Sami brought Jan Spears back to Salem, Victor tried to make Xander and Philip play nice, Vincent had a back story no one expected, and Kristen snuck back into town with Rachel.
Our TV Fanatics, Jack Ori and Christine Orlando, are joined by Stephanie Fluffysmom from MyHourglass, a Days of Our Lives fan forum, to debate Jan's return, if Sami went too far, Jake's next step, if Philip and Xander can work together, and if Vincent's connection to Ben changes the story.
Jan Spears has returned! Rate your excitement from 1 (Send her back to Shady Pines) to 10 (I'm thrilled she's back in Salem!)
Stephanie: I guess my excitement about Jan's return would be a 5. I wasn't really watching the show the first time she was around, so I didn't fully see the storylines that involved her character. I just saw bits and pieces of them from time to time.
I know she was a terrible yet vulnerable person, though, so adding her to the mix could make the current storylines a lot more interesting.
Jack: I'm giving it a 5. Jan is a great villain, but so far, she doesn't have much of a story. I'm waiting to see what she gets up to besides making obnoxious comments to Belle.
Hopefully, it'll be a little more than that, and more than simply stalking Shawn. That's been done before so let's have something more original.
Fluffysmom: If I hadn't watched a fall preview video that showed Jan, I would have been completely shocked by her return.
I'd say I'm at 5 so far. I'm curious to see what her storyline will be, but I'm wondering if she will stay in Salem or if it will be a relatively short term visit.
Christine: A 6. I have high hopes for Jan bringing some fun and drama to Salem; I just hope they don't rehash old storylines.
Jan has been through years of therapy. I don't want to see her be completely redeemed, but I want to see her cause havoc in a new way.
Did Sami go too far in trying to get custody of her grandchild by bringing Jan Spears back?
Stephanie: Does Sami ever not go too far? As usual, she definitely didn't consider the long-term consequences of bringing Jan back into the picture or how her presence will affect anyone outside of her own situation.
I predict that Belle, Shawn, and others in Salem will definitely be having more arguments with her about this latest stunt in the future!
Jack: She certainly didn't think about what would happen after the hearing. It would have been smarter to get Jan a day pass to testify than get her out of the mental hospital.
(Side note: Shady Pines makes me think of Golden Girls. That name needs to be changed.) The whole custody hearing has been a farce, though, so Sami bringing Jan in was par for the course.
Fluffysmom: Getting Jan out of a mental hospital to testify was a bit extreme but not shocking for Sami. She will go to any lengths that she believes are necessary for her loved ones.
Allie put all of this into motion by leaving that note and sneaking out of town. She had to know that Sami wasn't going to accept Nicole getting her grandson, especially this way.
Christine: For normal people it was going to for, but this is Sami Brady and I loved it. It's as though Nicole kept taunting Sami by saying she couldn't prove any of her allegations, and you don't taunt Sami and expect she won't come back at you with everything she has, especially when she believes she's protecting her grandchild!
Vincent tortured Ben and is holding Ciara because Ben killed Wendy. Does this make the torture/forced murder storyline more palatable?
Stephanie: I don't know if it makes it more palatable, but it definitely makes Vincent's role more understandable.
I enjoyed learning about Vincent's connection to Wendy because it made him more human and gave him a much stronger motive to want Ben to suffer. It still doesn't make his actions right, though.
Holding Ciara hostage with the intention of killing her won't bring Wendy back, and if and when he gets caught for the crime, he will be spending time in either jail or a mental institution just like Ben did.
Jack: No. It still suffers from the same problems it always did. Turning Ben into a killer in no way avenges any of his victims' deaths, and viewers didn't and still don't need to see endless scenes of people being tormented.
And using Paige as a prop whose only importance is that she died is still unforgivable no matter what Vincent and Eve's motivations were.
Fluffysmom: I'm really tired of violent stories. The revelation that Vincent is doing this because of Wendy makes sense. At least he has a reason versus doing it for money. Either way I don't like the storyline.
Christine: Well, I still hate this storyline. The endless flashbacks to Ben being tortured and Ciara being tormented are not fun to watch. But I'm glad that Wendy is no longer the forgotten victim; she had people who loved her too.
Wendy's murder means that Vincent isn't some random psychopath, but it doesn't make his actions any less horrific or forgivable.
Do you think Philip and Xander can work together at Titan? Did Victor make the right decision?
Stephanie: I think there will definitely be conflict between Philip and Xander when they work as co CEOs. Both want to single-handedly rule Titan, and I don't see them immediately accepting this partnership. They will most likely try to one-up each other for a while before realizing that doing so will not be in the company's best interest.
As for Victor's decision, I think he made the only one he could make. He has given the job of CEO to Xander only to yank it away from him soon afterward, too many times for their relationship to survive another betrayal like that.
Meanwhile, Victor also wants to ensure that he can finally get his relationship with Philip back on track and giving him the CEO position was the ultimatum that Philip offered.
Honestly, I was surprised that Victor went this route since it seems like a soft move for a ruthless businessman like him. However, it's better than watching Xander get the shaft again.
Jack: We all know Philip and Xander will not work together very well. They almost came to blows just before Victor made his announcement, and that's not likely to improve.
Victor's decision reminded me of Scrubs when Dr. Cox made both JD and Elliot chief resident, only that was played for laughs, and this is going to be obnoxious.
Fluffysmom: I think Victor made the best decision he could in this situation. He doesn't want to lose either of them. If Philip and Xander can learn to get along they could be a formidable pair at Titan.
Christine: Given the options, I think Victor made the right decision. He cares about Xander, and he loves Philip. He wants to do the right thing for both of them and the company.
Now, will Xander and Philip work well together? No, at least not for a while. I'm hoping something will pull them together eventually because I think they have the possibility of making a great team.
With Gabi gone, Jake is at a crossroads. What would you like to see him do next?
Stephanie: I would like to see Jake go back to his job as an auto mechanic. He had no interest in going into the corporate world before he knew he was a DiMera, and he still isn't very interested now.
He could also follow Gabi to Mexico since, other than him, maybe fighting Chad for the position of DiMera CEO (which would be boring since we already have that going on in the Kiriakis house), there really isn't much of a story for him now.
Jack: I'd like him to ditch the Dimera mansion and get back to his garage now that he has dumped Gwen, and Gabi is gone. Either that or take his act off-screen. We don't need any more of him drinking over two women who are not worth it.
Fluffysmom: I thought it was interesting that Jake worked as a mechanic. I don't want to see him battling Chad to run Titan. He has no high level business experience.
It could be interesting to see him work at a mid level job at Dimera only to realize he doesn't care for it. He could then buy his own auto repair business and be a mechanic/owner.
Christine: Nothing. I like the actor but really don't care about the character. If he left Salem tomorrow, and we never had to hear another word about Dimera Enterprises, I'd be delighted.
Brady and Kristen are back in Salem. Would you like to see them return, with baby Rachel, permanently?
Stephanie: I would like to see Brady and Kristen return. I would like to see them raise Rachel together onscreen instead of having them come back after she's been aged to a teen in a few years
Soaps build up these stories about characters like Kristen longing to be mothers, and then once they finally have a child, we hardly ever get to see the payoff of them actually being able to raise the baby. It would be nice to see some happy family moments on a show that has been very dark lately.
Jack: I enjoy Kristen these days, but I could do without Brady. He's never done much for me as a character, and he's already back to jumping into bed with Kristen against his better judgment.
Fluffysmom: If the writers can find a balance for Kristen, then I'd be good with the family staying in Salem. She can't be stabbing people and going crazy, but I don't want her to bland and boring either.
Christine: I'd love to see Brady and Kristen back in Salem as parents. Plus, Rachel brings the added drama of having Sarah and Xander deal with seeing the child they thought they were going to raise.
What were your favorite and least favorite moments of the week?
Stephanie: My favorite moment was probably finding out Vincent's back story. It was a unique and unexpected twist that made the Ben torture storyline more interesting.
My least favorite was the Jake and Gwen scenes on Friday. It was more of the same fighting and Gwen pathetically hoping for Jake to take her back again, and I'm tired of watching it. They are completely dysfunctional as a couple, and it's not interesting to watch anymore.
Jack: I loved Steve and Kayla's scenes (minus the dumb Tripp sneaking into the house cliffhanger. Seriously, doesn't ANYONE use a phone or at least ring the doorbell?).
It was so refreshing to have characters doing normal things like checking the mail and talking about their kids. They even almost went to the grocery store.
Least favorite - All that Chad/Gwen/Jake stuff was BORING. I felt like Friday's episode dragged on endlessly because of them. I
was also beyond irritated with that joke of a custody hearing. It's bad enough that the judge doesn't bother to hide her bias at all (Sami can do whatever she wants even if it's against court rules, but Nicole can't stand up for herself or she'll be removed. Really?).
But knowing that this is the same judge that screwed Nicole over last time and nobody is acknowledging it is too much to bear.
Fluffysmom: My least favorite scenes were any scenes with Gwen. She gets on my nerves. I have no interest in her relationships with Jake and Chad. My favorite scenes were the ones with Philip, Xander, and Victor.
Christine: Will and Sonny's exit was fairly well done, and the flashbacks reminded me why I'm going to miss them.
Sarah and Xander were cute together, and I even enjoyed Xander vs. Philip. These are two strong, passionate men, and it's going to be fun watching them go toe-to-toe for a while. Lease favorite: All of Ben's flashbacks and Ciara's fantasies felt like giant time wasters.
Want to chat more about the happenings in Salem? Then check out Jack Ori's Days of Our Lives review here at TV Fanatic.
And hit that BIG, BLUE, SHOW COMMENTS BUTTON down below to let us know how you'd answer our round table questions.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.