We got an interesting lesson in soap justice this week. We (okay, mainly me) have been narrow-minded in thinking that the only way for someone to pay is for them to go to jail. But, should anyone ever truly pay for something by rotting in jail, the very essence of soaps would be compromised.
Soaps are ongoing serials where the same players must continue to their stories. They aren't dramas where kids graduate and new ones come along. They aren't reality shows where people are voted off each week. So there must be some other means for getting one's due comeuppance. Sometimes it's by losing your children. Sometimes it's by watching your scheme blow up in your face. Sometimes it's by losing your fiancé. Sometimes it's by losing your life. But whatever it is, we have to look for the alternative kinds of retribution. And we got a boat full of them last week.
BO, HOPE, ARNOLD, SAMI, RAFE, E.J., and STEFANO
The initial plan was very smart. Get Arnold to believe that Gloria Delgado-Pritchett's daytime double would put him under the protection of her Colombian mafia family. It worked like a charm. Arnold signed the deal and was all set to give his statement.
That is, until the Salem Police Department dropped the ball and put other prisoners in the same cell with the man that looks exactly like a cop. The police officers should have recognized that danger since, deducing from the uniform and badge, they were cops too. This extremely rare blunder by the usually oh-so competent Salem PD cost Arnold his life. Too bad they went through the trouble of grounding Stefano's plane for nothing.
The good news is that this storyline is over. In the end, Sami got full custody of her kids, Rafe is back safe and sound, and E.J. is left with nothing except his own disgrace and self-hate. Since we're moving forward to the next round of writers, allow me to express one major flaw with this whole Double Rafe storyline in attempts to avoid it happening again.
It seems that the writers intended to set this up as a Brady vs. DiMera storyline, and thus expect me to cheer when the Bradys emerged victorious. I'm happy to concede that the cumulative Bradys are definitely the good guys compared to the cumulative DiMeras. But this storyline is really about Sami vs. E.J. And in that battle, they're equally bad -- or good -- depending on how you like your martinis.
Watching Sami smile, jump into Rafe's arms, and proclaim that E.J. is finally going to get what's coming to him left me wondering what alternate reality Sami and Rafe actually live in. Same has no right to play the "you hurt the children" card on E.J. when she's done the same level of jerky things to him.
If the goal was to have E.J. continue to victimize the Bradys the way his father had before, then E.J. should have fallen in love with Carrie or Stephanie. Sami doesn't and never will possess enough purity to be considered a true victim. Truth be told, that's my favorite thing about her.
For his part, E.J. is not evil for the sake of being evil like Stefano or Andre. We've seen him show remorse numerous times before. Whether it was telling Marlena that John was locked in the basement or signing custody over to Sami, E.J. goes through these periods when he flirts with the good side. And that's what keeps his character interesting.
Bottom line, Sami vs. E.J. isn't your traditional Brady vs. DiMera and should not be treated as such.
CARLY, JENNIFER, and DANIEL
Ahh, the never-ending debate: Should bros really come before hoes? (Please note, in this analogy, Daniel is the hoe. It's a stretch, I realize, but just do your best.)
If the situation is...say...I don't know...your sister's husband tells you that he's not into your sister anymore but you know that your sister is still madly in love with him, then yes. You back off because "bros" come first. It is wrong to start sleeping with him and accepting his diamond rings.
However, if you realize that your "bro" has interest in your "hoe" after you've already started seriously dating, then no. You're under no obligation to break up with your real boyfriend because your friend wants to imagine a future with him -- especially when he hasn't been interested in her in decades. (Thanks to Adrienne for pointing that one out!)
As for Daniel, I don't think he's ever given Carly mixed signals. Yes, I know he asked her out to dinner and told her how wonderful she is, but he's been doing that since the second she showed up at Salem U Hospital and he testified on her behalf to get her the job. I have yet to see a change in Daniel's behavior towards Carly that would lead her to believe that his feelings for her have evolved past friendship.
I'm hoping that it's only a matter of minutes until Daniel figures out that Jennifer's cryptic "Carly is not as strong as you think she is" and the little bag of painkillers that she had him test go hand-in-hand. As much as I adore watching Crystal Chappell work, Carly is becoming a caricature junkie. Real addiction doesn't just kick in when Daniel and Jen make out. Crystal could play the living daylights out of a storyline where Carly wrestles with addiction, but that's not what she was given. As Vivian from Pretty Woman would say, "Big mistake! Huge!"
BRADY, DARIO, and MELANIE
Dario is starting to do a lot right. Sure, he bought Melanie concert tickets, but the real win was when he negotiated Mel's time off! Any guy who has the nerve to go ask Maxine for a favor -- and the charm to actually get it -- receives a gold star from me.
What doesn't get a gold star is Brady's bogus interest in Melanie. I love them both, but they're clearly being thrown together because the writers looked around the room and said, "Hey, these guys are left. Let's make them date. What can go wrong?" Plenty. It's like when I try to make a meal out of pantry leftovers. Let me save the writers some time: the ramen, ketchup, and dry vermouth soup does not turn out well.
I hope Brady's job offer backfires. It could. Dario was the one who came to town and single-handedly found a way to solve Arianna's murder. Something tells me that he may be able to handle the hardest manager Titan has to offer.
By the way, I remember Taylor and Brady having a conversation a few months ago about having to make budget cuts at Titan. I'm pretty sure the manager who approves more overtime than any other manger would be the first to go in those situations. Perhaps someone should look into this "bookkeeping" degree that Taylor supposedly has. What's that? No one thinks about Taylor enough to care? Okay. Moving on...
CHLOE and QUINN
Really? Chloe asked Quinn for the money? Not Nicole, Brady, or Maggie? Really? Perhaps Chloe knows something that the rest of us don't. Perhaps Chloe knows why Quinn flips back and forth between the guy who pimps out women and runs a drug ring to the guy who tells Kate to back off and actually (and believably!) threatens her if she keeps going after Chloe. Perhaps Chloe is a genius after all!
Be it her general cerebral dominance or her blissful ignorance, Chloe was happy this week. And I liked seeing that. I loved Chloe's scenes with Kinsey because it reminded me of how young Chloe was when she first came to Salem. Seeing Chloe mentor one of the younger generation and hearing Kinsey go on and on about how beautiful Chloe is made me realize that Ghoul Girl really has come full circle.
There's a terrible "go out with a bang" pun that I refuse to make here. But, wouldn't it be great to see Chloe leave as a strong woman? I don't want to see Randy blab to the social worker. I don't want to see Chloe turn another trick. I have hopes that Philip will show up at Chloe's show, realize that she's gotten herself together, and agree to let Chloe share custody of Parker. The ditzy, but never malicious, Chloemeister should leave with a fighting chance at happiness.
Sonny asked T to go to a baseball game with him. T happily accepted and then promptly flipped out about it once he learned that Sonny is gay. Consequentially, Kinsey had to run out and buy all new notebooks since her current ones are covered in "Mrs. Sonny Kiriakis" doodles. Although, I will admit still possessing notebooks that proclaim me to be "Mrs. Doogie Howser," as I refuse to let go of that dream.
Anyway, I knew that at least one character would have the unenviable job of declaring, "Ew! You've got the gay kooties!" There's no way a main character would be saddled with such a harsh task. But I'm disappointed that the job fell to T. I really hope that T gets schooled quickly so that his ignorance doesn't cause him too much damage. He's usually a fun-loving goofball, and I think it would be a shame to ruin his character.
I'm starting a Save Casey Deidrick campaign as of right now. Chad's scenes with ex-dad/current asshat, D.A. Woods, were amazingly powerful. Why again are we wasting Chad on Abigail? The two have painstakingly done circles around the same issue for months, and I'm over it. I'd like to see Chad in another story. Any other story. With any other character. Since he's starting fresh with a new family, why not start fresh with a new girl who can at least match his level of intensity?
Vivian offered Quinn a job with a legitimate business. Does she have any of those?
E.J. remembered seeing Melanie's face the night he was beaten. I wonder if he'll realize that she took care of him and give her back the fuels project as a thank-you.
Rafe told both Dario and Gabi the truth about the double. But, we didn't get to see those scenes. I think those could have been good material and been a nice ending to the story. But, I guess there needed to be more time for all those Victor and Maggie scenes we got instead. Wait a minute. We didn't get those either!
Nicole told Brady that she misses how happy she was when she was with him. Keep after it, sister. Don't believe that any redhead stands in your way.
Kate was thrilled that Stefano wasn't going to jail. I know he literally got away with murder, but the fact that I still get plenty of Kate and Stefano scenes makes it easier for me to handle. Although, Kate making a few cellblock visits would have been a hoot.
As I watched E.J. roll on the floor in tremendous pain, two things hit me. One, James Scott and Arianne Zucker are absolutely amazing together. I got physically uncomfortable watching James (yes, that is a compliment), which made it all the more amazing how calm and cool Arianne stayed. She managed to keep Nicole perfectly straddled between disgust and relief.
Two, I finally understood what crime E.J. committed against Nicole. The answer is quite simple: he never truly loved her back and exploited her love for him. In the history of storytelling, that's the worst kind of pain that a man can inflict. Just look what it did to Medea.
Let's review the facts: A gorgeous woman, whom Sami has never heard of, shows up, kisses Rafe and Dario, calls Rafe "baby," reminisces about the times she told him that he'd make a good husband, and Rafe does nothing but speak in fragments and pour wine for everyone. When Sami finally does learn why Sophia is in her house, it becomes clear that Rafe opted to leave Sami out of the loop on the plan to get Arnold to confess.
I realize that Rafe has a pattern of keeping things from Sami. He didn't tell her that he had a sister, or a dead fiancée. Neither she nor I should really be surprised that he kept Sophia and their plan a secret too. But I'm tired of Sami being treated like she's not an equal in this relationship. This couple desperately needs to be more balanced.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Phelps (about Vivian): "What's the deal here with the diva of darkness?" I'm actually surprised that Vivian didn't take that as a compliment.
Johnny's matching slippers and dinosaur pajamas were amazing. I'm not sure why we ever grow out of that stage of life.
Thanks to Carly, I was proud to wear a headband with my bun this week.
Kate's green nail polish was full of Turtle Power.
I want to have movie and ice cream night with Maggie and Jennifer!
I did search for any minor league team called the Titans, but I came up with nada. Thus the mystery of what state Salem is in
(it's Illinois) still remains unsolved.
Hey Dario, Tony and I will take those Green Day tickets off your hands! We'll have the time of our life!
Hearing Rafe repeat, "E.J. is giving custody to Sami and me" made me scratch my head because in the scene that I saw, E.J. told Sami that he was giving custody to her.
I had to laugh at the montage of all of the possible suspects who could have filled the women's shoes in E.J.'s memory. He certainly makes a habit of ticking off the ladies.
When Abe told Lexie that he thought E.J. and Stefano were going to jail, I had a brief vision of a DiMera family dinner at Lexie's house with Chad, Sonja, and Steven.
Whew! Don't look now, DAYS fans, but we're one week closer to the new writers taking over Salem! Until then, some things to consider: Is there any chance that Quinn owns the club in Brooksville and told his manager to hire Chloe no matter what? Are police badges really made of silver? Do Bo and Hope really think that "Frankenrafe" is a better option that "Rafenstein"? Who do you think should be the new bartender at the Cheatin' Heart? Are you excited about the latest powerhouse actress coming to DAYS? Did you see the amazing Alison Sweeney on the cover of Self?
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.