HOLLYWOOD—She is back, Nicole Walker whose body was never found after that explosion, returned to Salem to reunite with her one true love, Eric Brady on “Days of Our Lives.” Was I slightly peeved by Nicole’s return? Yes, because Eric and Sarah had finally confessed their feelings to one another, and shared that passionate kiss. All that blew up in flames when Eric came face-to-face with Nicole and they nearly ripped each other’s clothes apart after being reunited.

I still find it baffling that Eric and company didn’t check all those hospitals to confirm that Nicole was truly dead. I guess in the soap arena, you can get away with such a mishap. Salem was rocked by that revelation, including Chloe of all people and for good reason. Why Chloe was busy worrying about getting closer to Stefan, Holly was taken in the middle of the night. Chloe was a mess, but that was nothing compared to the tongue lashing she received from Nicole about not holding true to her promise to protect Holly as if she was one of her own.

We all know who is responsible for taking Holly, good ole Xander Kiriakis! This guy has like nine lives and finds a way to weasel out of the craziest situations. I mean the stuff he has done to so many characters in Salem is unspeakable and I’m hoping this return will mark his last. With that little issue discussed, Xander’s return is indeed important. Why? Um, he has leverage on Eve Donovan. Yeah, she has been running around town at the top of her thorn, but Xander knows she has leverage on her, i.e. how to cure Jack’s memory loss.

Oh, if Jennifer gets her hands on Xander she will have the ammunition to take out her foe once and for all. Quite frankly, Eve has annoyed me in recent weeks. She’s that character that never evolves in my opinion and that is never a good sign on a soap opera; I want to see a bit of growth here and there. Back to Xander, he’s utilizing Holly as leverage to appear as a hero, and in case you’ve been in the dark, his partner in crime is Ted Laurent.

Yuppers, Ted has been secretly working with Xander for weeks and is now trying to play hero. Good idea Ted, because Rafe is onto your antics, as is Lani. Too bad Hope cannot see the guy who is smitten with her has ulterior motives. Ted has been forced to be extra cautious with his antics because he can see the walls closing in on him. In other Salem news, it looks like Stefan and Gabi can’t resist one another, even though it’s crystal clear that Stefan is torn. He wants to spark a relationship with Chloe, but his hatred for Gabi cannot be ignored and they take it out with passionate sex.

This is interesting as it seems Chloe might find herself paired with Brady, who hasn’t had much of a relationship in quite some time. I mean I always thought Chloe and Brady should be an item and why the hell not. I mean Ciara and Ben finally consummated their relationship, which Hope is starting to come to grips with. I’ve never understood wanting to be with an actual serial killer Ciara, but if you like it, I love it.

The biggest bomb of the week was that car crash that left Nicole, Eric, Rafe and a host of other Salemites aghast. Why? Ted implemented a devious plan that Rafe fell for that resulted in a fiery crash, where all presumed Holly was dead. Hmm, this is a soap opera, so I sense that ‘death’ is not really sticking and Holly is still very much alive and being held captive by Xander of all people. So how this tale comes to its climax will be interesting to say the least. Could Xander finally meet his maker? It is long overdue if you ask me.