Well, well, well, Days fans, last week was filled with not only one surprise return, but two! And those returns were topped off with a casting cherry that sent my 80's-loving-heart into overdrive. That's right, not only is Justin Kiriakis back in Salem, but Dr. Baker's back on screen as well to wreak more havoc on Nicole's life. That "casting cherry" I mentioned? That's none other than David Leisure, also known as Charley Dietz from the now defunct sitcom Empty Nest. He premiered as the new D.A., Charles Woods. Yep, Salem just got a lot more interesting, and that's just the tip of the casting iceberg floating into Salem Harbor over the next few months.
Yet, along with returns, came tons of drama, of course! Things don't seem all that peachy for Justin and Adrianne. Dr. Baker's back with demands...demands that aren't sitting well with Stefano. And the new D.A. is gunning for Dr. Dan. Add Lucas's ornery state, Sami's revolving door of drama, and, the huge news, Ciara being kidnapped, and it was one interesting week! Let's discuss...
THE CARNIVAL CREW
Sometimes I've thought it's inconsiderate that some characters seem to constantly pawn off their kids to Caroline, Maggie, or even elderly Alice. However, after last week, I realized that, sure, they're the go to babysitters, but kids have never gone missing on one of their watches. Or, perhaps, poor Bo and Hope just have cosmically bad luck when it comes to babysitters. Not sure, but, in any event, Ciara's "birthday buddy," Mr. Lollipop, kidnapped her!
First up, Mr. Lollipop was well cast. He has those crazy eyes that just scream creepy. And the way he smelled Tommy Bear II after taking him from Ciara's bag!? Creepy, man, just creepy!
Overall, this entire storyline is creepily compelling. I think Days is doing a fine job of depicting just how easily, and quickly, kidnappings can happen right under people's noses. Sure, it would be easy for me to toss out blame, but Mr. Lollipop is the kidnapper and he had a well laid out plan that could've been carried out anywhere, which is one of the scary parts. So, I'm not going to throw stones at Ellen or even Lexie and Abe. Well, maybe Ellen.
This storyline will be interesting to watch play out, although the pay off better be Ciara's safe return. I don't think many of us could handle another Zach or Grace moment this soon. But I have hope. Ghost Zach has helped before! So, will he end up being Ciara's guardian angel or will the suspicious angel tattoo on Mr. Lollypop's arm be a key to solving things? The other key seems to be Theo who, it appeared, witnessed everything! And, of course, the Salem PD is involved...and, according to Abe, every available detective and officer is on the case (sans Roman, of course).
BO, HOPE, VICTOR, & JUSTIN!
In somewhat happier Bo and Hope news, it's been great watching them investigate as well as take on the new D.A.! It's also a good example of something the writers are doing right - they're proving that a couple can be happily committed to each other and interesting. They just need to remember that when it comes to other couples (or would be couples). Sometime triangles aren't necessary...I just thought I'd toss that out there. Right, back on track...
David Leisure popped up as the new D.A. who tried to give Bo and Hope the boot. It's great to see him on TV again. I remember his character on Empty Nest cracking me up as a kid. However, that might be a little problem for me - I simply look at him and want to laugh. Therefore, it was a bit hard for me to take him seriously as a sleazy, hardnosed D.A. at first. In any event, he's a nice addition to the cast!
Bo and Hope also shared some great scenes with Victor. They made him squirm a bit by bringing Kate's name into the fold. I'm enjoying Victor's struggle, it's adding a nice dimension to the storyline. The similar scenes Vic shared with Dr. Dan only cemented the fact that the big guy's a bit torn. But is he torn because he simply doesn't want to implement Philip's mother or because he doesn't want to implement Kate, his former lover? Hmm...
Of course the best result of Dr. Dan's predicament happened last week - Justin Kiriakis, and his dimples, are back in Salem! It was great to see Wally again! Like Hope, I totally did a double take. Although, I was a little surprised that she said it's been years since she's last seen him. Wasn't he roaming around Salem, albeit invisibly, while Adrienne was in town last year? Ok, I'm nitpicking, because who cares!? He's back and he's already busting heads...
JUSTIN, DR. DAN & COMPANY
Thanks to Dr. Dan's brilliant idea involving Lexie, the same drug that poisoned Chloe, and a wide open, public space, he was arrested again by a surprisingly wound-up Abe. That was after he tried to get into Chloe's hospital room. I'll give him point for tenacity, but, dear lord, the man needs to turn down the volume just a hair. Side note, if I were Victor I'd ask for my sixty-mill back - the guys a lose cannon.
Thankfully, Justin showed up in the nick of time to save Dr. Dan's behind from the evil D.A. and a somewhat surly Abe. I was impressed. Justin, legal guru of Kiriakis Enterprises (not just Titan Industries, as he pointed out), totally out-maneuvered Woods in a matter of seconds! I haven't seen moves that fast since Chloe and Dr. Dan got together thus creating this big mess in the first place. But, if they hadn't, Justin wouldn't be back. So, um, do I send them a thank you card or a bill for the bottles of booze I drank to forget about the first several months of this storyline?
COMATOSE CHLOE, KATE & COMPANY
Chloe remained in a coma last week and, according to Lexie, her condition could be deteriorating. Nothing new there, her character has been going down hill for a while now. Spoilers ahead... next week Lexie decides to move Chloe into the Last Blast Comatose Ward with Jan Spears. Let's hope there isn't any chicken blood around.
However, with Chloe down and out the writers seemed to think Dr. Dan daydreams had to be picked up by another character and that "lucky" recipient was Kate. She had a fantasy of locking lips with Dr. S.T.Dan to show him "What he's missing." I have a feeling he's not missing her at all...and I know I'm not missing anything about the time Dr. Dan and Kate, uh, dated. Let's move on to less icky-topics...Kate's "lucky streak" seemed to ebb and flow with good news and bad. Yet Kate is cunning, she'll find someway out of this...I hope so anyway, for purely selfish reasons of course, because I want to see her around to square off with a certain Ms. Alamain when Ms. Thing returns in September!
MAGGIE & LUCAS
These scenes were inevitable and I knew watching them would sting - and it did! Watch Big Red cry makes me uncomfortable, but she did have it coming..."it" being Lucas royally ripping into her. After all, Chloe's affair really wasn't her secret to keep. She should've told Lucas the truth again despite her fears that he might leap from the wagon...again. Therefore, I don't blame Lucas for freaking out on her. Yet that didn't stop me from wanting to give Maggie a reassuring hug. In any event, it looks like Brady will be getting a new AA buddy since Lucas "fired" Big Red. Ouch!
BRADY & ARIANNA
Hubba-hubba! Brady and Ari had a little midnight pool party, bathing suits optional. Their steamy scenes came complete with a bellowing saxophone accompaniment, so you know it's going somewhere juicy. All in all, I'm still totally on board for a Brady/Ari love match.
However, I'm still a little puzzled about her involvement with Mr. Dealer and Ms. Cocaine. Furthermore, who does Mr. Dealer work for? His boss might be the key to unraveling everything. Her being an undercover agent is still my front-running assumption, yet I working on a new theory which I'll share after I hash it out a little more - stay tuned!
Rafe had me a bit torn last week. He completely irked me, but he also gave me a little glimpse at the cooler side of his character, a side I'd like to see more of if he insists on sticking around Salem. First the part that annoyed me to no end - his pissy, I didn't get my way so I'm walking out attitude. He glossed it over by saying Sami lost faith in him, but I think that was a cheap cop out. He could've easily restored that faith by coughing up the truth about what happened to Emily. Instead, he packed up his toys in a huff and ran home to mommy. Ok, not to his mommy, he aimless wondered around town. Point being, I'll again restate my previous advice to Rafe - grow a pair. And I'm totally onboard with Laurisa's statements last week - his past better be one humdinger of a compelling revelation for all the time the shows invested in his character.
On the flip side, it was cool to see Rafe put his collective brain cells together and investigate the Nicole/Baker connection. Call me crazy, but I like to see people work on soaps. Rafe was an FBI agent, it makes sense that he would follow up on what he overheard. And that follow up lead him to an amusing scene with Melanie, no harm there. She normally adds a little fun to any scene (even with Rafe). All in all, it will be interesting to see if Rafe will be the one who blows the lid off the entire baby swap saga. He might, but something tells me that's not going to happen anytime soon. Ironically, if he does figure things out, that might just backfire and lead to Sami and E.J. bonding over Sydney - whoops!
SAMI & COMPANY
Casa de Sami was a revolving door of drama last week! Here's a list of some her guests:
Nicole - they commiserated over Sami's break up with Rafe. Ari Zuker and Ali Sweeney have a great rapport which I love. However, I wish their characters could form a legitimate friendship/scheming-for-the-greater-good partnership. Knowing that they can't because of obvious baby swapping reasons just makes watching Sami and Nicole being buddy-buddy a bit disappointing.
Arianna - shocker! Arianna ripped into Sami because of Rafe's decision to leave Salem. Non-Brady-Loving-Ari needs to get a new shtick. No one like's to see a loved one hurt, but Rafe's a big boy. If he wants to leave town, that's his decision (and I'll even help him pack the U-Haul, I'm nice like that). I was thrilled when Sami handed her the letter thus putting an end to Ari's exasperating screeching about the subject. By the way, I hear that letter will be published in the next edition of the Brady Family Newsletter.
Some kid - after Ari left, some random little blonde girl showed up in Sami's living room. Huh? Oh, right, that was Ali. Never mind...
Lucas - I enjoyed their scenes and can fully invest in their friendship, unlike Sami's with Nicole. Lucas and Sami have been pretty open and honest with each other these days, brutally at times. Like his assessment of Rafe. Given Lucas was royally screwed over by his (not so) significant other, I wasn't surprised by his take on the situation which was - yep, Rafe killed Emily, move on. Sure he's done some, um, questionable things in the name of love, but he's a scorned man at the moment and wasn't into dishing out sugar coated "I'm sure it will work out/I'm sure it was a misunderstanding" type advice. Can't say I blame him. But, I can welcome him to the "I Suspect Rafe is Shady" Club!
Rafe - he returned for more of his stuff. There was some talk about lost faith and so on. I'm completely tired of them at this point, to be honest, and I see his stomping off as a nice little "Safe" break. I find them more palatable when they're apart...which has rarely happened since he showed up in Sami's life. Therefore a break is good!
Will & E.J. - although not together. Will showed up first. He lent his mother his shoulder to cry on and, for an entire scene or two, those two played nice! Then E.J. showed up and Will spilled the beans...Rafe is moving out. That of course let E.J. to do a little soul searching at the cemetery...
E.J. & LEXIE
Those scenes gave me hope of things to come. First, it was simply nice to see E.J. and Lexie bond. They always express their love for each other, but rarely do we see them interact like loving siblings. So, I considered that a win.
Second, unlike Stefano who accuses E.J. of having feelings for Sami, Lexie lent him an ear to bend as he hashed them aloud. It was a rare treat to find out what's going on in E.J.'s twisted mind (irrational outbursts aside). That was a second win. Interestingly enough, I think the last time E.J. was that open was when he and Sami conceived
The final win was simply hearing E.J. confess his feelings for Sami. I think most of us have suspected this for a while, but it was great have some confirmation. Lexie also brought up another point many of us have picked up on - it seems like he's grateful to Nicole, but in love with Sami. E.J. denied that, of course, but I think he's only fooling himself.
However, on a whole, this gives me hope that things are going to change soon. If he let's go of his anger towards Sami then perhaps he'll start to see other things more clearly..."other things" being his wife's shadiness. That could all lead to a baby swap reveal...I hope!
E.J., NICOLE, DR. BAKER & STEFANO
E.J. and Nicole argued. Shocking, I know. He made accusations, she made excuses. She made accusations, he assured her of his commitment to her. I'm longing for the day when Nicole simply makes up an excuse like, "You know what, E.J.? A unicorn galloped into the living room, ate a plate of magical beans, stabbed the couch cushion with his horn then fled, and that's why I'm so upset." Sadly, he'd probably buy that. Yep, I'm kind of tired of "E.J. the Chump."
However, Stefano and Nicole's interactions continue to amuse me. And better yet - Dr. Baker is back to further my amusement! His scenes with Nicole do nothing but crack me up. However, Dr. Baker wasn't just bringing the laughs back; he wanted money...money which Nicole went to Stefano to get. Reluctantly Steffy shelled it out, but he also made a call to have some business taken care of! This is interesting because, should Dr. Baker be "taken care of," Dick's letter will end up in hands that neither Stefano nor Nicole would want them to be in. It also made me wonder - has Nicole told Stefano about the letter? She might want to do that.
THE TEEN SCENE
Will and Mia continued their sweet little first kiss on Monday until Chad showed up to create some awkwardness. Chad also gloated that he'd be attending Salem High...a little something-something Mia forgot to tell Will about. Whoops! She covered, however, stating Will already had enough on his plate. Um, ya right Mia gal, tone up those excuses while you're at the gym next time. But, I guess when you keep a child and an illegal adoption a secret, high school transfers are small potatoes. Meanwhile, Kinsey and Chad continued to scheme to break up the happy couple and I continue to dislike Kinsey.
MELANIE, NATHAN, STEPHANIE & PHILIP (W/ A SIDE OF VICTOR)
Philip, Mel, Nathan, and Stephanie...hmm! This storyline is teetering on dangerous grounds. It could easily become the most annoying love quad since Carrie, Lucas, Sami, and Austin if the writers don't watch themselves. Ironically, I found Philip and Mel, the two people I never thought I'd want to see together, the easiest to root for. Go figure. Now, I'm going to try and break this down... as soon as we all take the appropriate number of shots in order to numb ourselves to talk about them.
Philip - Victor being hard on Dimples is nothing new. Nor is Philip threatening to leave "the family" a big shocker. I personally think he's long overdue to take a few steps away. Even if it's too late for him and Steph, he needs to at least take a baby step towards independence. For example, moving out of his father's mansion! I'm pretty sure the guy can afford an apartment since he's a co-VP at Titan. And, if he has a problem with budgeting, he can talk to Sami and find out how she can afford to live in a penthouse while not working at all.
Melanie - I love her and I know she's young, but the girl needs to tone it down a bit. Outbursts like the one she had made me remember my initial concern about this storyline. That concern is that Mel's growth into a mature schemer with slightly-less-flawed morals will be stunted. Sure, I can understand why she was upset, but she acted like she and Nathan were married and she caught him in bed with Stephanie. So, yes, I think she overreacted a smidge, but, no, I don't think her anger was necessarily unwarranted. After all, Mel put a lot of faith into Stephanie's friendship only to have it repeatedly dashed.
Nathan - I'm beginning to think he's a tool. There's something off about the way he handles women. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be naivety or a hidden player agenda, but either way it's coming across as tool-like. And, unless he's as dumb as a box of Austins, I can't believe he didn't know how Mel felt about him...um, since she basically told him a few weeks ago in the park. Right. Therefore I thought it was kind of arrogant for him to act all coy with Stephanie after Mel flipped out and left their date/non-date thingy.
Stephanie - simply put, I thought she was being rather insensitive (dare say bitchy). There's no question, she definitely had her flirt on when she saw Nathan at the Heart...despite noticing he was there with a woman. And, even if the girl wasn't Melanie, it's still tacky to flirt with a guy you suspect's on a date. In my book, that's not cool...at all.
HOT & NOT
Hot: Two words - Nicole, Baker! They are hilarious! In addition to their scenes, the trivia bit Ari Zuker and John Callahan shared was brilliant. More, please!
Not: I'm a bit let down we didn't get to see Sami, Steph and Big Red's girl's night. It started and, the next thing I knew, Sami was at the hospital with *eye-roll* Rafe and Steph was getting her flirt on with Nathan. It was such a promising start to some fun scenes with random character placement only to have my hopes dashed. Ah, maybe next time!
Line of the Week:
"Don't get cute with the pocket change, alright!?" Stefano to Nicole after she remarked that a hundred-thousand dollars is nothing for him to shell out.
Breaking News ...
Good news, Days fans! If you've missed an episode or two and don't have SOAPnet or that old recording device decided to throw you a raw deal, don't worry - full episodes of Days are now available on NBC.com for free! Make sure to drop NBC a note of the thanks - hearing from fans is always a surefire way to ensure they keep posting them!
I'm not happy that Justin and Adrienne seem to be having problems, yet I remain wildly and blindly optimistic that she'll venture to Salem to solve them!
Did anyone else think that Maggie gave Sami more maternal guidance in a few short scenes than Marlena ever did?
Is Rafe the ultimate Debbie Downer or what? Lexie told him they were celebrating Sydney's half-birthday so Agent Buzz Kill brought up Grace. Way to keep the conversation light, Rafe.
Um, did Justin say Lexie is Chief of Staff? I thought I heard that, not sure.
Speaking of Lexie, she liked Stefano last week if you're keeping track.
I'm worried. I think Ciara and Theo are going to be the next generation of Salem addicts. I've read numerous studies and learned it's a slippery slope...first you're obsessed with stuffed animals and the next thing you know you're doing lines off the dumpster behind the Cheatin' Heart. Remember what Nancy Reagan said kids, "Just say no!"
However Theo's love for little Charlie the Dog made me think of Max...which made me think of Chelsea...which made me sad. Rachel, Darrin come home!
Parting Thoughts ...
So, friends and Days fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of August 17th! Thanks to everyone who sent me their opinions on Arianna...they were all great suggestions! I'll be back on the 31st...hopefully with the news that Days won the Emmy for Best Drama Series! Remember to keep your fingers crossed come the 30th. In the meantime, Laurisa will be back on Monday to see if Justin and Philip have a dimple show down! 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 -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.