Wow, is it nice to be back! Thank you to everyone who checked in on me in the last several weeks and wished me well. For those who don't know, I spent some time in the hospital, but I'm doing better now and ready to again tackle the wacky world of Salem!
But first, I have a bit of a confession to make: I have become something of a defector. During my time off from writing the Scoops, DAYS was frustrating and boring me... so I changed to another channel (I still had SoapNet to keep me up to date, though). What I found on that channel were soaps that played what I really want to see: family, relationships, plots that revolved around the characters and how their flaws and decisions made conflict (which made story-and good story at that!). I'm not totally abandoning DAYS (I'm still writing this column, after all), but lets just say that until Reilly gets the hint that it takes more than supernatural doings to make an interesting plot, I'll be watching one channel and taping DAYS from another.
Imagine my surprise when I watched Monday's show and saw our new Belle! I knew Kirsten Storms was leaving (good luck to her, by the way), but I had no idea it was so soon. I'm not sure what I think of this new Belle, the shock needs to wear off and I have to stop comparing her to Kirsten, but apparently it's not going to matter much anyway since there is yet another new Belle waiting for us just around the corner. Yes, after an "extensive search" that apparently wasn't extensive enough, recast-Belle is being recast herself... I suddenly feel as though I'm speaking in riddles. In all seriousness though, even though it's only been a week, this new Belle seems to be missing that saccharine sweetness and the sunshine that makes Belle who she is. I also thought she moved with too much sexiness and awareness for her to seem like the Belle we know. But that could just be first-week jitters. Oh well; like I said before, it's not like it really matters now.
I kept wondering why none of Shawn's loved ones seemed to be seriously considering that he might be detained from reaching out to Salem. After all, it's not like Shawn to worry his parents unnecessarily. So I'm glad (not glad in a happy way, but in a 'thank goodness they realized that' way) that Jan finally did something about it and edited that fake phone call together. You know, she actually didn't annoy me as much as she usually does. Maybe I'm -gasp!- beginning to accept the character, but I'd like to attribute it more to the fact that she entertained me with that silly little cheerleading demo. Between that, the raunchy jokes and her comment that Shawn's obsession with Belle is "just not healthy," I was downright amused by Jan this week. That doesn't mean that I wasn't happy when Shawn tried to snuff the life out of her with the whistle hanging around her neck, though! Really-when is Shawn going to bust out of that stupid cage? Jan's doing her best to convince Shawn and Belle that the other thinks it's over, but neither is buying into it, especially as there is some sort of secret thing one has to do to prove to the other that they're done. I'm betting it has something to do with those purity rings. Anyway, Belle and Phil surprise Jan with a little visit to her hideout, but will they actually discover Shawn? Doubtful.
Onto a happier (well, somewhat) couple, I'm so happy Sami and Lucas got their acts, and themselves, back together. Of course it is pretty icky that they had sex right after Lucas just had sex with another woman, but whatever. I loved Sami's try at domesticity, and the look on poor Lucas's face when he ate her salty French toast! But the payoff was when she finally had a piece herself and realized that Lucas ate about 10 pieces of that disaster just for her. All together now-"awwwwwww." And of course Lucas walking out in a towel as Kate is recounting her 'Sami the Loser' speech in Sami's living room was priceless! Sami's smirk and Kate's scream had me cracking up. I feel for Lucas in this situation, though: his mother and his lover want him to choose between them. Brokering a truce between those two is no small feat. I wish him all the luck in the world because he's going to need it!
Of course, the blissful domestic scene was interrupted by John, who came bearing Mr. Fuzzy. For anyone unaware, Mr. Fuzzy is the beanie-baby-like bear that Will had his parents put in Marlena's coffin, so he would keep her company for eternity. Now the question remains (as it has since Hope first noticed Mr. Fuzzy in a store a few weeks ago): how did Mr. Fuzzy (and it is definitely him, as Sami confirmed by pointing out the hole under his arm and where she stitched his leg), get removed from Marlena's coffin? Marlena herself even confirmed that he was in there with her; she was "holding onto him for dear life" as her coffin began its trip to the island. Is this tiny teddy the first clue to everyone in Salem that they're loved ones might not be so dead after all? It looks like it since, despite Sami's very vehement objections, Marlena's coffin will be exhumed next week and discovered empty!
And hopefully the Salemites will discover the truth soon, as it looks like those on the island could use help ASAP. Jack and Jen are facing one peril after another out in the jungle (Jack's sick with fever, Jennifer tried to cross the cliché rickety rope bridge over a ravine and, surprise surprise, it broke). Victor is worried about what Nicole is doing to his family (and with good reason!). Plus he's moving in on Caroline, and she doesn't seem to be resisting him. Hope almost got herself electrocuted to death when she tried to make it through the forcefield (Abe revived her with some kind of palm frond). The only thing in the captives' favor right now is that Patrick and his magical coin opened up the forcefield, but with the exception of Hope (who followed him out), no one knows about it! Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes the people of Real Salem to discover those in Fake Salem?
It was good to see Philip give Kate a dose of her own medicine, and tease her about maybe hooking up with John...I'm so tired of watching Bo being blustery and yelling all the time... Why was Jen so disbelieving when Jack told her all the other "dead" were alive? After all, she watched him "die"... Sami, Sami, Sami-it's so sad how she takes anyone disagreeing with her as traitorous... Bo had a good point when he was voting against the Isabella Opera House: Izzy would rather the money go to feeding the hungry then be used to make something with her name on it. But I like how Brady countered with the fact that the money wouldn't be tied up forever and they could then do just that. And is anyone else surprised Nicole waited so long to try to take Victor's name off his Titan office? Vic is NOT going to be a happy camper when he comes back... Why were all the island captives so against Patrick from the moment they met him? They're all positive he's a spy for their host-so positive that they tied him up! There are too few people on that island to make enemies, and if they're so sure he has information that could help them, tying him up is probably not the best way to get his help. Besides, if he's really such a bad guy why would he be so intent on saving Jen? Granted, now we know for sure that he originally went to Salem to fleece Jen, but he really has been nothing but good to her, Abby and the baby. And if the captives want to look for Jack and Jen as much as they say they do, why are they all standing around Patrick instead of doing something more productive, like working more on the forcefield? I mean, I loved it when they mentioned how Abe and Roman had checked the area around the forcefield for clues, yet overlooked the huge red light and clear as day key pad! But anyway, now Hope and Patrick are out searching for Jack and Jen, and I doubt they'll have an easy time of it... Will Jen have to deliver yet another baby around a campfire? How many captives will return to find themselves in love triangles? What if Patrick is secretly ISA? Will we find the answers to these questions before Shawn grows old and gray in that cage? Let's hope so!
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