Did you notice that this entire week's episodes took place over one day? It felt like I was watching a season of "24" where the action happens in real time. All that was missing was the "tick-tock-tick-tock" during commercial breaks. You know what? It worked. The timing fit, the pace was great, and just enough action happened for viewers to believe the storylines. Sure, we had to tie up some loose and deal with some subplots, but in the end we've got a swashbuckling blond hero (tell me I'm not the only one who doesn't see the similarities between Steve Johnson and Jack Bauer) ready to go after the bad guy!
SHAWN and BELLE
They said good bye to Marlena and Sami and now this branch of the Brady family tree is officially off to sea. I think that both Belle and Shawn have grown a lot and I'm sad to see them go. I'm such a dork. I cried when Marlena and Sami said that girl's night wouldn't be the same without Belle. It made me think about my own mom and sister and how much more fun I've had with them since I got older, especially those bonding moments we had over my own dad's brainwashing. Ok, that last part wasn't true. But, I can appreciate how hard it is, no matter how old you are, to leave your mom and sister. Here's hoping that Claire will run out of juice boxes soon and the trio will be back in Salem!
Chelsea got a clean bill of health and was dismissed from the hospital. She had another great scene with Bo. These two have a lot in common and I'm looking forward to seeing more father-daughter (dare I say stepmother/stepdaughter and sister/sister) scenes in the future.
But, Chelsea had a not so great scene with Nick. You know, the only thing I don't like about Nick and Chelsea is how many times I've had to watch them break up. I like them together. They both have a lot to learn about life and how to accept themselves for who they are- two immature for-their-age kids who have to go through a lighting fast course on how to become a grown up. They actually might be able to learn a lot from each other. But instead, they keep going back and forth. How many flippin' times does Nick have to say, "Are you breaking up with me"? It's nauseating. For now, they're still on. But, who knows how long that will last, especially now that Daniel is planning on staying in Salem.
Unfortunately, I don't like the idea of Chelsea and Dr. Dan. It has a little to do with the age gap....and A LOT to do with the fact that Dr. Dan is way too experienced for Chelsea. Yes, Chelsea has been through a lot in her short life, but she's dealt with all the tragedies with a little too much of a naiveté/fire-ball combination for her own good. And, even though Dr. Dan's attitude was funny at the beginning, some how it went from cute and sarcastic to obnoxious and smarmy. He seems conceited and I don't like it. I think that he could control Chelsea waaayyy too easily. Dr. Dan needs someone a little more confident in herself than Chelsea. My first choice would have been Billie. BUT I would settle for Nicole. If handled correctly, Nicole and Dan could have amazing chemistry together.
I really love the direction that the writers have taken with Phillip. He's growing into a ruthless Kiriakis businessman, but he's able to hold onto a few things that make him vulnerable, and in my opinion, human. He's like a Tony Soprano version of your fairy godmother.
All it took was one phone call from Bo and Chelsea has a room at Casa de Kiriakis with a full time nurse and probably anything else she needs to take care of her. Phillip certainly doesn't need another person around the house and it's not like he's been a fine, upstanding uncle to Chelsea. But, he said that he wants to take care of his family. Little does Phillip know that Chelsea is a good (and necessary) addition to his life right now. Considering the trilogy of lady trouble that he's got himself into, Chelsea will be a ton of help to Phillip.
Raise your hand if you're looking forward to a Chloe/Chelsea meeting. I am! I am! Chloe may be able to pull the wool over Phillip's eyes, but she can't va-va-va-voom her way with Chelsea. Nope. Our little Chelsea will realize the Chloe is hiding something and taking advantage of Phillip's generosity pretty fast. Logically, I'd like to see Chelsea have a heart-to-heart with Phillip. But, there is a part of me that is hoping Chloe becomes victim to another one of Chelsea's tongue lashings. Phillip does not need Chloe and her black widow reputation around any more, especially now that he's laid eyes on the gorgeous Ms. Hollingsworth.
When Phillip asked Max about Morgan I almost squealed. PLEASE tell me that these two are going to get together. I would love to see Phorgan (which kinda sounds like "fortune"..... coincidence? I think not.) Morgan is damn near perfect for Phillip (a little younger than I would have liked, but I can get over that). I bet that Chelsea will play an instrumental part in this arrangement too. It never hurts to have a built in matchmaker.
Finally there's Kate. I saw the look that she flashed when Morgan offered to "service Phillip's needs". But, I think that Mama Bear needs to back off on this one. There is nothing wrong with Morgan. Morgan is not after Phillip's money (she has her own); she's not wanted by the police; she just landed an internship with a company that Kate respects; and she's not in love with another dude. Need I go on? I hope that once Chelsea vouches for Morgan, Kate will back off and let this couple happen.
TONY and ANNA
Surprise! You're on candid camera! Well actually, you're on Salem U's internship program. Apparently practicing to be a cameraman for a reality TV show qualifies as a communications internship. Stephanie and Morgan are saddled with two cameramen who will follow them around during their respective internships and tape everything that goes on. Stephanie's is a tall, dark, and handsome guy named David. Morgan's is a guy named Mark. Contrary to the professor's statement, both Tony and Anna are surprised to see cameramen in their offices.
I'm not quite sure what the point is of these cameramen. Either one of the characters (David or Mark) is going to be staying around for a while, something is accidentally going to be "caught on tape", or the off chance exists that the professor and the two cameramen are working for someone else- someone who would benefit from spying on both Ana and Tony.
Anyway, Tony lands the big account with Kate. Anna wins a consultation prize of some online marketing. Call me crazy, but Kate already said that she liked Anna's ideas better. I think that Anna will eventually take over the whole campaign. Leaving more time for Tony and Morgan to work on Phillip's account......(ohhh!!! I'm clapping my hands like a little kid!)
JOHN and MARLENA
John set up a romantic dinner at Chez Rouge for Marlena. He did everything right- good food, champagne, and diamonds. The only thing that John forgot was that he invited Marlena to dinner, not the Princess of Superficial-ville. Belle might be easily bought off, but Marlena isn't. Marlena walked out on dinner with John and left a gazillon dollars worth of diamonds with Maggie to put on ebay.
Now, I know that some of you John and Marlena fans out there are upset by John's new attitude and the fact that John and Marlena didn't fall right back into each other's arms. However, I think that if you step back and look at this storyline you'll see that this is an awesome love story. As Maggie pointed out, John is definitely interested in Marlena. But, he just doesn't know how to love anybody. So, by teaching John how to love her, Marlena is teaching John how to love again.
I'll warn you, fans. Do not be surprised if John spends some time with another lady. Nicole is going to be the obvious choice (although I think that falling for the father of your ex is a little weird). But, I have no doubt that eventually John and Marlena will find their way back to each other. I urge you to sit back and enjoy the ride.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I adore Tamara Braun. I knew she was good. But, now that I've seen her keep up with Kristian Alfonso (who is great!), I just want more and more Ava. Since Ava kidnapped Hope and brought her back to the Vitali compound, last week was very Ava heavy!
It takes Hope all of about 2 seconds to realize that Ava thinks Hope is Kayla. And then, in the most unselfish act I've seen in a long time, Hope goes along with the charade and pretends to be Kayla. This is the Hope that we know and love. Hope hears Ava's confession about the plane from Ireland, about how Ava and Patch met, about Papa Vitali's disapproval, and finally about how Patch left her at the altar. Hope tries to tell Ava that Steve was brainwashed and during the time that he was with Ava- everyone believed that Steve was dead. All the while, Hope is playing both good and bad cop roles at the same time. It was a treat watching Kristain seamlessly switch back and forth between ruthless interrogator and compassionate councilor. Eventually, Ava makes Hope call Steve and Steve learns that the "crazy bitch thinks Hope is Kayla".
Since there was so much great progress on this storyline this week, I have a few suggestions to the writers which may help quell the plethora of eye rolling us fans are starting:
First, please address exactly how crazy Ava actually is. Our favorite looney tune can't even pick the right Mrs. Steve, but she is smart enough to orchestrate an abduction from a public place that probably has cameras all over? Ava was close enough to be right on Hope's tail when Hope left the hospital but some how Ava missed Hope asking the nurse about "my husband's condition" (hello, Steve isn't in the hospital) AND the ENTIRE conversation between Hope and Steve where he mentioned Kayla, like 95 times!?!?!? Apparently this crazy-in-the-head disease also affects hearing and comprehension, but not comprehension so much that it would prohibit one from figuring out how to disable an electric fence and steal a car.
Second, Kayla needs to know about Ava. If reasoning that Kalya "shouldn't be under a lot of stress with the baby" didn't go out the window when Kayla was involved in a traumatic plane crash that killed her father, it definitely left when Kayla had to assist in an experimental surgical procedure that could have killed her brother and her niece. Someone needs to tell Kayla the truth right now. She can handle it.
Third, we need to know exactly what it was that made Patch leave Ava at the alter. And for me, it had better be a good reason. I find it hard to believe that he could have a sexual relationship with another woman for TWO YEARS but then all of a sudden just leave. I have a severe problem with the fact that the writers expect us to think it's ok that Patch was sleeping with and saying "I love you" to another woman for such and extended period of time. Yes, I know he didn't marry her. Great. But Patch didn't escape and feed his man-needs with a string of one-night stands. He got into a deep relationship with someone else. Why are viewers supposed to believe that everything is ok just because Patch didn't marry Ava? Something major had to happen and I want to know what it was. I don't buy Steve's explanation of "something just kept me from marrying her". I'm in no way saying that this is Steve's fault. I'm just pointing out that the writers have a lot of blanks to fill in.
Finally, the writers hinted at a self mutilation storyline with Ava. During her talk in the hall with Angelo, he asked her not to hurt herself again, followed by a close up of scars on her wrist. I get very nervous when soap operas try to deal with real life issues because they are often not portrayed well. Cutting is a serious problem and I don't think that Days is going in the right direction by having the "crazy person" on campus also be the poster child for self mutilation. Handle this one delicately, writers! Don't be so eager to throw a glamorous side dish onto an already full storyline plate just because it seems enticing.
Bo didn't have too much action this week, other than to sound the "Bope 6th Sense" alarm when Ava took Hope. He got Abe looking for Hope but then called back the search when he heard from Steve that crazy Ava had Hope. Bo tried to cowboy-up and get out of bed to look for her, but he ripped a stitch and Lexie had to make him stay in bed. I know Bo meant well, but I laughed when Lexie ordered him to "get your butt back in bed before I jam a needle full of sedatives in it!" For the sake of the storyline, I hope that Bo stays in bed a little longer. I'm not really up for seeing Bo wince around in pain as he and Steve try to sneak into the Vitali compound. Roman, Abe, or even Max could help Steve. Bo needs to stay put.
LOOSE ENDS :
I have to chuckle at the potential "Who's organ/gland is it anyway?" joke forming with the Bo Brady family. Claire has Zach's liver. Bo has Chelsea's pancreas. And sometimes, Shawn and Belle share the same half of a brain.
Abe and Lexie have a moment when they realize that they don't have time to be together. I don't like where this is going. Plus, is this a new revelation? How long has Abe been a cop and Lexie been a doctor?
If Maggie is working at Chez Rouge, who is taking care of Ciara? Alice? Juile? Maybe Ciara has her own place by now. Those flats that Belle, Phillip, Shawn, and Mimi used to live in are open. Plus, Billie and Chelsea's old apartment is free!
Max and Stephanie kinda tell each other that they love each other. The scene was lame. Just like they are. Kayla mentions that Max was adopted by the Bradys and the some people are going to have a problem with their relationship. That line can start right behind me! Members of the same family should not date. And I haven't seen much overwhelming evidence that I should make an exception to this rule for these two. It might happen some day.....
Fashion: Did you notice Hope's no-one-else-could-wear-this-color blouse?
How great does Angelo's grilled mozzarella cheese and tomato sandwich sound? Put a little garlic butter on it?? It's almost a pizza!
This one is a two part-er. First, Steve mentions that he talks to Sonja! What a cute nod to those of us who keep score when it comes to characters! Second, Steve and Kayla talk about baby names. Steve says he doesn't want to use the nickname like he did with Pocket (thank God!). Then, they start going through family names. I am usually against recycling old show names, but, "Benjamin" is a good idea. (For more info on "what's in a name" head over to my blog where I'll need your help documenting who is named after whom on Days of our Lives)
Kayla said is best: "I really need to get a kitchen before this baby is born." Why the heck are they still living in a hotel? Maybe Steve could spend some of that money that he's been sending on inconspicuous body guards to maybe rent a condo or something. Again, there is a lot of available real estate in Salem!
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Shawn's last line: "Salem's our home. We can't stay away forever" A- freakin'-men. Please, please, bring back Belle and Shawn soon. The characters have way to much untapped storyline potential to keep them away.
Well, that's it for this week. How did you guys feel about Hope playing along with Ava's misidentification? Do you think that Steve will be able to rescue Hope? And, do you think that Stefano, Victor, and Papa Vitali know each other? That's an interesting poker night, for sure!