Change was abundant last week on Days, especially for the women of Salem. Kate got a new husband and a boatload of new problems. Chloe got the thumbs-up to start a new life. Melanie has an interesting new predicament - two men fighting over her! Meredith knocked the fight right out of Rafe with a new plot to bring him down...and a fire poker. Sami has a new ally, and I love it! Nicole's renewed happiness seems to have hit a new snag. And Hope has a new home, minus Bo. Some of the changes were great, others not so great. Let's discuss...
STEFANO & KATE
How can you not enjoy a storyline which involves Stefano blackmailing Lexie into attending his wedding by threatening to eat an entire cake? Hysterical! But let's further break down its brilliance:
Stefano is now Lucas and Philip's stepfather. Kate is Lexie and E.J.'s stepmother - and E.J.'s former lover! Lucas and Philip are E.J.'s stepbrothers. Kate is now Johnny's step-grandmother, linking her to three of Sami's kids! Actually, Kate is linked to all of Sami's kids considering she's now Sydney's step-grandmother, too! Oh, yes, and she's Nicole's mother-in-law. Not to mention that Stefano, Kate, Nicole, and E.J. will be living together in the DiMera Mansion. And then there's Roman (and Dr. Dan for the matter) who are gunning for Kate, Victor who loves to stir the pot, and Ms. Vivian who will surely get involved or, in the very least, have something brilliant to say about the situation.
Yep, there's just too much twisted irony in play for this storyline not to do well! Higley will have to work extra hard to screw this up. And, no, Higs, that's not a challenge. Moving on...
So, if you haven't noticed yet, I'm in love with this storyline. I think it's great! In fact, I've been a big champion of it since day one. And by the way, "day one" was sometime in mid-2008, so I really thought it was a goner. Heck, I even selected its disappearance as my choice for "Worst Waste of a Storyline" during the Second Annual Alex North Memorial Awards. I've never been so glad to be wrong, because everything about this is so right (so far)!
First, this storyline has integrated most of the cast, which is always a great way to starts things off. As a result, we got to enjoy not only the conversations (and confrontations) we expected to see, but also scenes such as Stefano and Maggie exchanging words, Kate bonding with Theo, and Big Red and Abe cracking each other up. Fun, fun!
Yet, the interesting things didn't stop with great conversations - this storyline is also playing on the rich history of the characters involved. Past plots haven't been forgotten such as E.J. and Kate's affair, Stefano ordering Philip's hit, and even just the fact that Stefano and Kate have always had an odd, yet close, relationship. To me, a good storyline is one that involves both past misdeeds and current predicaments. So far, this one is on target!
Next, this storyline has effectively ended the Danloe saga, to an extent. Kate is "paying for her crime," and Dr. Dan and Chloe are free to do whatever it is they do. Yet, like the police, Dr. Dan still has it out for Kate, and she still has the hots for him. Therefore, there will be lasting drama, but a lot less annoying Danloe fantasies and that can never be a bad thing.
Finally, I think last week's performances were simply enough to prove this is going in the right direction. From rage to laughter, all of the reactions to Stefano and Kate's nuptials were spot on! Each actor brought their A game to the plate. Actually, make that their A+ game - the cast was outstanding! From Stefano and Victor's jabs, to Kate and Philip's blow-out, to Kate and Victor's clash, to Abe and Maggie laughing about it all - simply brilliant acting all around. If that's what we can expect from this storyline, I say, "More, please!"
In contrast to the above ravings, I have to say, sorry, writers, but I'm not giving Danloe my blessing just because Father Matt gave them the thumbs-up. Nope, not at all. Nice try, though.
It's just that I don't believe for a second a Catholic priest would condone Chloe's actions so easily. In fact, I'm fairly certain they wouldn't condone them at all - at least without a boatload of Hail Marys. I grew up Catholic, and simply crossing the street without looking both ways is reason enough for damnation. I kid, I kid, but it is a strict religion, and I know adultery and divorce are pretty high on the Catholic no-no list.
Furthermore, did Chloe really do "all she could," as Father Matt suggested? I mean, sure, she did tell Lucas the truth, ask him to go through couples' counseling, and see if they could make their marriage work, but - oh wait! Nope, she hid the truth from him, and then she decided to leave him when the guilt, and her desire for Dr. Dan, became too much for her to bear. Ironically, it's almost Kate-like protection that caused her to harm Lucas even more by not telling him sooner. It's funny how that works out.
Also ironic is the fact that Chloe Lame still doesn't think she's a cheater because she stopped sleeping with Dr. S.T.Dan before her marriage to Lucas, and won't sleep with him until she's divorced. I thought of an example that may help her see things more clearly - I'm going to go to McDonald's for lunch, applying Chloe's cheating rules to my dieting rules. According to her rules, I won't be cheating on my diet if I have a crispy chicken sandwich with bacon and cheese, a super-sized order of fries, and two apple pies because, as long as I don't drink the milkshake I really want more than anything, then it's not cheating. Right. I don't think I have enough fingers and toes to count the flaws in her logic. My advice to Chloe - fly away from Salem, little song bird, and take Dr. Dan with you.
Like the rest of the cast, Bryan Dattilo impressed me last week with his A+ game! The guy not only has sharp dramatic acting chops, but he's funny, too. Actually, he made me laugh when I probably shouldn't have been laughing. But, I digress. Bryan was great and churned out some memorable scenes. I particularly thought his hallucinations at the Heart were well-done as were Lucas's scenes in the hospital after his collapse. Bravo, Bryan (and scene partners)!
I also need to applaud Lucas's punch! I don't normally condone violence, but the guy deserved a little revenge. And he also deserved a free pass to use such a cheesy line as, "You want my statement? *PUNCH* There, there's my statement. You got it?" Well done, Lucas! Thanks for being our ambassador to Slugging-Dr. Dan-Land.
Now, in general, I think Lucas can be a completely annoying, na´ve mama's boy at times. But I'm not sure why anyone is so shocked by that at all - he's been that way since his introduction to Salem. I think there have even been books written about his maddening mommy issues. With that said, I'm clinging onto a small shred of hope that once Lucas gets back from rehab he'll be a new and improved man - same great sense of humor, less attachment to Kate's umbilical cord.
THE TEEN SCENE
Speaking of relationships with parents, Will has an interesting one with Lucas. All in all, the lad was supportive of his father, and he gets kudos for that. In fact, Will has been surprising me left and right lately with his maturing approach to things. Sure he was upset, although no one can blame him, but he kept a rather level head about things throughout, and even threw in a little humor to lighten the situation. Impressive!
Also impressive was the fact that Chad (and Tad) pitched in to help Will. I thought that was classy, especially considering Chad and Will are adversaries. Chad could have easily embarrassed Will and made matters worse, but he didn't. Bravo! This year's "Teen Scene" has been one good surprise after another...for the most part.
NATHAN, MEL & PHILIP
I'm not sure about this love triangle. Nathan vs. Philip is coming across a tad awkward so far. Aside from the fact Philip and Stephanie just broke up, I'm a little skeptical about Nathan and Philip's motives. When two guys knowingly fight for the attention of the same girl, it usually seems like more of an ego contest between them. And considering both guys have jerked Mel around, I can't imagine either of them is truly concerned about her long-term happiness more than winning the "competition." Male egos do defy logic at times. But that's just a hunch.
However, I enjoy Mel loving the attention. I mean, really, how many gals wouldn't want two studs - one a Bruce Wayne type and the other a doctor - fighting for them!? Yet, I almost think Mel deserves better on both accounts.
I can't really fault Nathan for not taking an instant shine to Mel - her personality is a tad abrasive after all - but I remain skeptical of his self-righteous streak. It's maddening to watch one character constantly try to prove their worth to another, and I'm afraid that's what could happen with this otherwise cute would-be couple. Besides, how much is Mr. Nathan "I'm not even thinking of her in that way" Horton really interested? Is he in it for Mel or for a victory against Philip?
And, as far as Phil's concerned, I actually think he and Mel would be a great couple - in about five years. Technically, yes, they can legally date. She is eighteen. And, 99.9% of the time, I don't care about age differences. But there was something off-putting about Philip offering to take her for an ice cream sundae instead of a drink. That sounds like a promise you make your child if they're good, not a romantic gesture (unless you're Jerry Lee Lewis). So, for the time being, Phil needs to stop swimming with in the kiddy pool and dive back into the deep end where he belongs.
RAFE & MEREDITH
Seeing Rafe's lifeless body behind Sami while she was chatting on the phone was hilarious - straight out of Weekend at Bernie's! But, I'll be nice. Sami's hypocritical hero Rafe is in real trouble thanks to Meredith.
All in all, there wasn't much action. Yet I kind of hope we get to see Sami and Ari rescue Rafe. That could be entertaining! There's the old standby enjoyment - watching two characters who hate each other team up. But there's also an added interest of watching Ari try to hide her cop/detective skills from Sami. More so, spitfires Ali Sweeny and Lindsay Hartley sharing screen time is an almost surefire win/win scenario!
SAMI & BRADY
I'll make this section short and sweet - I loved Sami and Brady bonding. With Marlena and John out of town they're finally starting to represent the Evans-Black clan by coming together. It's also nice to see Brady treat Sami with the same forgiveness, compassion, and respect that he's (almost) always showed Nicole. I'll take more of that!
TROY, ARIANNA & BRADY
There's something about Troy I like. Um, like to hate, that is. He is a drug dealer, after all. But he does interest me, and I would go as far as to say I'd like to see him stick around Salem if the writers can find some way to redeem him when all is said and done. Something tells me he and Ari could have an interesting love/hate relationship as well.
While on the subject of love/hate, Ari and Brady went a few more rounds about how "over" him she is, and vice-versa. Right. I don't even think Chloe's dumb enough to see through their flimsy cover-ups. That old torch is still burning! But that's not the big story here, Ari said she knew about Nicole's miscarriage and Brady didn't deny it. He just warned her to keep her mouth shut. Ironically, he should have listened to his own advice. Whoops!
E.J. & NICOLE
Color me shocked! E.J. confessed he wouldn't have married Nicole if she hadn't been pregnant. Really!? I never, ever would have suspected that. And by that I mean I figured that was the case all along. Nevertheless, it was nice to hear him admit the truth and ruffle Nicole's feathers in the process.
Other than that confession, the not-so-newlyweds were a bit of a bore for the remainder of the week. They expressed their love for each other, made whoopee, and all that other romantic stuff couples do on a honeymoon. Yes, even couples like Nicole and E.J.
Yet one thing is clear - the more they express their love for each other, the closer they become, is the more I become certain that things are about to blow up. Big things...baby-swapping things! And thanks to Mr. Looks-Before-He-Leaps Black, that seems a little closer to happening. Thanks, Brady!
Laurisa will be back next Monday to Scoop the fallout...and by "fallout" I mean all the excuses Nicole is likely to throw at E.J. In the meantime, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that he doesn't fall for her lies again. Yeah, perhaps I should hope for something more realistic like Wonder Woman showing up in her invisible jet to whisk me to my very on Scrooge McDuck money pit on a tropical island I inherit from a look-alike uncle I didn't know about.
BO & HOPE
Someone needs to get Melissa Reeves and a Days accountant on the horn, pronto! Hope needs a friend like Jennifer back in Salem to slap some sense into her. Admittedly, Hope does make a few valid points, yet those don't really compare to the ones Bo, or logical thinking, make.
For example, is it really in Ciara's best interest to take her away from her home and her dad? I'm thinking no, but Dr. Hancock says yes. Hmm, I wonder if he/she got their degree from the same place as Dr. Charlotte Taylor. It seems like it. Yet Hancock is a doctor, and I'm sure he/she and Hope are right - creating a stable home-life for Ciara is important, and taking her away from home, which will cause her to have an unstable relationship with Bo, is probably the best course of action. Good thinking, folks.
Sadly, I don't think the writers needed to reuse the old Patrick Lockhart shtick to create interesting drama for Bo and Hope. Their current approach is simply coming across as lazy writing for a storyline that did/does have a lot of potential. Why muck it up with Bo being irrationally jealous of Justin right off the bat? The two of them have never had problems before, yet they've been clashing since Justin returned. And by having Hope abruptly move out again is jarring and making most of us think, "Here we go again!"
At the current rate, this storyline is going to be a maddening slap in the face to "Bope" lovers. That's the worst-case scenario. The best-case one - they change their approach and we get an interesting storyline out of it. Feel free to check out my blog to read about a direction I wouldn't mind seeing this storyline go in. And, to end on a positive note, I'm glad the writers have placed Ciara in therapy. It's not only good follow-up to the storyline, but the gal is going to need it I fear. Hang in there, Ciara, we're pulling for you!
HOT & NOT
Hot: Kate and Theo's scenes were great! I think we've all wanted to throw a bucket of water on wicked witch Kate at some point, and, well, he used champagne, but Theo got to be our spokesperson. More so, the tender part of their scene was simply a smart idea on the part of the writers. They managed to humanize over-the-top, crazy mustache-twirling super-villain Kate. While it will take a long, long time for most of us to muster up an ounce of sympathy for her (if we ever do), scenes like that will certainly help us remember she's at least
Not: Since the restraining order I took out on Dr. Dan last week is still valid, I won't harp on him for (too) long. But I will say, if I didn't like his character before, I loathe him after last week. In fact, I'm still flabbergasted that he acts like he (and Chloe) hasn't done anything wrong, and shocked by the fact he actually admitted to being "frustrated" because Chloe feels guilty. What planet is the guy living on!?
Line of the Week:
Will to his friends after a drunken Lucas passed out in front of them, "Ah, I don't know if you guys have met. Tad, Chad, this is my dad."
Exchange of the Week:
On Stefano and Kate's wedding...
Abe: "Why in God's name would he marry Kate? Why in God's name would she marry him? All that evil in one place."
Maggie: "Oh, I think they're going to honeymoon in North Korea."
Albeit red, did Kate's wedding dress, as well as all the necklaces, remind anyone else of the outfit Madonna performed in at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards?
I think now that Aiden Turner has been released from All My Children, Days should nab him! The last time a handsome, talented Brit showed up in Salem, it seemed that things worked out fairly well.
Does anyone else think Erik Fellows (Troy) would have been an interesting Shawn Douglas recast?
How the heck can the Salem P.D. be thorough enough to get Mel's juvenile arrest records from France - charges that were dropped, no doubt - but they couldn't find Dr. Dan who was at the busiest intersection of the park and walked from there to the hospital and ended up outside Chloe's room!? If I ever want to commit a crime, I'm going to Salem.
So, friends and Days fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of September 28th! Laurisa will be back Monday to Scoop on all the devilish deeds of Stefano, Kate, and the rest of their demonic brood. She might also be able to tell us what happened to Stephanie, and "That's a fact!"
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