Back in business

by Tony
For the Week of October 10, 2011
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DAYS Two Scoops: Back in business
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Madison went to elementary school with Sami in Colorado. Does she know Eric, too? Is there a scandalous history there? Can someone please lure Jensen Ackles back to Salem?

Sorry, folks, but the party is officially over. The Horton Town Square has been christened with the proper amount of drama, and now we're back to business as usual. Well, perhaps unusual business, as it pertains to Salem.

In an interesting mix, last week DAYS was like Dallas meets Law & Order with all its corporate intrigue and legal drama. I guess you could also add a little The Jerry Springer Show to the blend, thanks to that dysfunctional Deveraux family. And we could also toss in some The New Girl as we welcomed Madison James to Salem. Let's discuss all that, plus Big Red's big answer to Victor's proposal!

Before I get into what I thought about new gal Madison "Maddy MacIntyre" James, let's channel our inner Joe Friday and stick to "just the facts." We know Madison went to elementary school with Sami in Colorado. Does she know Eric, too!? Is there a scandalous history there? Can someone please lure Jensen Ackles back to Salem!? Pretty please! Hmm, Jensen Ackles. What was I saying? Right! The facts.

Madison owns Mad World Cosmetics, which is a huge, worldwide company. She just struck a juicy deal with Titan. Victor respects her, which is a good sign she's cool. She's a hard-working, self-made woman with a sense of girl power that would make the Spice Girls proud.

A true romantic, Madison thinks a man giving her a single long-stem rose is a very romantic gesture (hint, hint, Brady Black). She drives a Bentley. She's suspicious by nature, but not stupid or naïve. She's met Kate before, and isn't afraid of all. She speaks Japanese. And I'm pretty sure if she twirls around fast enough she'll become Wonder Woman.

But now that we've check-listed Madison, I have to admit I'm still in negotiations as to what I think about her. I love me some strong soap characters. I also enjoy the über fab Sarah Brown. She makes me want to like Madison, much like *moment of silence* my gal Tamara Braun made me want to like Taylor. However, her entrance was a bit contrived, and the writers tried the hard-sell approach, which kind of makes me skeptical.

I'm also not sure how I feel about Sami being her sidekick. For better or worse, Sami usually has the spotlight. It might be a nice change, but it also might take some adjustment time.

Then again, I absolutely loved Madison's scenes with Victor and Brady, and, later, Kate. Talk about hysterical! So, I guess if the writers keep traveling this route and avoid more corniness and clichés, Madison might get an invite to the cool kids table. And, really, as long she's not involved in a baby-swap, whose the daddy, or love triangle storyline for a while, I'm willing to give her a fair chance

I believe in Kate's sinister capabilities. We've seen her at her best doing the worst things possible to her foes. And I have no doubt that Kate can go head-to-head with Victor, Brady, Madison, and Sami, but Ms. Thang needs some sidekicks, too. Even Lex Luthor knew enough to grab his Legion of Doom posse when taking on the Super Friends.

Although I hope that campy Chris keeps making cameos, I believe Kate needs someone formidable in her corner. Someone like Nicole, who has a history with Victor, Brady, and Sami, and who isn't afraid to get her claws out when needed. Besides, I loved Kate and Nicole's morning martini bonding time a few months ago, and I wouldn't mind seeing more of their uncomfortable alliance. Not to mention, a partnership with Kate would get Nicole away from E.J. and keep her on her Independent Woman Road she pledged she was traveling down a few short weeks ago.

Speaking of "Ecole," I'm not sure what to do with these two. And I'm not entirely sure the writers know what to do with them, either, for that matter. I love them individually, but I need a break from the rinse and repeat, and we got a lot of that last week.

There's also the absurdity of E.J. hiring Nicole as his public relations specialist. I'm all for redemption, but that's like Hannibal Lector asking Cruella de Vil to be his character witness as he enjoys a census takers' liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti while she stitches together Dalmatian carcasses to make a new coat. I have strong reservations that her working for him is the best way to have them orbit each others' planets.

In fact, given that the people of Salem want ex-priest John Black dead, I'm not sure if they would be forgiving enough to elect a "former" black-gloved, mob boss/drug kingpin who hired an imposter to terrorize his ex-wife just because his ex-porn star, baby-stealing soon-to-be ex-wife says to vote for him. Did I mention the part where he slept with his said soon-to-be ex-wife's sister a few months ago? It's a bit too soon for Ecole, Part 3, because of those icky Higley tastes that are still lingering on my palate.

However, I'll give E.J. props for filing a class action lawsuit against John to get Salemites on his side. That was a shrewd move. Although he better start kissing babies and elderly women, like, yesterday, because he still has a bit of shady streak to outrun and, as mentioned, I'm not sure Nicole is the best candidate to be his jogging buddy.

I love spunky Lexie! Renée Jones shines when she gets to be all feisty. However, I felt horrible for Lexie when she confessed how deeply E.J. had hurt her. With all the other hoopla going on, it didn't register with me at first, but, yep, he really screwed her over.

And Lexie's right. She's always been the one who stood by E.J. with both tough love and a supportive shoulder. But as discouraging as it is for fans who love Lexie and E.J.'s special sibling bond, I like what it's doing for Lexie. Renée gets to flex her acting chops, and Lexie and Abe fans finally get to see her fight for her man. I consider that a bittersweet win/win.

In a totally un-shocking twist, Jack had a wild explanation as to where he's been for the last year. He was taken hostage while investigating an opium ring in Afghanistan. Well, at least he didn't fake his death for the second time. Wait! Fake his death for the third time? Fourth!? I lost track, and interest, in that rinse and repeat storyline a while ago. And that's exactly why I was worried about Jack's return, despite my fondness of Matthew Ashford.

Conversely, if you ask me what I did last Wednesday I will have to admit I went ice-skating in hell. It seems that the devil's domain froze over because I actually agreed with Abigail. Her assessment of Jack's selfish actions was spot-on. She verbally mowed her daddy down like a machine-gunner by firing one valid point after another.

I don't blame Abigail at all. She had every right to be hurt and royally pissed. And whereas I appreciate that Jennifer was trying to curb her feelings in an attempt to build bridges for Abigail and Jack, I find it bogus that Jennifer's not willing to look at the larger picture like Abigail is.

No doubt what Jack went through was tragic, but Jack himself put those wheels in motion. Afghanistan isn't exactly Disney World. Anyone with half a clue knows going to a terrorist-laden, war-torn country -- especially to track down drug dealers -- has potential high-risk consequences. From the beginning, Jack made the choice to abandon his family just to get a story. That's a bit, you know, selfish. If only Jennifer was a fellow reporter who might have understood his desire to investigate. Oh, wait a second...she is!

So, whereas I can have sympathy for Jack's plight, I really don't have that much sympathy for Jack just yet. He's going to have to work just as hard to win me as he'll have to work to get his family back. Plus, he owes me an apology, as I feel a bit icky inside that I had to agree with Abigail. Not cool, Jack. Not cool at all.

You can't argue that someone stealing a gal away from Dr. Dan would be a bit of karmic justice. I'm pretty sure Lucas even has a greeting card on standby that reads, "In your face, man whore!" I've been hard on Dr. Dan myself, but this time around, I'm on his side. More so, I'm on Jennifer's side. He treats her like a princess while Jack treats her like an afterthought. Until Jack shapes up, I think I'm remaining on "Team Dannifer."

On a happier note -- she said yes! Maggie said yes to Victor's proposal. Whereas that's not a huge shocker, this Magic fan is happy that these two are taking the next step, especially since giggly Mel will be at Big Red's side as maid of honor. I just hope that Magic has better luck at getting an on-screen wedding than Justin and Adrienne did. And, yes, I'm still miffed about that.

Bo Daddy and Fancy Face met with Alice's financial planner, who I'm pretty sure is the love child of Richard Dreyfuss and Santa Claus. He told them that the account did belong to Alice, but that's it. He clammed up and told them to lawyer-up if they want to know more.

Truth be told, I'm a little nervous about Alice's secret. Mrs. H was the epitome of open and honest. I'm pretty sure there's an embroidered pillow somewhere in the Horton house that actually reads, "Open and Honest." So, I'm forewarning the writers to play this safe and respect Alice's place in the hearts of DAYS fans. Soiling her image will certainly cause this Scooper to form a new movement called Occupy Salem and storm the writers' room with picket signs.

I was skeptical about this storyline at first, but I think I like where it's going. It's different, and that's good. I like the levels of mystery. I like the large number of cast members it's encompassing, with promises of more Salemites getting involved. I like that it's not a standard "John and Marlena kissy-face storyline." And I like that Mar Mar gets to be the strong one as brazen Doc always sits better with me than a whimpering one in a pink jumpsuit.

I'll admit it. Having Patrick Muldoon back is making me like Austin again. Please note, I said "like" not "love." With all due respect to Austin Peck, his version of Austin made me want to drink Clorox. Patrick adds a little oomph to a somewhat dry role. I think that's about as good as we're going to get with the character of Austin. If this were poker, I'd hold my cards and hope for the best.

With that said, I also like where Austin and Carrie are now. When last in Salem, they were constantly torn apart. What's more, we never actually got to see them as a legitimate, happy couple because once they got together, they left.

Granted, I give them credit for removing themselves from a bad situation in order to finally enjoy their relationship. They've spent the past several years working towards their individual goals as well as spending quality time together. They needed that. Now, sure, I have my doubts that closeness will last, but I'm willing to give them my attention since they've finally surpassed "Go to the dentist" on my list of least favorite things.

Hmm, Rafe and Austin. Now there's an interesting twosome. I like that they can bond over being married to Brady gals, but I was a bit taken back that Austin was so casual about his past with Sami. Sure, he knows her to be driven, but I kept waiting for him to say, "Well, there was that one time she drugged me and tried to pass off my brother's baby as mine, and..."

Riddle me this! I thought Gabi hated sports. Hence she wouldn't go to a baseball game with Will. Hence he ended up going with Sonny. Ergo, why is she all jazzed about working for a sports-themed website now? Oh, yeah, because of the hot guys.

Extra Scoops

Sami landed a job! No, really, Sami got a job. Seriously, guys, Sami is a working woman, I swear. Score one for the new writers. I like this. I like this a lot. I'm not sure I'm going to like Sami as Madison's sidekick, but I'll put that thought on the backburner while I relish in the sheer excitement that Sami finally has something to do with her days after she drops the kids off at Caroline's and before she dry humps Rafe in public.

In related hotness, Carrie also has a new job as John's new attorney and kicked some major butt within ten minutes. You go, girl! Sure, we could see it coming, but Carrie impressed me, and Carrie usually doesn't. I'll consider that a small victory and move on.

Jack's return is doing nothing for Jennifer so far. There's that old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Jen should be really shamed as this is like the tenth time Jack has fooled her. Wake up, Jen! You'd be better off alone with ten cats and a freezer full of Häagen-Dazs.

Kate (to Austin after John's arrest and his fight with Carrie): "So, other than that, how was the theater, Mrs. Lincoln?"

Nearly three weeks without a Maxine fix. Ba-da-ba-ba-ba, I'm not lovin' it.

Hearing "Basic Black" again makes me giggle.

I bet Kenny Loggins is happy that Jack finally gave him his beard back.

Seeing John roughed up was a bit harsh.

I'm sure Rafe's position as liaison between the Salem P.D. and the FBI won't go to his head.

Wait! Did Rafe ask Sami's permission before he accepted the liaison job? Sorry, I get confused on that "do as I say, not as I do" stuff.

Props to the new writers for remembering Sami's time in Colorado as a kid!

Additional props for pointing out that Maggie will be Dr. Dan's step-godmother.

In shocking news, Caroline was babysitting last week.

So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of October 10th. I'm off to make "Team Madison" and "Team Kate" shirts to sell at Horton Town Square. I'll be setting up shop in the vacant storefront between Mad World Cosmetics and Countess Wilhelmina. Be sure to ask the goofy guy on the bike for coupons. In the meantime, Laurisa will be back next week in her Dynasty-era shoulder-padded power suit, ready for the next round of court cases and corporate battles. And, "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!

Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness

Tony S
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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