Last week was full of happy events both in and out of Soapland! First, there was St. Patrick's Day! Next, spring finally sprung and, although it got off to a chilly start, winter is official over in the Northern Hemisphere! Then, for those of us who celebrate it, Easter hopped in with baskets full of sugary treats. Finally, it seems that the depressing fog that's loomed over Salem the last few months has lifted at last!
Sure, the week started off with a lot of anxiety and despair, but by the end it looked like things were perking up a little. Bo and Chelsea made it out of their surgeries, both with a good prognosis. Shawn and Belle are cruising towards a happy ending. NuJohn showed some traces of humanity (towards his family anyway)! Victor went to Marlena for help with getting in touch with his feelings. And, we didn't have to watch Steve lie to and dote over Kayla that much! Friday's episode alone showed positive steps that the pace might be changing from a crawl to a semi-brisk stroll. A good sign I hope and, with optimistic fingers crossed, let's talk about Days.
Pancreas Piggyback (Everyone except Tony and Anna)
So after weeks ... and weeks ... and weeks of Bo's medical crisis simmering on the front burner it finally came to a boil when he received the surgery that saved him from the dreaded disease ... err ... umm ... yeah ... THAT disease. You know the one I'm talking about. It makes your pancreas spontaneously switch off and a team of specialists have to do a high risk, experimental operation to fix it. It doesn't matter that this storyline has dragged on for months without it ever really being diagnosed - the staff at Salem University Hospital knew what they were doing, kinda. Dr. Dan, Kayla, Lexie and crew did a great job with curing his ... ah ... Congenital Soapapancrenucleitus Syndrome. I think the lay mans' term for this is Birth Organ Rejective Endemic. However, Days' fans probably know it by its acronym -B.O.R.E.
Ok, in all seriousness, the scenes were amazingly well acted all around. From Chelsea and Dr. Dan's fiery exchange to get her heart rate pumping to everyone's expressions of concern to one another and their well wishes to Bo and Chelsea to, well, all of Kristian Alfonso's scenes to Caroline's teary thank you at the end - all brilliant. And now that Bo's seemingly in the clear it's time to celebrate! And by celebrate I mean us fans get to rejoice this depressing storyline is almost over!
Aside from the surgical saga being stitched up, there were some nice highlights amongst the mundane. Roman finally showed up! About time nice! Nick popped in for a second or two! Brief, but nice! Chelsea spoke to Billie! Long distance nice! NuJohn made an appearance to express his robotic support. Kinda nice. Sami was mentioned and her excuse for not being there was legit. Responsibly nice! Kate effortlessly beat everyone at cards. Amusingly nice! This storyline being over - simply nice!
Oops! .... She Did It Again (Chelsea)
Before we discovered Bo's fate, though, we had to deal with a lot of drawn out drama. I can really only hang my head and breathlessly mutter, "Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea." Like Laurisa, I love the character, but sometimes she's just a little too spontaneous. For example, as the Salem villagers were storming Castle Von Drunk Chelsea with torches and rotten vegetables what does she do? She unhooks her IV and sneaks out of her hospital room! Extend arm palm up and slap forehead. Yeah, it was one of those moments.
Yet, like Hope, I softened up as soon as I heard her sweet words to her dad. All together now - "Awe!" And, once she got the clearance for surgery, the entire "Everybody Hates Chelsea" show ended perfectly with a cynical one liner from the Princess of Sarcasm herself. "Yeah, that's me. A real angel," she replied when the anesthesiologist commented she was a great daughter for helping her dad. Despite Chelsea's crazy antics, Rachel Melvin's performances were awesome and let's hope the Emmy people were watching!
Down By The Docks (Team Kiriakis vs. Team DiMera, err, just NuJohn)
In other Salem news, the turf war between the Sharks and the Jets, I mean the Kiriakis Clan and the DiMera Gang, heated up. I'm enjoying this storyline if for no other reason than the action isn't taking place in Bo's hospital room. Actually, as a Melrose Place fan, I'm glad to see Linden Ashby (Paul Hollingsworth) on my TV screen again. Although his character is shadier than a long walk under the Georgian oaks, he's a good actor and that's always a nice addition to an already talented cast. True it would be nice to see a new person come on who isn't "bad," but I'll move on.
However, speaking of shady for a moment longer, Max's level was down a bit from what it's been the last few weeks. While I'm sure we haven't seen the last of his page ripping alter ego, I'm glad that he's involved in a storyline that doesn't deeply involve sorority girls or nieces. Actually, this Kiriakis vs. DiMera plot has some good potential.
First, there's the interesting twist that the "good guys" are "bad guys" and the "bad guy" used to be the "good guy!" Even though Team Kiriakis is defending the more respectable side of the bout this time, they aren't playing totally clean either. Yet that's the fun part of it! As underhanded as Victor and Philip can be I'd still love to see them take NuJohn down a peg or two by any means necessary. And I think Marlena would agree!
Next, there's the fact that nearly the entire cast has reasons to get involved in this epic battle between evil and brainwashed. Max has already been roped into it and where one Brady goes the rest are sure to follow. Morgan's semi-involved as her dad's a key player. I also have a feeling sooner or later Salem's finest will be brought in to infuse a little police interaction. Heck, maybe Brady will even turn up in one of the shipping containers!
Finally, I simply like the idea of a "Dynasty-like" storyline as it's been called on many a message board. I've always been a fan of mixing big business with family drama as it prompts interesting conflicts on so many levels. Of course everything could be made more exciting by two factors. One, if Stefano finally wakes up it will add yet another diabolical dimension to things as Team DiMera will be spliced in two. The other, Nicole Walker! I'd be disappointed if this gold digging hellcat didn't get involved in a corporate turf war once she returns. That's not only up her alley, it's the street she lives on!
Love in the Afternoon (Tony and Anna)
Also in the Salem Corporate Newsletter this week were Tony and Anna doing what they do best - bickering and making love. Their scenes were fun and playful and I liked seeing Ethan again. What can I say, I have a soft spot for dorks. Yet as much as I thoroughly enjoy Tony and Anna I was a bit disappointed that she went semi-crawling to him for help. That's not the best way for her to prove her independence. He, of course, ate up her insecurities and trumped her with his high tech ad concepts. I really hope that this storyline has a good pay off or else I'm going to be pretty annoyed. I'd like to see underdog Anna kick some advertising butt by using her own cunning skills and talent to make Tony grovel. Like most of the storylines dragging a bit, this one needs to turn up the heat!
The Fancy Face, Part IV (Belle, Shawn and Claire)
The bon voyages have officially started for the Brady Trio. Hope's was especially moving (yet again, wake up Emmy crew), but John's really stole the show. He actually shed a tear! Thank goodness more of the old John is starting to leak out (and, I never thought I'd actually be so happy about that). He and Claire had so many "awe" moments - the juice box talk, when he pulled a Young Frankenstein and told her to walk this way and they proceeded into the kitchen doing a goofy shuffle and, of course, when he told her that he was going to miss her because she is the only one in town who got him. Awe!
However, his softer side didn't end with Claire as he decided to use his DiMera millions to buy Shawn and Dink, err, Tink a boat! Although, according to the previews at the end of Friday's show, it looks like Marlena is going to have a fit about this next week, I have to say Shawn really scored some bonus points in the lightening round by realizing how important it was for Belle that he accepts the gift. It was almost scary how quickly the decision was made. Ok, in all honesty, I'm just shocked that it wasn't stretched out for the entire episode. That made me more hopeful that the pace of the show is picking up. Then again, the writers are escorting Shawn and Belle out of the doors so fast now that the surgeries are over they're going to have bruise marks on their fannies!
Please Note - Casting Spoilers Discussed Below!
Everyone needs to turn on Toni Basil's song "Mickey" while reading this next part! I'll wait. Ok, now - huge news! Mickey Horton, who's been a ghost since 2006, has finally been recast according to SoapCentral.com and various other soap news sources! And, for me, the excitement doesn't end there as I was both shocked and thrilled to learn that, not only is the character materializing in humanly form, but Kevin Dobson will be portraying him! As a Horton Family and Knots Landing fan that's like winning a Daily Double on Jeopardy!
For those of you unfamiliar with Dobson, he portrayed Mac McKenzie on Knots for 11 years and a few reunion movies. Actually, Mac was a lot like Mickey. Both are good natured, down-to-earth family men and respectable lawyers. If Dobson brings only a fraction of his charm and talents to the table as Mickey we should all be in store for a real treat! I also think he and Suzanne Rogers (Maggie) will be an excellent fit and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Mickey and Maggie usher back the Horton Family with a juicy storyline! Ok, I'm way too excited about this news! I need to go back to D.A. (Dorks Anonymous) - that statement alone proves it!
Hot and Not
Hot: In addition to the recent casting news, it was a nice semi-free "Steve doting on/keeping secrets from Kayla" week. Sure, we had a taste of it Friday, but it wasn't as exasperating as it has been. Yet another good sign for progress!
Not: Aside from Kate, Stephanie and Max no one visited post-op Chelsea! Sure, everyone was going on about her bravery, but no one showed up to even simply ask how she was doing. In this case, actions did speak louder than words!
Line of the Week:
"How to make your man say wow ... (pause as she glances over the article) ... I can think of better ways than those." - Kate's comment while reading a magazine as she waited for Chelsea to regain consciousness.
The Milk Carton:
Although I have hopes that her screen time will increase, it was odd not to see Maggie at the hospital the last few weeks. Aside from running Chez Rouge, she normally shows up in times of crisis. Note to the writers - more Big Red!
Ok, I know this would tick of every John and Marlena fan out there, but I wouldn't be surprised if Nicole and NuJohn bond a little once she returns. He's all about spunky, blonde women and she's all about men with money!
I enjoyed the random conversation last week between Philip and Roman. It's fun to see character that normally don't interact much shuffle their way through small talk. They cracked me up with their critique of NuJohn.
As she was talking about her turbulent past last week it dawned on me - I think Kate should pen a "tell all" autobiography! That would certainly stir up some trouble in Salem. Secrets would be revealed, plots would thicken and nearly everyone would be involved as Kate's multicolored manicured hands have touched so many lives.
Parting Thoughts ...
So friends and Days fans, that's "Two Scoops" for the week of March 17th. I hope everyone had enjoyable holidays and spring turns out to be a great season for us all! And, as Pre-Brainwashed John Black used to say, "That's a fact."
As always, thanks for reading!