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 Two Scoops: January 10, 2011 columns
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Peter Reckell
Family ties
For the Week of January 10, 2011
Bo and Hope are almost back to normal. He rescued her, and they're on a boat. If they can whip up a mullet and a motorcycle, we'll almost be back to the Bope days of old.
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and got to spend some time with friends and family. Let's see, since the last two weeks were special columns (The Golden Doughnuts and The Alex North Memorial Awards), we missed out on dishing about the happenings in Salem over the last two weeks. No biggie. Nothing much happened.

Wait! Yes it did! The entire town of Salem found out that Philip is Parker's father and Caroline switched the paternity test results. It just so happened that my mom and sister were in town to visit me the day this episode aired, and we delayed leaving for lunch and sat -- coats and purses on -- for an hour, waiting until the episode was over before we left the house. It was a scene in the grand tradition of soaps where the tah-dah moment was everything I wanted it to be. Also, I've since added Shawn Christian to the list of People I Never Want to Yell at Me.

But for every nice, there is a naughty. The Horton Christmas was the weakest that I've ever seen. I know there's not a lot of Hortons in Salem, but having the entire guest list be Doug, Julie, Maggie, Jennifer, and Ciara was about as lame as sitting down to a half-eaten, reheated, grocery store rotisserie chicken for Christmas dinner. Brady could have picked up his step-niece and nephew and brought Will and Ali over to hang up their ornaments. Nathan could have made more than just a cameo appearance to announce that he's moving to Baltimore. How about Stephanie reading a letter that she got from Nick? I could go on, but you get the idea. Next year, more Hortons!

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on to what happened this first week of 2011!


BOPE
These two are almost back to normal. He rescued her and they're on a boat. If they can whip up a mullet and a motorcycle, we'll almost be back to the Bope days of old.

Sure there's that little thing called Carly, but I don't think she'll be much of an obstacle. Not when she realizes that her "I love you" was what kept Bo on the phone long enough for the wiretap to pinpoint his location. And certainly not after she meets a certain merchant marine buddy of Bo.

Leo's staying around Salem, right? I mean, he just has to! Not only did he help Bope escape, but he mentioned Shawn D!! That right there gets him a free pass to stay in Salem for as long as he'd like.


CAROLINE
I'm glad that Kayla mentioned Kimberly because that was the highlight of Caroline's storyline. Seeing Caroline freak out over such a stupid motive makes me a little mad. I don't know if it's the writing or the acting choices, but all of Caroline's scenes made me a bit uncomfortable. They felt exploitive.

I'd rather see more of Roman right now than Caroline. Roman's been tragically underused, and I'd like it if he had more scenes with Kayla during her short return to the show. He seems to be onto the fact that there's more to the story. Go with that, Roman! Dig! Dig!


CHLOE
A warning to the writers: In light of the indigestion that you're giving me over in Rafe/Sami/E.J./Nicole land, be very, very careful with Chloe. Every time she rolls her eyes when some Kiriakis or Roberts shows up to see their newest relative, I get cranky. Chloe needs to pull herself together for the sake of her son and make some things happen, not just sit around Daniel's apartment and make sad faces.


PHILIP
I've never been a Philip/Melanie fan. I thought the pair was mismatched from the beginning. So I'm not particularly interested in watching Philip grieve for the loss of his marriage. But, I am interested in watching Philip interact with Chloe. Yes, I know that what they did was wrong, but these two have one of the most tenured friendships on the show, and that holds some merit with me.

There's something that's proven about this pair. They could go the Roman and Marlena route, where the two end up as genuine friends who co-parent. They could try is as a romantic pair again. Either way, this storyline will finally get Philip out of the kiddie pool and open up a new realm of storyline possibilities for the dimpled one.


MELANIE
Dude, her life sucks right now. I'd have called in to work sick too. I'd have probably booked myself two tickets on the next plane to London and grabbed Maggie to go visit Max and engage in some retail therapy. I like how she keeps telling herself to snap out of it and move on. Despite the whole husband slept with my step-mom and made a baby thing, Melanie's got a lot going for her.

No, that wasn't sarcastic. She's got a successful career, great friends like Maggie and Brady, and two strong parents who love her. Add in the fact that (surprisingly) both Kate and Victor like her, and she's got to succeed. If a certain Horton doctor happens to fall in her lap, I'm okay with that.


DANIEL
Daniel told Chloe and Parker to move out. So he's done with her, right? Wrong. I don't know about you, but I've never had two month's rent in a fully furnished apartment as part of any of my breakups. Daniel obviously still cares about Chloe, but is too hurt to deal with it right now. I get that.

The fact that Daniel brought up Lucas (THANK YOU, writers!) makes me wonder if Daniel is doing a little self-reflecting and realizing that maybe the universe is paying him back for being such a surfing man-whore when he first came to Salem. I'm not sure if it's meant to be that deep, but I hope it is, because I love self-awareness in characters.


SAMI and E.J.
All right, writers. It's time to have the Come to Laurisa meeting. I am O.V.E.R. the ping-ponging between E.J. and Sami. Don't get me wrong, James Scott and Alison Sweeney have a special type of magic together that's always captivating. But, the constant pain that E.J. and Sami are inflicting on their children for the sake of revenge on each other is infuriating to watch. And it would be that way if the couple was Bo and Hope, Tom and Alice, or even flipping Adam and Eve.

Furthermore, E.J. and Sami are much more interesting when they fight over everything except their children. Until the writers get to a point where both Sami and E.J. have equal custody of their children, I will continue to think that this storyline is crap. Neither parent is better (or worse, more appropriately) than the other. I love both characters, and I'm done choosing sides. I'm going to go sit by Johnny and hope that he'll let me play with that awesome transformer until this storyline is somewhere better.


NICOLE
I think it's totally bunk that Nicole's precious bond with Sydney is enough to make her throw away Brady and marry E.J. I thought that when Nicole heard "I love you" from Brady that she'd toss the curly-headed tyke and head back for some more sarcophagus lovin'. But since she didn't, at least I can take pleasure in watching Ari Zucker work her magic once again.

If Nicole and E.J. actually go through with the wedding, I feel like we're in for another round of them as a couple. We all know that the surest way to fall in love on a soap is to have a business-arranged marriage to someone you hate. I'm pretty sure it tops the list just above "trapped in a room together" and "being the sole survivors of a plane crash."


BEN
Ben and Jen had a cute coffee date, but until I know what is up with Dr. Ben, I can't see Bennifer as a viable pair. His entire behavior leaves me asking, "What's up with doc?"

It's clear that Lee and Jane are in the organ trafficking business for the money. While I can't empathize with gals who kill people, at least I'm clear on their motivations.

Ben…not so much. Does he have a hero complex where saving people's lives feeds his happiness like high heels feeds my own happiness? If so, how does he reconcile killing perfectly healthy people for their body parts? Does he even know that Jane and Lee are killing inmates? Or, is he truly the dumbest person on the planet and thinks that Jane goes on craigslist to get kidneys? I need to know more about Dr. Ben, and I need to know it before he gets too cozy with Jennifer.


LOOSE ENDS:
E.J. gave Nicole a diamond bracelet with a GPS tracking device in it, and if she takes it off, an alarm will sound and their deal will be off. It's deliciously DiMera. I can't wait to see how Nicole is going to get around it, because you know she will.

I'm cautiously optimistic about another recycled storyline where Vivian is the recipient of one of her own greatest hits. (Get it? Hits?) The sarcophagus shenanigans did solidify Victor's feelings for Maggie. And so far, I enjoyed Brady and Kate's evil laugh together when they realized that Vivian had "landed." Plus, I really liked what the island did to Gus. I hope whatever Brady put in that coffee is in Gus's supply kit. Hearing Gus call Viv, "Lady" and telling her to shut up were a nice change of pace for Gus. I like it!

I forgot how much I love Nicole and Stefano together. She completely schooled him in taking Sami's bait. And, I cheered when she laid into him for raising E.J. to think that love is a weakness. She's so right, and until she pointed it out, I couldn't quite put my finger on the difference between Stefano and E.J. Stefano has given up on making love the first priority. E.J. still believes. Otherwise, why would E.J. propose to someone he swears that he hates? He must not think there's any risk of falling in love with Nicole. (*evil laugh*)

There are some casting changes happening over at DAYS. For those of you who want to remain spoiler free, I didn't include those thoughts in this column. But if you want to hear about it, head over to my blog!


HOT:
I love me some Sami and Brady. I don't get why these two share so few scenes together because they're the only friends their own age that each has. (Did that make sense?) Since there's no danger of them sleeping with each other or judging each other, they can actually be real and funny together. I loved that she took some of his booze in her coffee. I adored the fact that she gave him a pep talk. I hope Brady reconsiders Sami's offer and the two team up to mess with E.J. and Nicole.

NOT:
Stephanie is an ungrateful brat, and I want bad things to happen to her. Kayla has done EVERYTHING for Stephanie, include raise the twit as a single parent, and all Steph can do is throw 'tude in Kayla's face when Mama J dares to warn Stephanie not to enter into a marriage that's based on a lie. I'm glad Nathan broke open the door to see Steph in her fugly wedding dress. I hope he packs up his things and leaves her sobbing in her Mayflower reject necklace, thinking about what a horrible person she is. Then, I want Kayla to show up and give Steph a big fat, "I TOLD YOU SO!"


LINE OF THE WEEK:
Jennifer: "I wasn't talking to myself, it just so happens that the person I was talking to doesn't happen to be here right now."


RANDOM THOUGHTS:
I love how Stefano poured and offered Nicole a drink while he was chewing her out. Say what you will about Stefano, the guy's got manners!

Rafe's meeting with Jane got me wondering if Jane will turn out to be yet another long-lost Hernandez relative. Besides the dark hair and skin, that high concentration of smug was unmistakable! I loved that when he corrected her on his title, she retorted back by calling him, "Temporary Commander Hernandez." Brilliant!

I love that Johnny packed a transformer, three socks, and a banana. What Vivian wouldn't give for Johnny's backpack.

Hey Will and Ali, want to meet your new cousin?

Not to promote violence in any way, but I smiled when Brady bragged to Melanie that he punched Philip in the face. I have a best guy friend whom I don't know if I would have gotten through college without if he didn't offer to break the legs of every guy who broke my heart.


And that's it for the first week in Salem! Tony will be back next week to see if Stephanie actually makes it down the aisle and if Leo stays around Salem. Until then, let me know your thoughts! Do you think Philip's actions will skew Maggie's feelings for Victor? Just how many stories about pirates can E.J. tell? And, can someone tell me how to do Melanie's cute, "I just threw my hair up like this, but doesn't it look cute" hairdo?


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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