Lucas found a new ally to help him take down EJ, Salem reacted to Johnny and Chanel's marriage, Eric and Nicole said goodbye once again, as the Devil continued to torment Salem in a whole new way.
Our TV Fanatics, Christine and Jack, are joined by Stephanie, Bradys, and Trey from MyHourglass, a Days of Our Lives fan forum to debate Philip and Lucas' evil plans, the Devil's twist, what they'd like to see in Salem during 2022, and more.
Read on for our New Year's round table packed with polls!
Which is worse? Philip pretending to be murdered and setting Brady up to take the fall for the crime or Lucas kidnapping Sami, keeping her locked up for months, and then framing EJ?
Stephanie: I think both plots are equally bad. Both now involve an innocent person taking the fall for Philip and Lucas' actions. They also both caused harm and heartache for the people directly impacted by them.
Philip's plot has caused heartache for Chloe and his parents (at least until they found out that he is still alive), and Lucas's plot caused heartache for Sami because it isolated her from her loved ones, and they didn't even suspect that she was missing.
These brothers will lose everything they hoped to gain once they are revealed as the masterminds behind these plots.
Bradys: I think Philip's is worse, but not by much. For starters, Philip makes Brady look like a murderer, while Lucas makes EJ look like a kidnapper, which is also horrible but doesn't rise to the level of murder.
While Lucas has the upper hand here, I don't think he has the upper hand in the consequences. When it's discovered that Lucas kidnapped Sami, she'll go back to EJ, and he'll go to jail, for sure. Lucas' family won't see it in a good light either, especially Allie.
In Philip's case, he may also go to jail, but with a lesser sentence. So I think they are very evenly matched, but in each case, there will be consequences.
Christine: Lucas feels worse to me. At least Philip seemed to be in the middle of some sort of mental breakdown, but Lucas doesn't seem to have that excuse. He kidnapped Sami simply because he didn't want her to go back to EJ, and at the time, EJ didn't even want Sami.
Then Lucas held Sami hostage for months. She had to be terrified she would never see the people she loved again. And Lucas did all of this to a woman he says he loves.
Philip set up Brady because he hates him and thought Chloe was cheating on him with Brady. It certainly doesn't make it right, but it's a little more understandable.
Trey: Philip is much worse. He is having a mental breakdown and is hitting rock bottom. Lucas kidnapping Sami was more of an act of desperation.
Jack: I think they're both equally out of character and bad news for characters/couples that I was rooting for. At least Philip was shown to be having a mental breakdown and went to get help, so there's that.
Eric returned to Salem, and he's once again a priest. Do you think this is the end of Ericole?
Stephanie: I wouldn't be surprised if Eric and Nicole wind up back together sometime in the future. They have been on-again/off-again for several years, and Eric being a priest hasn't stopped them from reuniting in the past.
Bradys: I think they should give it closure. They had a year of marriage in which Eric wasn't very present, and because of that, she was unfaithful to him. So, I don't think they're going to get back together.
These two need some nice closure and to each go on with their lives, and have new relationships.
Christine: Yeah, this could be the end, which is sad. I rooted for these two for a long time. I couldn't understand why Days bothered to have them marry when they knew Greg Vaughan was leaving the show.
Unless Vaughan decides to come back full-time or they recast Eric, I think this should be the end of this couple.
Trey: Eric and Nicole have been over a long time. It's fitting Eric returned to the priesthood.
Jack: It seemed like the purpose of this visit was to end their storyline with them having made peace with their marriage dissolving and parted as friends.
With EJ using Nicole as his backup whenever Sami isn't available and Nicole and Rafe fighting feelings for each other, we don't need Ericole in the mix, so let's hope it stays this way.
Were you surprised that Chad helped Lucas frame EJ? Does it change your opinion of Chad?
Stephanie: I was surprised that Chad helped Lucas frame EJ. It just didn't seem like a move he would make since he was initially ready to tell everyone the truth about Lucas.
However, Chad's actions actually don't really change my opinion of him. He has done devious things before to get what he wants, and what he most wants right now is to not have EJ as a co-CEO at DiMera.
Bradys: I was surprised in a way. I think Chad wants the business to last without any controversy present, and he helped Lucas get it out of there. Still, it doesn't seem like a good gesture to me, even if they never got along very well. But hey, he'll have his reasons.
Christine: I was a bit surprised. Chad usually tries to maintain some sort of a moral compass, although he frequently falls short. But I suppose there's no suspense if he rats Lucas out right away.
Right now, I think EJ views Chad as an annoying little brother he enjoys messing with and one who doesn't necessarily deserve his place in Dimera Enterprises. Unfortunately, once EJ learns Chad was in on this frame job, he'll likely consider him a mortal enemy.
Trey: I was a little surprised, but it didn't change my opinion. I like when Chad actually shows his darker side. He's always letting EJ walk all over him.
Jack: I wasn't totally surprised, but I was disappointed. Once upon a time, Chad was the "good" Dimera who wanted to clean up the family's reputation and was always at odds with Stefano and later EJ/Andre for their dirty deeds.
I feel like the writers will write ANYONE out of character to make Lucas the bad guy and EJ the good guy here. They are desperate to get people to root for Sami returning to the man who abused her for years and think a giant middle finger to the thousands of Lumi fans out there will do the trick.
Marlena is no longer possessed, but the Devil has now taken possession of Johnny. React!
Stephanie: I hate that the Devil is still around! I was hoping that Marlena's exorcism meant that we were finally done with this storyline. But no.
Now it will continue with one of her grandchildren as the host. And I wouldn't be surprised if the Devil winds up back inside Marlena before all is said and done.
Bradys: It makes me angry to tell you the truth. There is no need to continue with this story. We'll have another three months or more with Johnny as the Devil.
Plus, I feel sorry for him, He's happy with Chanel, and surely his absence or his bad way of being will make her fall back on Allie, something I really wouldn't like since Allie and Tripp are a couple with a lot of chemistry and they are very good together.
Christine: I love this twist! It's great how this storyline pulls in different generations in Salem and I can't wait to see the kind of havoc JoDevil will cause with Chanel, Allie, Tripp, EJ, Sami, and Lucas. This has the potential to be a lot of fun.
Plus, Johnny has had little to no interaction with Ciara and Ben, so it will be interesting to see how he tries to get close to them to possess their baby.
Trey: I think it's going to be an interesting spin on the story. Johnny's life already seems to be in enough chaos with Chanel and making his movie. I can't imagine what more is in store for him.
Jack: Ugh, ugh, ugh. Just when we thought we were done with this stupid storyline, here we are starting all over again.
Are we EVER going to be rid of the Devil in Salem? Will the Devil ever act like a Devil and not a supernatural doppelganger that causes random trouble? Blah.
Who was the couple you rooted for the most in 2021?
Stephanie: I most rooted for Allie and Tripp in 2021. They seemed like a good fit for each other from the start, so I was glad to see them finally get together.
I just hope that Allie's past feelings for Chanel don't continue to be an issue because they are the one thing that could really cause problems for this otherwise happy couple.
Bradys: Allie and Tripp, for sure. They are the typical couple who start out hating each other and end up loving each other, but with many things in between.
I feel they are a very loving couple who have great references like Sami and Lucas and Steve and Kayla, although the latter is not the biological mother. They have the potential for great moments in the future unless she ends up with Chanel, which, unfortunately, I see as likely.
Christine: That's tough because I've rooted for a lot of pairings this year. Some who worked out and some who didn't.
I thought Allie and Chanel could have been an interesting couple, but I'm surprisingly happy with Allie with Tripp and Chanel with Johnny. Both couples give me hope for the future of romance in Salem.
I was rooting for EJ and Nicole, but now I'm looking forward to the EJ/Sami reunion once the truth comes out about Lucas framing EJ.
And I'm still holding out a slim hope that there's a future for Philip and Chloe.
Trey: I actually liked the EJ and Nicole pairing until Sami came to town. I
also liked Tripp and Allie. I rooted for Johnny and Chanel the most. They seem happy, and I liked how they came to be.
But I've always been a Phloe fan, and it was nice to see a few scenes until Philip's latest stunt.
Jack: Sami and Lucas. I've waited years for these two to find their way back to each other.
Which couple was your least favorite in 2021?
Stephanie: My least favorite couples in 2021 were Ben and Ciara and Gabi and Jake.
Ben and Ciara are sickening to watch because all they do is spend time clinging to each other or laying in bed. They also have nothing better to do than talk about how great their love is.
Gabi and Jake are just obnoxious. They spend almost as much time in bed as Ben and Ciara.
On top of that, they spent much of the last year plotting to become the head of a company that had been very generous to them. There was no reason for them to stab Philip and Titan in the back other than that they are just power-hungry.
Bradys: Maybe Ciara and Ben. Not because I don't like their pairing, but because they're boring. Half of their scenes are doing nothing.
Now they're having a baby, and the Devil wants it for a reason. And I don't know how they're going to make Johnny look believable to them. These are just things going through my head. I think they should give them less of a lead or some interesting story.
Christine: I hated Ciara's amnesia storyline, but I have to admit I'm enjoying them more now that they're trying to protect their unborn child from the Devil.
I despise Brady and Chloe. And I thought I'd like Rafe and Nicole, but Rafe has become such a jerk that I really don't want to see him paired with anyone.
Trey: I didn't really enjoy watching Rafe and Ava after Rafe cheated on Ava. I also hated watching Brady throw himself at Chloe.
Jack: Ben and Ciara. These two literally spent a year in bed (not counting Ciara's disappearance and amnesia, which were equally annoying and boring.)
Peacock aired two Days of Our lives specials in 2021, Beyond Salem and A Very Salem Christmas. Did you watch either of them? Are you hoping for more Days of Our Lives specials in 2022?
Stephanie: I watched Beyond Salem, and I really enjoyed it. I hope that Days of Our Lives does another special like that one. It brought in characters we don't see on the regular show every day.
It also told a short but good story that resolved over five days instead of dragging on for weeks and months like the Marlena devil possession story. Beyond Salem was a nice and interesting break from the usual events of Salem.
Bradys: Yes, I saw both and loved them. I think they strengthen parts of the story and bring in characters that we fans love, which is great for the show. Hopefully, they will keep doing things like this in 2022, which would benefit the show a lot.
Christine: I've watched both, and they were fantastic. I think these extra mini-series and movies, along with the possession storyline, have reenergized Days. I
Trey: Sadly, I didn't watch.
Jack: I watched them both and loved them! I hope we get regular specials in 2022.
What would you like to see most in Salem in 2022?
Stephanie: I would like to see the characters with mental health problems work on resolving them on screen.
Whenever a character on Days has a mental health problem, they are usually sent off to get help off-screen and don't return for several months. Then when they do return, they are declared cured, and we never get to see the healing process.
Mental health is a huge issue in today's world. It would benefit viewers to see characters go through counseling and the other steps needed to recover when they experience mental breakdowns.
If written properly, it would normalize these treatments and maybe inspire viewers suffering from mental health issues to seek help.
Bradys: I would like to see characters return or debut. For example, I would like to have more Hortons or Kiriakis. Something to make classic families of the show stronger because, since the 2010s, the DiMera's are the reigning characters in the show.
Christine: I want Xander to finally rescue Sarah! It's been too long since we've seen these two together.
And Gwen can leave town, along with Jack and Jennifer, for all that I care. I'm tired of all three of them.
I also want to see Philip get the help he needs on-screen and then have him come back to Salem to repair his relationship with Chloe.
And I'm suddenly enjoying Sami and EJ's dynamic again, so I'm oddly looking forward to seeing the fallout from Lucas framing Sami. It should have emotional repercussions for Lucas, Sami, and Allie.
Trey: I'm hoping for Sarah's return and for a redemption story for Philip. I always like romance stories in Salem.
Jack: Get rid of the Devil and get back to some more realistic storylines. Beyond that, I'd like for JJ to come back and have a major part in some investigative stories.
I want Sami to continue to be aware that EJ is scum and Lucas is her true love even after the truth comes out about this stupid kidnapping scheme.
I want Philip to come back cured, not act like a lunatic anymore, and try to patch things up with Chloe. And I want Xander to realize Sarah never left him. It's beyond time!
Okay, fans! Now it's your turn. You can hit that SHOW COMMENTS BUTTON below to tell us what you want to see in Salem in 2022. And don't forget to 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.