Break out the sunscreen, because for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, summer has official begun! Yet, in Salem it will take a little more than SPF 15 to protect everyone from the rising temperatures. Revenge plots are sure to have scorching effects on its residents. Just ask Sami, who was burnt pretty badly last week because of E.J., or ask Dr. Dan and Chloe who are about to feel Kate's fiery wrath. Yep, things are going to get hot!
Yet, revenge wasn't on everyone's mind last week - Mel found time to flirt with Salem's newest hunk, Ethan, proving that summer lovin' might be alive and well amidst the chaos. Actually, Salem's revolving door certainly swung last week as exits were made and new residents settled in. Max said see-ya later Salem, while everyone gathered for a touching farewell for Grace. While the verdict is still out Mel's new man, it can only be assumed the Chad is bad news since the malicious Kinsey was the first person to bring him up. But, we'll talk more about them later. In the meantime, let's discuss what other Salemites have been up to ...
The DiMera vs. Kiriakis Feud was reduced from a rapid boil to a simmer last week. I'll admit, I enjoyed it in the beginning, but it had run its course by the end. The writers put the kibosh on it at the perfect time. Actually, I'm glad we don't have to watch ping-pong revenge plots unfold all summer long because, really, how many more times can Philip be shot?
However, Stephanie's part in the ordeal is certain to eat away at her fragile sanity for sometime to come. Philip convinced her to lie to Bo and Hope and say that she couldn't link Owen's rogue shenanigans to E.J....so that E.J. wouldn't be implemented in the crime...therefore the DiMeras won't have any reason to hold a grudge. Right, because Stefano is known for his ability for forgive and forget. But Bo knows Steph lied and is rightfully worried about her. I am too, but we'll discuss that soon enough.
The outcome of the feud - the entire gang met for a love fest at the pier where everything "began." And with the passing of the torch from fathers to sons, peace was restored between the DiMera Famiglia and the Kiriakis Clan. Ya, because that will last long!
Did you see the dirty looks exchanged between Stefano and Victor as E.J. and Philip shook on the deal? Me too! Yet I'm not sure if those looks were because they're control freaks reluctant to let go of their empires or because they're vengeful, eccentric old-school gangsters unwilling to bury the hatchet anywhere besides each other's backs. On paper, though, the feud is over. But, whereas it's on the backburner for now, something tells me that with a little extra heat, things might ignite again down the road. Stay tuned!
Clang ,clang, clang went the trolley! Stephanie seems to be channeling her inner Judy Garland. Yep, she started pill popping and boozing it up to cope with her traumatic experiences with Owen. In fact, Owen won't go away...in her mind at least. Steph had several chilling visions of him, yet I'm waiting for one of her visions to become reality as Owen escaped from police custody during a transport mishap. I'm shocked - I really can't imagine the Salem P.D. screwing up something like that. Whoops!
However, since the demise of "Stax," Steph has been growing on me more and more, so I finally feel emotionally invested enough to worry about her. I especially worry about the following combo: Shell-shocked Stephanie + pills + champagne + a new car! Something tells me she'll soon need AAA and AA. Yet I suspect Brady will swoop in to lend his support. He's the Energizer Bunny of encouragement. He's all over the place and just keeps going and going.
But, before we end this segment, let's back up and talk about Steph's new "eco-friendly" car for a second - that new car being the elaborate gift Phil gave her. Now, I know time flies in Salem (yet oddly stands still), but she graduated from college already!? Between hospital-bed vigils for Dimples and being locked in a morgue, when did she have time to study for finals? I'm curious, but like Rex and Cassie, I think this will just be another of Salem's unsolved mystery.
Holy heck - I nearly fell off the sofa when Arianna told Rafe that she would have done the same thing as Sami! Not only was that a shock, but I'm surprised Ari knows who the DiMeras are. I didn't think they had newspapers on Planet Bitch. Ouch, sorry, Ari, yes, that was a low blow. Moving on ...
Ari and Rafe chewed the fat about Sami's actual relationship to Grace. She was sympathetic for about five seconds, and then reminded Rafe, yet again, that his past seems to be repeating itself. However, we did get some more tidbits to piece together. After their talk, she visited the grave of "Emily Hudson." I suspect this Emily character was either Rafe's former fling or someone caught in the crossfire of his past relationship. Either way, this cat better claw its way out of the bag soon because my interest is seriously slipping.
However, I am interested to see what becomes of her budding relationship with Brady. For some reason I can't stand her when she's around her brother but like her when she's around Brady. Go figure. Right, back on track - she and Brady had a flirtatious chitchat at his family mausoleum where he told her all about Isabella, and she expressed her concerns that E.J. might seek retaliation against Rafe. Hmm, introducing a gal to mom means things are getting serious. Well, maybe not serious (yet anyway), but they did have a first, um, "date." They got coffee at the Java Café and then went to a funeral. I think Brady needs to call his dad for a little lesson on how to romance a gal the right way as John knows all about the ladies.
SAMI & COMPANY
I'm not too sure how many breaks this gal deserves, but she certainly didn't catch any last week. It began with Will walking out on her and ended with Johnny being taken! Not good, at all.
Now, I can't blame Will for being upset that Sami lied to him about Grace's "adoption." His hurt and anger were justified, in general, but finding out Lucas knew too was like being punched in the gut after already being beaten to a pulp. Yet, I also see Sami's side. Apart from protecting Grace and covering her own tracks, I think Sami was genuinely looking out for Will's best interest by keeping him from having to lie. Sure, she's a royal pain at times, but she does love her kids.
Of course, Sami also continued to deal with the loss of Grace. Once again, Alison Sweeney knocked it out of the acting ballpark. Just the lost, dazed look on her face was enough to keep me a tad heartbroken. I'll repeat - she's on a one-way trip to an Emmy nod next year.
And then there was Rafe. He and Sami dropped the "Love Bomb" on each other. Ugh, I feel I've pretty much Scooped him to death lately - if I cared more about him, I'd care more about them. Not much has changed on that front. But, at least she has him in her corner because she'll certainly need all the support she can get very soon...cue the ominous organ music!
STEFANO & NICOLE
Salem's newest soccer mom, Stefano, coached Nicole from the sidelines on how to stay calm under pressure. Well, not pressure, more like guilt and fear. She was worried E.J. is closer to finding out about the swap, but Stef assured her the ball's in her court. She's in control. There's something about comforting words coming from Stefano that would worry me. Oddly, Nicole seemed to buy his spiel and even gloated to Brady "Buzz Kill" Black that nothing could go wrong. Ya, because Stefano's plans never blow up in his face. This should be interesting!
I think - I think - E.J. might be a little ticked off at Sami. That's just a hunch. Sure, he said he was ashamed he ever loved her. Sure, he said he's never been so wrong about someone in his entire life. And, sure, he said he hates her. What was my point? Right, he's mad. Yet I can't blame him entirely, though.
However, I think E.J. needs a bit of a reality check, especially if he's going to spew things like, and I quote, "Nothing my father ever did amounted to that!" "That" being the pain Sami caused him by lying about Grace's paternity. Ok, yes, she was wrong-ish, but I think - again, I think - Stefano has done worse things. Let's brainstorm ... banishing Tony for twenty-plus years, orchestrating baby schemes/swaps for both Kristen and Lexie, erasing John's memories, torturing Roman, having the mayor killed, um, abducting Marlena more times than he can roll an R at...need I go on?
I thought my tear ducts were as dry as a desert after the week before last until Friday rolled around. Yep, the funeral got to me. And, yes, I know, it played on all the cheesy soap clichés - heartfelt eulogies, shots of tearful guests, "Amazing Grace" being sung, and even the "uh-oh" moment when someone "surprising" stood up to say something. It was all there and most of it worked.
Bo and Hope's time before the service was touching. I was glad to see the writers remembered their experience with losing Zack. It was even more touching that they reached out to Sami (and Rafe) more than once. If anyone can help Sami along her road to recover it would be Bo and Hope. I hope the writers remember their words and we get some good "Bope" and Sami scenes.
It was also nice to see Brady comfort Sami. I'd like to see these two form more of a relationship since they're the sole representatives of the Evans/Black clan left in Salem. A coffee at the Java Café would be a nice touch, writers...hint, hint.
The Bradys all rallying behind Will was great. It was a rare treat to see Bo, Hope and Roman all together focusing on Will - I think he needs that treatment more often. Will himself also cracked me up by saying, "They're bringing in the big guns," when Caroline approached him. If anyone can talk some sense into him, it's her. And, of course, Mia was there to lend her support...even though she said she was going for her own reasons.
And here's where things get tricky. I was glad Roman and Stephanie stood up to E.J. Granted, I did, and do, feel horribly for the guy, but even the pity I have for him over Grace doesn't erase what he's done to Sami or Stephanie. Roman's old-fashioned papa bear warning was pretty impressive. I liked that he said he'd even ditch the badge if that's what it takes. You go, Ro!
Stephanie's slap was also impressive! Well, I suspect her champagne courage and prescription-pill power-boost had something to do with it, but let's not split hairs. I don't blame her for being royally ticked at the guy, and I give her credit for sticking up for herself. It's those "Grandma Caroline" moments that always remind me that Steph is a Brady through and through.
In addition to E.J.'s eulogy, which was as touching as it was vicious, it was in the moments after the service ended when his revenge really began. In a moment that can only be described by cringing and uttering "ouch," he served Sami with papers giving him temporary full-custody of Johnny. I knew he was plotting something that would inflict maximum pain on Sami, and it worked. Yet this is another draw in my opinion as these two both have fairly legitimate reasons to wage war on each other. However, Sami's not one to lick her wounds for too long, so it will be interesting to see how she strikes back!
Sadly, Max bid adieu to Salem last week ... I think! Ironically, an exact departure date for Max/Darin was hard to lock down, but I'm pretty sure he "hopped the pond" and is cuddling with Chelsea in some London flat by now. In any event, he's missed already! Darin brought a fun, mischievous charm to the part and his shoes will be hard to fill if they eventually decide to recast the part. On behalf of Laurisa and myself, we wish Darin all the best in his future endeavors!
However, it's Max's future that worries me a bit. He turned down a free ride to med school in order to be with Chelsea. While that was a whopping romantic gesture, I hope he finds another school overseas. An I.Q. like his would be a shame to waste. Then again, there is a fine line between brilliance and insanity - just ask his former BFF Nick - so maybe he's better off working in another pub. Moving on...
It was Max's scenes with Mel that stole the show last week. Those two are a hoot to watch! The sibling chemistry between Darin and Molly was off the charts, and I'll miss seeing their interactions. I'm glad that Brady said he'd watch out for Mel and act as her "brother," and whereas I like their connection, it's not the same. Yet Mel proved she's pretty entertaining by herself, but we'll get to that later. For the moment, let's talk about the two things that disappointed me.
First, where were all the goodbye scenes? Sure, he had one with Stephanie. They laughed, they cried, he warned her about how dangerous life with Philip will be. You know, the norm. But Max didn't get a chance to say farewell to Caroline, Bo, Hope, Roman, etc. What's up with that?
Second, why the holy heck wasn't Max at Grace's funeral? Although his scenes with Mel were greatly entertaining, they could have been shortened or rearranged so that he could've been there. I really expected him to show up to offer support and/or say a quick goodbye to his family after the service before rushing to the airport. Nope, nothing. Again I ask, what's up with that!?
KATE & COMPANY
While on the subject of "What's up with that?," Kate's revenge plot against Chloe and Dr. Dan took an even darker turn last week. She decided to blackmail him into doing the medical segment on her talk show by using his dead wife's memory as leverage. She'll match a year's worth of his hospital salary and donate it to a cancer research center of his choice in Rebecca's name. Well, no one can ever say she won't pull out all the stops to get what she wants, even if it means being a little, er, a lot ruthless. Even her overzealous assistant Chris was frightened by her tenacity. I don't blame him - she scared me too! And, thanks to Maggie, Kate is getting her wish. Big Red talked Dr. Dan into making a deal with the devil because, after all, the money is going to a good cause. Oh, Mags, if you only knew the entire story!
Ok, I'm going to try and be nice here. "Try" being the operative word. Um ... ok ... I was glad to see Chloe get help for her Dr. Dan Addiction. She realizes she has a problem and is seeking advice from Father Matt. As Brady and Maggie have pointed out, it's all about taking things one day at a time. I ... I ..., oh gosh, I can't do this. Backing Chloe is too hard. She's a big ol' mess, and it makes me cringe when she gets on her spiritual kicks. And honestly, at this point, I don't think she's too torn. It's pretty obvious that she loves Dr. Dan, and Lucas is nothing more than an obstacle that's making her feel guilty.
MAGGIE & COMPANY
Mag's International Flop House got a little fuller last week with the addition of Mia and Nathan. First up, Mia. Big Red gave her a pep talk because Mia was feeling unworthy of Maggie's generosity. Maggie assured her everything is fine, and the conversation ended with a hug. Awe! However, I wish Mia would confide in Maggie - Big Red lives for that kind of drama and, usually, dishes out some good advice along with her wannabe-Alice doughnuts.
Then there's Maggie's grandson, Nathan. Hmm ... so there's a new Horton in town - how about that!? As long as he doesn't follow in Jeremy's footsteps, we should be ok. And although he does have an arrogant side, a lot of young doctors seem to have that as well, so that doesn't worry me too much. But we'll see - the verdict is still out on him.
One thing I am sure about at this point is that I like the idea of a Mel/Nathan pairing. They certainly sparked! In fact, neither Maggie, Brady nor Max could deny there's a little connection there. Max also quickly realized why she decided to pass on London and stick with her nursing school plan. But, I'm personally glad she's staying - Salem's a lot more interesting with Mel roaming around.
THE TEEN SCENE
No "first week of summer" article would be complete without Scooping the "Teen Scene!" Mia secured her summer job at the Java Café. Yet it may not all be fun and foamy drinks as Kinsey seems to be a regular. You know, the girl simply annoys me. I'm not into Kinsey at all...not even in a "love to hate her" kind of way. Yet, every teen scene needs their schemers, so I'll bite my tongue and move on.
Kinsey's latest way to rattle Mia's cage was to mention the mysterious Chad. Hmm ... could this be Mia's baby daddy? It sure seems like it could as Mia shuddered at even the mention of his name. And things didn't get better when he showed up! She looked utterly shocked to see him. I have to say, the guy has bad boy written all over him. Whereas I think Will and Mia are on the road to romance, I have a feeling Chad will make it a bumpy ride!
HOT & NOT
Hot: Melanie's antics were the perfect escape from all the recent waterworks. Simply put - she cracked me up! From asking Hope to get her out of a parking ticket, to her chats with Maggie to her conversation with Max to her flirtation with Nathan to her banter with Nurse Maxine, I was very proud to wear my "I Heart Mel" button last week.
Not: Grace's funeral was touching, no doubt about it, but there were some key elements missing...namely Lucas, Max and the mention of out-of-town family members like Marlena, Kimberly, Kayla, Eric, Carrie, Belle, and/or Rex and Cassie to name a few. Ok, I kid about Rex and Cassie, they're goners, but the others not even being mentioned was rather sloppy writing. Heck, the writers even went out of their way to mention the nuns from the Holy Cross Convent were running late because of a flat tire...which kind of sounded like the beginning of a joke - four nuns get a flat tire on their way to church. Anyway, I was disappointed by the lack of attendance. I'm also shocked that Abe didn't show up as he and Sami are very close despite the rift between Sami and Lexie. And where was Maggie? As mentioned, she lives for drama and being supportive during hard times.
Line of the Week:
"... Can I have a doughnut? ..." Melanie to Max in the middle of their serious discussion about what happened between Owen, Stephanie and Philip.
Breaking News ...
Laurisa in Llanview! Mark your calendars for next Monday! Not only will Laurisa be back with an all new Salem Scoop, but she'll be pulling double duty for one week only as she'll be a guest columnist for the One Life to Live Two Scoops! That's right, one week and two brilliant columns from Laurisa - you can't beat that! So make sure to venture to the One Life section next week to support the home team!
Another Week, Another Return! If last week's big name return announcement wasn't enough, now there's another one! A certain Kiriakis heir is coming back to Salem. Sure, he missed the feud, but I wonder what he'll be up to this time around. Laurisa and I are also very, very hopeful that he'll bring his wife with him!
The Psychic Says! Laurisa and I managed to steal a few moments with Bo, and he used his abilities to give up a little glimpse into the future. Click here to find out his predictions for the goings on in Salem this summer!
And Baby Makes Three! Everyone at Two Scoops sends our deepest congratulations to Arianne Zucker and Kyle Lowder (ex-Brady) who are expecting their first child in December!
I worry about Salem's future sometimes. With its addiction rate so high I expect it to regress back to the Prohibition Days by next year.
Phil said he's happy now that he's his own man. Right, he's his "own man" - who's still living in his father's mansion with his father's servants at his beck and call. Tell me, how does that work again?
E.J. mentioned again that Nicole would never hurt him ... whoops! Every time he says that is like watching an avalanche in slow motion.
Shocker - Brady and Arianna didn't literally run into each other last week!
Parting Thoughts ...
So, friends and Days fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of June 22nd! Laurisa will be back with a column next Monday, but in the meantime make sure to check our steamy summer predictions! And don't forget to venture to Soap Central's One Life To Live Land next week to support Laurisa as she fills in for that soap's Two Scoops columnist! I hope everyone has a great summer, and "That's a fact!"
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