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Eric Martsolf
Razzle dazzle
by Tony
For the Week of September 27, 2010
Watching Brady struggle, and at the same time enjoy his revenge against Vivian, is only cementing what most of us have known all along -- Eric Martsolf is great!
Last week was a busy one in Salem. In fact, my Outlook calendar was constantly binging with reminders. Attend Isabella's memorial service. Feed Vivian through a tube. Sit with comatose E.J. Pick up Kayla -- KAYLA! -- at the airport. Draw pictures with Ciara. Look for Cassie in the attack. Send Hope a "Get Well/Sorry You Were Beaten in the Slammer…Again" card, which are harder to find than you'd expect, FYI. Attend Chloe's baby shower. Luckily, Nicole offered to pick up more soda, or else I wouldn't have had time to Scoop.

Ironically, I was so razzle-dazzled by all the commotion on-screen, I nearly forgot to notice that not a lot of storyline progress was actually made. Also ironic -- I didn't mind. I noticed it wasn't just a filler week -- it was one used for storylines setups. Now that Kayla's back, will she blow Stephanie (and, by proxy, everyone else) out of the water? What's next for E.J. now that he's seemingly on the mend? And will Brady keep turning to the dark side now that he knows Victor's proud of him? Let's wipe the glitter from our eyes, take a look, and find out!


KAYLA, STEPHANIE, and ADRIENNE
Have you ever seen the show 5 Ingredient Fix on the Food Network? It basically works just as the name suggests. The host, Claire Robinson, whips up a delicious dish with five ingredients or less. Easy!

To me, Kayla is the perfect recipe for a five-ingredient-or-less character. She's two parts caring, one part intelligent, one part feisty, and one part all-out Brady smartass. I adore not only the character, but Mary Beth Evans, too, and I'm thrilled she's back for a guest visit.

I'm even more thrilled that she's back with a purpose, which is to whip Stephanie into shape! Of course, Kayla was quick to comment, Stephanie wasn't the only reason she was back in town. Snap, girl! Way to deflate Steph's overinflated ego. More so, I'm also glad Kayla remembered Bo, Hope, Roman, and Sami -- I hope we get to see those scenes, too!

But ultimately Stephanie is her main priority, and Mama Johnson isn't snowed by her demon spawn. She knows Sunroof Steph is up to no good and doesn't plan to sit idly by and buy her daughter's cutesy explanations. And I'm all for it! For months, a year perhaps, Steph has managed to annoy me, and if Kayla can annoy her, I'm all-in.

"Poor Stephanie" was also put off by Adrienne. Methinks she has a memory problem. After all, wasn't it Stephanie who went to her aunt for advice? Yep, I seem to remember that, too. And whereas there are some things I can put up with, dissing Adrienne isn't one of them. So, Steph, you're on notice once again.

And if you need another reason to dislike Stephanie, she says stupid things to her mother like -- "Listen, you can't be mad at me because you used to leave me for the hospital all the time." Um, right, Steph, because she's a doctor. I repeat: Kayla is a doctor. She's not an admin. Whoops! She's not a "Special Coordinating Administrator." I was an admin. I know they work hard. But I also know they seldom get paged for 9-1-1 emergencies. Just saying.

More so, Steph's still on her crusade to find out who switched the results of the paternity test. It looks like Philip, Chloe, and Dr. Dan are all out of the running. I still think Mel is too giggly to hide the truth, so it appears to be narrowing down to Carly and...well, Carly. Talk about things that make you go, "Hmm?'"


IAN
For fellow DAYS fact geeks like me, Ian now has a last name. It's Burnett. Too bad it looks like the guy drank the same spiked Kool-Aid "Obsessed Owen" gulped down right before he kidnapped Stephanie. Let's just hope this time, she stays in the drawer.

To elaborate, I think our seemingly harmless, bike-riding, ponytailed computer dork Ian is a few gigabytes short of a hard drive. He has crazy eyes. Did he really wreck his motorcycle or did he hurt himself just to get close to Dr. Dan, therefore get closer to Stephanie by helping her? And is Dr. Dan now in his line of fire just because he cast a warning to stay away from Steph and Nathan?

I'm not sure of those answers just yet, but I'm interested to see how this plays out. It's been a while since Salem had a brilliant, yet deranged badass. Remember Nick Fallon, anyone? Yep, he was the last crazy skinny guy to wreak havoc on the twenty-something scene. If they go that route, this could be good -- a smart bad guy is much more interesting -- with the exception of dimwitted Owen -- than one who is easily disposable *cough, Willow Stark.*

Only one thing has me worried. I don't want to see Stephanie get to play the Victim Card. She shouldn't get a free pass for being a major be-otch just because she was kidnapped and/or terrorized by another obsessed psycho. I'll be disappointed if that happens instead of her being exposed as the giant buttinsky she's been.


CHLOE and NICOLE
As much as drunk-Nicole amuses me and as much as I don't often agree with the Chloemeister, I have to give Chloe props on her assessment of their friendship. Yep, it was fun when they were drinking buddies swapping gossip. However, Chloe's right -- Nicole is a bit selfish. Granted, Nicole owns up to that, and that's one thing I like about Nicole, but I liked the approach the writers took with them.

Last week was one of the first times I actually believed Chloe wants to be a mother. Before that, it seemed like all she cared about was keeping her adulterous secret and not the baby she is carrying. Chloe has priorities -- who knew!?


BRADY, VIVIAN, VICTOR, MAGGIE, and COMPANY
In truth, Isabella's re-internment and memorial was basically an excuse to give Vivian an easy "Buried Alive" plot, part two. We all saw that coming. What we didn't see (sans those who read spoilers) is that Brady would turn the sarcophagus on Vivian, thus creating an awesome, amusing storyline!

Brady's newfound edgy side alone is definitely making things work! Add in that Vivian's actually the one who's playing Jiminy Cricket to his conscience, and I'm sold. Watching him struggle and at the same time enjoy his revenge is only cementing what most of us have known all along -- Eric Martsolf is great! They guy can act outside of the cookie-cutter good-guy box he's been constantly stored in.

I'm also impressed that most of the characters are doubtful that Vivian is actually gone. They should be wary. Vivian has been a crazy pain in the butt for decades. Those who know her wouldn't expect her to grab Lawrence's urn and dash to parts unknown. But don't worry -- Bo's on the case, which is another great tie-in.

Of course, any storyline that involves John Aniston is just that much better. I loved Victor's reaction to the news once he talked himself into believing she was gone. I haven't seen an old, cranky tyrant that jubilant since Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning.

Then there's Victor and Maggie! These two are proving that the current writing regime can scribe a love story worth watching. Why they haven't done that for other characters still has me scratching my head, but I digress. More Victor and Maggie? Yes, please!


E.J. and COMPANY
As expected, E.J.'s prognosis was a rollercoaster last week, but it looks like he's going to make it. That's a relief. Comatose E.J. basically wasted James' talents. Okay, okay, you can read that as we don't get to watch him bat his lovely eyelashes, and that's a crime against swooning James fans.

But whereas E.J. might be on the mend, I'm a bit worried about what's next for him. I suspect it's going to go one of two ways. Either E.J. will have amnesia or he'll fake it to either make Sami pay by tormenting her or use it as a tool to win her back by showing her that his heart is really filled with sugar and spice and everything nice. Then again, with the sarcophagus switcheroo storyline being a superstar, I have a little more faith now that the writers might come up with a nice, juicy twist. Stay tuned!


STEFANO and KATE
I've said it before and I'll say it again -- in a very weird way, these two have the healthiest relationship on the show. If they have a problem, they talk it out. And after a fight, they even remind each other why they fell -- or in their case, are falling -- in love with each other in the first place. Other couples should really adopt that philosophy.

Ironically, one of the things that Stefano and Kate admire about one another is also the thing that could tear them apart, that being the love of their own families. If you're keeping score, Kate's hierarchy of love goes: Children and grandchildren, herself, fingernail polish, Stefano. The Phoenix's is: E.J., E.J….E.J. again, Giovanni and Sydney, [pause] Lexie and Theo, sometimes Tony if he remembers, alcohol and cigars, revenge, DNA guy, and then Kate.

Ultimately, Kate's safe for now. But I have a bad feeling my favorite villain couple is heading for another rocky patch if he finds out she tipped off Sami. True, Kate seems to be selling her out, but in the meantime, as I've mentioned in a prior column, it will be fun watching Kate and Sami interact. Those two never fail to amuse me!


WILL
Rafe, Sami, and Kate are all worried about Will. The good news -- Stefano is no longer worried he's a suspect. That's little comfort as Sami Jr. isn't as good as his mother or grandmother is at keeping secrets. He's starting to sweat. Actually, he has been sweating, and that is painfully obvious to everyone around him.

But because of his worries, Will is developing more as a character. He needed to learn not every situation is black and white. And I also like the fact he is crashing with Grandpa Roman. THAT needed to happen a long time ago. Roman knows firsthand what it's like to deal with Sami and accept her, faults and all. I hope he teaches Will a thing or two about that as well. Of course, if Will can use Chad's shoulder during the process, I wouldn't object to seeing more of those two interact.


RAFE
It also seems Rafe is being schooled in the theory that not everything is black and white, too. Dear readers, you might have picked up from one or two comments I've made in the past that Rafe isn't one of my favorite characters. He's still not, but if the writers actually keep -- what's the word? -- developing him and keep him off his high horse, I might be willing to give him another shot. Any by "another shot," I mean I might not cringe every time he comes on-screen.


LOOSE ENDS
Well, Hope is definitely paying for her crimes. Vitamin C Tina and Book-Cart Killah beat her up. I'm fine with a once-a-week Hope fix if the writers keep redeeming her, but they need to pull back on the beatings or at least balance them with scenes of Hope in therapy. Perhaps they should bunk her with Dr. Charlotte Taylor.

Sami shooting E.J. and Kate calling Sami are two examples of overused flashbacks. An example of a good one -- vintage Carly and Isabella! Those are the kind of flashbacks I want to see more of, please.


EXTRA SCOOPS

HOT:
Last Monday while watching DAYS, I jotted down a "Randomness…" thought in my trusty notebook. It read, "Where has my gal Nurse Maxine been hiding!?" Two days later, she appeared. Welcome back, my sassy friend! Her sarcastic, witty appearances totally keep things fresh and break up any potential monotony. I enjoyed her ill-timed labor story and humorous take on her coworkers. And to boot, she wasn't wearing scrubs! My thought -- more Maxine!

NOT:
Okay, I admit it, I loved Isabella's memorial mostly because I loved Isabella. A moment of silence…and go! Now, with that out of the way, why didn't someone mention…what's-his-name?...Oh! John. That's it! John Black. You remember him, Isabella's widower and Brady's father? Yep, neglecting to mention him was bogus on all accounts and made worse by the fact that the writers are actually paying attention to details lately (Chloe talking to Nancy and Joy, Philip mentioning Tony, and Stephanie asking about Joey, to name a few). To not mention John at all was utterly lame, dear writers.


LINE OF THE WEEK:
Kate (to Stefano): "God, it's so comforting to be married to someone who has a DNA guy."

Honorable Mentions:
Nicole (pondering while drinking alone): "It's a little drunk out. What should I do? I know! I'll call a cab -- go to baby shower."

Nicole (during the above mentioned drunken stupor): "I know 'Another round!' in thirteen different languages. Another round! That's in English."

Brady (to Nicole): "I think we kind of deserve each other, in a weird sort of way. I mean, we have some really great traits in common. I think that's why we keep bumping into each other in bars in the middle of the day."


RANDOMNESS…
To reiterate a good point from my "Not" selection, Philip mentioned Tony! The sad part -- us DAYS Two Scoopers miss Thaao!

Vivian's Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque commentary is still cracking me up!

Rafe told Will that "From the first day I met you, I thought you were a real straight shooter." Was I the only one who laughed considering Rafe thinks Will shot E.J.?

I asked this two weeks ago and thought I'd follow up -- has anyone contacted Susan Banks yet? Anyone…anyone…? Nope? Okay, just checking.

It was nice to see Justin and all his dimpled deliciousness! Note to the writers, he needs to be on more often.

Kate's fashion statements are making an Annie Hall-era Diane Keaton proud.

In other fashion news, Stephanie's outfit last Monday had me wondering if she'll be able to snag another "Best Dressed" award during the Fourth Annual Golden Doughnut Awards. That blue shirt/skirt-thingy was like a tunic that met a nightshirt and then got into a fight with a Bedazzler. I thought outfits like that were only wearable at state fairs and Poison concerts. My bad!


PARTING THOUGHTS…
So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of September 27th. Laurisa will be back next Monday to manage next week's busy calendar. Will the show distract us with more razzle-dazzle? Will storyline progress be made? Will next week's column be titled after another Chicago number? Check back next Monday and find out! And, "That's a fact."

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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