me.
I know Alison Sweeney was unavailable, and that's why Sami was kidnapped, but couldn't they have found a better way to write her out temporarily than the second kidnapping in as many months?
Finally, Xander and Gwen were obnoxious, annoying filler, and I wish Gwen had told Jack the truth and been done with it.
Christine: I agree with Silvananoir about Xander and Gwen. I'm one of the few people who doesn't hate this pairing, and even I've lost interest.
Gwen keeping this secret from Jack has gone on way too long. If Gwen is sticking around Salem, she needs a better storyline and fast.
And Gabi trying to oust Philip as CEO of Titan makes absolutely no sense. Philip has been nothing but supportive of Gabi when everyone else turned on her. I was enjoying their budding friendship, which makes all of this doubly disappointing.
What was your favorite quote, scene, or storyline this week on Days of Our Lives?
Silvananoir: I really liked the Sami and Nicole argument. However, Sami will not learn anything from it.
But I loved Philip and Chloe. They were fun and light-hearted, and they made each other laugh. More importantly, they had an honest discussion about their relationship and building trust, which gives me real hope for them going forward.
Jack: I was pleasantly surprised that Philip realized he was being childish and apologized to Chloe. That whole scene was a lot better than I expected it to go.
I also liked Eli insisting on punishing Claire and Allie for their part in the kidnapping. It's about time someone on the police force took the law seriously! And he was right when he told Belle this wasn't a romantic comedy and what the girls had done was serious.
Christine: Philip and Chloe's scenes were a highlight this week. I just wish we had more of them. As much as I loved seeing them happy and actually talking, I feel like overall, this couple is getting short-changed.
I actually loved Allie being brutally honest with Theo at the church. He needed someone to stop walking on eggshells around him when it comes to Ciara. And Allie willingly being arrested with a smirk on her face was a great reminder that she's Sami's daughter!
Your turn TV Fanatics. Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below and tell us what you thought of this week in Salem. Then check out Jack Ori's Days of Our Lives review here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.