Let the games begin

For the Week of April 27, 2009
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Let the games begin
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Unlike Tony's death, Philip's shooting was no accident. Philip didn't fall over a shaky rail onto the trigger of a gun. The amount of unsolved crimes in Salem is quickly piling up.

As I sat down to watch Days this week, my husband remarked, "Are those two still getting married?" I chuckled because the last 10 episodes have only spanned a day and a half (at most) of Salem time. Usually that type of pacing is infuriating, but these last two weeks seemed to work for me. There were a lot of characters involved and a bunch of good storylines are setting up for May sweeps. But over all, the writers learned that dragging out plots is a much better idea than dragging out events.

Did you ever go to one of those wedding receptions where dinner is hours late because the bride and groom take forever to show up to the reception? My apologies in advance if you were one of those brides or grooms, but I despise weddings like that. I'm not saying that a wedding isn't a blessed and wonderful event. I like them so much that I had one of my own. But, it's incredibly selfish of the hosts to expect their guests to be on call all day until the happy couple gets back from taking pictures in some obscure location that they clearly didn't budget enough time to do. So, I'm ready to send the etiquette police out after EJ and Nicole. They cancelled their reception and DIDN'T EVEN TELL THEIR GUESTS. As far as we know, those poor guests are still waiting at Chez Rouge watching an ice sculpture likeness of Nicole melt into the limoncello shots.

Yes, EJ and Nicole finally tied the knot. I say "finally" because they had no less than five interruptions (Mia speaking up, Stefano questioning Nicole, EJ calling an audible during the vows, Sami marching in, and Lexie leaving for work) during the service. If I were Father Matt, I'd have the right mind to tell them to get with the program else I'd get someone to drive a motorcycle through their wedding too! But they did make it official. And, quicker than Nicole can say "in your face, Sami!" my favorite tall, blonde drink of water started having second thoughts about being married to the mob. She's not crazy about having a body guard. And obviously she hasn't gotten the memo that those body guards work for Stefano and EJ; thus discussing the fact that Sydney isn't Nicole's daughter in the presence of a body guard isn't the best idea. Whoops!

I was very underwhelmed with Nicole and EJ's wedding night. Despite the strawberries, Champagne, diamonds, and risqué lingerie, I couldn't get over the fact that EJ and Nicole are spending their wedding night in his father's house with his father downstairs. I just want something a bit more fabulous from EJ DiMera. I know that they had to postpone their honeymoon because of the Philip situation, but can't they go to a hotel? Steph sure managed to find a romantic suite in town. Why can't EJ?

But perhaps it's par for the course with EJ. I'm also underwhelmed with EJ as a whole. I don't like how easy he jumped into being a DiMera, although with no one to appeal to his good-guy side as Sami and Tony would have done, I can understand why it happened. But still I'm disappointed. At the risk of sounding like Goldilocks, this EJ is too harsh. The EJ over the last few months was too soft. When are we going to get the EJ that is just right?

Oh Mia, Mia, Mia. It's bad enough that she didn't check out Nicole, but now we're supposed to believe that Mia didn't know about the DiMera's reputation until Dr. Baker told her? What's worse, he proved it to her by performing the same type of Google detective work that Will told Mia to do last week. While I wish I didn't feel sorry for Mia, I do. She's just a kid. I actually got a little sad when Mia went to the ER and was treated by Dr. Baker, who as we all know, is a pediatrician.

All signs of Mia finding out what actually happened to her baby are pointing to Dr. Baker. Mia told him that she didn't feel a connection to Sydney. Dr. Baker is tending to her wound that she sustained from running into a rusty nail (which means blood tests are next). And, Dr. Baker actually has that sympathy gene that Nicole totally lacks which makes him cringe when lying to an innocent, teenage girl. But since I don't see Dena letting out that secret for a while, what if Dr. Baker stumbles upon some other piece of interesting information about Mia? What if Mia is a DiMera? Is it impossible to think that Andre fathered the girl? Dr. Baker made a point to say that the only people safe from the DiMeras are the DiMeras. And while Brady, Benjy, Lexie, and Renee might totally disagree with that statement, I knew what Dr. Baker meant. Plus, Mia's been on screen for almost three months now and we still don't know the girl's last name or who her parents are/were. Just a thought...

She went to the church to tell EJ the truth about Grace. In fact, she was darn near spitting it out until she heard that Philip had been shot and then she chickened out. I honestly don't know why that stopped Sami. Is it suddenly news to her that the DiMeras could do such a thing? I appreciate the tough situation that Sami is in. I wouldn't want to hand my kid over to the Dimeras either. But, the situation isn't ever going to change. EJ is always going to be the father of Sami's baby. And Stefano is always going to be a crazy, mean lunatic. The only thing that is going to change is what stage of in love with each other these two are ready to admit to.

I'm actually glad that Sami didn't tell EJ in the middle of his wedding to Nicole. If EJ and Sami are ever going to end up together, I'd like it to be because they want to be together, not because they share a kid. The main reason EJ and Nicole are together is because of Sydney. Heck, even Nicole will admit to that. That's the whole reason she has Sydney right now, right? So, I'm glad that the writers aren't taking that approach with EJ and Sami. But, I wish that they'd get to the truth about these babies already.

The scene right after Philip got shot was horribly disturbing. The blood, the silk sheets, and the shaking were all over the top for me. I could have done well without seeing it twice. But the fall out from this scene was pretty great as far as a soap crisis goes. I'm glad that the writers didn't have Steph show up at the hospital in full make-up and wardrobe. She arrived in her blood soaked robe. While were on the topic, Shelley Hennig's performance was my personal highlight of this whole storyline. She's one of the few actresses in daytime who cries well and it absolutely breaks my heart. She commits herself to the pain of the scene and it made me feel for Stephanie when she cried out that Philip can't die without knowing how much she loves him. Go on with your super self, Shelley!

The awesomeness continued when Melanie played nice with Stephanie. Since Chelsea and Max are both on their way out of Salem, Steph is going to need some friends. I've never been a fan of the Steph/Mel feud so if the writers want to waive the rewrite wand and turn these two into besties, I can't say that I'd be upset. Now that both of them would like to see EJ suffer a bit, they have something to bond over.

Victor, Kate, Chloe, Lucas, Brady, and Bo all joined Steph at the hospital to sit by Philip's bedside. Why the frick no one called Chelsea to tell her that Philip was shot is beyond me. Austin is in Switzerland and he knows the news. Yet, Chelsea works in the hospital and no one bothered to page her. Bad, bad writers!

In single redeeming quality news, we were reminded that Daniel is a miracle working doctor. He gathered up enough of Philip's rare blood type (which I suppose is on hand from the last time Philip took a bullet) to stabilize Philip. Then, Daniel induced hypothermia to make sure Philip's blood would clot. Finally, Daniel plopped Steph down at Philip's bedside to give him a little pep talk. I know it's a cliché, but I'm a sucker for the "sometimes love is the best medicine" routine. Bedside confessionals get me every time. And when Philip woke up, saw Stephanie, and said "I love you", all those past memories of cheating Philip and sanctimonious Steph almost faded. (I said "almost", writers. Don't make me have to dig those up again because I do remember where I stored them.) I really want these two to make it. They're being honest with each other and are starting to accept each other for the people that they are, and the people that they aren't. There's something refreshing about that and I'd love for it to continue.

Is it bad that I really want Rafe to get on the plane? Aside from Galen's handsome face, Rafe brings nothing new to the storyline. EJ's the guy that Sami can't admit her feelings for. Lucas is the guy who warns Sami when she's about to screw up. Roman is the guy that Sami comes to for help. I supposed that Rafe could be all those storylines in one, but the problem is that all three other men are far superior in their respective categories. And, since Rafe's only connection to Salem is Sami, the writers are really running low on ways to make Rafe important.

I feel bad for the guy. Cases are piling up fast and, with the budget cuts and all, the Salem PD is completely understaffed. To date, the Mayor Marino's murder is still an open case. Yeah, they caught the "hit man"; but by definition the hit man is a person that someone else pays to commit murder. Have they arrested the man who paid the hit man? Ah, no. So there's case #1. Second, someone shot Philip. Unlike Tony, this was no accident. Philip didn't fall over a shaky rail onto the trigger of a gun. The hit makes two cases. And if Stefano starts barking that he's been poisoned, that will make three.

Remember that non-Sami Salem connection that I talked about earlier? Giving Rafe a job with the Salem PD would help that. As I've stated before, making Rafe one of Philip's marine buddies would be a bonus. Then Rafe could have a job where he investigates who ordered the hit on his fellow soldier. Heck, while were at it, make Rafe Hope's partner so that she has something to do too. That way Bo can focus on closing out Marino's murder and Roman can handle investigating Victor. We know that Bo has a conflict of interest there, but Roman is in the clear. Unless you count Caroline's affection for Victor, but I would completely welcome that complication to the case. Bottom line: Bo and the Salem PD are looking for help and I say "Send in Rafe!"

Fellas, I know that when you rent a tux you have it for at least a full 24 hours. I know this because when I was in college, three of my friends had to rent expensive tuxes for a sorority formal, so they decided to wear them for the FULL 24 hours. Something about getting their money's worth... Anyway, outside of that isolated incident, I've never known any guy to hang out in his tux after the event was over. Yet, there Stefano is- in nearly full tux, sans bowtie- getting a cup of coffee at the Java Café, reading a newspaper, and arranging another hit on Philip. I guess the chap really does "dress for success"?

The DiMera's covered their tracks pretty well on this one. Everyone is going to suspect Stefano, but EJ made sure that Stefano's phone records were clear and alibi was in place. Add in the fact that Stefano is sure that the Greek gal (who only worked at the Jave Café for a day) poisoned him, the boys in blue might be too busy to investigate the actual crime. Don't you just love how Stefano assumed that anyone Greek must be working for Victor? I'm sure that's some sort of racist statement, but it cracked me up. I'd like to see Stefano's police statement, "A barista named Melina served me a poisoned espresso! Did you hear me?!? She has a Greek name that means "honey" or "yellow colored". My favorite liquor is yellow....I was poisoned by a drink.... Blasted!!! Do I have to spell it out for you fools?!? Victor got his Greek minx to poison me with a drink that I ordered myself! You don't believe me? Fine. I'll brainwash all of your children!"

New characters cheat sheet:
Arianna is the new cute waitress who works at the pub. If she's single, she better watch out for Dr. Dan. Dude's got a thing for brunets.
Marco is the Jack-Baur-earpiece-wearing-guy assigned to protect EJ and Nicole by creeping Nicole out. He calls EJ "Mr. D.", which I enjoyed very much for some reason.
Masi is the worst hit man you can hire. Not only did he not kill his target, but he let three other people see his face. Say it with me Masi, "Ski Mask"

Brady was around Melanie way too much this week. It's not that Eric Martsolf and Molly Burnett are boring. They are quite entertaining. But Brady and Melanie are a total mismatch. I just don't believe that Brady would be spilling all sorts of family dirt to Melanie. Chelsea should have found Brady on the pier or Brady should have been pumped full of pain killers before telling Melanie all about Sami's life.

Extra Scoops:

I agree with Steph- cheeseburgers go with Champaign.

How hot did Peter Reckell look with his shorter hair and cargo jacket?

Did that headline really read "Billionaire Playboy Philip Kiriakis Shot"? What self-respecting newspaper prints such a biased headline? Jack and Jennifer would never have let that happen.

Sami and Steph both reminded me that I need to wear more purple.

LOVED Max and Mel watching Sami and Brady spat and then remarking, "That's us in 10 years"

HOT part 1:
Holy history lesson! If the writers are going to get my boy Philip shot, they better make it work my while. In this case, they did so by bringing up some criminally ignored details about Philip's history. First and foremost, Victor, Kate, and Bo all mentioned Philip's time with the Marines and his tours to Iraq! As far as I'm concerned, this bit of history is THE most interesting aspect of Philip's character and I'm shocked that the writers don't bring up his service, his specialized training, and his injuries more. (Again, his FACE and LEG were BLOWN OFF!) Second, Sami called into the hospital and identified herself as "Philip's sister, Cassie". Be still my history-loving heart! I didn't even think these writers knew who Cassie was. Sure, it would have been nice if Lucas mentioned calling Rex and Cassie when he started calling the siblings, but what ever. We can take baby steps as long as I know we're going in the right direction.

So Kate had a "come to Jesus" moment and decided to abort her mission to get revenge on Chloe and Daniel. She did so in the spirit of living the good life and enjoying her children again. Allow me to list the ways of suck built into this decision. First, I was really enjoying the scheming Kate's dialogue. She rocks. Second, just because Kate doesn't want to kill Chloe anymore doesn't mean that Chloe didn't cheat on Lucas! Maggie at least has the benefit of hearing Chloe promise never to hurt Lucas again. But as far as Kate knows, Chloe and Daniel could still be seeing each other. Third, how does that tongue lashing and slap that she gave to Stefano work into Kate's plan to live a peaceful life? Finally, and most egregious of all, the whole thing seems like a convenient way to totally drop an entire storyline! The writers either got bored or stumped with Kate's storyline so they decided to call "psyche" and turn to the next shinny thing. Not cool.

HOT part 2:
Sami called Brady her "little brother". Brady called Sami his "sister". That's right, the step-sibling spat is over! Wa-HOO!! So many times soap fans get whacked in the face with rewrites that don't make sense, but every once in a while, the backswing catches a wrong and rights it. I know that some people may be pissy because Sami and Brady never played nice before. But, outside of the DiMera family, sibling rivalry is a hard storyline for me to buy. I just don't like it when characters with no reason to dislike each other engage in pointless grudge matches. Sami and Brady should get along, if for no other reason than out of respect for John and Marlena fans.

Sami- "Good things Catholic weddings take forever"
She should know. She's had about 50 of them.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed your two weeks with me. Tony will be back on Monday to give us all a much needed dose of his humor and insight. In the mean time, what do you think Brady will say to EJ? How long before Bo realizes that Brady's face is another crime scene? And, when will people learn to stop going to the pier? That place is the more dangerous than the DiMera basement!

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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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