How do you get a story out of a slump? Introduce a surprise pairing! Check out what Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey has to say about what’s happening across the daytime dial.

Bill Spencer was MIA on B&B for months, so it was a welcome lightning bolt when he came upon a traumatized woman in an alley.

Bill: “I know you’re afraid. It’s a crazy world out there.”

Crazy enough for that dirt-covered woman to turn out to be Li, who survived Sheila forcing her speeding car into a lake. So Finn didn’t die and Li didn’t die (#overkill) but Bill taking Li to his house was an interesting detour.

Bill (to the doctor): “This is not who this woman is.”

How did he know? B&B missed an easy beat there by not having Bill spy a fancy manicure or expensive jewelry on Dr. Li Finnegan, which would have been a logical clue instead of Bill suddenly becoming psychic and “knowing” that this whimpering woman was more educated than Jodie Foster in Nell.

Liam being the one to recognize Li was a nice shot out of left field to end Sheila’s demented incarceration of her son.

Sheila (to Finn): “You have no idea how hard it was to see that bullet go into you.”

The bullet she shot! Sheila gave off strong “you made me do it” abuser vibes with that syringe she kept using on Finn, to the point where even her hapless accomplice had enough.

Mike: “You harpooned him again, didn’t you?”

Sheila: “I had to.”

Mike: “This is getting out of hand.”

Ya think?

I hope Bill being the unlikely hero of this story leads to him doing more than being a talk-to for his sons. What should Li and Bill’s squish name be … “Libel”?!

Phyllis and Nikki need a squish name on Y&R, too, because they’re my new favorite couple.

Nikki: “I knew I could count on you to come up with something devious and underhanded.”

Phyllis: “I’m better at it than you are.”

Having Jack’s ex-wives team up with his sister (Ashley) to ruin his ex (Diane) is an unlikely but delicious turn. Ashley decreed they need “evidence not suspicions” to bust Diane, which caused Nick to comment that the last time they all worked together was to hide a body (J.T.). Yay, history!

Elsewhere, Sally asked Sharon for romantic advice, which defines strange bedfellows since both women love(d) Adam.

Sally: “How can I stop him from being so damn noble and just go back to loving me again?”

Asking your ex’s ex how to get him back into bed is a bitch too far.

GH is trying to make us like Carly with Jason’s “identical twin”, Drew, but it’s falling flat because this Drew bears no resemblance to his previous incarnation.

Carly (re: Willow’s pregnancy): “We’re here to celebrate our growing family.”

Drew (toasting): “To family!”

Really Drew? Where’s yours? You haven’t seen your daughter, Scout, since your return and you never mention your late son, Oscar. Is that garden in the park still named Oscar’s Meadow? How about Oscar’s treehouse built with Jason on the Q property? Where’s the scar on Drew’s constantly shown chest from his gunshot wound, the scenes with ex-lovers Sam and Liz, the references to his criminal past (assaulting Jason, Franco, Valentin, Shiloh) or worry about the chip in his brain? I can’t find Drew in this guy anywhere. NuDrew is a Boy Scout, which is so not Carly’s type (paging A.J., Alcazar, Jax, Sonny, Jason) and that’s why this bedfellow is too strange for me.

Mobster Sonny feels more like Carly’s endgame, but not if Josslyn has anything to say about it. She busted him for roughing up Felty and then told Carly to stop enabling him in a long-overdue and welcome scene.

Joss: “Everybody knows who Sonny is. Maybe you were an idiot for standing by him for so long. Michael’s right: Sonny’s gotten away with all this crap because we made excuses for him.”

Carly’s got lots of time to consider Joss’s wise words, because she lost her hotel — a tantalizing twist that made new partners out of old enemies Olivia and Nina.

Obrecht (to Nina re: the Metro Court): “Owning half lessens the chance Crimson will be evicted.”

A story that’s practical and fun to watch: win/win.

The governor of Salem, USA pardoned Kristen, Gwen, Orpheus, Rolf and Evan, which was a lazy way to release every DAYS villain back into society but it did kick-start some major story. First up: kidnapper Kristen forcing her way back into the family biz.

Kristen: “I come in peace.”

Gabi: “What do you want, and am I going to end up in prison for giving it to you?”

Gabi owed Kristen for her vote at the last DiMera meeting so she had to kiss her a…nkle bracelet. Gabi gave Kristen the top job, making her Brady and Chloe’s boss, which checked off that “awkward exes” box. Jake only had to give his sister his bed (ew).

Tiptoeing around villains makes sense, but I’m having trouble getting past the lack of consequences for literally every baddie on the show. How is Gwen walking around free like she didn’t threaten poor murdered Abigail like 100 times? That’s a new crime not covered by that blanket pardon.

And I know Ben would have been in a slump without Ciara, but it’s going to take me a minute to accept him as Alexander Kiriakis so soon after adjusting to Stefan turning into Jake DiMera. Heck, I’m still working on Chris Kositchek as Roman and it’s been 25 years. Confusing bedfellows are not the same as strange ones (see also GH’s McBain/Silas/Finn and Todd/Franco/Austin) — and they should be used sparingly.

Hey. It’s only my opinion.




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