Salem celebrated the holiday season while Joey headed to Seattle, Eric bailed on Nicole, and Eli and Lani made up in time to have their twins.
Our TV Fanatic, Jack and Christine, are joined by DoolFan4Life and Tony to debate all of the short-term returns to Salem, names for the twins, our favorite and most disappointing Christmas moments, and more!
Joey came back to Salem only to leave for Seattle. What do you think of all of the recent short-term returns to Salem? (Joey, JJ, Theo, Gabi, etc.)
DoolFan4Life: I’m a bit disappointed as I like the relationship between Joey and Tripp, and I also would have liked to have seen him come face to face with Ava.
As for the other short-terms, I’m not sure what to think. I felt they were a bit wasted with no real use for them, but there were times that they probably could have been used during their time back, and the writers failed to deliver. Just wasted potential, in my opinion.
Jack: I don’t like these short visits, especially when they are billed as returns without giving us any clue that it’s only for a few weeks.
Everyone pretty much knows that JJ is my favorite modern-era DAYS character. I waited eagerly for two months for his return after it was announced, only for DAYS to break my heart all over again when he left shortly after Thanksgiving.
Theo’s return was even more senseless. They hired a new actor to appear for, what, two days?
And though Joey is not my favorite character, I couldn’t help being disappointed that he also is gone as soon as he came.
Even Gabi’s return was pointless, though she certainly whined enough in the short time she was in Salem to make me glad she was gone. But why bring her back at all only to have her leave after one appearance?
Similarly, what was the point of Will’s return? He said hello to everyone and promptly disappeared again. What kind of Christmas surprise is that?
Tony: In some cases, such as Joey, J.J., and Theo, they’re too short! I could do without Gabi, but I enjoy the other three, and, sadly, they were gone almost as soon as they showed up.
Christine: These short-term returns are just strange. Gabi came back for two days just to end things with Jake. JJ mooned over Gwen (Ack!) and mediated his family drama just to leave again.
Why hire a new actor to play Theo for two days? Will showed up for Christmas for what? He wasn’t at Marlena’s or the Horton Christmas.
And Joey. They got Joey out of prison, teasing us with a brotherly relationship between him and Tripp, and drama for him if he ran into Ava, and then failed to deliver on any of it. I don’t even like Joey, and I was disappointed he left so quickly.
I wish the show would concentrate on better storytelling for its long-term characters and not bring other characters back unless they really plan to use them.
Who had your favorite Christmas in Salem?
DoolFan4Life: I always enjoy the Horton tree ceremony even though it was quieter this year. I also would have liked it if it didn’t focus so much on boring characters like Lani and Eli.
I thought Victor grumping about the Santa hat was really cute, especially because he agreed to wear it in the end.
Jack: Honestly, none of the Christmas celebrations were great. They were all marred by sadness and unnecessary drama. (And don’t get me started on that stupid Kristen fantasy!)
I fully expected to love the Horton Christmas the best. I always enjoy the tree trimming and ornament giving. But that got short shrift (as did the Christmas reading) this year.
Weirdly, Nicole had the best Christmas despite Eric being a no-show. Her scenes with Rafe were enjoyable. No bickering, moping or running away because of a violent secret.
Runner up: Belle and Shawn’s Christmas (except for Charlie). I liked the impromptu wedding and the family spending time celebrating together, even if Belle did feel a need to overreact to Sami, daring to call to say Merry Christmas.
Tony: I guess the Hortons, even though most of them weren’t there. The ornament hanging is always nice.
Christine: I enjoyed the Horton annual ornament hanging, even if it did feel like they couldn’t have all of the characters there due to, what I’m assuming is Covid restrictions.
Doug and Julie were great hosts, and I love seeing all of those personalized ornaments. I wish I knew where I could get those for my own family.
And after weeks of bickering, I was relieved to see Eli and Lani make up before their twins were born.
Runner-up was the Kiriakis Christmas, thanks to Victor wearing the Santa hat and having his heart grow three sizes for Christmas.
Ben had visions of Ciara at Christmas. Do you hope she returns from the dead and back to Salem soon?
DoolFan4Life: Honestly, I don’t know. If the actress doesn’t want to commit and they don’t have a recast lined up, then I don’t mind moving on from Ciara. I don’t really believe she’s dead anyway.
Still, Ben needs a story that doesn’t involve him walking around like a zombie because Robert Scott Wilson is a really good actor and another example of wasted potential.
Jack: I wouldn’t mind her returning from the dead, but Ben can join her and Hope off-screen. I need a break from the Ben and Ciara show.
I’m mad that Ben’s grief overshadowed the entire Horton Christmas, and instead of focusing on Tom and Alice’s ornaments at the end like they usually do, they focused on his and Ciara’s.
This co-dependent, whiny, immature couple did not compare to Tom and Alice and had no business replacing the traditional tribute to them!
Tony: Yes, it would be nice if she returned.
Christine: Ciara had really gotten on my nerves before she left, so I can’t say I miss her. But Ben deserves a better story, and we know Ciara’s more than likely alive somewhere. It’s just a matter of how long the writers will drag this out.
I’m okay with her coming back, but if they’re going to do a recast, then I wish they’d stop showing the previous actress.
If she does return, it would be nice if Ben and Ciara had stories that involved something more than the two of them have sex every other scene. I’m all for love in the afternoon, but even that can get tedious to watch after a while.
Do you think Eric will leave Africa and come back to Nicole any time soon? Do you want him to come back?
DoolFan4Life: Probably someday, he will. I’m not a huge fan of Greg Vaughn’s portrayal of Eric as I find him always angry about something in a self-righteous kind of way.
It’s no secret that I loved Eric back when Jensen Ackles played him. I know he’ll never return, but I still miss that version of Eric. I find Nicole annoying when with him and am open to a set up for her and Rafe.
Jack: I hope he stays away. I like Nicole with Rafe, and I don’t want their burgeoning relationship destroyed by Eric suddenly reappearing in Salem the second they get together.
But hopefully, if they go with Nicole and Rafe, Nicole and Eric end naturally like Abe and Valerie did. We don’t need Eric dying in Africa or in a plane crash and Nicole feeling like everyone she loves dies.
Tony: I very much doubt it, as Greg Vaughn doesn’t seem interested in returning anytime immediately, so unless they decide to recast him, no. It would be nice if Eric came back, but I can’t say I’m overly eager for him to return.
Christine: I’m not a fan of Eric. He’s too self-righteous, frequently brooding and angry, and he has a horrible temper, yet his mother treats him like some sort of Saint.
I’ve always thought that Nicole and Rafe could make a great couple, but I want Eric and Nicole to be over first. I’d like Nicole to realize she will always take second place to something else more important in Eric’s life and finally decide she’s worth more.
Do you have any baby name suggestions for Eli and Lani’s twins?
DoolFan4Life: I’m just hoping she won’t name them Kristin and Christian at this stage.
Jack: Please don’t name them after Kristen. LOL.
I’m a fan of naming babies after important people in both parents’ lives. Since the baby that died was named after David and Abe, maybe the boy could be named Terrence after the man that raised Eli, with a middle name after Valerie’s father.
The girl could be named Tamara after Lani’s mother. I’d love a tribute to Lexie, but since Lani never knew her, that wouldn’t make much sense, though Tamara Alexandra after both Tarama and Lexi has a nice ring to it.
Tony: I would say keep it in the family is always nice. For the girl, something like Valerie or Tamera. Not sure about the boy, as I think it would be too soon to call him either David or Abraham.
Christine: Since they already used family names for David Abraham, I think Salem could use some new names. It just so happens that I LOVE choosing baby names, so I’ve put some thought into this.
You could go with the Christmas theme and have Jasper and Joy Grant. Jasper is one of the Three Kings (or Kasper, depending on which version you read) and Joy for the joy of the holiday season into which they were born.
Or you could play off that these are Rainbow babies, babies that were born after a loss. How about Alora and Asher. Alora means “my dream” and has African origins, while Asher means “blessed.”
Following that theme, you could go a little more traditional with Iris and Saul. Iris was the Goddess of the Rainbow, while Saul (which I feel goes with David Abraham) means “longed for” or “prayed for.”
I really can’t wait to learn what they name them.
What was the most disappointing moment in Salem this week?
DoolFan4Life: A few, to be honest, for starters, I was disappointed that we had no reaction when Allie came face to face with Charlie. She was apparently flooded with memories after a two-minute conversation with Nicole where Nicole told her without any proof, but actually meeting Charlie face-to-face, and Allie felt nothing but “you’re familiar.” What an airhead.
I was also disappointed that Allie asked her mother if she could love Henry the same, knowing how he was conceived, and there was no mention that Allie’s twin was conceived as a result of rape. It’s like the writers want us to forget this, but no one has.
Kristin’s fantasy about Maggie being her maid was disgusting, and Brady is a jerk for not defending his friend and sponsor.
Belle telling her mom to ghost her daughter on Christmas Eve and Marlena agreeing without question was sickening. Finally, what is with Allie and Lucas trying to go all Sami on Tripp? No one does Sami like Sami. They should just leave it to the pro and have told her sooner.
I hate that Sami was the last to know. It was in the papers before she told her mother, and then she wants to be strong like her? Hopefully, it’s revealed that it was Charlie before hurricane Sami comes back because I enjoy her takedowns but don’t want Tripp on the other end of it.
Jack: I’ve already mentioned some of the Christmas disappointments, so I’ll go with Lucas attacking Tripp. This isn’t Lucas’ character. He’s usually the one talking Sami out of doing something like that.
And for him to not be grateful that Rafe chose not to arrest him and instead stand there trying to perpetuate the situation in front of a cop was stupid.
Tony: Joey leaving on Christmas Day. I also wasn’t thrilled with comparing the birth of Eli and Lani’s babies to the birth of Jesus.
Christine: Kristen’s fantasy. What did Maggie ever do to Kristen, and why would Brady go along with belittling the woman who has done nothing but support him for decades?
Justin falling for Bonnie is kind of stomach-turning. I’d almost be okay if Bonnie were paired with someone else, just not Justin.
Belle and Shawn’s wedding was cute, but couldn’t he have put on a dress shirt since he knew they were going to be getting married that day?
And all of the vigilante justice against Tripp has gotten really old. Enough with people threatening to beat him or shoot him in the genitals. I’m so ready for this part of the story to be over.
What was your favorite quote, scene, or storyline from this week’s Days of Our Lives?
DoolFan4Life: I loved that John and Steve made up, and I also loved the Christmas reading. I like that, in the end, Allie realizes that she needs her mother, and I am hoping she treats her better for future Sami stints and moves on from Nicole.
Jack: I loved all of Nicole and Rafe’s scenes. I’ve shipped this couple for years, and FINALLY, it seems to be happening.
Tony: Despite the absence of many important people, the ornament hanging still has a way of getting to me.
Christine: I always like seeing the ornaments being hung on the Horton tree as I’ve been watching that my entire life.
I also liked Steve and Kayla having a real conversation about why he’s backing Tripp and Kayla agreeing to help him with his investigation, even if she may think he’s grasping at straws.
Now, it’s your turn, TV Fanatics. Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to share your answers to our round table.
Want to chat more about the holidays in Salem? Then check out Jack Ori’s Days of Our Lives review on who was a Grinch in Salem, here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.