Here we are now, entertain us

For the Week of January 9, 2012
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Here we are now, entertain us
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It's time to ring in the new year, and that means starting new jobs, new relationships, and finding new ways to make your mom pay for sleeping with her ex. Gotta love traditions!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that you all had happy holidays and got to spend some fabulous days in Salem! I want to express my extreme happiness right off the bat that there were multiple New Year's Eve celebrations in Salem. From the fun game night at Sami and Rafe's to the dance party in Horton Square, to the wonderful Doug and Julie serenade, I adored every stinkin' minute of it!

It showed me that the writers are finally in control of this show. I know that their storylines started back in October, but it took a few months to get into the swing of things. Finally we're at a point where we can see what's working (most of it) and what isn't (thankfully, just a few things!) Let's dig in!

The Reed-Hernandez Law Firm officially opened for business this week. In walked Mrs. Tillie Inman with the Case of the Missing Cat Caper. Usually, I'm not a fan of these corny storylines, but Carrie and Rafe are two characters who don't always get a chance to try their hand at a little humor, so I'm more than happy to see them given a chance. Besides, some (okay, I) could argue that they're both due for a dash of humility, and crawling around Salem looking for a missing pet kitty was a nice change of pace for the both of them.

The blink-and-you-missed-it line was from Austin when he was helping Carrie move into her office. We learned that they didn't spend a lot of time together when Carrie was working towards becoming a partner. Austin's worried that it may happen again. Hmmm... foreshadowing or just a passing comment?

Abigail found out about the not-so-platonic feelings between Chad and Melanie when Abigal walked in on her ex holding Mel's face. That's usually a big hint. But, Abigail impressed me by giving them a piece of her mind and then walking away. Years ago and under old writers, we probably would have been in for a tiresome plot where Abigail vows to make the two of them pay. But, that's not what we got.

Instead, Abigail ran into Austin, who pointed out that if it wasn't Melanie, Abigail probably wouldn't be so hurt. He's right. And, he would have saved himself a lot of trouble if he had stopped there. But instead, he took her hand, looked deep into her eyes, and told her that she'll find someone new, wonderful, and sitting right across the table from her. Okay, he didn't say that last part out loud, but that's definitely what Abigail heard. Oh Austin, you need to be careful where you unleash that charm!

Out of respect for Abigail, Melanie insisted that she and Chad just be friends. I agree that taking up with Chad right away would be a tad insensitive, but I don't see Chad and Melanie staying just friends for very long, especially since both Gabi and Quinn expressed interest in Chad and Mel, respectively. Melanie and Chad may have a better reason to get together than stay apart.

Plus, I'm ready for the writers to finally follow through on a realistic relationship for Melanie. If Melanie were to hook up with Quinn, it will be the Philip/Nathan situation all over again, where Melanie is paired with the dangerous guy who is too old for her, rather than the nice guy who actually makes sense.

The tests came back and showed that Daniel has something called intention tremors, probably caused by a small stroke he suffered in his sleep. The tremors are incurable, that is, until Daniel whips up another miracle. (Just a hunch) Right now, that means that Daniel can't be a surgeon. He has to settle for being a regular old doctor. Welcome to mediocrity, Super Dan. Have a vanilla wafer and some tap water.

Anyway, distraught with the news, Daniel stormed out of the hospital and bumped right into Jennifer. At that moment, I could hear the collective string of expletives from Jack fans across the world. I can see the argument now, "If she's going to help Daniel through this, why wasn't she willing to help Jack through his PTSD?!?!"

They have a valid point. Jennifer and Jack have years of history between them, and she still loves him. But the fact still remains that loving someone and trusting them enough to have a relationship with that person again are two totally different things. Jennifer doesn't have the latter yet. That has nothing to do with Daniel.

However, I think we can all agree that this triangle needs to go away. Either put Jennifer with Daniel and let Jack move on, or put the Deveraux family on a plane to Hawaii so Jack can fall into a volcano or something and win Jen's heart back. I like all three characters in this storyline (yes, I'm one of the weird ones who actually likes both Jack and Daniel), but I want them to move on.

Bo and Hope's only scene this week was one where they followed through on their New Year's resolution and went to see Marlena about the lingering issues surrounding Zach's death. As they talked out their past, it didn't seem like anything has changed that much. Bo was again made out to be the guilty party in numerous situations that did not warrant it, including Zach's death, Ciara's kidnapping, Hope leaving. But at least these writers were consistent. And in the end, Bo and Hope both apologized to each other and vowed to move forward.

This has been long overdue, and frankly, I'm most excited about seeing them deal with the past so that Zach's death stops being the go-to excuse for any and every fight between Bo and Hope. I want Tiny Man to rest in peace. Whatever Marlena is charging for her sessions, she needs to triple it.

Can I jump on the bandwagon with everyone who likes Lauren Koslow and Alison Sweeney back together? They are fantastic. Despite the fact that Kate said that Sami would have a lot of freedom with this new position, Sami and Kate seem to be sharing a desk. And that's okay with me. The more banter between the actresses, the better.

Kate got right to the point and told Sami to spill all of Mad World's secrets. Sami protested a little bit, but Kate had Sami in a bad position -- either hand over the secrets or find a new job. In all fairness, Sami should have seen that coming. And, Sami should have mentioned the confidentiality agreement that she signed with Madison. Sami might want to start being a lot nicer to Carrie. I have a feeling Sami will need a lawyer soon.

That is, if the "top secret" product really was a new line of cosmetics targeted at 18-34 year old women. I find it hard to believe that Mad World's game-changing, brilliant idea would be a cosmetic line targeted at the main group of people who already use cosmetics. I have to wonder if Sami pitched Kate a different idea to get Kate off her back, but still protect her confidentiality agreement with Madison. Or maybe I'm just still hoping that part of the old scheming Sami may still be alive and well in there!

I've gotten many emails about the high caliber of Chandler Massey's performance. I agree, wholeheartedly, with every one of them. The guy has been a rock star in this storyline and last week was no different.

...and MARLENA
Will was completely irrational with Marlena. His declarations about Sami were cruel and generally off-base. But, they were also entirely appropriate. Will was spittin' mad and he needed a target. Sami's an easy one. But Marlena was professional enough to know that Sami's betrayal isn't the only thing bothering Will. I like how she was focused on Will's well-being, rather than the salacious details of her daughter's life.

...and RAFE
Will continued to come thisclose to telling Rafe what Sami did. But Rafe didn't budge in his love for Sami. You'd almost forget that Rafe used to investigate things for a living, the way he can't seem to correlate Will's bad mood with Will's trip to the DiMera mansion. But, Will's genuine concern for Rafe and the stability Rafe provides to Will's siblings was touching. Congratulations, Will, you actually made me not dislike Rafe for a second.

...and SONNY
There had to be one less than stellar part of this storyline and, regrettably, this was it. We all knew that Sonny's not-so-cryptic speech about getting to know the real "you" was really a way of telling Will that it's okay to come out. Sonny was his usual calm, cool, and collected self, and that was exactly the problem. If any scene warranted Sonny panicking just a bit, it would have been one where he saw his friend talking about leaving everything and everyone he's ever known.

I wanted Sonny to get excited about Will's life, point out that Will has a lot to live for, heck, bust into a verse of "Gotta Keep Your Head Up." I wanted him to give something other than matter-of-fact answers to Will's questions, despite how honest his answers were. The scene left me disappointed. Hopefully once Will and Sonny partner up to revamp the Cheatin' Heart as a new coffee shop, I'll see a different side of Sonny.

...and E.J.
Finally, Will went to E.J. to get money to leave Salem. Well, technically, he went to blackmail E.J. into giving Will money to leave Salem. That should turn out well. E.J. is always up for a good blackmail.

I like that Jack is still writing the piece about John, for no other reason than it gets characters who don't often share lines a chance to mix it up a bit.

Much like Sami and Kate, John and Brady make a deliciously enticing corporate team. I have to admit that I was shocked when Brady actually proposed leaving Titan, but I'm excited to see what this storyline has ahead. Also, I'm on the edge of my seat to find out what Basic Black actually does.

The mayoral race heated up last week with the exciting revelations that the next three debates will cover jobs/economy, social issues, and the environment. There will be the same moderator for each debate. And, the public can submit questions if they can stay awake long enough to see the rest of this storyline.

Kate found out that Stefano was keeping a secret from E.J. and she wants to help. I like the sound of everything about that.

Marlena defending Sami, and more importantly defending Will's sanity by telling him to go and work things out with Sami, was spectacular. Marlena rightly pointed out that she could empathize because she had done the same thing. Sure, Marlena and Sami had very different motivations, but the outcome and the crime were the same. I love that she realized that her sins have come full circle. I loved that she told that Will it's not his place to condemn his mother. I even loved the use of the flashback of Sami confronting Marlena! Don't look now, my Marlena and I might be back on the path to becoming friends.

Madison became this vapid character of manic emotions. I don't know where she really exists and, at this point, I don't care. She threw a hissy fit when Brady tried to do his job and hold her to a deadline. Then, she threw another tantrum when Brady told her that he was stepping down from his job. More than likely that will mean that Madison will have to answer to Victor, which personally, would be great because someone needs to deal with this brat. Her bloated amount of screen time exhausts me. In other news, I wonder what Justin and Adrienne did for Christmas or New Year's Eve. Probably hung out with Kayla.

Kate: "I'm just glad to know that I am safe with the Phoenix by my side." One, I love that there is a character in daytime who can pull off this line. Two, I love that Kate has grown so fond of her husband that she's fully embraced all the DiMera traditions.

Was Brady auditioning for Goodfellas with that track suit? All that was missing was the gold chain.

What is going on on top of EJ's head? There's something weird happening above his ears and below his crown. Tell me I'm not the only one who noticed it.

Lexie and Maggie must have gone shopping at the two-for-one sale as Awesome Necklace Depot.

Sami and Rafe's fist bump handshake thing is really lame. Like, really lame.

Does Melanie know that Quinn was the one who found and saved Carly? Or, that he was the one who talked Carly into coming back to her family? Just checking.

It occurred to me that Gabi is, how to say this...looking for some lovin' right now. She's spent months in an unsatisfying relationship and is out on the prowl for some companionship. If Daniel has a long-lost little brother, now would be the time for him to come to town.

I have to play the BS card on Sami saying that "time off" wasn't a word in Madison's vocabulary. Didn't Sami get days off when and after Johnny went missing? I do believe so.

I loved that John quickly shot down Marlena when she tried to bash my beloved Victor. John rightly pointed out that Victor had been there for Brady when John wasn't. Good job, John!

Not many people have the task of trying to cheer up Maggie, but Lexie did a bang-up job.

If you get a chance, check out the coloring of Will on Sami and Rafe's fridge. It's positively adorable.

That's it for this first week of 2012! I don't know about you, but I'm pleasantly surprised with the show's direction. It only leaves me with a few questions. Can anyone tell me how to do that braid thing that Alison Sweeny was working? Why does Will still have a key to the DiMera mansion? And do you think that E.J. will find out what Stefano did to get John out of jail?

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