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R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
For the Week of October 22, 2012
The long-awaited return of Sami Brady came roaring back into town. Sure, someone that looks like her has been around for a while, but the real Sami is back. Who'd she finally stand up to? Find out in this week's Two Scoops.
I think only a compilation of no less than Beyoncé, Madonna, Pink, Aretha, Xtina, and Miranda Lambert music could begin to orchestrate the overdue display of girl power that Sami Gene Brady managed to summon up this week. Having a vet finally get to take center stage and live up (or down, depending on how you view Sami) to all of our expectations was truly something to behold.

I'm just glad that Tony still had some champagne left from Kristen's welcome home party to toast Sami's amazing return. I have no idea if it will last. (Sami's return, that is. I'm positive I'll finish off all of Tony's left over champagne.) But, for this one, brief moment, I'm willing to sing happily along and celebrate an amazing week on DAYS. Raise your glasses!

SAMI and RAFE
You see, Sami was less than thrilled that Rafe lied about being Nicole's baby daddy. But the ensuing fight really had nothing to do with E.J. or Nicole. It had everything to do with Rafe's pattern of treating Sami. Finally, she grew a spine and told off this over-hyped goober.

Look, I know that it's strange to have Sami lecturing Rafe about being a bad guy, considering her long list of misdeeds. But when it comes to honesty within their relationship, Sami has been a thousand times more devoted to it than Rafe. So, I have no problem with her taking him to task.

I specifically remember Sami sitting Rafe down and divulging every sordid detail of her past. She continued to worship the guy and trusted him completely. Yes, I know she made that mistake with E.J. But that was not a premeditated, calculated move. However, whether it was lying to her about his dead fiancée, his sister, or his old partner; disappearing without her; repeatedly choosing to devalue her opinion (see: John); having an ongoing affair with her sister; and now, lying to her about Nicole, he's been pretty darn consistent about choosing to maintain his superior perch over Sami.

This isn't a Sami/Rafe thing. This is an every couple thing. No pairing is ever going to work if the partners are not on equal footing. Maybe this is a step away from Safe. Maybe this is a step towards leveling the playing field so they can go another round. Either way, I'm just thrilled that Sami acted like her own person and not some clone of what some dude wanted her to be.


NICOLE, JENNIFER, and DANIEL
I know that I'm probably on an island by myself, but I still like all three of these characters, and with one change, this storyline could actually be a real winner. Please, bear with me. There are snacks at the end of this section for those of you who hear me out.

First, I think that Shawn Christian has a unique chemistry with each lady. These pairings avoid the pitfall of, say, a Sami/E.J./Nicole triangle where both ladies are pretty much the same person. Plus, the fact that Daniel is staying faithful to Nicole despite his confession of love for Jennifer is actually a step forward for Daniel. For once, he's actually listening to his head and not, um, other body parts.

Second, while Daniel is the catalyst for Nicole vs. Jennifer, he's really just a supporting character in this storyline. Arianne Zucker and Melissa Reeves are the ones doing the heavy lifting here, and a fabulous job at that. Daniel could easily be swapped with any character. (Aside: Frankie would have been an interesting choice.)

Third, Nicole is becoming a character that I love to hate -- an element DAYS has been sorely missing for a long time now. I do believe that she loves her child, but it's eerily similar to the way that Stefano loves his children. Think about it. She made calculated decisions to use baby Danny (gag) three times now to serve her personal agenda. She's a master emotional manipulator and worked nearly everyone in Salem without having to resort to a single blackmail. That, my friends, is damn impressive.

Let me be clear: the thing I love best about Nicole is that she's a survivor. She doesn't leave anything up to chance if there's a way that she can control it. She'll use anything available to her to go after what she wants. She's had to be this way her whole life, and most of the time it's an asset. I just think that this time, it got in the way of putting her child first.

Next, Jennifer's busybody ways may be grating at times, but they are true to her character. You don't become a successful investigative journalist by minding your own business, after all. Plus, once Nicole tried to use Abigail, this battle became personal for Jennifer. And for the sake of this storyline, someone needed to see through Nicole's lies. Lord knows we couldn't count on Rafe, Daniel, or Brady for that.

Alas, the timing of this whole storyline is what's making it a stinker with fans. The ink is still too wet on Jack's death certificate for Jennifer to be this interested in what Daniel is doing. Had they waited longer, or had Jack been the one in the Daniel position, I don't think this storyline would be getting as much bad viewer feedback. And I think that's a shame, because the individual elements of this storyline are pretty solid.


E.J.
There will be a lot of mud thrown at E.J. for taping Nicole. In his defense, Nicole telling the truth is such a rare occurrence that it really should have been document for historical purposes. That's like getting a picture of Sasquatch shooting pool with Santa.

But, seriously, I don't know what else he was supposed to do. Nicole lied, schemed, and switched DNA samples to deceive E.J. for months. He shouldn't have politely waited until Nicole got around to telling him. He lost just as much of a child as Nicole did. Watching him beg Nicole to tell him that his child was dead was a whole new level of cruelty, even for Nicole.

I'm actually surprised that E.J. wasn't angrier at Nicole. When Sami kept his child from him, he set up an elaborate kidnapping plot to pay Sami back. But maybe we'll get there. I don't really care either way. On one hand, E.J. has every right to be mad at Nicole and get back at her. On the other hand, Nicole lost her baby, and worse, blew her own scheme. She hasn't gotten off easy at all.

And while I'm positive that E.J. should be trying to compete with Rafe on who has more flaws, E.J. is right that he would have protected Nicole if he knew that the baby was his. And Rafe is wrong that Nicole lived in fear of E.J. her whole pregnancy. In fact, Nicole asked E.J. to run away with her at one point during her pregnancy.

KRISTEN
It sure didn't take much convincing on Stefano's part to get Kristen's fabulous butt on a plane back to Salem. I couldn't be happier. John and Marlena desperately need to get out of Sami's storyline and have their own storyline like real grownups do.

Oh, yes, I forgot. The "real" reason that Kristen is in Salem is for her to reunite the brothers DiMera. Yeah, that storyline is going to be much harder to sell. Stefano is going to need to explain why Kristen is worth keeping around despite her deficiencies in the DNA department when Stefano just disowned E.J. based on a rumor that E.J. might not be a bio-DiMera. Chad's going to need to come around to trusting people named DiMera again. Since I don't see either of those things happening soon, I'm so okay with this storyline being dropped completely. Besides, Stefano is the one who made this mess, and he needs to be the one who fixes it, not Kristen.

CAROLINE
No doubt, Peter Reckell is doing a phenomenal job in Caroline's Alzheimer's storyline. And, I love that it included a lot of other characters this week. Special applause for mentioning Kimberly, Max, and Frankie!

However, as someone who has lost someone to this truly terrible disease, I hope TPTB know what they're getting into. Alzheimer's isn't the kind of thing that the writers can just reverse. There is no cure for this disease. To suggest anything else would be irresponsible, insensitive, and painfully offensive. If Caroline is to remain on the show, I sincerely hope that Kayla discovers an operable brain tumor has been causing the memory lapses.


LOOSE ENDS
Nick and Gabi went on a cute date to look at the stars. I'm starting to like these two, but I wish the age gap would be brought up here. Gabi is 19. Nick is almost 30. That's a big age difference at that point in life, especially when the 30-year-old has spent several years in prison. Also, I'm not sure what to make of the ominous music playing as Nick looked at Gabi talking to Will.

Wait! My week ended without John and Marlena finding out what Rafe the Great did. Boo. I want to see those two shippers have to put away their Rafe banners in shame. Oh, who am I kidding? They'll probably just remind Sami that she's no good, so she should just roll over and let everyone walk all over her for the rest of her life.

I'm worried that Brady is losing it. He actually thinks it's more likely that Jennifer Horton snapped and threw a pregnant woman down the stairs than it is that Nicole Walker would do anything to get her romantic competition out of the way. Shall I call up Chloe and her flesh-eating bacteria to refresh your memory here, Brady?

Ha! I loved that E.J. opened the door to Kristen and exclaimed, "Oh, mother!" It was a nice nod to fans. The rest of the scene was a back-and-forth between E.J. and a lady who is completely positive that she can get him to do what she wants. I think this is the dynamic they were hoping to capture between Billie and E.J., but it never quite panned out.

HOT:
I may or may not have started the slow clap when Sami deduced that Rafe let Carrie in on Nicole's pregnancy secret, promptly shooting down his bogus stance that Nicole swore him to secrecy. I admit, I forgot about that. I just love it when DAYS surprises me!


NOT:
Really? Second-degree murder? First of all, how can they file any kind of charges until they know the cause of death? Second, if there were surveillance cameras in that random back alley where E.J. threw his gloves away, surely there were surveillance cameras on the ever-lovin' Horton Town Square that can capture Nicole and Jennifer's confrontation, including Nicole chasing after Jennifer, and this shot -- proving who put their hands on whom. Come on Law and Order: Salem Unit! A minimal effort. That's all I'm asking.


LINE OF THE WEEK:
Sami (to Rafe): " If I had lied to you like that -- no matter what, no matter why -- I would have been out on my ass, and you would have been judging me for the rest of my life because you are a sanctimonious hypocrite. Still brings tears to my eyes. I'm such a proud Sami fan!


RANDOM THOUGHTS:
Who is the hunky Brady Pub waiter, Eddie, and has he met Abigail?

It was weird to see Stefano without facial hair.

The idea of Bo becoming a brewmaster was quite awesome.

With Sami on a date with Rafe, E.J. at the hospital, Caroline working, Maggie at the police station, and Marlena in bed with John, just who was watching Sydney and Johnny? It must be one of those saint baby sitters like Hope has who can just agree to stay overnight at the last minute.

It was ironic that John had a nightmare in bed about Kristen. I often have nightmares about John and Marlena in bed.

Has the phrase "It wasn't my secret to tell" ever made anyone feel better about being lied to? No. The answer is no. And soaps use this phrase way too much.

I want to go on one of these awesome fall picnics.

With all the years that Will spent at ski camp, I'm a little surprised to hear that he's suddenly afraid of heights.

Marlena is back to wearing leather gloves again. This time, they're a snazzy navy blue color!

Just how could Kristen have heard about E.J.'s son already? It is not public knowledge at this point that E.J. was the father. I say it's more proof that Stefano masterminded the whole "death" of the baby.

Tony brought up last week that Kristen is the anti-Lexie. I have to agree. Where Lexie apologized for Stefano repeatedly, Kristen picks up the Stefano rally towel and waves it like it's the bottom of the ninth.

Now I know why Rafe always insists that he's right. He sucks at apologizing.

It will be interesting to see if Nicole and Rafe's friendship continues when there's no longer a way to stick it to E.J. Really, aside from their anger at Ejami, what do these two have in common?

A nurse clearly not as adept as Maxine chastised Abigail for sneaking into Nicole's hospital room using the very sneaky knock-on-the-door method.

I love how Rafe can say things like "It's time I told you the truth" after he's been caught with his tongue down Carrie's throat a tape-recorded confession.

Is it a conflict of interest for Justin to represent both Jennifer and E.J.? Justin certainly knows why Nicole would have motive to lie about Jennifer pushing her, but it's because E.J. told Justin, not because Jennifer volunteered that information. Is Justin still able to put up the best defense for Jennifer without breaking lawyer/client confidentiality with E.J.?

A FEW NEWS ITEMS:
I got a request from a fellow DAYS fan who is on the search for a front-and-back picture of Judi Evans' super cute haircut. If you have one, tweet it to me!

Since Halloween is coming up, Tony and I are hard at work picking out costumes for all of the DAYS family. Stay tuned for the blog post next week!


Finally, before I turn things back over to Tony, I want your feedback on something. I think that Sonny's speaker series sounds like an amazing idea! Who wouldn't want to hear Lucas talk about his time in military school, Victor's travels through Greece, Abigail's studies in London, or Adrienne's life in the Middle East? There are all these great side stories of things that happened off-screen that would be a treat to hear from time to time. What do you think? Who would you like to see take the mic? Click here to let me know.

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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