Sweet child o' mine

by Tony
For the Week of October 24, 2011
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DAYS Two Scoops: Sweet child o' mine
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The week of October 24, 2011
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If they weren't back before, they're surely back now. John and Mar Mar made love, complete with pre-coital strawberries and cream. In another nod to the past, Marlena slapped Stefano!

We're still a week away from Halloween, but last week the writers presented us with a few tricks. Aside from Maggie's insta-child shocker, the big trick seemed to be that last week sort of reminded me of the week before last, and the week before that. Are the storylines slow burning or has the initial flash-in-the-pan pandemonium phased out?

Since the new writers took charge, there have been noticeable encouraging changes. The dialogue has been fresher. The sets have been flashier. And the returns have been returnier. But I'm starting to sense they're relaying relying a little much on the big bangs and not the big picture.

?Sure, I shouldn't look a gift writer in the mouth. Salem is a different place these days, and I think there's an overall positive vibe to the show, as is to be expected sine since hookers are no longer being beaten, but this Scooper is still a little worried. The storylines have been interesting, with new twists and turns to old standards, but I sense that the wheels are spinning in place a bit. The pacing is off.

Is the cause of my feelings a hangover from all the Salem shindigs earlier in the month? Are we in a pre-sweeps cool-down before things heat up in November? Or am I just a picky cranky-pants who's counting down the days until I can retire and become the mean old man in my neighborhood who yells at kids for playing on his lawn? I don't know. What I do know is that last week DAYS was good, but it wasn't great. So, let's discuss why!

Okay, let me begin with a positive note, because if I didn't, I would barge into the writer's room and tug at the current writers' faces to make sure one of them isn't Higley in disguise, much like a Scooby-Doo bad guy. Here is it -- Maggie loves her family and I love that having another child will make Big Red big-time thrilled. Other than that, can we tawlk about this one for a minute?

Someone pulled a Stefano-esque crime and snagged a few of Maggie's eggs back in the day. These eggs were cracked, and a baby Big Red was hatched. Are you with me so far? Good! Then that means we're all kind of scratching our heads about this one, eh. ?

One of the most puzzling pieces is that I can't imagine that Alice kept this secret. The Alice I knew would have gone to Bo and Hope. She thought "Bope" hung the moon. Therefore, I have a hard time believing Alice would get someone outside of the family to investigate such a delicate matter.

More so, we watched the vigil for Alice unfold. Everyone who walked down the stairs after visiting her kept saying she was either sleeping or groggy and confused. But now I'm to believe she was sending emails and downloading Coldplay the day before she passed? A big rolling "right" sounds good about now.

Maybe I'm nitpicking, but I love the character of Alice Horton. I know what she was supposedly doing was a good thing, but I just want Alice to rest in peace. I don't want to hear her name brought up unless someone's sharing a grand old Gran memory. Otherwise, it's a little wince-worthy, like watching someone tightrope walk without a net.

I'm also nervous that Victor is going to play some nefarious part in Egg-Gate. He wasn't the nicest of mobsters back in the day. And I suspect this shady egg dealing will have something do with him, especially after that cryptic call he made.

In the end, I just don't want another Gemini Twin fiasco. Remember when Roman and Kate were a couple for a few minutes, and so the writers du jour made Rex and Cassie their twins to appease their fan base? I love Magic, but I don't want this to happen to them. They're cool. They're great. They're wonderful just the way they are.

Now that Maggie's grown child is out there, we're left to wonder just who is this lucky gal or guy? Of the current on-screen characters, only three in the semi-correct age range don't have established parents in Salem or a Salem graveyard. True, there's always room for an off-screen wild card, but let's take a look at the potential on-screen offsprings.

First, there's new girl Madison. She certainly has Maggie's feistiness, but she hasn't orbited Planet Maggie yet. This would be an interesting twist, but a little out of left field. Plus, Madison already has connections in Salem, and one more would just seem like overkill.

Next, there's Rafe. We've never met Mama Hernandez. Granted, it doesn't seem like she had fertility problems since the Hernandi Hoard seem to multiply like a Mogwai that eats after midnight. I also don't see the grand purpose of Rafe becoming Maggie's son.

That leaves Dr. Dan. His parents are dead. He's smack dab in the middle of Victor's life. And there's the strong bond between Maggie and Melanie. This leads me to suspect he might just be the one who's about to get Maggie as a mama. I'd be happy for Maggie and Melanie, but I like their relationship now, as it proves that water can sometimes be just as thick as blood.

Ultimately, I'm not sure why Maggie needs another child. She already has two we never see. And I'd hate to see any of the above above-mentioned potential spawns move to Nashville only to be mentioned on occasion. Wait! I'd hate to see two of the above above-mentioned potential spawns move to Nashville. If it's Rafe, I'll help him pack. I kid, I kid! Sort of.

Remember how fun the Sami/Austin/Carrie/Lucas love-quad was!? Oh, wait. It wasn't. And that's my warning to the writers if that's where we're headed with this gang. Tread lightly, dear, writers. Tread lightly. And now I'll move on.

Rafe punched Austin because Rafe got fired for sharing intel he shouldn't have been sharing. That sounds about right. I recently sucker sucker-punched a friend because I messed up at my job. What Rafe did was totally rational. Well, totally rational for a douchebag.

I admire him trying to help John, but Rafe is actually doing the opposite. On the inside, Detective Austin-Puncher could have kept an eye on things. He could have potentially scooped- out who might be framing John. But in the end, I am sure Rafe will crack the entire case. It's his lot in life to be perfect.

If they weren't back before, they're surely back now. John and Mar Mar made love, complete with pre-coital strawberries and cream. It was definitely a nod to the past and I'll leave it at that.

In another nod to the past, Marlena slapped Stefano! I loved their scenes. Marlena is always more interesting when she's tough and going head-to-head with the Phoenix. And I always enjoy Stefano calling Marlena his Queen of the Night. It's creepy, it's uncomfortable, and Joseph and Dee are amazing together. More, please!

The rest of the week pretty much involved John and Marlena talking about his case. He's pensive, but strong. She's worried, but stoic. And his friends love and support him. That's all fine and dandy, but it's odd to see a "John Black storyline" without a little action and adventure. He's an international man of mystery, after all. Confining him to his living room seems a bit lackluster.

If you didn't see this love triangle brewing, please return your Soap Fan Card to the front desk. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just head straight for Soap Boot Camp and read the manual again, because this is classic Soap 101.

Here's my bet on how this will play out. Jennifer will eventually pick Jack. After all, it makes the most sense for her to go back to the guy who's repeatedly hurt her in the same manner for the better part of twenty years. Then, I'm sure Jack will remain "changed" long enough for Jennifer to feel confident in their love again. And then Jack will get a hangnail.

This hangnail will throw him in a tizzy and cause him to fake his death because, you know, Jennifer would be better off living without a man with a hangnail. He will leave long enough for Jennifer to reconcile with Dr. Dan and accept his proposal. Jack, of course, will be cured of his hangnail and show up at the wedding. It's a shame Chloe isn't around anymore. She and Jack could definitely have a heart-to-heart about stupid reasons to fake your own death. Sorry, I get a little cranky with rinse and repeat, so I'll be nice now.

I do believe Jennifer is legitimately torn between Jack and Dr. Dan, and that's refreshing. I get that because I've watched Jennifer since she came to Salem as a teenager. I know she has a big heart and is loyal to the people she loves. She is also a forgiving soul, and has proven that over and over.

On the other hand, it's hard to have compassion for someone who keeps making the same mistakes. That's just as true for Jack as it is for Jennifer. He makes the mistakes, begs for forgiveness, and she forgives him. Like strawberries and cream are John and Marlena's thing, that's just Jack and Jennifer's thing.

I'm glad Jennifer realizes that Abigail is an adult and needs to make her own choices. I'm also glad that Jennifer realized she has her own needs and wants out of life. Self Self-awareness is a great thing. Is she making a mistake? Well, see my rant above, but I digress.

I still don't blame Abigail for being furious at Jack. He didn't forget to pick her up from an orthodontist appointment. He left for the Middle East, consequences be damned. Sure, she'll need to cool her jets sooner or later, but in the mean time I'm okay with the way things are, and that includes her anger over the way Jack treated Chad.

The biological son of Duke Earl Johnson and the adoptive son of Harper "Riverfront Knifer" Deveraux shouldn't really cast stones. And considering Abigail is in her early twenties, she really shouldn't have to stand around and watch Chad dodge said stones. Ah, well. At least now Abigail has a real reason to bring up their families in every conversation now.

I'm not sure how I feel about Melanie potentially entering another love triangle. Actually, I am sure how I feel. It's redundant. And given that Abigail is Stephanie's cousin and already shares some of Steph's less less-than than-desirable traits, I'm a little concerned my newfound fondness of Abigail will be destroyed by a wicked insecure streak and a lot of whining. But I do like what this storyline is doing for Melanie. It's getting her back into an age group that makes more sense given the maturity of her character. I also think Chad has enough oddball energy to compete with Melanie's spastic exuberance.

Do these three really need their own section? Probably not given that this sentence has lasted longer than their actual scenes. Now, I'm all for a slow burn, and not all storylines are created equal, but a little balance would be nice.

More so, I forget things. When the Teen Scene College Crew comes on now, it takes me a few minutes to figure out what the heck they were up to when last we saw them. Granted, Will and Gabi tend to be as exciting as cold, lumpy oatmeal, but that doesn't mean I don't want the option to pick on them more than once every few weeks.

E.J. and Nicole are still not into each other. I repeat, "Not into each other." So that pretty much means they'll be all kissy-kissy with each other soon enough. Great!

Take that, Mar Mar! I was glad that Stefano defended his love for Kate. Whoops! I meant Katherine. That is one relationship Higley got right, and doesn't need a do-over. Granted, I'm sure his hate for John isn't as dead as he says it is, but, hey, he's the Phoenix, everything resurfaces sooner or later.

Extra Scoops

Although I'm still warming into most of the current storylines, I think the entire cast deserves some cyber cheers! Everyone has been shinning shining lately. The cast seems refocused and like their they're having fun again. The amazing vets who've been on the show the past several years constantly remind me why we've stuck with them for better and worse. The vets who've returned reminded me why I've missed them. And I'm also proud of the younger actors, especially Kate Mansi who is really growing as an actress and hitting it out of the park lately. Yep, I'm proud to wear my "I Heart DAYS" pin.

Please tell Austin there's a Motel 6 in Brookville, and let's avoid this ugly scenario. If not, perhaps he could stay with his mom...in her mansion. Or what about his good friend, Jennifer? She has a huge house! Doesn't Roman -- you know, Carrie's dad -- live in a house, too. And I'm pretty sure he lives alone. Gee, there has to be somewhere Austin can go other than Sami and Rafe's ever-expanding apartment.

Sami (to Austin after he began to explain legal matters to her): "Yes. I watch Law & Order. I get it."

Jack: "...these cookies are part of our date."
Jennifer: "Are you going to dive into them like you did the cake at Horton Square?"

Hmm, Bo mentioned J.T.! Could their once-believed- son be making a return to Salem? I repeat, "Hmm!"

Maybe kooky Owen Kent is the expert computer hacker who helped Stefano frame John. That is, if John is being framed.

Caroline's a trooper! She's injured, but I'm sure she'll still be asked to babysit.

I like Carrie Brady these days. Yes, miracles can happen, folks.

Maggie gets some props! Girlfriend has decades decades-old files on- hand. It makes my desktop up-right with current bills and old drafts of Scoops seem pretty meek.

Does anyone else feel that John and Marlena's living room is smaller than it was before? Maybe it's just all the acting heavyweights on the screen at the same time, but it looks a little tighter in there.

Doesn't Don't John and Mar Mar live on an upper/penthouse floor? If so, then the Salem Titans, the towns' minor league baseball team, better find the guy who threw the brick into their window and recruit him!

Bo and John hugged. Too cute!

Was John working out last Friday, or was he just preparing for an extreme Marco Polo game?

So, friends and DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of October 24th. Laurisa will be back next week to reveal the identity of Maggie's mystery child as well as serve up a ghoulish look at Halloween in Salem! Our annual Halloween blog will also be live next week, so be sure to check out which costumes we picked out for our favorite Salemites this year. 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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