Face to face

by Tony
For the Week of February 2, 2009
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Face to face
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Nicole doesn't seem crazy, she just seems to be acting out of desperate pathetic tendencies in order to hang onto E.J.

Happy Groundhog Day soap fans! As a Punxsutawney native, I've met Phil (the groundhog, not the Kiriakis) and just so happen to know he's a Days' fan too. And, like me, he had a lot of mixed feelings about last week. We both agreed there were a lot of cool things like "Vet-a-palooza" and all the action. But, then there were some parts that made me climb into Phil's burrow and ask to hibernate with him until certain storylines are over. He reminded me I have to watch then kicked me out. He also mentioned he needed his beauty sleep for his big moment in the spotlight. He's such a little furry diva like that.

Yet, like Punxsutawney Phil waking up out of his slumber to face the world and predict the weather, many Salemites came face to face with challenges last week too. Nicole got all up in Dr. Baker's face about the two new cute faces in town. Rafe and Mr. Killer had an extremely tense face off. Then, both Maggie and Kayla came face to face with Mr. Killer too! Thankfully, most of the vets got a little face time. Philip and Stephanie got to suck face. And, let's face it, if looks could kill, Chloe would be dead from the look on Maggie's face! Let's discuss!

Babes in Baker-Land (The Baby Swap Crew)

Start passing out the pink bubblegum stogies! Salem welcomed its two newest residents last week as both Sami and Mia "Nicole" gave birth to bouncing baby girls. Awe, they're so cute! And, surprisingly, the babies are being played by real babies and not the "convincing" dolls they normally use. That gives me a little hope for their future. The rest of the people involved, well, let's just say I have my doubts most of theirs.

Sami: There's something about Ms. Brady having a nun as a sidekick that cracks me up! Sure, Sister Theresa's not as sassy as Hilda, God rest her soul, and, sure, Sami's expecting a bit too much from her, but, all in all, she's holding her own with Salem's spunkiest schemer. It was nice to see someone at Sami's side who could actually reel in Sami's overzealous impulses such as going to find Rafe and, later, Dr. Baker. Good grief, that girl needs all the help she can get and, being such a "devout" Catholic gal, she seems to respect Sister T enough to listen. That's a positive thing.

I also have some more props for Sami. Whereas her above mentioned overzealous impulses might have been frustrating for others to deal with, they did stem from a well-meaning place. Despite her maddening way of going about things, the girl does care about Rafe and her baby. I don't blame her that much for wanting to help them. So, Sami, you're ok in my book ... and your little nun too!

Dr. Baker: Like Sami and Sister Theresa, Dr. Baker also cracked me up last week! His first reaction of utter annoyance upon seeing Nicole was priceless! Then he proceeded to keep me giggling with his nasty jabs at her expense. Normally, I'd be miffed if someone spoke smack on Nicole, but, after last week, she deserves every bit she gets. Dr. Baker, however, didn't exactly keep me in stitches the entire week as he ended up going along with Nicole's baby swap idea. Ugh! Someone please stop Nicole (and I never thought I'd say that)!

Sure, he didn't have much of a choice, but "much of" means he still had a little say in what went down, yet he chose to do the wrong thing again. Boo on him. Actually, it's kind of sad because he seems like a competent doctor. He was compassionate with Sami and saved the baby. Good work, Doc. But then I remembered his entire baby brokerage and it made me mad. Double boo on your, Baker.

Mia: Ok, yes, she's doing a sketchy thing by going along with Nicole's scheme as well, yet I feel somewhat bad for Ms. Mia. First, you can tell she really didn't want to give up her baby. She only did so to give her a better life. That was noble, and probably should've been handled legally, but nevertheless it had to be a hard choice.

Next, as Nicole pointed out, she's just a baby herself. The poor gal doesn't have any family or friends around (that we know of) and, after giving birth in her apartment, she was left there to rot by the doctor. Whoops, I mean "Dr." Nicole who had no training and assumed Mia would be fine. Nice compassion, Nicole.

Finally, Mia willing gave Nicole her baby under the assumption Nicole would love and care for her little girl as her own. Despite Nicole's promises, she chucked "Baby Mia" aside as soon as possible in order to claim E.J.'s newest heir. Again, nice Nicole, real nice. Now she's not only lying to E.J., she's lying to a scared, lonely teenager who just gave birth in her apartment without a doctor present. I think that's a little lower than low and makes me have the above mentioned compassion for Mia.

All this ranting of course leads me to more ranting about the one person I'm disgusted with the most ...

Nicole: I'm just going to lay my cards down and kvetch about Ms. Walker. It's a lot easier this way than to try pick out the rosy parts of her involvement in this storyline as there are too many thorns to contend with. First and foremost, I'm really sad because Nicole's position as one of my top ten favorite characters has slipped drastically. She's not bottoming out yet, but after last week, she's hovering around the "Jan Spears" line. AKA, not good. One more week like the last and she could possibly fall further and end up hanging out with Willow Stark or Alex North. In fact, after a little rap session with Laurisa, we've decided she's uninvited her to our imaginary happy hours. If that's not a red flag, I don't know what is.

So let me continue by making a comparison that's already been made by a lot of fans. This fake pregnancy storyline is similar to what Kristen did to John Black nearly twelve years ago (you know, when E.J. was born). In my book, the big difference is John and Kristen shared a lot of history and were an actual couple before all of the craziness went down. Nicole and E.J., not so much. They had a one night stand in an elevator, decided to go on a few dates that never actually happened, and then decided to play house when they discovered she was knocked up. Nope, there's not enough history there to justify her actions which can only be described as utterly pathetic at this point.

Kristen, however, wasn't simply pathetic. Sure, she had pathetic pit stops, but those were on only short detours on her way to Crazyville. Nicole doesn't seem crazy, she seems to be acting out of desperate pathetic tendencies to have E.J.'s baby hence to hang onto E.J. And, as Laurisa accurately quipped, "Psycho is always much more interesting than pathetic." Agreed.

I can honestly say I have zero left sympathy for Nicole. One of the biggest reasons - she spent so much time convincing Mia to give up her baby and then dropped it like a cute little hot potato once she could get her hands on Sami and E.J.'s baby. Sorry folks, but I think that was just a horrible thing to do to Mia as well as Sami and E.J. Nicole's a millimeter close to becoming the new mayor of Unredeemable Land.

Then, at some point, Nicole had the nerve to excuse her actions because she has a "heart of stone," but E.J. doesn't. He couldn't handle losing a child. My guess, it would be extremely painful, but, yes, he could probably handle losing one. Now, he's eventually going to have to deal with that lose plus deal with her deception. But, I'm SO sure E.J., as well as Stefano, will buy the excuse she did everything to protect him. Right. And, Nicole, please give me a call about some "great" land in Florida I have that I think you'd be interested in buying.

All in all, this storyline moved a lot last week, but, because of the direction its going, it's not making me too hopeful that when it's over I'll be able to enjoy the characters involved as much as I did before.

Salem's Most Wanted (The Cops, The Killer & Company)

Rafe & Mr. Killer: Man, Agent H really got to prove his FBI skills last week and I liked it! He certainly didn't crack under pressure and by pressure I mean being shocked by a taser gun, beat, and threatened. Those were some pretty chilling scenes especially when Mr. Killer threatened to "two for one" the twins. What a creep! A creep with nice eyes, as Laurisa and I agreed on, but a creep nonetheless.

But, like all creeps, he got what was coming to him! He and Rafe kicked the spiky hair right off each other's heads and both ended up with stab wounds. Well, I guess Rafe didn't deserve to be stabbed ... again ... but, let's chalk it up to taking one for the home team and move on.

Rafe, however, made one little slip up I don't know if I can let slide yet. That slip was his constant glances at the Convent of the Holy Cross medallion Sami left behind. Rafe, you're a lot of things, but subtle isn't one of them, "stud." But, then again, he did get stabbed ... again ... so I'll get off his back as the last time we saw him he was face down on the floor. Ouch! I hope he pulls through!

Mr. Killer, Maggie & Kayla: After passing out from his own injury, Maggie found Mr. Killer and called the paramedics. He's now in the hospital and, at the end of Friday's show, woke up to Kayla wondering where she's seen his face before - yikes! Run, Sweetness, run! This is getting better and better! Not only is their action and adventure, but the vets are involved too! Speaking of those vets ...

Abe, Bo, Hope & Steve: Abe marched into the pub and demanded Bo step up his game to catch the killer. Whereas I understand Abe's under the gun (the press's not the killer's), I don't understand why the Salem P.D. are still involved. I thought the FBI took over the case. But, then again I can see where this murder hits home, but, have no fear, Steve "Patch" Johnson and his new hairdo are now on the case!

Bo knows Steve can "bend the rules" more than he can now and hired him. Good move, Brady! Although he hit a roadblock when John had him investigate, within a few days the Patch-Man got closer than anyone else to cracking the case. Steve did a lot of bending, some stretching and even some digging and dug up a possible connection to Stefano! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm still not convinced Stefano's the culprit. It seems too easy. I'm still not sure who it is, but maybe Bo will have another prediction and conjure up some images of the real bad guy.

Bo's actual vision last week was of Hope shooting Kayla! Say what!? I can't wait to see how this plays out. The upside - Bo told Steve about his psychic abilities! And Steve's reactions were hysterical! The downside - Bo didn't share his latest Madame Cleo moment with Hope. Although, let's face it, she knew something up. Yet, he tried to convince her nothing was wrong and even tried to boot her from the murder case. Right, I'll repeat, she knew something's up. I'm beginning to realize which side of the gene pool Shawn Douglas got his "dim" side from ... ok, I'll be nice.

I'm still having a hard time swallowing Bo as a psychic, but, all things considered, this storyline is keeping me glued. Why? Because any reason to get the vets on screen (and Chloe and Dr. Dan off it) is fine with me. Ok, sorry, this being nice thing is hard. I think this storyline is getting better and better thanks to its combo of vets, Rafe, and all the recent action - more please!

Shot & Score! (Philip & Stephanie)

Ms. Higley, please take note - as viewers we like to see budding romances actually unfold on-screen opposed to rushed romps masked as true love. Got it? Good. For example, Phil and Steph are off to a great start, keep going there with these two! Still following me, Higs? Good.

Among other things, these two are actually taking the "getting to know each other" process slow. They're going out on ... those thingies couples go on ... what are they called ... you know those things neither Nicole and E.J. or Chloe and Dr. Dan went on ... oh, right - dates! They're going on dates. That's it! And, like Laurisa, I'm enjoying it!

My only minuscule nitpick goes to Stephanie for taking Philip to the Cheatin' Heart. Steph, sweetie, you took him to your ex's workplace? I don't care that Max wasn't working, that's tacky. Kudos to Phil for calling her out on that! But, it was a good example of how important communication is in a relationship. Nicole and Chloe need to look into that.

Game, Interrupted (Philip, Mel & Max)

No question about it - I'm into this "Bidding War" idea! I'll take a corporate power struggle over a fake pregnancy any day. And, besides, how can a storyline involving the DiMera and Kiriakis families feuding not be exciting? Well, I'm sure Higley will find a way to destroy it, but I'm trying to look at the present and so far, so good.

The most recent development was that Philip found out about Mel's chat with E.J. and was a little, let's say, ticked off about it! So ticked off, in fact, he had to leave his date with Stephanie to attend to things. Speaking of which, I don't remember him ever going back to the bar even though he said he would. I wonder if she's still waiting for him? Whoops! Anyway ... Phil confronted Mel causing Max to confront Phil for picking on his little sister. They slung jabs. Brought Steph's name into things and pretty much gave each other warnings. Good stuff.

Daddy Issues (Mel & Brady)

I liked Brady and Mel's little chat about their dear old dads. Mostly I liked the fact that Brady didn't berate Mel at every opportunity. It's strange ... when people are nice to Mel she's actually nice back. Hmm, crazy how that works.

The one thing I will comment on is that Brady must have really fried his brains on drugs. Either that or doesn't read the papers. I mean, really, he didn't know about Trent's murder? What did he think Nick was in jail for? Where did he think Mel got the rights to the project from? Brady needs to spend some time with Maggie and Caroline to get caught up on all the latest gossip in Salem. He has some pretty big footsteps to follow in and the first step - staying informed!

Oh, and, maybe I have one other tiny comment. I "loved" the fact that he said it must be hard to deal with your father being murdered. Um, last time I checked, John was murdered in 2007. Granted, he was presumably a junkie then so I guess I'll let him off the hook again, but, again, he needs to get caught up now that he's thankfully out of Fake Pregnancy Land for the time being.

The Bore Before the Storm (Kate & Dr. Dan)

I'll give Kate props for her compassion. She cared for Dr. Dan and doesn't like seeing him hurt. I get that and, again, yay for Kate! But, seriously, her scenes with Dr. Dan were an awkward snooze fest.

My big gripe - Kate Roberts deserves a better storyline. The woman is a Salem staple. She has so much history with the show. She has so many connections in town. Her breaking up with Dr. Dan was the "Get Out of Jail Free" card we've all been waiting for. So, my advice, nip and tuck this in the bud and get her out of Dr. Dan's life stat.

Granted, there is one thing I'm looking forward to - seeing Kate go all out ballistic on Chloe once she finds out about the affair! Mess with Kate's kids, you should watch out. Mess with Kate and spit in the face of her friendship, compassion and blessing to marry one of her kids, you have to watch out! Oh, I can't wait! I wonder if Kate will slap Chloe or claw her with her magical multicolored nails? Either way, go get her Katie!

Busted! (Dr. Dan, Chloe & Maggie)

Dr. Dan attempted to end things with Chloe last week after he saw her sharing a lovey-dovey dinner with Lucas and the twins. Oh! Caroline was there too! Sorry, love that gal and had to point out her presence. Anyway ... Dr. Dan attempted to end things with Chloe so hard they slept together ... again.

Therefore, things are pretty much the same between these two. He's still a horn dog and she's still cheating. But, after a "see ya later smooch" at Dr. Dan's door, their doctor/ex-patient confidentiality has been severely breeched. Yep, Big Red knows about them!

I can not wait ... I repeat, I can not wait until Monday's show to see if Maggie goes crazy on Chloe! I highly doubt that Big Red, who just had a very "open and honest" talk with her soon to be niece-in-law, will cut her any slack. Not that Chloe deserves a break at this point. Victor's right, she's an "ill mannered pig." So, Ms. Maggie, put on your apron and get out the carving knifes, it's time to skewer Miss Piggy Lane!

Extra Scoops

Hot & Not

Hot: I love when Bo and Steve team up! They're super cool and get the job done. And, the nod to their Stockholm days was great! Yet, not only are they awesome, but they have awesome wives too. Although, Bo and Steve need to come up with some better covers, especially Commissioner Brady. He lies about as well as a toddler with chocolate all over his face who proclaims he didn't eat the Chips Ahoy while spitting out crumbs. Someday Bo will realize you can't fool Hope's eyebrows.

Not: Among other stupid things Chloe whined about last week, she actually said her family is "all for themselves." Really, Chloe, really? Is that before or after Nancy stormed the Kiriakis Mansion to yell at Victor because she thought Philip had raped Chloe? Or, is that around the same time Nancy and Craig decided to have another baby to save Chloe's life? I'm just not sure, but, ya, they sound pretty selfish to me.

Line of the Week:

Cranky Victor to Caroline on Chloe's close relationship with Ali and Johnny: "They're children. They'd be crazy about Lizzie Borden if she kissed their little asses."

Randomness ...

Ok, I didn't mind the entire split screen action last week, but, I have to admit, I was waiting for the Brady Bunch theme to start playing at one point.

When Mr. Killer left the pub and walked behind Dr. Dan was it wrong that I wanted Mr. Killer to taser him?

Seriously, I want to fly on E.J.'s magical jet! It took him about a half an hour to fly from Rome to Salem! It usually takes me longer than that to get through the baggage claim.

Hmm, so Mia wrote a note to her baby. Interesting. How much do you want to bet that comes back to bite Nicole in the rump sooner or later!?

Ali is my new favorite character for slinging a spoonful of mashed potatoes at Chloe! I've wanted to do that for a while now. Actually, I'd probably throw something in the line of a stapler to ensure it knocked some sense into her, but taters are fine too. Note to Ali, if you through the spoon as well next time, I'll make sure you get some of Caroline's gluten free cake. And, note to Lucas, although they both come from a spud, mashed potatoes and French fries are not really a like ... at all.

Oh, ya, speaking of Ali - Hello, recast! She and Johnny have been super-sized into walking, talking toddlers. Make sure to stay tuned in until May Sweeps when the graduate college!

Also more talkative (yet still the same age), Little Theo is thankfully out of the hospital! Aside from chattering more, Post-Trauma Theo is also more affectionate and likes his parents. Now, if he can catch a break and not get lost, hurt himself, or be hurt by someone else for at least a week, he should be ok.

I thought it was sweet that Victor worried about Caroline having to clean up after the food fight! The mean old Tin Man does have a heart!

I think Mr. Killer has a little crush on Rafe as he called him stud ... more than once. Awe, how cute.

Parting Thoughts ...

So friends and Days fans, that's "Two Scoops" for the week of February 2nd! A few weeks ago you got to read what Laurisa and I thought were the best and worst of 2008, but now it's your turn to rock the vote! Beginning next Monday, the Dankie Awards will be open to the public so get out there and show your Days' patriotism!

Laurisa will be back next Monday usher in Sweeps as well as announce the big news - the names of Sami and Nicole's baby girls! In the meantime let's hope Steve and Kayla aren't suggesting any names like Pocket, II or Pitchfork Brady. And with those thoughts, I'll leave everyone to recover from their Super Bowl party hangovers! And, "That's a fact."

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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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