Nearly everyone in Salem seemed to have a plan last week. Mel worked hard to reunite Stephanie and Philip as well as get Brady's would-be romance with Arianna back on track. Yet while her intentions were good, they weren't altogether unselfish. Kate, on the other hand, continued her mission to kill Chloe for purely selfish reasons...namely revenge. But it was Ciara's mysterious "Birthday Buddy's" intentions that had me worried the most. Let's discuss...
BO, HOPE, CIARA & COMPANY
I'm going to nitpick for a moment. Now, I seem to remember Ciara being born in 2006...in December of 2006! I've heard of Christmas in July sales, but I didn't think birthdays worked like that. Maybe I'm wrong.
In any event, Ciara had a little party in the park. Her family was there as well as her "best boyfriend" Theo (how cute!), stuffed-giraffe-loving Tracy, Tracy's unobservant mom Ellen, and her "Birthday Buddy"...who totally creeped me out! I assume this mystery man who offered her the heart-shaped lollypop is the enigmatic "Circler." A stranger with candy is never a good sign, and I think we all know where this is headed!
In fact, Bo and Abe had a conversation about his ominous vision in which Zach warned them about Tommy Bear. Well, technically, they talked about his visions of Hope in bed with another man first (yes, it has been THAT long since their last scene together)! But I digress. Bo is concerned, and those concerns will soon be well warranted I believe.
Obviously I don't want anything to happen to Ciara, but this storyline is interesting (in a creepy, uncomfortable sort of way). Foremost, it's getting Bo and Hope onscreen! But more so, it will give them a chance to do what they do best - be detectives. It should also be the catalyst for a lot of other characters to catch some more screen time as well...folks like Abe, Lexie, Roman, Caroline, Victor, Maggie, and, dare I say it, Doug and Julie, perhaps. I also hope Philip and Brady team up to help! But those are big wishes, so let's focus on the one thing we can almost count on - an amazing performance by Kristian Alfonso! If nothing else, her talents in this type of storyline are sure to polish off any rough edges.
SAMI, E.J., NICOLE, RAFE & STEFANO
Now, let's get the normal "Ejamicolafe" stuff out of the way first. E.J. scolded Nicole for consorting with the enemy. She soothed his savage beast; he trusts her! She wondered about his feelings for Sami. E.J. reiterated he is not jealous of Rafe and does nothaving feelings for Sami. Nicole worried about her schemes blowing up. Stefano soothed her concerns. Nicole convinced and re-convinced E.J. to drop the custody case all the while Sami and Rafe played house. That leads us to some outcomes...
E.J. did in fact decide to drop the custody case...for now! He and Sami are back on a Johnny timeshare. I can't say I'm shocked by the way things turned out, but I'm glad. E.J. was getting a little too manic. Sami summed it up perfectly with, "You're the man you never wanted to be." That seemed to sink for a millisecond, and then he shot back by badmouthing Rafe. "You've never been a good judge of character." Touché! But let's face it, Sami and E.J. are simply two twisted souls...which make them all the more interesting to watch. More "Ejami" time, please!
Perhaps more interesting than Sami and E.J. playing nice for Johnny's sake was the truce between her and Nicole! Yep, they're giving peace a chance! I've said it before, this isn't going to last very long, but I'm going to enjoy every second of it in the meantime. There's an amusing uneasiness that both actresses are playing perfectly. All in all, it's just awesome to see them squirm, dissect each others every word for hidden agendas, and try to make small talk, all the while forcing uncomfortable smiles. Besides, even if their truce grows stale at some point, we still have the end of it to look forward to and those fireworks should put any Fourth of July finale to shame.
E.J. and Rafe, on the other hand, are a long way from burying the hatchet anywhere other than each other's backs. They had a little alpha-male stand off at Sami's place...whoops...Sami and Rafe's place. Despite their exchanges I couldn't stop my mind from drifting. They sort of reminded me of Roman and Stefano a little - the blue-collar guy with a cowboy approach and the blueblood who's more into psychological warfare than getting his hands dirty. Yet one thing's clear, whereas E.J. might be on his way to truly becoming a Stefano-Mini-Me, in the long run, Rafe is no Roman...aside from their John Wayne style of crime fighting and unhealthy obsession for blondes. Ya, that started out as me trying to praise Roman, but I think it fell flat...moving on...
Stefano got the goods on Rafe. What those goods happen to be are anyone's guess at this point. My hunch is that they all revolve around Emily Hudson. Yet, after last week, I wonder if by taking down Rafe Arianna might be in some kind of danger, too. Either way, Nicole is excited to know Stefano is on the case which will get Rafe off her back.
RAFE & WILL
I'll give credit where credit is due... Rafe and Will both deserve some props. Their honest conversation gave me hope that the better sides of their characters will start surfacing more often. Will especially impressed me when he let Rafe "lecture" him. As exasperating as Rafe can be at times, he made some great points. And, surprisingly, Will took his advice and made up with Sami. Like Nicole and his mom, I'm not sure how long this truce will last, but I'm going to enjoy it as long as I can.
WILL, E.J. & MIA
It was interesting to see Will and E.J. have an actual conversation. Pre-Switzerland Will pretty much tore into E.J. every time they were together (not that I blamed him). Post-Switzerland/Post-Grace Will seemed to sympathize with him a little more. He even offered to send him a "portfolio" filled with pictures and memories of Grace once he knew E.J. was dropping the custody case. That was a nice gesture, and I believe it came from a good place. E.J.'s intentions, however, I'm not too sure about.
He soothed Will's suspicions by telling him that dropping the case was better for everyone...and it was Nicole who helped him see the light. But he also mentioned that anytime Will wanted to visit with Johnny, he's welcome at the mansion. Hmm...could E.J. be trying to take advantage of a mixed-up, angst-ridden teen? I wouldn't be surprised if he tries to use Will as a pawn in his war with Sami. After all, E.J. knows that Sami and Will's relationship is about as stable as a bowl of Jell-O on a trampoline. He also knows Will isn't Rafe's biggest fan. Therefore, one could deduce that with some subtle planted suspicions, maybe Young Mr. Horton will inadvertently turn to the dark side! That could be interesting (as long as it doesn't come with added pouting).
One thing is sure - E.J. is suspicious of Mia! I feel bad for her as she's in a bad spot. It seems like there's a lot of contradicting information floating around about Mia, and I think it will just take one person who stumbles upon more than one piece to put the baby puzzle together. It already seems like Chad was perplexed by Mia's "stint in rehab," and I highly doubt E.J. simply believes she is grateful for Nicole's generosity. I think with all the time E.J. spends at the Java Café, he and Chad might end up having a little coffee talk.
WILL, MIA, CHAD & KINSEY
I'm really into the entire "Teen Scene" this year. I think a lot of it has to do with pacing. The writers aren't cramming it down our throats every second of the summer *cough Touch the Sky*!
More so, the characters are interesting, and I'm enjoying the triangle between Will, Mia, and Chad. Granted, Kinsey still annoys me to no extent, but I like Chad a lot more than I thought I would. And, whereas I normally hate faux flashbacks, I'm enjoying the ones between Chad and Mia. Sure, they're pure Velveeta, but what the heck - it's summer and it's not Stephanie's head being pushed underwater by Jeremy in a hot tub so I consider that a win.
MELANIE, NATHAN, STEPHANIE & PHILIP
Poor Mel struck out a second time with her entire "strand a couple on the island and watch them get together" scheme. However, I was glad to see both Stephanie and Philip admit her heart was in the right place and thank her for her efforts. It wasn't that long ago that Steph probably would've slapped her for interfering in her life like that. Yay to progress! And yay to Mel and Brady - those two are fun to watch!
However, no progress was made between Phil and Steph. They didn't get back together despite admitting their love for one another and swapping some spit. I've said it before, but I'm still rooting for these two crazy kids. Something about Phil and Steph just seems right.
Mel and Nathan also seem pretty right. I like their playful banter, but I also like that they balance each other out so well. Nathan has that same somewhat maddening Horton self-righteous streak that Lucas does, and Mel, well, Mel doesn't and isn't afraid to call him out on it. But, he's good for her, too-especially when rallying her to study, not cheat. And, heck, the writers get extra points for remembering her photographic memory...I thought that concept was a goner. So, all in all, thumbs up to these two! I'm looking forward to their dinner to celebrate Mel passing her nursing test.
On the other hand, there's Stephanie and Nathan. I'm not feeling them...at all...and hope the writers don't go there. I share the same thoughts about Philip and Mel getting too "relaxed" together. Yet I have a feeling those hopes are falling on deaf ears with both Steph and Nathan now working at the hospital. Drats! If Steph needs a male friend, I suggest the writers pick Brady. They already have a connection and they're related, so there's no chance of a - wait...damn...ok, they're related so there's less of a chance of things falling into a big, old messy love-quad.
ARIANNA & BRADY
So we found out that Ari's reluctance to get involved with Brady stemmed from her past experience dating an addict. I don't blame her for being hesitant, but it seemed like her past lover was an addict while they were dating. Brady is a recovering addict and all-around standup guy which should ease her concerns a bit. But I'm biased - I like these two together!
Yet there seems to be more to the story. Actually, I'm pretty sure there is. At the end of Friday's episode, she made a mysterious phone call to someone and announced that her gig at the Brady Pub was all set and ready to go. Hmm...who did she call? What is all set and ready to go? Is she a good sandwich server or a bad one? Does this have something to do with her and Rafe's past, or is she working some sort of scheme we don't know about yet? Is she an undercover agent like her brother was who's trying to thwart some evil plan scheduled to happen at the pub? Is she a drug dealer who wants to use the Brady Pub as a front? Could she be working with the Circler to kidnap Ciara? Could the Circler be her strung-out ex...and could he be blackmailing her to do his bidding? Is she working for Stefano!? Maybe she's trying to steal Caroline's chowder recipe! I don't know! But I'm eager to find out!
BRADY, DR. DAN & VICTOR
You know, Laurisa mentioned in her last column that she likes Ari and Mel's budding friendship especially because Days has been missing girlfriends lately. I totally agree, but I also think it's been missing male bonding. Ever since the Patch Man left Bo, we haven't seen a lot of "bromance," so it was nice to see Dr. Dan and Brady chitchat. Of course they had to muck up that chitchat by talking about Chloe, but whatever-it played out all right.
Actually, Dr. Dan cracked me up by pointing out how ridiculous his love life has become. Laurisa and I could have told him that a long time ago, but it was nice to see him laugh at the situation for a change. However, they weren't the only ones bonding over girl talk - Victor gave Brady his two cents about Arianna.
Now, perhaps I'm just secretly counting down the days until I become a cantankerous old man who can say anything and get away with it, but Victor's assessment of the situation totally cracked me up! There wasn't any sugarcoating. He didn't care about the complexity of the situation or about Arianna's hesitations. It was simply either/or. Either she's a damn idiot not worthy of his time for not wanting to sink her claws into him or she's ok if she chooses to be with him. Pretty simple, although I was glad Brady pointed out that he needs to practice what he preaches...which I took as "Go after Caroline, you old stubborn tyrant!" But that might be more wishful thinking.
KATE, DR. DAN, CHLOE, LUCAS & MAGGIE
Oh, those wacky writers! I nearly fell for all those Dr. Dan and Chloe fantasies last week...and by "nearly fell" I mean I was totally annoyed by them. I think those dream sequences are a little much at this stage in the game. We know Dr. Dan and Chloe are hot for each other - god help us, we know. Anyway...
Nicole's dumb luck must have rubbed off on Kate as her plot to kill Chloe seems to be catching all the breaks it needs to work. In no particular order - Tortured soul Dr. Dan resigned from the hospital...hello, suspicious timing. Lexie was troubled by Chloe's anguished pleas to keep Dr. Hospital-Bed-Hopper away from her...now seating, suspicion, party of one! Lucas is on his way to Hong Kong and therefore can't ask Dr. Dan about his new lady friend whose perfume Chloe smelled in his apartment...suspicion thwarted! And Chris's fondness of gossiping is perfectly playing right into Kate's hands ...suspicion planted! By all rights, those are major strokes of luck for Kate's campaign now that Chloe is down and out in a hospital bed again. There might be one snag, however, because Maggie suspects something's up.
I love Big Red, always have, but she is a "Nosey Nelly" as Chris called her. But, again, you take the good with the bad, right? Point being, I think it's going to be Maggie's suspicions as well as her morals for doing the right thing that might end up saving Dr. Dan despite her loyalty to Lucas. Even though this storyline is a bit maddening, I'm all for Maggie saving the day!
HOT & NOT
Hot: James Scott and Alison Sweeney...how much hotter can you get? These two just ignite the screen when they're on together. They've always seemed to be comfortable working together, but last week was an awesome reminder that the two of them make Days "Must See TV!"
Not: I'm going to second Laurisa's "Not" from last week by chanting my own chorus of "No, no, no...NO!" to a possible Stephanie/Nathan/Melanie/Philip mixed-up love fest. Aside from the selfish reasons of simply liking Steph and Philip together as well as Mel and Nathan, I really don't think this storyline would do any favors for the characters involved. Actually, I'm pretty sure Stephanie and Mel especially will regress and start displaying their worst possible characteristics all over again. Most of us who didn't like Stephanie and Mel before are finally rallying behind them, so it would be a shame if they writers turned a rally into a riot for the sake of an easy love-quad storyline.
Line Exchange of the Week:
Sami and Nicole's hilarious reaction to their hug:
Sami: Ah, sorry.
Nicole: It's ok.
Sami: That was weird.
Nicole: It - I just wasn't ready for it.
Sami: God, can you imagine if someone saw -
Nicole: Witnessed it? They'd think it's a sign on the apocalypse.
Sami: I know, right? Hell freezing over.
The writers have gotten a lot of the show's history right lately...Maggie discussing how humble Tom Horton was, and, last week, Nathan mentioning Maggie's paralysis! Way to go, guys - a gold star for all of you!
Did I miss the importance of the quick Nathan/Dr. Dan scene, or was it as out of place as I thought?
I think Days aired its most realistic scenes last week -Sami lounging around in an oversized t-shirt! Even at their "worst," characters are usually decked to the nines in full makeup and perfect hair (see Chloe Horton in her hospital bed). However, I have no clue what Sami was wearing on Friday's episode. That shirt was pretty, um, interesting?
Speaking of Sami, do she and Rafe's cutesy scenes remind anyone else of an eHarmony commercial?
A peppermill in the sofa cushion? Really?...Really?
Nurse Maxine makes me happy! Truth be told, I still miss Hilda the Hun, but Nurse Maxine definitely eases that pain.
I often wonder who the American flag in the Brady Pub is honoring. I don't remember Shawn Sr. being a veteran.
I'm placing bets now that sooner or later Chelsea returns to Salem as single gal because Max sleeps with her Great-grandma Roberts.
Did anyone catch the name of the guy who's working with Kate and Chris on the Hearth & Home show? It sounded like she said "Jett" which brought up painful memories of a certain storyline I desperately want to forget.
I can't be sure because I didn't have a stop watch handy, but I think the bottle of poison Kate planted in Dr. Dan's apartment got more screen time than Abe.
Parting Thoughts ...
So, friends and Days fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of July 20th! Laurisa will be back on Monday to see which schemes worked and which ones blow up in the faces of those who set them in action! In the meantime, I'll be eagerly tuning in to see what Arianna's big secret is all about and, "That's a fact!"
What are your thoughts on Days of our Lives? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.