I learned everything in Salem

by Tony
For the Week of September 8, 2008
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DAYS Two Scoops: I learned everything in Salem
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It's been such a bittersweet journey to watch Abe and Lexie deal with things together, as well as sort out their own feelings, all the while worrying about what's best for Theo.

Labor Day has come and gone and you know what that means - the unofficial end of summer! The days are getting shorter and kids everywhere are reluctantly settling in to learn about reading, writing and arithmetic. In Salem, however, the education's a little more dangerous. There's revenge, betrayal and, well, more revenge! So be it underwater basket weaving or brainwashing your half-brother, it appears everyone, everywhere will be learning a few lessons this fall. To help you gain inside on what you could be in for this semester at Salem U I've provided a list of some of the courses below. Please take notes - there will be a test.

Child Psychology (Abe & Lexie)

Amongst all the recent backstage upheaval at Days I'm glad that the Autism storyline hasn't been lost in the commotion as it's been a source of great acting and storytelling. Both James Reynolds and Renee Jones continued to do an amazing job with the material last week, but proper due should also be given to five-year-old Terrell Ransom Jr. A lot of child actors can be fussy, look off camera and/or seem generally distracted, but he's been doing an excellent job as Theo! Congrats all around for a job well done!

In general, this storyline continues to be touching and really tugs the old heart strings ... yes, even frigid ones like mine. It's been such a bittersweet journey to watch Abe and Lexie deal with things together as well as sort out their own feelings all the while worrying about what's best for Theo. Not an easy scenario for any family.

Lexie seemed especially hit hard by the reality of the situation sinking in, but, luckily, Kayla swooped in to provide a much needed shoulder of support. I was glad to see them bond because Sweetness certainly knows a thing or two about balancing motherhood, being a doctor and nurturing a child with special needs ... no, not Stephanie, I was talking about Baby Joe being born early and the needs associated with that. Ya, that's what I meant. Moving on ...

Thankfully, Abe also got a shoulder to vent on in the form of Steve. They talked Patch Man style which was nice as it added the sometimes unintentionally overlooked "dad aspect" to things. I think Abe's stoic stance is commendable, but you can tell the guy is simply torn up inside. Unfortunately for the Commish, Theo wasn't his only concern last week ...

Sex Ed. (Abe, Lexie & Dr. Dan)

Perhaps Abe didn't pick the most opportune place to give Lexie and Dr. Dan a stern warning, but, regardless, he definitely let them know he wasn't comfortable with their friendship! I say - go Abe! Sure, he accepted Lexie's apologies both times she's cheated and, sure, he did decide to work things out with her, but I don't blame him for taking a preemptive strike. Her coziness with another man while their marriage is strained has proven to be a dangerous scenario in the past. So, I repeat, go Abe!

My hope is that by addressing the potential issue before it becomes a big adulterous, deceitful issue is a positive step in the right direction and we'll be able to move ahead without a Lexie cheating fourpeat. That makes me wonder ... maybe the writer's are listing to the fans as they seemed to nip this bad idea in the bud and even address it! Cut to next week on Days - Lexie cheats on Abe. I kid, I kid.

Geometry (Dr. Dan, Chelsea & the French Connection)

My overall disappointment of this storyline is pretty high and getting higher by the minute. It was a good start - a budding couple with many hurdles to jump, yet didn't involve a third party barrier. It was fresh and interesting and now it's stale and boring thanks to the introduction of the "lust" triangle. Yet, worse than being punched in the gut by Kate's spontaneous involvement then waiting for the big secret to be exposed, is being stuck in Apology Land.

Yep, Dr. Dan and Chelsea had the "I'm so sorry" talk - again. Kudos to him for being persistent, yet I don't blame her for wanting to move on. A rough decision I'm sure, but, again, don't blame her. The thought of being with someone who's slept with a relative of mine, especially a grandparent, is just all shades of icky. Really, really nauseatingly icky.

But, to make matters even worse, and dare say more icky, is that fact that two flawed storyline fronts are about to collide and cause an epic storm of annoying. Chelsea is going to France and there are two things that worry me about that! First, I actually like the idea of a Nick/Melanie pairing - that part of the storyline is not so flawed. What I don't like is the thought of a potential Chelsea/Nick/Melanie triangle with a helping of Stephanie trying to push them back together because she doesn't like Mel. That would be a hard croissant to swallow.

The other aspect I don't like is that fact that "Chick" did a good job of getting over one another and going their separate ways. Both characters have grown leaps and bounds without each other. Nick is more confident and, to be honest, generally more interesting and Chelsea seems a lot more mature and career focused. Those are all good things, so why put an end to that for the sake of another, tiresome love triangle? That doesn't entirely add up to a good scenario. I'll put this in simple terms for the writers: Progress = good, Regression = bad.

Genealogy (Stephanie, Max & Melanie)

Now, I don't mean to Stephanie bash, but let's take a page from Belle's book. Remember the time she and Hope were going at it and she said something like, "I have two words for you - Patrick Lockhart." Ouch, right!? So, what Max needs to say is, "I have two words for you - Jeremy Horton." Yep, that should shut Stephanie up from going on about how horrible Mel is and how silly Max is being for sticking around as she followed horrible Jeremy around like a silly puppy despite the words of warning everyone gave her. Please see Laurisa's Two Scoops from last week for even better reasons as to why she needs to start standing by her man instead of nagging him. Moving on ...

There was a major happening in Marseille last week that did make me hopeful - Max is back on the front burner and managed to bond with his sister without any "interruptions." Yay to that! I like Max and, after last week, I like Mel too! I'll be honest, I was on the fence about her, but she won me over. After all, she's one of my favorite combo - fun and funny. Although, it's beginning to look like her life isn't actually all fun and games as we learned that her relationship with her dad is a tad, well, strained.

Since we've "known" Trent for a while, we know how much of a jerk he can be, but it seems she has a little "Mean Dean" streak in her too - Mel was a sixth grader with a passion for fashion and pick pocketing! Because of that, she was sent to boarding, kicked out of boarding school, sent to another boarding school, kicked out of that school and so on and so forth. Trent having a trouble making daughter, who would have thought!?

Chemistry (Trent, Marlena, John & Nicole)

I really wish Trent would've turned out to be less "Mean Dean" and a lot more "Perfect Professor." I'm sure I'm alone on this one, but, had he been a nicer man, I actually like the idea of him and Marlena as a couple (for a while at least). They'd certainly be an attractive one, but, more so Doc is such a smart, feisty woman and it would be nice to see her sipping mimosas or doing the Sunday Times crossword puzzle, in pen of course, with someone smart and well balanced. She's had a hard life and deserves to discuss art, science and politics instead of brainwashing, abduction and vendettas. But alas, Trent is slim and John was an abducted, brainwashed mercenary. Some lady's have all the luck, others live in Salem.

Speaking of John and bad luck, Mar-Mar asked him for a divorce last week! That was after Nicole gave him one hilarious pep talk and, well, after he threatened to go over and break Trent's arm! Sadly, it was his robotic heart that seemed to be broken. To help lift his spirits and those of worried fans, I'm gonna shake my Magic Eight Ball and ask it if that divorce will actually happen, please hold ... the reply was, "Are you kidding me! We're talking about John and Marlena - it's called a stall tactic, these two will be fine!" And there you have it - I just didn't know they could fit that all on an Eight Ball response, I usually just get, "Reply Hazy, Try Again."

Criminal Justice 101 (Stefano & the Salem P.D.)

Only in Salem could a man that's done as much damage as Stefano be released from custody within, what, ten minutes!? Sure, the town's more interesting with him roaming free, but I've never seen anything in Salem happen that fast before! Simply counting to ten can sometimes be drawn out three days or more. But, I have to give the writers credit as they explained the John situation pretty quickly - yes, Stefano imprisoned him, but he did "revive" him and that balances things out. Sounds ... ere ... reasonable?

Yet, aside from the situation proving to be frustrating for the police and Steve, it also proved that the Phoenix's sharp talons are far stretching and include even more powerful friends than before. It seems he has the major, governor and other high ranking officials in his monogrammed pocket. However, it was one such powerful person that I was rather shocked to see on Stefano's side ...

Economics (Stefano & Victor)

Welcome to the DiMera Mansion Victor Kiriakis! I never knew that he and the Phoenix were so chummy, but, who cares, it was awesome to see Salem's big, bad titans in the same room together! My only complaint is that the scenes were too short and ended abruptly, yet they did begin in an amusing way! "I heard about your debilitating stroke," said Stefano to which Victor replied, "I heard about your debilitating coma." Very amusing indeed!

Simply put, there's something epic about these two and seeing them together was interesting. The fact that Stefano basically helped Victor was even more interesting. What will ultimately be the most interesting aspect of their encounter is to see what favor Stefano will eventually need from Victor. Something tells me that it won't come without some devastating consequences for the Kiriakis Clan so, be warned Victor, sure you can scratch each others' backs, but Steffie can also put a knife into it!

Criminal Justice 102 (Paul, Stefano & the Salem P.D.)

When it doubt - threaten a loved one! That was Stefano's scheme du jour and it worked as he had Paul Hollingsworth eating out of the palm of his hand. Paul, however, will be eating bread and water as he was arrested for, well, everything! Paul took the rap for the cocaine, the fire, his disappearance and even claimed to know where they buried Jimmy Hoffa. Ere, not the last one, but he is up the river without a paddle and that left the boys in blue seeing red as they know there's more to the story. Imagine that - the Salem P.D. are actually right ... yet can't prove it. Go figure!

Interior Design (Stefano & Family)

What do you do when you've recently awoken from a coma, started revenge plots against your enemies and avoided prosecution? Redecorate! That was Ole' Stef's did. He's decided to add a wing to mansion, a roof over the pool and, my guess, another secret laboratory or two. Yet it wasn't only home repairs that Stefano was working on - it was house cleaning!

For the second, third, or perhaps the tenth time, he disowned his children and tried to kick them out. Interestingly enough, they wouldn't leave! I'm still trying to wrap my head around why Tony and E.J. are on this "Cleaning Up the DiMera Name" crusade and why they would actually want to live in a house of horrors, but I'll suspend reality even more so than normal because I like this storyline for the most part. I like ballsy Tony, I'm jumping for joy that E.J.'s personality has remained consistent for three weeks in a row and he's still renouncing his father's evil ways and, finally, I'm glad Tony and Anna are getting more screen time! That alone makes this storyline worth watching!

Social Studies (Lucas, Sami, E.J. & Nicole)

The bomb was officially dropped in the last moment of Friday's show - Lucas and Sami have to share joint custody of Ali! I'll leave the fallout for Laurisa to Scoop next week, but the initial blow has me saying, "Here we go again!" Yet, I will wage a bet as to how things will go down ... Lucas and Sami will go more rounds about Ali, each proclaiming they are the better unfit parent. E.J. will keep supporting Sami yet at the same time give her relationship ultimatums while also giving Nicole longing glances. Nicole will drink and pine after him, continuing to keep her self respect on the top shelf next to the vodka. Lucas will whine, Sami will spout off and the little pink bunny will go on beating his drum. If the writers really want to shock us the should actually let one of these couples get together for good or as "for good" as a couple can get in Salem, have the adults actually do what's best for the children involved and let the other characters finally move on - that would be a real storyline twist!

Communications (Chloe, Lucas, Maggie & Nicole)

Nicole and Chloe - now that's fun! "We're best friends now, right?" asked Nicole, "No" responded Chloe. Priceless! But these two don't have me fooled, they really do like each other. Well, maybe "like" is a strong word, but they do have a common goal - to land the man of their respective dreams. I'm still against Nicole's silly quest, but I do think Chloe has a fighting chance. Maggie, however, might think a little differently.

Last week, Big Red offered Salem's resident songstress some advice - are you "in like" with Lucas or rebounding from Brady? She even shared her own sordid saga about loving two men - Don Craig and Mickey. In the end she chose Mickey, which makes me wonder if Mags was planting some doubt in Chloe's ear as she chose her husband rather than a new love. My curiosity stems from the fact that Ms. Horton has always seemed to be a big "Lumi" supporter. More so, she's a Lucas supporter, which is great, but I think her pep talk to Chloe seemed to come with a hidden agenda. Valid theory or am I looking too much into this? Not sure.

However, one thing is for sure - Chloe got a crash course in reality when she overheard Lucas exclaiming she'd be a good stepmother to Ali! Whoops! Sure it was a possibility, but to actually hear it uttered is another thing all together. Read - scary! Nicole tried to sooth her fears by saying being Will's steplush wasn't so bad, but I have a feeling that caused a little more doubt in Chloe's mind and woke her up to the realization that dating a man with kids isn't all sex in elevators and games, it's diaper duty too! That leaves the big question - will Chloe miss the boat or will it be smooth sailing to the Horton Cabin for her and Captain Lucas?

Extra Scoops

Hot & Not

Hot: I always though Nicole was the comic relief in Salem and, whereas she still is, Stefano seemed to throw his hat in the ring last week too. Simply put - the guy cracked me up! When he looked at Chloe and said, "Miss Lane, do you live here as well?" I nearly spit out my grape juice ... and by grape juice I mean wine. Maybe evil is the new funny, but one thing is certain - the Phoenix proved he can be as comical as he can be criminally insane.

Not: Like Laurisa, I'm generally a Kate fan, but her meddling in one of her children's love life again is so ... so ... zzz ... zzz ... oh, sorry, I dozed off from boredom. What was I saying? Oh, yes, Kate getting all up in Lucas's love life. That really needs to stop. The man has two kids, has been to the slammer and stood up to Stefano - I think he earned the right to manage his own affairs. Another one for the writers: Motherly Concern = good, Motherly Inappropriate Interference = bad, annoying ... not good.

Line of the Week:

"You are all vermin! Ingrates ... you disloyal fool! Pompous idiot! Dishonorable bastard! Worthless, the lot of you. Totally worthless! I want you out of my house this instant ... out! Out! Out!" Stefano to Tony, E.J. and John. Gee Big Guy, don't hold it all in - tell them what you're really thinking.

Randomness ...

I'm often wrong so I have to ask, was I the only one who saw a little hidden potential tucked away in the Autism storyline - meaning, Hello Mark! In case you missed his name, that's Chelsea's co-worker and Theo's buddy. He's handsome, seemingly nice, hasn't slept with Billie or Kate that we know of, so I say - go get him Chelsea!

So, Melanie's not eighteen yet ... very interesting. Thanks to a certain terrific Two Scoops partner I have, I found out that the legal age of consent in France is fifteen, but I wonder - will the age difference put an end to Nick's infatuation or will he say, "What the heck when in, ere, France, do as the French!?"

My memory is a little rusty at times so I have to ask - have Stefano and Chelsea ever faced off? If not, they need to! As opinionated and outspoken as our Lil' Swamp Baby is I can only imagine the tongue lashing she'd give Stefano for what he did to her as an infant as well as what he's done to her family.

Tony wore blue jeans! Was I the only one who thought that was an odd sight to see? Not bad, just odd ... sort of like Nicole saying, "No thanks, I've had enough to drink."

Parting Thoughts ...

So friends and Days fans, that's "Two Scoops" for the week of September 2nd! Laurisa will be back next week to referee Lucas and Sami's custody battle fallout! And, as Johnny "Blackbird" Black used to say, "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!

Need more Two Scoops? Laurisa and I are always up to something, so make sure to check out our Soap Central Blogs for more ranting, raving and all-out randomness!

Tony S
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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