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Drake Hogestyn
John has entered the building!
by Tony
For the Week of January 14, 2008
John Black is back! Sure, it's totally farfetched and unbelievable, but luckily, Days has the soap market cornered on that.
Besides E.J., what does Days and Elvis Presley have in common? Nothing really, but since "The King's" birthday was January 8th it seems like a good time to pay him a little tribute via our favorite soap! An odd notion? Perhaps, but, what the heck, it's 2008 and things are already pretty random!

Actually, I have to confess, I have a lot in common with Elvis's "fat years" as I completely gorged myself over the past few weeks! I am so full I've been downing antacids like it's my job. Ironically, it's not from the cookies or candy I ate over the holidays, it's because I've been feasting on crow and humble pies ever since witnessing Shawn's mature reaction to Belle's confession about her affair with Phil-Her-Up. I've never been so happy to be wrong! I think I'm still in shock that I put Shawn and mature in the same sentence and there wasn't even "un" in front of mature. However, the craziest part is Shawn D taking the "big boy" approach hasn't even been the biggest event on Days lately

The gigantic happening, the grand daddy of them all - you know what I'm going to say, so let's all scream it in unison - John Black is back!!! Sure, it's totally farfetched and unbelievable, but luckily Days has the soap market cornered on that which gives me the opportunity to shout "hooray!"

On the flip side, when one door opens, another one closes and some idiot in a suite has decided to buy Julie Pinson (Billie) a one way ticket out of Salem. Big, no, HUGE, mistake! I mean, she's tied up in two major storylines right now so "letting her go" her makes total sense. Right! Can you tell I'm not happy about this?

Yet, complaining until I'm blue in the face won't help and we'll chat more about casting choices in a little while, so for now lets talk about all that's been going on in Salem, U.S.A. It's been a busy few weeks since we last Two Scooped, so I'll try my best to touch on all of the highlights. Happy 2008 everyone, now lets discuss some Days!

Stranger In My Own Hometow (John)

Welcome back Drake! Ironically, I got to write about his death in October and now I get to write about his resurrection! You gotta love Days' ability to toss out the absurd as if it's as normal as a morning cup of coffee. But, whatever, John is back and that's all that counts!

So, it seems like it's going to be a long and interesting road before we really get to see the John Black we all know and love, but at least he's now officially back on the highway. This should be interesting as there are tons of unanswered questions! How did Stefano obtain his body? Is it REALLY John or is it someone constructed to look like him (which I hope isn't the case)? How will he react to eventually seeing Marlena? Will he be able to fight off another round of mind control and recall the love of his life? Inquiring minds are eager to know!

Too Much (Marlena)

Marlena's new nickname should be the Salem Bulldozer! Not only did she plow through Chloe and Crystal, but she charged the DiMera mansion with guns blazing! It doesn't happen very often, but I love it when Stefano gets a little nervous. And he should be! I can only imagine what the "New" Doc will do when she learns what he's done to John. Hell hath no fury like Marlena scorned. I think John will certainly appreciate his wife's regained fiery streak once he remembers her, that is.

More than anything, it's great that Marlena is putting her family first. I hate to say it, but she's always been too preoccupied with all of her own drama to really focus on them - granted most of the time it hasn't been her fault as she was kidnapped, brainwashed, etc., but it's wonderful to see her maternal fangs coming out now that she's been pushed beyond the limit. I love how she included Lucas as part of their family when scolding Sami for not being supportive of him. It's also awesome that she's gung-ho to find Brady and I hope when John remembers his family they go on an adventure to find him!

Indulge me for a second as I nitpick. I get that she's amazingly overwhelmed and I love 99% of the character, but there is one little percent that annoyed me last week. That was her lashing out at the boys in blue at the Salem P.D. Now, they've always been a few bricks short of a wall when it comes to solving crimes, but she quickly forgot how much they helped her out over the past few months. Is she sitting in jail for attempting to kill E.J.? No. And, she should remember that next time she blames them for not trying to help her family. It would be far worse if they charged Stefano with something that wouldn't stick. But, I'll give Doc a free pass and move on.

Suspicious Minds (Bo and Roman)

Why is it that Bo and Roman find it so hard to believe Marlena? Hope was a little skeptical at first, but seemed to warm up to the idea John could be alive. Sure, Doc's gone a bit off the deep end lately, for example shooting E.J., but it's not like Stefano isn't capable of resurrecting someone. Roman of all people should know that! He's been "dead" before! So has Hope!

My suspicions are that deep down Roman actually wants John to stay six feet under as that would make rekindling things with Marlena a real possibility. He's one of the "good guys" and would never admit that, but he's made his feelings for her pretty clear lately. I kind of feel bad for the guy as his love life hits more dead ends then most of his leads in a case.

Actually, I should give him and Bo some credit as they were smart enough to look into Crystal's shop and discovered it belonged to the mysterious C.B. DiMera. Could this possibly Colleen Brady DiMera? Hmm Regardless, they brought Crystal in for questioning and even convinced her to talk, ok, Marlena convinced her to talk, but at least they got her there AND obtained some cryptic answers!

Devil In Disguise (Crystal and C.B. DiMera)

I'm not sure what to make of Crystal yet but she's pretty interesting. Is she good or bad? My speculation is she's working for "C.B. DiMera," yet I'm still trying to piece together her involvement with Brady's disappearance and the attempted abduction of Belle and Claire. Even if they turn out to be Colleen's grandchildren (if she turns out to be John's mother), why would she want to scare everyone so badly? She might be trying to protect them from Stefano, but her measures seem a little extreme. A good old fashion warning letter would have been sufficient.

My guess is that Stefano knows she is still alive, but doesn't know she is (or possibly is) John's mother and Crystal is helping Colleen protect her family from the Phoenix's rage. With Colleen slated to return these and many more questions should be answered soon I hope. Of course, this also comes with yet another history rewrite, but, hey, at least John Black is back, right!?

It's Now or Never (E.J.)

I should begin by reiterating that I hate the fact that E.J. rapped Sami. As I've said before, it's a heinous crime and shouldn't have been downplayed. I really did wish Days would have addressed it better by punishing E.J. and letting Sami thoroughly go through the healing process like they're doing with Stephanie. Instead, we're dealt with E.J. setting out on his own road of remorse and moral recovery.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, he did take some major steps the past few weeks. Not only has he stood up to his father, which is a very intimadating thing to do, he took the plunge and totally defied the Pheonix by admitting that John was alive! That's very brave and the guy doesn't even have a sofa to hide behind when daddy comes a knock'n! I'm also digging the fact Tony's advice has become his new mantra and he's actually trying to do the right things for his son (and Sami). I just hope he keeps it up and doesn't fall back into his old pattern of trying to please his father by acting like an arrogant, callous *insert your curse word of choice.*

Hard Headed Woman (Sami)

This is a tough one. Sami's been a pretty rough on Lucas lately, yet I can't entirely blame her. In his defense, she's done a lot of questionable things without putting her families' best interest first, but lately she's at least let him in on all of her extreme schemes in an attempt to be a better person worthy of trust and love. If Will is the shooter, Lucas really needs to tell Sami at this point. I don't blame her for being furious with him for thinking he confessed to their teenaged son. That's a big pill for a kid to swallow and she's reacting like any mother would. If Lucas honestly wants her help he really needs to soothe Sami's savage beast because, let's face it, when she's in attack mode logic and reasoning don't factor into the equation - at all.

Jailhouse Rock (Lucas and Company)

To start on a lighter note, the jail cell rumble between Lucas, E.J., and Carmine was absolutely hysterical! Ok, the hysterical part was Lucas jumping on the big thugs back while E.J. took some swings from the front. I don't know why, but these two reminded me of Lenny and Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley. Perhaps it was unintentionally funny, but I totally cracked up at that part, not the rest of the scenes as they got pretty deep and disturbing. Can't totally blame Lucas for shooting him (or pretending to), yet I can't blame E.J. for being a "little" peeved about it. After all, no one likes to be shot.

Now, I have to ask everyone a question - would you carry a try of priceless fine china across a crowded room with wet hands? It'd be slippery and you could possibly drop it, right? Right! So why is Lucas acting as if he would do just that? The man is driving me crazy! I'm still guessing that he's taking the fall for Will, but, really, he's acting so dumb! Conceivably, he could still protect his son AND try to get himself out of jail. That would work too, right? Everyone already thinks he's guilty, so if he does get off that wouldn't automatically mean someone else would be suspected. In fact, the case would be closed and everyone would assume he just utilized the high priced lawyers his little brother kindly paid for. That's logical, I think, but what do I know?

Hound Dog (Philip)

Sure, Philip has scored some points by helping Lucas lately and even his Mommy Dearest before that, but his strategy to win over Belle is straight out of the Kate Roberts' Guidebook to Idiotic Plans Chapter Three I believe. I like Philip as a V.I.T. (villain in training) as it adds a lot of spice to his character, but the entire "manipulating someone into loving you" scheme never seems to work. Actually, it always backfires and ends up pushing the couple intended to be torn apart closer together. Granted, Belle and Shawn have a long road ahead of them, but I can already guess how this play out. Shawn will semi-fall for Mimi, I mean Chloe, but give Belle longing glances and she'll do the same from Philip's arm. Eventually, he'll learn Mimi, I mean CHLOE, lied to him and reject her around the same time Belle dumps Philip for lying to her as well and they will end up (temporarily) back together. The end. I hope I'm wrong!

Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong (Belle and Shawn)

So, as mentioned, Shawn D has been a mature rock star lately! Like he told Chloe, he still has Claire and that's all that matters. Thank the heavens that Bo and Hope's son is finally acting the part! He didn't disown his mother, or even raise his voice or whine, when she made her confession. Yay! I just hope his new attitude lasts as Shawn is becoming much more interesting lately.

Are you ready for this? I've actually regained a lot of respect for Belle. Bravo to her for telling Shawn the truth without being forced or blackmailed into doing so. Martha and Brandon were great during all of the scenes. Despite everything, I actually hope these two work things out. Yes, I'm a "Shelle" fan.

On a related note, sort of, I have to admit, NuClaire is pretty adorable. When I read they were recasting the part I was a little bit sad, but once the new one started doing happy and sad faces for the camera I couldn't help but crack a smile. My only gripe, because you know I have to have at least one, ha-ha, is that they keep carrying around the poor girl like she's a new born, yet when she's allowed to down she's running like the wind. Wait, maybe that's the problem and they're afraid she'll keep on going to escape the recent lunacy. My advice - run Claire, run!

(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear (Chloe and Shawn)

Chloe. Chloe. Chloe. She's had mixed reviews since returning to Salem and her latest scheme isn't going to win her any popularity points. Agreeing to pursue Shawn is just a bad idea all around. Not only is she going to tick him off when he finds out she's playing him, but Mama Overprotective will also lay into her too! No crocodile tears will get her out of their wrath when this blows up in her pretty face.

The big factor in this entire twisted equation is Brady. She's declared she's torn up about his disappearance, but has done so many things to the contrary that I'm having a hard time figuring out what's actually going on with her. Despite any marital turmoil, if my spouse was missing I would move heaven and earth to find them. She went to a class reunion, sipped cocktails with old friends, and even went on a date! Actions louder than words, that's all I'm saying. Here's an alternative list of names: Craig and Nancy, Marlena, and Victor. Those are all people who have the resources and would have been more then willing to help her without compromising her virtue.

Clean Up Your Own Backyard (Nick and Chelsea)

So after a few smooches Chelsea told Nick about Ford. Nick is truly one of the good guys, yet even the best of men have their limits and I can't say I entirely blame him for his reactions. He's stuck by her through many ups and downs, ok, mostly many downs, but this is major - this is murder! Ok, technically it was an accidental death, but everything that followed screams capital offense. Although Ford was a rapist and I personally feel he got what he deserved, what they did is huge! Now she's made Nick an accessory in an attempt to ease her own guilty conscience and gain some much needed support. I love Chelsea and feel bad for all of the sorority girls, especially Ford's victims, but they need to stick to their vow and not tell anyone else about what happened. This is Hope blabbing to everyone about Belle and Philip's affair all over again. Wait, bad example, Shawn didn't find out through the grapevine. Never mind.

The point is they should have done the right from the beginning despite their fears. This aspect is turning into the downside of an otherwise well handled storyline. My biggest fear is that something will happen to Billie. I.E. Crawford Decker killing her in revenge or Billie being disgraced and leaving town in shame. I can handle her getting a fabulous job somewhere and leaving Salem for a while, but I'd hate to see the character go out in anything less then a blaze of glory.

Love Me Tender (Stephanie and Max)

You know, I'm not really a supporter of "Max and Stephanie, the Couple" and it pains me a little to admit they actually tugged at my frigid heart strings this week. Just a little bit. Ok, a lot. "Awe" slipped out of my mouth a few times during his tender, love, and care of her as she finally admitted Ford rapped her. And that lonely tear that rolled down his cheek as she drifted off to sleep - heartbreaking!

Again, Days did a fantastic job of handling the subject responsibly. Kudos to the writers AND to Shelley Henning for, again, knocking her performance right out of the ball park. This young lady has hit a lot of acting homeruns lately! I was glad to see she also went to Dr. Whitney for therapy and started down the long road of recovery. And, although I feel bad for Steve as he seems hurt that he's been left out of the loop, it's probably a safe bet to put your Kleenex on standby because when she does finally tell him those scenes are bound to be tear-jerking.

All Shook Up

Please note: major casting spoilers and rumors discussed!

Hello, world, here's a song that we're singin'! So its official, Shirley Jones is coming to Days! You know, my first reaction was "huh?" and I scratched my head, but after the initial shock wore off I realized this is actually a very cool casting choice. Shirley is a great actress, her little, golden friend Oscar proves that, and I've always felt if Days was going to bring Colleen back they had to do it with a bang! THIS is a bang and I can't wait! Maybe next they could cast David Cassidy as John's long lost half-brother! That would be groovy.

Speaking of groovy, Lexie is making her way back to Salem soon! I'm glad the "powers that be" finally recognized her importance to the show and asked her to come back. Lucky for them, and all of us, she accepted! From what I've read, they've promised her a juicy storyline and I hope that's one promise they stay true to.

Now, you already know how I feel about Julie Pinson's exit, but I'm also saddened by Judi Evans expected departure. Sure, Adrienne's been simmering on the back burner since she returned to the show, but, again, the writers missed a golden opportunity. Not only did they pass up giving a great actress her own storyline (or at least a more prevalent part within another one), but they also kept her children off screen. She has four teenage boys who could have been easily aged to their early twenties to fit in with some of the sorority girls. Not that I'm aggressively encouraging more "twentysomething" storylines, but at least this way it would tie everyone together and keep her on the screen. Like Julie, I will miss Judi and continue to hope that they'll be back soon.

Now for some total rumors and wishful thinking the message boards have been buzzing with gossip that Louise Sorel (Vivian Alamain) and Julianne Morris (Princess Greta Von Amberg) might be returning to the show. Like I said, these are only rumors, for now, but I for one would love, love, love to see Vivian return! Days has been lacking in the Villainess Department over the past few years and she would certainly put it back on the map. Kate and Vivian round 23 would be terrific! Not to mention all the ties she already has with a lot of the characters on the show - most of whom she terrorized at one point or another.

Unfortunately, I haven't heard anything about Ivan G'Vera possibly returning as Ivan Marais, Vivian's loyal sidekick. With bumbling Bart out of the picture, Viv and Ivan would certainly bring a little more comedy back to the show! My fingers already hurt from keeping them crossed!

I'm not AS excited about Greta conceivably coming back, but I did like her. I think the only reason might return is to finally reveal who her father is be it Stefano, John, or some off the wall third party Days is likely to come up with. Her return (if it happens) could be interesting. Maybe they could even spark up a relationship between her and Philip as that boy needs to seriously move on. Here to wishful thinking!

Extra Scoops

Hot and Not

Hot: Marlena is off the charts lately! Aside from the many other things I adore about her feisty attitude, her supportive, yet straight forward approach to Belle's marital problems is awesome. I lost it when she nonchalantly agreed that letting Philip watch NuClaire was a dumb idea! Belle totally looked dumbfounded, ha-ha! Hey, I said I started to have respect for her again, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate a good jab at her princess ego once in a while.

Not: Ok, I love Steve and Kayla, but the only thing these two talk about every time they're on is her concerns over his feelings on becoming a father again. Water, please meet the bridge you went under a few months ago. Now that you've officially met, keep moving. Ugh, it's just frustrating to hear the same thing over and over as these two are such great actors and deserve so much more of a storyline. This is so reminiscent of the vets reading letters during the Vendetta. Wasting good actors/characters wasn't cute then and it's not cute now.

Line of the Week

"Look, I get it, ok. His mom is a ... no, offense Philip she is a nut job, but Lucas no way. He is the sanest person I know." Sami's reaction to learning Lucas's defense plans to use a temporary insanity strategy.

The Milk Carton:

Miss some of your favorite Days characters? Yah, me too! This section highlights a person (or persons) who needs the Salem P.D. to put out an A.P.B. for.

Craig and Nancy Wesley really need to weasel their way back onto the Days canvas. With Chloe back it's the perfect timing! Not only does Salem need another doctor, but those two are a hoot!

So friends and Days fans, that's "Two Scoops" for the week of January 7th, and, as John Black would say, "That's a fact."

Thanks for reading!
Tony


Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.



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