Where there's a will, there's motive

For the Week of November 3, 2008
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DAYS Two Scoops: Where there's a will, there's motive
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This past week, Kate's family found out about her cancer. The writers get double bonus points for properly using Chloe in this storyline.

Hello fellow Days fans! I hope you had a great holiday weekend. This week, our favorite Salem citizens set up for what looks like a great November sweeps! We got to meet a new character. We watched two- count them TWO- PSA storylines progress very nicely. We saw another contestant advance to the second round of "Clue: The Trent Robbins Edition." Finally, we learned that even a safe house has trick-or-treaters, a lesson we should all remember if we're ever hard up for candy around the end of October. (I don't suggest begging for candy on other days of the year. People always ask me to leave their porch right away.) Anyway, before you rush to the polls this Tuesday, let's check in with our favorite all-American town: Salem, USA.

Ok, let's get this out of the way first. Kate and Daniel need to S.T.O.P. That isn't to say that they couldn't have had a great storyline, they could have! But the fact that Daniel literally jumped from in bed with Chelsea to in bed with Kate, coupled with all of the Chelsea/Daniel and Chelsea/Kate run-ins, I have a hard time seeing this relationship as anything more than a vomit-inducing love triangle between granny/granddaughter/Freudian surfer boy. More so, this "thing" that they have is getting in the way of a very good, serious storyline.

This week, Kate's family found out about her cancer. I applaud the subtle touches that the writers are putting into this storyline. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that my grandmother just finished a round of radiation treatment for breast cancer. She's doing very well, but just a few short months ago, my family went through the same thing that Philip, Lucas, and Chelsea are going through now. (I would assume that Rex and Cassie are going through the same thing, but since no one ever mentions them, I don't really know). Anyway, I tried to look things up online and I got very nervous. I read about the 5 year survival rate that Lucas mentioned. Little did I know that doctors actually advised against looking things up online, just like Chloe warned Philip, and the doctors provided my parents with brochures and reading material, just like Daniel did for Lucas. Also, the most frustrating thing for my family was how many doctors kept telling us, "We just don't know. It all depends on (insert generic medical reasons here)." I know it was annoying to watch Daniel dance around giving Lucas and Philip direct answers, but that's honestly what happens. There's no exact science to cancer and it's very difficult for patients and their families because no one knows precisely what to expect. As a result, many patients opt for the most radical treatment, as Kate did, because they want to make sure that they treat all of the cancer.

The writers get double bonus points for properly using Chloe in this storyline. Honestly, I totally forgot that she is a cancer survivor. If her parents and sister were still on the show, I don't think that I'd have that problem, but I digress. Chloe mentioned that she still takes anti-rejection drugs. Another nice touch, writers!

For her part, Kate asked Lucas to take over Hearth and Home for the time being. Kate also mentioned that Lucas needs to have a meeting with Tony and Anna. I hope this meeting happens! I'm a little giddy at seeing my two favorite comedians on the show - Lucas and Anna sharing a scene together. This move does mean that Philip will be left short handed at Titan, but I think he'll be ok.

The guy's a man-whore, isn't he? And, I love him for it. First he had a flirtatious talk with Chloe about how they'll always be "friends" (or whatever the kids are calling it these days); then he admitted that Melanie interests him. *Note: be sure to qualify that Philip is not interested in Melanie, but that he is interested by Melanie. They're two different things.* I'm not going to spend much time on either of these pairings because my feelings still haven't changed. Philip and Chloe are reheated leftovers. Philip and Melanie only represent one legal vote in this upcoming election. But let's move onto what I do like......

Stephanie showed up at Philip's house looking for a friend. Look, I'm not even gonna try to act all moral here. If I was recently dumped and knew that Philip Kiriakis was home alone sitting next to his pool with a bowl of candy and a decanter of brandy, I'd high tail it over to his house too! And you know what? I dig these two together, mainly because this pairing makes me care about Stephanie!

I watch a lot of those home redecorating shows (shock, I know) and they're always talking about how if you have something in the room that would be too impractical or expensive to change, like an odd fireplace, then you need to incorporate that feature into your design, not try to hide it. In this metaphor, Stephanie is the room and her neediness/tendency to be a busy-body is that odd fireplace. Max went along with it- "Yes Steph, I'll invest money in Jeremy's company" , "Yes Steph, I'll hide Ford's body for you." , etc. But Philip's attitude works with Stephanie because, honestly, Philip is a little needy (Belle, anyone?) and can be a busy-body too (see last week's "Hardy Boys" reference). Thus, all of that "Princess Stephanie" stuff works in her favor when she's with Philip because he wants to be right all the time too. Plus, there's something historically juicy about Steve and Kayla's daughter falling for Victor's son.

The good part about this storyline is that Bo and Hope are both employed and have actual work to do. The bad part is that they're verging on inappropriately smarmy while doing it. The Bo and Hope smarm works great when used between the two of them in a playful manner that might result in something like a streaking bet. However, that same smarm does not translate well into the work place. Is it me, or does Hope's stare remind anyone else of Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty"?

The first victim, I mean suspect, was Melanie. They questioned her again, without a legal guardian again, about her father's murder again. Turns out ol' Trent had a will. Melanie gets the estate and Max gets a box, which Max turns down. I don't know why because it was a nice box with a bow and everything. Then, Bope set Melanie up to see if she would turn over extra evidence. (Side note- Police are allowed to use trickery in an investigation. I saw it on Oprah the other week.) Melanie failed the test and Bope smarmed their way back into the office and were ready to slap some cuffs on Mel. Unfortunately, their evidence fell through and incriminated someone else. So, Bope got in their smarm-mobile and headed to talk to Nicole.

Apparently Nicole is just not as smart as I gave her credit for. That envelope contained a note from Trent incriminating Nicole as well as their torn up marriage license. First of all, why tear up the license? That has no legal bearing what-so-ever. That's like me tearing up my property tax bill and then claiming, "Nope! Never happened. I don't have to pay it." Second, she really didn't think it was important to tell her lawyer (much less the police- when they asked) that she fought with Trent TWICE on the night of his murder and once was at the SCENE OF THE CRIME. I just can't wrap my brain around how stupid Nicole is, but more on that later. For now, Nicole and her unborn EJ-baby, are going to be booked and then sent to a cell to await arraignment on murder charges.

While I don't like how Bo and Hope are going about their jobs, I have no problem with what they are doing. Police aren't expected to make one arrest per case and always have it be the guilty party. That's why it's called an investigation and we have such familiar phrases like, "The charges were dropped." It's absolutely bogus that people who lie to the police and impede investigations are throwing around accusations of harassment. The bottom line is that if Melanie and Nicole had been truthful in the first place, they wouldn't be in this mess.

What the heck happened with these two? It's like someone crammed two months worth of storylines into five episodes. I'll deal with this chronologically so that we can all be confused together. There's safety in numbers.

Nicole, who is pregnant with EJ's child, had a good start to the week. In preparation for her future roll as the mother of EJ's child, she agreed to babysit EJ's other child. (You know, the one by Sami a.k.a "her" a.k.a "that miserable twit") These scenes were so funny and it was great to see Arianne Zucker with some lines of dialogue that were not, "I'm pregnant with EJ's baby and you're not!"

But that's where the happy feeling ended. The next day Nicole is picking out patters for the nursery that would house EJ's baby, which she is carrying. Huh? Not only is that house not her house, it's technically not EJ's house either. What the heck are they doing redecorating? But, since neither of them can talk about ownership of the house, EJ changes the conversation to ownership of a baby- you know, the one that he impregnated Nicole with. I think, I think EJ proposed to Nicole, who is carrying EJ's baby. But, I didn't actually hear him say anything resembling, "Nicole, I love you. Will you marry me?" Instead, it sounded like he decided that the easiest way to keep full custody of Nicole's baby (which is EJ fathered, in case you didn't know) was to keep Nicole as a roommate in some house, somewhere with a picket fence. I can only assume the picket fence is there to provide Nicole with ample tools for which to impair Sami should the miserable twit get anywhere near the child of EJ's that Nicole gave birth to.

This whole scene is odd. On paper, EJ and Nicole should be HOT. But it just doesn't translate in their scenes. Either that, or James Scott is doing one heck of an acting job. I think it's the latter. Come with me to Metaphor-land: Every time EJ talks to Nicole, he has the same tone in his voice that I use when I open a Christmas present from my brother. It's usually something that is very great and wonderfully expensive, but it's just not me. I know that I should like it and I can often easily force myself to enjoy it, but I just don't love it. Obviously we all know that the Ejamicole monster isn't going anywhere soon, so with Sami and EJ not sharing any scenes, it seems as it's up to James Scott to keep Ejami alive all by himself. It's working. Not so much because EJ and Sami belong together, but because it's becoming ever more apparent that EJ and Nicole don't. Ok, leaving Metaphor-land...

Unfortunately, EJ and his baby mama's engagement party (still not sure about that one) turned into an estrangement party when EJ found out that Nicole, after she got pregnant with EJ's baby, might have killed Trent Robbins. Ohhh, not only that, but he found out that Nicole had slightly murderous run-ins with ex-lovers Colin and Victor, but both of those were way before she carried EJ's baby. EJ ripped into Nicole and told her to grow up otherwise their baby is the only thing that they have in common, which is so not true because they both know what it's like to be insanely tall and good looking. All joking aside, I'm so glad that EJ is finally finding out more about Nicole's past. I have less of a problem with these two trying to pass off lust for love as I do when either of them claims that they understand what kind of a person the other is. And, I'll turn that around and say it's HELLA past time that Nicole find out about EJ's not so white-gloved past- the shootings, organ stealing, raping and all! I mean it. For now, Nicole is off to the big house and Sami is off to the safe house. At least EJ knows where the women in his life are!

Sami, who is living under the alias "Samantha Brady" and disguised as...well, herself, was taken to a posh loft in downtown Salem, err, I mean a "safe house" with trick-or-treaters, to meet a string of stereotypes that the writers cooked up for us. First Daryl, the cigar smoking Italian tough-guy wasn't tough enough to deal with Sami so he quit. Next Hilda, the large German she-warden who likes bratwurst and professional wresting, quit when she learned that Sami drugged her drink. Then finally, Galen Gering made his Salem debut as Sami's new bodyguard, FBI agent/hunky Latin lover named Rafe Fernandez.

Now onto the good stuff. Until last week, I was convinced that the writers were making Sami pregnant because Alison Sweeney is pregnant in real life. But, Sami's pregnancy is actually turning into a very interesting plot tactic AND those sneaky writers managed to put a twist on a "secret keeping" storyline. Granted, there's still no excuse for Sami not telling EJ, but at least this way we don't have to watch Sami almost tell EJ over and over again.

Roman told Sami that she can't take anything with her that would identify her past life including photos of the twins laced with the ever-popular, paper-thin photo emulsion tracking device. Sheesh! Speaking of tracking devices that EJ totally planted (*wink* hehe), baby DiMera is surely a hint to her past. How is Sami going to hide her pregnancy? She's going to have to tell Ray, right? I would think so. She can only walk around in grandpa pajamas for so long.

In the mean time, I'm enjoying the relationship between Sami and Rafe. I don't see anything romantic, but I do like their dynamics. The way that Rafe talks to Sami is the same way that I wish Roman would talk to her. He scolds her when she does something wrong and doesn't find any of her childish charm amusing or endearing. I like Sami and Rafe's relationship. Plus, if this means that Sami actually gets a real friend out of it, I'll be thrilled.

It's hard to scoop this section without sounding corny, but Abe, Lexie, and Theo had an awesome scene with a reporter where they gave an interview about "A Day in the Life of Abe Carver". This was an interesting way to bring the whole autism PSA to the forefront without seeming out of place. Renee Jones did an excellent job conveying that autism is something that families live quite happily with, even if their new lifestyle isn't the one they had planned for themselves. Well done, writers!

Nick's popping pills. And not just popping them, but he chews them up before he swallows. I guess he's that hard core of an addict. Don't forget. He's got street cred'. I like Blake Berris, so I'm excited to see where he takes this storyline. I hope this means that Aunt Maggie and Cousin Lucas will get to have some scenes with Nick about the powers of addiction.

Melanie is moving in with Nick, Maggie, and Mickey. This should be interesting. A Maggie and Melanie confrontation sounds good.

Chloe taught me that the word "spa" can actually be a verb. I should try to find out more about that.

Max had a bowl of candy sitting on the BAR at the PUB for CHILDREN who are tick-or-treating. Does that seem wrong to anyone else?

If Kate's going to keep preaching about forgiveness to Chelsea, then she might want to start practicing the act herself. I can't believe she's still holding a grudge against Chloe for breaking Philip's heart. Please help me select the appropriate response:
a) Hey Kate, 1998 left a message for you, "My storyline is over!"
b)Hey Kate, Chelsea wants to know when you're going to apply your "don't hurt my kids" motto to Daniel and his new gal pal. She'll get you a mirror if that would make it easier.

Sami and Hilda are about the two stupidest people ever. Sami actually drugged the person who was trying to protect her from a killer. Doh! And Hilda, who's assignment was to protect Sami around the clock, packed her sleeping pills for the assignment. Just when was she planning on needing those?

Extra Scoops

I know that Days is really into going green, but recycling the exact same storyline for the exact same actor is a little much. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Galen's character on Passions was first introduced as a tough policeman who was assigned to protect Sheridan Crane, the resident "spoiled brat" of Harmony. I'm keeping an open mind right now, but I just want to issue an official warning to the writers that the rest of the Passions fan and I are onto you! (That oughta scare 'em!)

Tons of credit goes to the hair/make-up/wardrobe department for how they've been styling Nadia Bjorlin lately. Her makeup is subtle, her hair is especially shinny and healthy, and she sported that super chic navy blue dress. Because Nadia is so beautiful, it's way too easy to throw a lot of makeup of her, hot roll her hair, and put "the girls" front and center. The resulting look can come across as a little cheap. But this week's look was flat out stunning! Well done, stylists!!

Did any of you catch the reference to Days on 30 Rock last Thursday?

It's not "Ejamicole" but "Jamsone"- as in James, Alison, and Arianne that get my Hot award this week. First, James blew me out of the water when he gave Nicole the business about being insecure and needy. He scared me and there's a whole TV screen between us. Second, Alison Sweeney was actually pretty funny in her scenes with the train of body guards. It's amazing what she can do when she's not forced to play the ridiculous one in a scene. Finally, Arianne Zucker was hilarious in her babysitting scene. For those of you keeping score, her costars were a dog and a child actor! That Daytime Emmy for Comedic Performance that Tony wants to see given out is based on moments like this.

None of our favorite Salem characters got into the Halloween spirit. Really? After all that hard work that Tony did last week for those fools, none of them put on a Halloween costume!? The writers will bring back Doug and Julie in costume for a holiday that has nothing to do with dressing up, but they can't even get Theo or the twins in a costume for trick or treating. How about Stefano throwing a Halloween party? Nope. Nothin'. Booooo. (And not the fun Halloween one!)

Sami:" Just because I can indentify a murder I'm stuck in prison with a vegan storm trooper." Yah, I can't resist a Star Wars reference. What can I say?

That's it for this week, my fellow Days fanatics. You'll be blessed/ cursed with me next week as well. Tony was nice enough to cover for me last week, so I'm repaying him the favor by giving him some time off. He'll need it because he likes to get to the polls early this week to vote. (hint. hint.) Don't forget to do the same. I'm Laurisa Mahlin, and I approve this column.

Happy viewing,

Want to learn more about your ever-faithful Two Scoopers? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony to read more about them, their love for Days, and their completely unhealthy obsession with TV!

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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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