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 Two Scoops: September 29, 2008 columns
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Blake Berris
Round up the unusual suspects
For the Week of September 29, 2008
Ever wonder what the Salem PD would do if they had a crime to solve, but no Stefano to blame? Well, stranger things have happened, and Stefano looks like he's in the clear for Trent's murder.
Ever wonder what the Salem PD would do if they had a crime to solve but no Stefano to blame? Well, stranger things have happened. But in the case of "Who Killed Trent Robbins", Stefano DiMera looks like he's in the clear. That means that someone else had to kill Trent. We know it was with the knife. But, we don't know if it was Ms. Scarlet in the conservatory or Ms. Walker in the cemetery. We do know that many characters made "halfessions" (my word for "half confessions"- go with it), had motives, and even left clues. So, let's examine how this murder may rock Salem!

NICK
Motive: Trent threatened to expose Nick's grant fraud and take over the project himself.
Halfession: To Melanie, "Sorry I'm late. I had to take care of something"
Evidence: Unexplained bruises on his hands.

We'll start with him, why not? He had an AMAZING week. I'm so happy that Blake Berris has a shot at some juicy storyline material. He's a talented guy and it's about time that we had a good antihero-type character who gets the girl and saves the day. I loved how Nick stood up for himself against Trent and Chelsea. Not only that, I find him absolutely charming in his scenes with Melanie. Nick is absolutely right that Melanie doesn't feel sorry for herself. It's a lesson that he needed to learn himself! I think he's on the right track. These two could be my new SCIT (super couple in training).

Verdict: Not guilty of murder. Nick is way to smart to kill Trent and then leave him alive long enough to wander up to a witness. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Nick already set the wheels in motion to get Trent fired from the University.

NICOLE
Motive: She believes that Trent cost her $10 million (plus interest) in her divorce settlement from Victor.
Halfession: To EJ about her divorce case, "I hate my dearly departed husband even more" and "Trent's not going to make it to the stand."
Evidence: The fact that she told anyone who would listen that she wanted to kill Trent.

I don't know what happened more times- Nicole throwing up or Nicole blaming other people for her mistakes. After all that mudslinging she did last week at Sami for never accepting responsibility, it seems quite odd that the captain of the Accountability Police is ready to blame so many someone elses for her own mistakes. When truth came out about her marriage to Trent, Victor told Nicole that she is going to pay back every penny of the divorce settlement, including what she already spent, and interest. (GO VIC!) In response, Nicole blamed Trent for showing back up in Salem/never divorcing her in the first place, Bo for making her tell Victor the truth, Hope for helping Bo find out the truth, and Victor for expecting her to give back her divorce settlement. Look out, Caroline! Next week, Nicole's probably going to blame you for giving birth to that nosy Detective Bo Brady in the first place!

I don't intend to sound harsh, but I just don't have a lot of sympathy for Nicole. This is all over money. There's been no mention of the dubious "you'll go to jail for bigamy" since the one time Trent mentioned it, and Victor isn't pressing any charges for fraud. However, I am hopeful that this storyline will bring Nicole back to the gold digging hell-cat that I happen to love. I got a little chuckle out of Nicole's conversation with Philip when she said, "If I loose my divorce settlement I'll be ruined! How will I ever pay it back?" How about: get a job Nicole! Or, get a new rich husband. Either storyline will probably entertain me. (*smirk*)

Verdict: Not innocent. The writers aren't going to have Nicole be the guilty party because they've spent too much time on her relationship with EJ, just to have her go to jail. But I could make a very good case. Nicole knows about Trent's gambling debts as well as some other secrets about him. Technically, she still has a lot of money and resources at her disposal. Finally, she's killed one man who hurt her before (Colin) and tried to kill another (Victor). In the biz' that's what we call a "pattern".

MAX
Motive: Trent's an all around dirt bag who beat Max's mother and abandoned Max when he was a child.
Halfession: To Stephanie, "Things will get better now. We'll never have to worry about Trent Robbins again."
Evidence: Blood on his shirt and scratches and bruises on his back

Max shines in his storyline with Melanie. I've always been a Darin Brooks fan, but his talent has thus far been wasted on half-baked storyline ideas. That is, until now. This storyline gives Max access to a part of his past that was otherwise missing. I feel like that gives the character some real depth, and it opens up some very great potential storylines for the future. Also, like my partner Tony mentioned, I'm pleased with how many characters keep referring to Shawn as Max's REAL father. That's how it should be.

Side note: I can't really comment on Friday's episode. When Max and Stephanie share love scenes, I try to blackout. It's my defense mechanism.

Verdict: Not guilty. If you watch Thursday's episode again, you'll see that Max had blood on his shirt after the fight with Trent. When Max left, Trent was very much alive. However when Max hears that Trent is dead, I think Max will probably start to worry that the police will start asking questions. Max left hella evidence behind.

MELANIE
Motive: Trent pimped her out to pay off his gambling debt.
Halfession: To Nick when asked if her dad got to her again, "No, but I don't think he's going to."
Evidence: She had Trent's wallet in her purse.

I'm still a proud member of "Team Mel", but I get the feeling that there's another shoe to be dropped. Hopefully it doesn't land on Nick's head. I'll be ticked. But since Trent hinted that he knows about her "past" I'm thinking that petty theft might not be the only mark on Mel's record.

But if I may, I have to gush a little bit about the trifecta of awesomeness that is the writing, the actress, and the on screen pairings that makes Melanie such a great character. I loved that the writers had Melanie almost start to believe that Trent really did want to change and become Superdad. Melanie is still very young and this childlike reaction was very appropriate for the character. Then, there's Molly Burnett herself. She has a little Arianne Zucker quality to her acting because Molly can effortlessly change from comedy to distress and I buy both performances. Finally TPTB were smart enough to pair Molly in scenes with on screen partners like Blake Berris and Darin Brooks. She and Blake have cute romantic chemistry. And, the brother-sister relationship she and Darin portray is the most believable family bond since Bo and Kayla.

Verdict: Not guilty. Melanie is too resourceful to get her hands dirty herself. But, since she knows that Claude made an offer to Trent (either Trent's life, the money, or a drink with Melanie) I think that Melanie probably called up Claude and let him know that their "date" was off. Since Melanie knows that Trent doesn't have the money that only leaves one option.

CAROLINE:
Motive: She's worried that Trent will hurt his kids again and Max won't be able to control his anger.
Halfession: At Shawn's graveside, "That's why I took care of him tonight. We don't have to worry about Trent bothering Max anymore."
Evidence: The cops found her with the murder weapon in her blood soaked hands.

Caroline is ticked. Not only is Nicole going around town spreading rumors that there are bad clams in the chowder, but Trent should be in jail. So, she did the one thing that I wanted to see all week. She marched into the police station and demanded to know why the heck someone hasn't arrested Trent for child molestation. Apparently Bo and Roman can't do anything because it happened on foreign soil. Hmmm….Jack McCoy (of Law and Order: Original Flavor fame) would argue that since Trent made the call from Salem, "Boman" might have a case, but whatever.

Verdict: Not guilty. I watched enough episodes of Matlock to know that the person leaning over the body holding the bloody knife is never guilty. Personally, I think she probably placed a call to the FBI since they would be able to deal with an international crime involving two American citizens.

THE REST:
Claude
Apparently France has an even more incompetent court system than Salem. Claude is out after spending one night in jail. And, he's calling Trent to collect on that little $20,000 tab thingy. Soap opera logic says that Claude probably ordered the hit on Trent. While I'm never opposed to a child molester being painted as a bad guy, I kinda hope that the writers take this storyline in a less obvious direction.

Victor
Victor doesn't really have a motive, but he did make a call to Nico and said it pertained to Trent Robins. Of course, Nico could be Victor's lawyer and Vic might have just been asking Nico to find a huge basket for Nicole to put all of that money back in.

John
He already attacked Trent once, and there's been talk about how his brain waves are short circuiting. But, John has his hands full with Stefano and Marlena right now. He's already gotten out of two major crimes thanks to a speedy wrap up rewrite. John's reached his quota. If the writers are smart, they'll keep him away from this Trent saga.

Marlena
She did threaten to rearrange his face (which I LOVED, by the way) but, like John, Marlena is just way too busy for murder right now. Sometimes a girl has to prioritize, you know.

JOHN and MARLENA
Marlena and Anna had a great scene where Marlena talked about filing for divorce. Anna tried to talk Marlena out of it. Anna even brought up the point that John's health is in danger. Marlena says that she just can't handle John's mood swings anymore. Logically, Marlena's reasoning makes all the sense in the world. But, it just feels wrong. I don't know if it's because Days wouldn't be the same without Jarlena or if it's because Marlena is a MENTAL HELATH PROFESSIONAL, but it just seemed so wrong that Marlena would give up on John. Good thing he had that little seizure to change her mind. Once at the hospital, Kayla ran some tests and saw that part of John's brain is completely clouded over. Neither Kayla nor Marlena knows what caused it, but they both know that something is deadly wrong. Marlena vows to help.

She makes a desperate attempt to go over to Stefano's house and demand the disc back. Right, like that would work. Come on, Marnie. Be resourceful! Marlena doesn't have to outsmart Stefano, she needs to outsmart Rolf. She needs to put her degree to work and collaborate with Kayla to prove that the two of them are just as smart as a mad scientist.

DIMERA
I love Drake Hogestyn and Joseph Mascolo, but I was bored to tears with their multi-day scene. We get it. Stefano wants to punish everyone and John wants to punish Stefano. John is completely delusional when it comes to justice, but at least he was brainwashed. What's Stefano's excuse?

Lexie joined the campaign to bring down Stefano this week. Good for her. Although, I have to say that Alexandra needs to consult her DiMera Family Hand Book- especially the chapter on how to exact revenge. Step one: don't walk right up to your target and tell him that your newly-free-from-the-rules husband is going to come after said target by any means necessary. Step two: don't go blabbing to your best friend/ Wonder Cop that your husband plans to turn vigilante. Umm…element of surprise there, Lex. You're ruining it!

The good news is that Rolf was on screen this week! WOOT!!! I sure did miss my favorite German man-servant. I hope he gets a chance to bring out some comedy soon. Right now, all he's brining is bad news. John's data infrastructure is at risk of being overloaded. Basically, that means John will die. Rolf says there's a brief window of time where John can be re-brainwashed into a DiMera pawn. But Stefano seems to have lost interest in the JohnPawn. Stefano said that he'll enjoy watching Marlena suffer as John slips further and further into mental demise, but when it comes to a pawn, Stefano is ready to find a new model. Interesting……

CHELSEA
The thing that I like about Chelsea's current storyline is that it's being respectful to both fan camps. I happened to be one of the ones who rejoiced when Chelsea and Nick finally broke up. I couldn't stand the way they were treating each other and I didn't want to watch it any more. But as any message board glance will tell you, there is a slew of fans who can't stand Chelsea. While I respectfully disagree with their opinion, I am glad that they got a chance to experience the same relief/celebration feeling this week watching Chelsea squirm with the idea of not being #1 in Nick's life. It's only fair. Well played, writers.

This may shock some of you, but I'm glad that Chelsea got a serving of humble pie. The absolute last thing I want to see is Chelsea get thrown into the Mick mix. Like Daniel and Chelsea before Grannygate, Nick and Melanie have plenty of love story material without throwing in a third party. Also, I love Nick and Chelsea's friendship relationship now. I forgot how much chemistry Blake and Rachel have because it's been so long since they had a scene where they weren't arguing. Nick gives Chelsea a heaping pile of good advice about anger, forgiveness, self-confidence, and respect. Ok, the comment about "cheating doctors" was a little low considering that Nick married someone else during their relationship, but his overall point is well taken. Chelsea needs to be reminded of why she broke up with Nick because she does NOT need to replay her lukewarm relationship with him.

KATE
We got to see more of the fall-out between Kate and Chelsea this week. I'm glad that the writers aren't white-washing over the reveal that Kate slept with Daniel by having Chelsea magically be over it. It's only right that it would take Chelsea a little while to heal. But, something tells me that Kate's diagnosis will go a long way for reuniting grandmother and granddaughter. Daniel told Kate that she has lung cancer. That reveal pretty much made Chelsea, who was insisting that Kate was faking allergies just to spend time with Daniel, look dumber than the viewers who believed that Swamp Baby was actually dead. Chelsea is headed for a crash course in forgiveness.

I get a little nervous when soaps tackle real-life illnesses because they rarely ever do it well. Plus, the writers have a lot to explain here. Since Kate has never been shown to smoke (except between the sheets! Ohhh!! Sorry, I forgot. I'm trying to be serious here.) she'll be one of those minority cases of non-smokers who get lung cancer. That leaves so many questions to answer. A lot of good medical scenes better take place and please, no miracle cure. On a personal and very serious note, several of my family members have fought cancer. So, a cancer storyline hits very close to home with me. I sincerely hope it is, but if this storyline is not handled well, I'll be leading the complaint crusade.

LOOSE ENDS:
Chloe and Lucas's date did not go well. It started with a fight and ended with him leaving her alone with her ex-boyfriend. I don't know what it is, but while I completely understand where Lucas was coming from (Chloe did leave Lucas's kid with someone that he didn't know) I felt myself being utterly annoyed with Lucas as soon as he started berating Chloe. I don't think that Lucas even knows what a healthy relationship is like. He should hang out more with Maggie and Mickey.

I was pretty proud of EJ last week for standing up to Sami and telling her that she's self destructive. I just wish he'd do the same for Nicole. Why is he buying into this crap that Nicole earned her divorce settlement? I'm sorry, was that before or after she married an old man for his money, had an affair with Colin Murphy, or tried to have Victor killed? Someone's going to have to help me out with this one. Do you think EJ actually agrees with Nicole, or do you think it was just his lawyer (not to mention paycheck) side kicking in?

I really like Abe and Lexie. Granted, their romantic chemistry is about as hot as a reheated pizza, but not all couples are candles and roses all the time. We can't all be Bo and Hope, now can we? I actually thought it was funny how Abe grumbled, "What!?! I couldn't make tough decisions?" at the TV while Lexie comforted him. I'm probably in the minority, but I dig this couple.

Maggie is going even greener. Great. At least we got to see Mickey!

Nicole mentioned that she can't have children. Now that the writers remember history and acknowledge that a Nicole pregnancy would be a rewrite, how will they handle future storylines with her? Stay tuned.

Extra Scoops:

RANDOM THOUGHTS
Why the hell was Stefano alone with the twins? I know that Alison Sweeney is busy doing The Biggest Looser, but jeeze writers! EJ or Sami should have been in that room with them.

I know Max has a lot on his mind, but I find it odd that he hasn't told Nick that Melanie is a minor.

I kinda dug smarmy Daniel. Something clicked when he yelled at that nurse. Would he make a good villain?

Stephanie cut her hair. I hope she doesn't lose her magical powers.

CASTING NEWS:
Oh. My. Gosh. Too. Much. Excitement. Can't. Focus. Myself. As soapcentral.com reports, two actors from Passions are coming to Days of Our Lives!! Galen Gering (a.k.a Officer Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald) is coming to Salem in October to play an FBI agent. Eric Martsolf (a.k.a Ethan Winthrop) has been recast in the role of Brady Black. He'll appear in November. I am sooooo excited.

Back in the day, I used to be a Passions fan. (Quit judging me.) I always thought Eric did a great job with some very unfortunate storyline material. I'm thrilled to see what he can do with some good material! But I caution: Eric better bring his A-game to Salem. If the writers remain true to Brady's history, Eric is going to have to be in scenes right away with vets like John Aniston and Drake Hogestyn. There's also the possibility that Stefano may see John's son as the perfect replacement Pawn, which means that Joseph Mascolo will be waiting. Throw in the fact that TPTB will definitely want to chemistry test Eric with Arianne Zucker (according to their chemistry that currently only exists in my head, this pair is off the charts!!) and Eric better come ready!

I know less about Galen's character, but I'm glad that Galen gets a chance to show off his beautiful smile acting chops in Salem. Plus, my mom is very excited to see "Luis" in Salem. She always liked him too. Yeah! Happy times!

HOT:
Roscoe Born's portrayal of an amazing villain. Sure, he's gone way too soon; but, I have been so impressed with Roscoe Born. He made Trent Robbins an absolute snake. I felt my skin crawl when I saw the guy. Then, he delivered lines like, "I may be a pig, but I bet I can still make you squeal" and "Keep it warm for me" with such slimy arrogance, the likes of which I haven't seen since EJ wore black gloves. Talent of Roscoe's level will always be missed.

NOT:
Hope's name in the running for commissioner. I'm utterly annoyed with the way this storyline was written. I don't like how Hope was the third choice. She should have been the first choice. She's perfect for the job. Roman isn't strong enough. If he was Commissioner we'd have to get Marlena's approval on everything and that would just delay so much procedure. Bo is too wild. I like his cowboy-up approach to crime solving too much to give that all up. But, Hope is great. She's got experience on the force, and she can get away with saying things to Mayor Buzzkill that no one else could. No, not because she's a woman. It's because of the eyebrow. That thing gets people every time! But alas, Bo decided to go after the job. I'm going to have to abandon my dream of Hope being the top cop and learn to deal with Bo actually trying to follow the rules. (pouting and stomping feet) That's not how I wanted it!

LINE OF THE WEEK:
The best written line of the week was Philip's reaction to Nicole refusing some wine: "Wow. Temperatures in hell must have hit an all time low."

The best delivered line was Max's response to Trent's death threat news: "You mean he might kill you? Well that just breaks my heart."

There you have it, my fellow suds fans! This past week in Salem surely set up for a "killer" storyline next week! (sorry, sometimes I can't help myself). Tony will be back on Monday to take you through the investigations, interrogations and questionings. In the mean time, who do you think will be the new Commissioner? What did happen to all of the Alamain money that John is supposed to have? And, who do you think killed Trent?

Happy viewing!
Laurisa



Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness

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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