Now that's what I call a great week in Salem. Short of Madison finally telling me where she got that awesome cocoa-colored coat, I don't think I could have asked for more. I'm so pumped that I can't even fill more space with a goofy intro. I can't wait. Let's get into it!
SAMI and MADISON
Well, lookie there! It turns out that Sami and Madison orchestrated every fight in Kate's presence so that Kate would offer Sami a job. When Kate took the bait, Sami jumped on the idea and immediately began pitching Kate the idea to produce a huge media campaign that targets young people, featuring a "fresh face" of a non-model. This would launch at the same time that Mad World launches their campaign of "fresh faces" targeting all ages. As a result, Countess W will look like they came up with a watered-down version of Mad World's campaign. I have to say, it's pretty smart.
I love everything about Sami being the mole inside Countess W. First, she has a friend in Madison, something Sami hasn't had in such a long time that it was becoming a joke. Second, she has a real job, and can finally escape whispers that her only skills are on her back. Third, Sami's matured past the point of revenge-at-all-costs by acknowledging that Gabi is now caught up in this scheme and, in my opinion, taking a vested interest in keeping Gabi safe.
I like their secret so much that I don't want them to let the boys in on it. I think Brady will be put in a tough spot because Sami (not to mention Titan) will be in a compromising position. And, Rafe has a well-documented history of scolding Sami when she lies to him and then promptly taking the lead on any scheme that she tries to carry out. I want this one to stay between the ladies for a bit further.
Bo and Hope found out that the mystery key couldn't open anything since Gran wasn't the only name on the safe deposit box. But, never to fear, since he is the villain de jour, Bo and Hope could prove that Stefano had the other half to Mrs. H's locket. *sigh* I'm sure there's a cool secret here. But, all I can do it focus on how inappropriate it is to use Alice this way.
Did you ever get hold of the keys to your parents' nice car and rush to take it out, only to realize that you don't totally know what you're doing? That's how I feel these new writers are with Alice. She's the biggest, sportiest, fanciest car in the DAYS garage and I can see how they were chomping at the bit to capture viewers by promoting the heck out of an Alice Tribute. Yet it's just not safe to use her as the vehicle (get it?) for this storyline, especially when there is another, more believable answer available to them.
I'm wondering why the secret can't have been Mickey's. He was a lawyer. He was required to keep secrets. And if the secret does have something to do with E.J., it would make sense why Mickey gave E.J. a job a few years ago.
In the last column, I joked that it would only be a matter of time before Daniel found the cure for his own condition. However, if his condition is so bad that he can't pick up a beer, then I fully support him whipping up a miracle. No man should have to suffer like that.
I also fully support Jack and Daniel as friends. These two Salem outsiders with above-average IQs actually have a lot in common. Plus, the actors play off each other quite well. I almost wish that Jack would talk to Daniel about how leaving town, no matter how noble your intentions are, usually doesn't go over too well with the fam. Oh well, at least Daniel told his that he was leaving. Though, I still don't know why.
It's not that I don't see the value in getting some space to clear one's head. But, I just don't buy Daniel's plight. From what I hear, a medical license doesn't become void if one can't cut into other people. Many doctors lead very productive careers without picking up a scalpel. Yet, Daniel acts like his life is over. It's like he's complaining that his allergy to platinum is forcing him to suffer through life in gold shoes.
I can't help but feel sorry for Jennifer every time she goes up against Nicole. It's like watching a mouse try to tell the lion what's up. And in the case of the stolen jobs plan, Nicole actually was innocent and Jennifer looked silly.
I agree with Jack that Jen is having a hard time in politics because she's going about it the "wrong" way, meaning that she's being honest and assuming that everyone else will be too. But she needs to stop engaging Nicole and E.J. in the middle of town and expecting them to admit that they did anything wrong. She needs to tap into her investigative reporting roots and dig up some actual facts about Abe, E.J., or Salem and use those to drum up buzz around the election. And, by all means, she needs to stop resorting to having physical fights with another grown woman in public over the word "bitch." Actually, that last part can go for every woman in Salem. Thanks.
E.J. and WILL
James Scott and Chandler Massey, along with the brilliant writers on this storyline, have managed to begin crafting one of the most interesting relationships on DAYS. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but as much has been published about Will's sexual orientation, I like that these two are involved in a storyline that has nothing to do with bed partners and everything to do with power. It's good, old-fashioned soap awesomeness.
I think that part of E.J. was impressed when Will showed up attempting to blackmail E.J. And, I certainly think that a big chuck of E.J. knows what it's like to love and loathe your parents at the same time. Taking it a step further, E.J. wrote the book on loving and hating Sami at the same time. If played carefully, E.J. and Will could learn something from each other and about revenge.
CHAD, MELANIE, ABIGAIL and GABI
I love Melanie and all, but I'm so over her telling Chad that she can't be with him. She's trying to martyr herself rather than approaching Abigail and being honest. Melanie should know that Abigail hurts the most when people lie to her to "spare her feelings," since Jack used that excuse for years. If Melanie would just be honest about her feelings with Abigail, I'd have a lot more respect for Mel's position.
That's not to say that Abigail is completely in the right either. She's trying to have it both ways, and that's not cool. If, like Abigail said, she and Melanie weren't friends that long and weren't that good of friends to work on rebuilding their friendship, then Melanie isn't obligated to succumb to the "he's her man" rule. Abigail clearly wants to see Melanie suffer because Abigail's jealous that Chad moved on so fast. It's not an uncommon feeling, but it's still just as wrong.
Poor Chad is stuck in the middle. He can only grovel for Melanie's companionship so many times before he realizes that crafty, horn-dog, Gabi is just waiting to pounce on some tall, dark, DiMera tail.
I was a bit jealous of Gabi last week. I would have loved for my crush to be forced to sit next to me while I get made over just so he is the first person who sees me, before my hair goes flat and my mascara starts to run.
SAMI and KATE
I found the entire photo shoot uncomfortable. The writers tried to convince me that there was something resembling chemistry between Chad and Abigail. I did not see that at all. And, it was hella creepy that Kate and Sami kept commenting on how hot the two teens were together. I can't have a double standard here. John and Brady could never have gotten away with making those comments about Gabi and Chad, nor should they have.
ABIGAIL and AUSTIN
I'm sure that Austin doesn't have any feelings for Abigail. And for that matter, he's nothing more than a placeholder in this storyline. He could be replaced by any other married man who's so comfortable in his relationship that he sees no harm in being nice to a family friend.
And it's for that reason that I'm still enjoying this story. Abigail is going through a tough time right now. The two most important people in her life, her dad and boyfriend, disappointed her. Her mom can't seem to make up her mind about what fella should stay around. Abigail wants to grow up so bad she'd convince herself of almost anything, including the possibility that Austin would love her. It's going to be a rough lesson for Abigail to learn, but I am looking forward to seeing her weather this chapter in her life.
Not many people can out-smarm E.J. or Stefano. His confidence comes with a smartly calculated patience that people like Bo and Hope replace with anxious desperation. But, Marlena does not fall into that trap. In fact, she may be the only person who can go toe-to-toe in a smarm-off with Elvis J. And did she ever!
Marlena confronted E.J. about hiring Will as an intern, a move that got her totally nowhere. But she's the only one. While the two danced around the topic of why he was hired, tons of questions came to mind. Marlena knows that Will saw E.J. and Sami together, so why can't Marlena figure out that Will may have tried to confront E.J? Since she knows Will's character so much, why hasn't she considered that E.J. is blackmailing Will? Could it be that Marlena wasn't in on the cover-up when Will shot E.J.? Doesn't that seem odd, since Marlena was one of the shooters herself? Does Sami even know that Will was the shooter?
These are all great questions for the audience to have because the only way to find out is to keep tuning in to DAYS to see what happens next. Well played, writers.
Nicole knows that E.J. bought Will a car. She's also put together that Will's sudden employment didn't coincide with E.J. stealing Abe's jobs plan by accident. And when Nicole feels like something is being kept from her, she's ruthless. While I see her cutting back on the direct questions to E.J., I don't see her letting this go. And that's okay by me.
As much as she professes to be the perfect prototype for a "good little DiMera wife," Nicole loathes being in the dark too much. And, her current state of pissed does not bode well for the other secrets that EJ is keeping. It just bodes well for the audience!
CARRIE and RAFE
It seems like Carrie is actually the one who's not holding up her end of the sister truce with Sami. Seriously, Carrie always raised her eyebrows, shruged her shoulders, and gave the doe eyes every time Rafe brought up Sami. And, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this move could make a lot of sense.
Austin has always been crazy about Carrie. But, Carrie hasn't always been crazy about Austin. (Mike, anyone?) So, if there is going to be a crack in Mr. and Mrs. Reed's armor, it's going to be the latter component. Should Carrie want to drive a wedge between Rafe and Sami, she's certainly setting up the groundwork by constantly painting herself as the innocent victim and Sami as the snake in the grass. (Not that that's not totally accurate.)
Rafe and Carrie will be spending a lot more time together now that they're both on Bo and Hope's super secret agent initiative squad. Hopefully the heat works properly at the police department. Or, I at least hope that the windows aren't the trick windows at their old office that don't open.
SAMI and MARLENA
This is another scene that was too short. Sami finally confronted Marlena with what viewers have been screaming for months. Where was Marlena when Sami got married, when Grace died, or when Johnny went missing? Indeed they are valid points. But what it boils down to is that, when Marlena was there for Sami, she was all the way there. Sami's done some horrible things in the past, yet Marlena hasn't given up on Sami yet. But, when she wasn't there, she was not there at all. And, it was because Marlena chose to be there for John instead. So, in a way, Sami and Marlena were both right, and that scene proved it.
ABE, BO, and HOPE
In light of the fact that E.J. stole Abe's jobs plan, Abe decided to capitalize on the next best thing -- crime. Who says it doesn't pay? (ba-da-bum!) He put Bo and Hope in charge of a new initiative to get Salem's most-wanted iCriminals off the streets by using a tablet computers and some kind of database that lists records and details about each criminal. (Slowly, I'm beginning to see why the Salem PD was so bad at solving crimes before.)
I love that Bo and Hope are going to get to do more work, because I like the partners Brady very much. But, I have to think, shouldn't getting Salem's most wanted off the streets be just a normal thing that police officers do? Why do they need a special initiative for that? It's like someone telling a bunny rabbit, "Okay, the new plan is to eat carrots starting now!"
Second, Abe can't possibly think that E.J. can't lower the crime rate in Salem, right? Not only could E.J. cut down the crime rate by, you know, not committing his own crimes, but he probably still has enough connections and influence to convince other crime families to just move over to Brookville for a bit.
Madison asked Hope to be one of the "fresh faces" at Mad World! Hope's stunning good looks make her a perfect match, and I really want her to say yes. Plus, I thought Bo was absolutely adorable sitting there beaming while Hope was receiving the offer. I liked watching him brag about his wife.
Everyone take another drink! Lexie denounced E.J. once again. Yup, she put him on notice, and she really means business this time. Riiiight. Lexie's more forgiving than fleece sweatpants. E.J. may be a jerk, but he's right. All evidence points to Lexie not following through on any of her threats, so he need not worry. Cheers, y'all!
Chad was still conflicted over his father. You could tell that the kid still sees the value in family by the way his voice quivered when he asked if Stefano's diabetes had gotten worse. But, he wasn't ready for Stefano's money or influence on the coffee shop project. But, he still invited Stefano to buy a cup of coffee when the place opens. In a way, Chad's becoming my favorite DiMera. (Second to Johnny, of course!)
Quinn sat and listened to Melanie's problems and then came up with the gem of an idea that she's probably not going to be able to be with Chad and keep Abigail's friendship. Thanks, Captain Obvious. Are we sure that Melanie didn't kick him in the head too?
There's something extremely comical to me about John and Brady teaming up to become fashion moguls. Hopefully they'll start with Madison so that she can stop wearing those horrible workout video meets after-bar dresses.
Sami and Will's confrontation at the mansion was spectacular. The writing and acting was so right on that I did not want that scene to end. Sami did her best Alicia Florek parenting impression by acknowledging Will's desire to work, but encouraging him to find another job. However, she lost me when she tried to play the "what would Rafe think?" card. Kudos to Will for not slapping Sami at that point. Instead, he went with this deliciously confrontational question, "You had two kids with E.J. So, I think that I can just fetch his coffee and live with myself. Can you?" Ohhhh, burn!
It was bad enough when Jack and Abigail did it, but Marlena spouting on and on about now nothing good comes from associating with a DiMeras was absolutely insane and hypocritical since Marlena is married to a DiMera. Her daughter is a DiMera. Her grandchildren are DiMeras. These broad hyperbole statements don't work with viewers because we're just not that dumb. Not only do we just have to throw out the names Lexie, Theo, Chad, Johnny, and Sydney, but we also don't want to see E.J. and Stefano turned into paint-by-numbers villains. Characters need shades of gray.
P.S. -- I think it's weird that Marlena wants Will to call her "Doc." Think about it. If your grandmother asked you to call her by the same nickname that's only used by her two husbands, wouldn't you think that's a little funny?
LINE OF THE WEEK:
This exchange was pure magic and it addressed something that fans have been hinting about for years.
Daniel: "Slow down there, legs....I still love Jennifer."
Nicole: "Oh, like you love all of your patients?"
Daniel: "You were my patient! And, I don't love you!"
Really, people need to stop fist-bumping. It's über stupid.
Remember when Melanie used to be a nurse and interact with Maxine. I miss those days.
That sectional couch by the fire pit is awesome.
As big of a deal as they made about Jack's captivity when he came to town, you'd think he would work his way through his PTSD a bit more onscreen. He could talk about some of the things he's learning rather than just saying the standard, "Yup, I'm still working through it."
I forgot that Jack and Austin will be coworkers.
The Salem Hotel has a rock wall?
Alison Sweeney's Turbo Tax commercial was actually pretty funny.
I was impressed that Nicole was up past 3:00 in the morning, but still woke up naked.
I really want Chad and Lexie to have scenes together.
Did John really lament that he and Marlena haven't had a chance to enjoy each other since his freedom? Good God! They've eaten up so much screen time "enjoying each other" that we have no idea where Kayla has been hiding since Christmas!
Any chance Bo and Hope may hire Justin for their new task force?
It's Dankies time, kids! Head on over and submit your nominations for the best and worst in the wonderful world of soaps. You've got until Tuesday, January 31, to get your nominations in!
And with that, our time has come to a close. It was a marvelous week in Salem, and I can't wait to see what happens next! Who do you think that Madison should hire as an intern? Was it intentional or harmless that Abigail reminded Austin that Carrie would be spending the night with Rafe? And, what will Rafe and Carrie do once all of the criminals in Salem are caught? (Okay, sorry, I couldn't even type that with a straight face.)
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 -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.