Did you hear that? That, my fine-feathered soap opera friends, is the sound of karma punching Sami directly in the mouth. I don't know that she's ever had a worse day, and that includes the days that she spent on death row. The collision of her personal and professional lives resulted in a debacle of epic proportions. And, I don't know when I've had more fun in Salem.
Even as I write this column, I'm quadruple checking my DVR to make sure that it's set to record next week's shows. If I was younger, I'd probably be faking a stomach ache just to stay home from school and see what happens next. (Don't act like you never did that either!)
And while I started with Sami, she's not the only one doing some heavy Sweeps lifting. The Sweeps fairy made her rounds through Salem. Here's what she left behind...
E.J., WILL, and NICOLE
E.J. and Will have something very Obi Wan and Luke about them; or, to be more accurate, Palpatine and Anakin. (That's right; I let my geek flag fly!) I think E.J. is equally amused and annoyed with Will. Sure, E.J. made some generic threat about not messing with a DiMera, but considering that this latest endeavor got Will a car and a house, I'd say Will knows what he's doing. E.J. has to respect that on some level.
The big news was that E.J. told Nicole that Will is a crappy marksman. I'd like to think that Nicole won't be able to do any real damage with this information, since she doesn't have solid proof. But, she's never to be underestimated.
The only good news for Will (well, besides that awesome new loft) is that Nicole was more focused on why E.J. was blackmailing Will, not what he had on Will. Nicole knows that Will has something on E.J. too. Something tells me that she didn't believe E.J., no matter how well he looked her in the eye. Maybe next time she should invoke the power of the pinky-swear.
Sami is on a control kick when it comes to her younger kids, and I don't like it. It started a few weeks ago when she made the comment about not wanting to ask E.J. or Lucas for child support, as if her pride was more important than her kids' well-being. It continued last week when she announced that she would be determining when and if E.J. gets to see his kids.
Yes, I know that he signed away his parental rights. But, I have a crazy idea. How about they think about what's best for Sydney? If she wants to see her father on her birthday, not to mention have a lovely party with her aunt and cousin, why should Sami's pride get in the way? It shouldn't. Sami should absolutely have invited E.J. to Sydney's party (or at least Lexie, Abe, and Theo!) if that's what Sydney wanted. Instead, E.J. got his equally-as-large pride out and decided to put Will and Sydney in the middle of an already volatile situation.
It all boils down to the fact that Sami and EJ are still equally bad in my book, and I get extremely cranky when one tries to "out-moral" the other. Last week, it was Sami. I'm sure E.J. will have his turn soon. And, I know that I'll still be annoyed because no one is thinking about Sydney.
I really like Abe, but the dude is a sub-par villain. He and Jennifer lie about as well as kids with cookie crumbs all over their faces.
I know that I'm supposed to be disappointed in Abe for getting the questions ahead of time, but I'm not. Just because he has time to think of answers doesn't mean that those answers aren't honest. And, next to all of the other shenanigans that other Salemites are pulling, Abe's cheat sheet is small potatoes.
My sister summed it up best when I talked to her last weekend and she asked, "Would anyone in Salem really elect a DiMera? I mean, they've seen the show, right?" Indeed, sister. Indeed.
She must have gotten into Stephanie's leftover stash of stupid pills because the usually level-headed Jen made some strange remarks last week. It started when Jennifer wished that Abigail was pregnant. Then, she went on to make the blanket judgments that all models live on cigarettes, water, wheat grass, coffee, and tofu. (I wonder what her buddies/former models Carrie and Hope would say about that.) She finished it off by kicking Abigail out of a house that I'm 100% sure Jennifer doesn't own either.
I get that Jennifer doesn't want Abigail to leave Salem and travel around the world. I also understand that Abigail's dream to this point has been to be a writer, and Jennifer is thrown for a loop right now. And, I certainly can see how the fashion world could be a scary place. However, I hate to raise my hand and point out the obvious, but shall we all ask Jack how safe the world of journalism is right now?
AUSTIN and ABIGAIL
I'd like to remove Carrie from this equation and just focus on Austin. (Just call me Abigail!) As much as I wasn't down with him letting Abigail in on his problems with Carrie, I can't help but root for Austin. And it's not just because Patrick Muldoon's spiky hair and stoner voice have started to charm me. It's because he behaved appropriately last week.
I have no problem with this relationship thus far, because the romance has been completely one-sided. Abigail is a girl with a crush who is doing some bonehead things because she thinks that it will help her land the guy. Austin hasn't been leading her on in any way.
I'm a little concerned for my new pal, Carrie. It appears that she suffers from a condition known as, "Revisionist History-itis." I used to work with a guy who had it. A client would say, "Let's all meet next Tuesday to follow-up on XYZ." My coworker's recap would be, "They hate ever other day, so they told us that we are not to contact them, except on Tuesdays." No! That's not what happened at all!
Carrie has this same disease. Austin apologized to her and even used the words, "jealous jerk" to describe himself, yet she still reported back to Rafe that Austin wasn't honest with her. To me, it seems that Carrie and Austin only seem to have problems when Carrie is describing the relationship to Rafe. Certainly, their Christmas shopping dates, hanging an ornament for her mother, and making out while he helped her move into her new office, seemed to suggest that their relationship was great.
Furthermore, Carrie claimed that she had no idea where Austin was, which was technically true. Yet, we know that she did not try to call his cell phone, nor check his office. She's hardly a damsel in distress.
A few things to get on the record first: One, Rafe and Carrie had no business kissing each other. Both were married and that kind of behavior is not cool. Second, Rafe absolutely kissed Carrie because he had feelings for her. They were happy because they'd closed a real case and were on their way to saving their business. Third, Rafe knows that Carrie has bested Sami in the fella department for years, so this particular betrayal will sting a lot worse than if Rafe went and made out with anyone else.
Having said all of that, I love Carrie and Rafe together. I have no idea what will happen next. Sami certainly has no business judging Rafe, considering her recent transgression. And, Austin has forgiven Carrie for cheating in the past. But in my mind, I see Carrie and Rafe starting something kind of great here. I'm cautiously optimistic to see where it goes and how the rest of the family will react. (Head over to my blog for more discussion of this pair!)
SAMI and MADISON
So much for Madison + Sami = BF4E. Madison ordered Sami to quit Countess W right away and abandon their whole plan. For a woman who claims to have street smarts, she certainly has very little skill in the whole bluffing department. She also has very poor judgment when it comes to picking "private" places to discuss her corporate espionage. The bench in the most public place in Salem should be nowhere on that list, Maddy.
Anyway, this is one time when I agree with Sami. There's no way that Sami could suddenly quit Countess W and go back to Mad World without Kate realizing what happened. And, Madison is certainly able to have plausible deniability thus far and could throw Sami under the bus in a hot second. I had to laugh when Sami quit Mad World instead. Indeed, working for the devil that you know is sometimes better than the angel that fooled you.
On a side note, am I really supposed to believe that Madison James had no idea what Kate and the DiMeras were capable of? I hope not. Because, I don't.
I didn't care for the Sonny/Will scene a few weeks ago, but this week was much better. Sonny's cool demeanor worked well here. Will wanted information, but was not in the mood to answer any questions. Sonny didn't pressure Will on any points, and that was incredibly appropriate in this situation.
I loved how this whole scene boiled down to Sonny saying that trying to be something you're not -- no matter what that "something" is -- won't ever be a healthy choice. I know that in this case Sonny was talking about being gay. But, the beauty of this scene was that Sonny could have been talking about anything that people lie to themselves about. The gay part is the element that Will can't change. However, the lie is completely within Will's power.
Unfortunately, Will doesn't believe that coming out is going to be that easy. I'm not sure why, or more specifically, who Will is worried about coming out to. The way Will spoke of Justin and Adrienne seemed to imply that Sami and Lucas wouldn't be supportive of their son. I don't buy it. If the line to hug Will started with me (which it does, by the way), I think Sami and Lucas would be second and third in line. Wait, make that third and fourth, because Sonny would be there for his friend too.
SAMI and WILL
We all knew that this confrontation was coming. It did not disappoint. Will was angry with Sami for destroying the only real family that he's ever had, and because of the other things going on in his life, the only real family that he thinks he ever will have. It's completely wrong and pretty unfair, since I've seen no blame handed out to Lucas. But I didn't care. The two of them mesmerized me.
First, I was relieved for Will. I think I even let out an audible, "whew!" when he finally put his anger somewhere other than on his own shoulders. Getting that secret off his chest was big.
Second, seeing Will tell Sami that he wanted her out of his life for good brought back flashbacks -- not of Sami and Marlena -- but of Lucas and Kate. I know the writers want to drive home the Sami/Marlena parallel, but in that moment, Will was the exact replica of his father. And Sami, while I'd never say this to her face, was all shades of Kate.
Finally, of all the begging that Sami's done in her life for a man's approval, who would have ever thought that the first man to show zero sympathy for her plea would be her own son? It's that type of stuff that soaps are made of!
John and Marlena were still trying to work out a budget that would allow for her to keep purchasing organic kale and him to continue shopping at Simon Cowell's yard sales. In other news, John apologized to Marlena for going "off-script" in the bedroom. If I never hear that sentence again, it will be too soon.
I can't seem to will that bomb to drop in Bradison land soon enough. I don't think that I can watch many more scenes where Madison wakes Brady up by biting his nipple. (Gawd! There's a sentence I never thought I'd write!)
"Open mouth, insert foot" is usually a Samantha Gene move, but last week, John took that task. I think John's conversation with Sami had more to do with his own insecurities about "being the man" than it did with concern for Sami. And, I'm not a man-hating she-beast by any means necessary. But, I'm growing more than a little tired with Rafe and John both being ashamed that their wives are the ones bringing in the money right now and taking it out on Sami.
For the record, I'm not into spouses walking out on their partners. (See: Brady, Hope) But I have to give Austin a pass on this one. They still live in a hotel room, and it's not like Austin can get away from Carrie. That is, unless he sits in the bathroom, which certainly lacks the dramatic exit of leaving the hotel room.
Super Dad Jack is quite possibly my favorite character ever. I'm so glad that Jack pointed out what a nitwit Jennifer was being. And, I like that he did it after Abigail was out of the room. Whatever these two decide to do romantically, they're always going to be Abigail's parents, and they need to make that dynamic work forever. Jack's more than on the right path.
Then, I absolutely cheered when Jack came and comforted Abigail. Some would say that this is why it was so out of character for Abigail to be so harsh on Jack when he came back. I'd argue that this is exactly why she was so harsh. Only people that you love that much can hurt you that bad. But their bond is back, thanks to Jack's subtle but on-point advice to Abigail about following her dreams and keeping her mom happy along the way.
After spending two perfectly good days watching Hope grasp her head and whimper, "Oh, what should I do?" we finally got to see that the box contained...two sealed envelopes! I assume that they're going to have a staring contest to see who gets to open their envelopes first, which, let me tell you, should be exhilarating. Anyone else hoping that the envelope contains plans for a time machine that we all could board and travel back to the days before this time vampire storyline started?
LINE OF THE WEEK:
These two gems from Jack about Abigail made me smile:
"I know that I've been in a cave for the last year, but this did seem to come out of nowhere."
"I forbid anyone to see you as a grown woman!"
No one does the "pissed" look like Alison Sweeney.
Nicole's purple dress was beautiful, but that purple lipstick with it was 1-800-Oh, No!
Is Titan still without a CEO? Follow-up question, is Justin still without a storyline?
Really, Carrie, you're going to pooh-pooh Austin's request to take ballroom dancing lessons while standing in a flippin' Princess gown?
I don't know if Chandler has been taking tips from Alison, or the other way around, but the acting choices that both made, from the voice cadence to the hand gestures, totally conveyed a family resemblance between Sami and Will.
I'm glad that Rafe mentioned that he hadn't heard anything from Bope or Abe. I was wondering about that.
Is "that's not how I roll" a legal defense, Madison?
I wonder if Madison's Mystery Phone Friend hung out with Chelsea in London.
WOOT! Sonny mentioned Alex!
I know that you still have tons of questions, but fear not! Tony will be back next week to guide us through our first full week of Sweeps. If we're especially nice to him, he'll let us work the radio and get into the cooler of Capri Suns. In the meantime, please click here to let me know your thoughts on Sweeps so far!
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