My co-writer, Tony, and I have a running joke that I always get the complicated weeks to scoop. Well, chalk another one up for yours truly because last week brought the exit of both head writers and four stars, and the promise of yet another reboot. Needless to say, Tony better send me a cookie bouquet. We'll get to the backstage drama at the end of this column. For now, let's do what soaps do best -- escape into the shades of crazy in Salem.
E.J. and STEFANO
I can't lie; the hidden button file cabinet is pretty amazing. Why do I not remember seeing that before? And, how can I get one installed in my house? Anyway, Billie found some financial documents in the hidden cabinet that showed that Stefano cleared out an offshore bank account. It turned out to be E.J.'s bank account, where E.J. had stashed all of John's money that E.J. stole from John. You with me? Good.
Meanwhile, we also learned that Stefano fixed the election...but for Abe, not E.J. The Phoenix Jr. was utterly perplexed that Stefano would dare go against his own flesh and blood. Yeah, E.J. would be best served to drop the "we're blood" argument when it comes to Stefano because the guy has offed his own kids and repeatedly tried to kill his half-brother.
NICOLE and RAFE
I'm warming up to a Nicole and Rafe pairing as friends. Galen Gering might have met his match in the smirk department when it comes to Arianne Zucker. Nicole softens Rafe. It's like watching Fiona make Shrek giggle.
However, bonding over mutual anger can't last. Okay make that, I don't want it to last. Sami was declawed for years when she was with Rafe. I worry that the same fate is heading for Nicole. Every time Nicole says, "We need to come up with a plan" rather than, "Listen here Agent Tag-a-long, here's your part in my plan," I die a little inside.
Additionally, Rafe gave Sami spectacularly offensive backhanded compliments like, "I love you, even though I knew how damaged you were," yet, he's jumping headfirst into a scheme with Nicole "No Damage At All" Walker. Um, okay.
E.J. and SAMI
Friends, lovers, enemies, whatever they are, Sami and E.J. share a dynamic that no one else on the show does. So I'm open to any reason to have these two share scenes that doesn't involve them physically hurting each other. I've got standards, you know.
The old "let's kiss to make sure there's nothing there" tactic has been played before, but I didn't mind it this time. It gave way to one of the funniest scene nuances I've seen in a while. I call it, "Sami and EJ: An Argument in Whispers." It speaks volumes that Alison Sweeney and James Scott can pull off something that goofy and still manage to have chemistry.
I like the platonic stance that these two have for now. Realistically, they need to call a believable truce before they even think about progressing further, so I'm on board with them as friends. Besides, I'd say that they have....oh....I don't know...something like...nine months before anything is really in their way of being together. And IF (notice, that's a big IF) Sami and E.J. make their way back together, it would be very, very interesting to see Sami parent someone else's kid, even if it's just for weekend visits.
CARRIE and RAFE
Alas, the one shining opportunity that Rafe and Carrie had for me to root for them seems to be slipping away. Carrie gave Rafe papers to dissolve their partnership. Austin was on hand to gloat in Rafe's face, which wasn't entirely undeserved. And, Carrie and Austin are totally going to make this work, and nothing is going to hold them back on their way to true love 4ever!
What it boils down to is that Rafe wants his own personal revenge more than he wants to be with Carrie. Maybe if she got pregnant with E.J.'s baby, Rafe would take over her life and drive away all the other boys. But that didn't happen. And while Carrie certainly does have a right to be mad at Rafe for lying to her, as long as Carrie is settling for a consolation marriage with Austin, I can't feel too bad for her. However, (cue Jennifer Lopez voice) Carrie looked absolutely beautiful in that pink top last week!
SAMI and LUCAS
My only concern about the adorable camping trip was that I'm pretty sure that Lucas left the kids alone in the apartment to set everything up while he went to pick up Sami. Caroline was in the waiting room at the hospital, so I don't know who else could be watching them!
Anyway, the family camping trip (indoor = no bugs = excellent idea) was all shades of cute. I love that the kids all drew pictures for Sami. It shows that despite how destructive she can be to her own life, the kids adore her, so she has to be doing something right. I love that Lucas wanted to give Sami a drama-free day. But most of all, I love that Sami took Lucas' happiness into account, as well, and told him to go call Autumn. Part of me really dreams that Autumn will come to Salem and she and Sami will have a real friendship -- OLTL Blair and Téa style. The fantastic place where Lumi's relationship exists right now deserves to be handled with respect. I really want it to last!
E.J. and NICOLE'
E.J. apologized all over the place last week. He even promised to raise Rafe's baby as his own if Nicole would allow it. I totally believe that he's sincere on both accounts. E.J. is more at ease with Nicole than anyone. And, he happily raised Allie as his own for a while. Problem is, it doesn't matter how sincere he is; Nicole doesn't have to believe him, nor does she have to get over it. I'm kinda proud of my girl for sticking up for herself and thinking with her head.
BRADY and MADISON
To make sure that Brady and Madison have ample time to discuss her reality-suspending relationship with Ian, they decided to launch a line of designer handbags filled with custom spa products. First of all, this is a genius idea, as it's basically a grown-up happy meal -- get a toy with your purchase! Second, we need to talk about Brady Black.
See, as much as I try to stay spoiler free, I know that come this fall, this Madison madness will be nothing more than a
nightmare that I'll try to avoid thinking about memory. So, with that in mind, I feel that I need to give TPTB some tough love.
Brady Black is a leading man. He's a biological DiMera, Kiriakis, and Brady. He's got a juicy history with drug abuse and has managed to head two of the largest corporations in Salem. Plus, thanks to Eric Martsolf, Brady has a jaw line to die for, can rock a power suit, and delivers a swoon-worthy "you're the only one in the room" stare. Brady needs a good love story. Stop messing around with the Ariannas and Madisons of the world and get serious with this fella. Thanks. That is all.
IAN, KATE, and STEFANO
Is an affair really necessary to drum up drama for Stefano and Kate? I mean, do the writers not realize what Kate and Stefano do for a living? And neither character held their own in this storyline. I call complete BS on Kate feeling like she's in Marlena's shadow. If that were the case, Stefano wouldn't have let Kate in on the secret about John and Hope's marriage. And, as much as I love Stefano, I'm terribly put off by people who test their mates. Those people should be left single and alone forever. I want Stefano to just admit that he was wrong and move on to scheming alongside Kate.
However, as upset as I am about this bogus drama, I am genuinely enjoying the fact that there's a love triangle somewhere other than with the under-40 crowd. Not to mention, anything that keeps Kate away from her mission to control Lucas's love life is okay by me.
Finally, can we all stop for a minute and marvel at the ridiculata that is Ian McAllister. That robe! That walking stick! The line, "I'm your lover, let me in!" He reminds me of a male, Euro-trash combo of Celeste and Vivian. Everything with him is a production and, for me, he's gone past annoying and looped back around to entertaining.
JOHN and HOPE
John was the brains of this operation. His extreme cerebral powers deduced that there was a hidden treasure inside the egg! Eureka! Sadly, he used all of his thinking tokens on that gem and didn't know that paint needs time to dry. Oh, well. Can't win 'em all!
Thanks to Agent Spencer (he's a bit dreamy, no?), the two headed back home to Salem and reunited with their loved ones. Now, can we get back to the part where Agent Black and Detective Brady try to solve a crime? Sorry Marlena, but John in the ISA is more interesting than him making couture shaving kits.
WILL and SONNY
We've seen Will cry, scream, and rant enough in the past few months. So I love that, like his scene with Marlena before, the mood when Will came out to Sonny was almost a peaceful, cathartic exhale. The scene couldn't have been better! And, in Sonny's moment of delight that Will finally came out, I saw a hint of chemistry between the actors in a way I never had before. (The excellent use of humor in, "Because I'm the resident homo" line made Sonny all the more adorable too.)
But Sonny and I were snapped back to reality when Sonny had to go back into gay life coach mode and rightfully called Will out on using this as a weapon against his mom. As adorable as Freddie Smith may be, and as wicked-hot-talented as Chandler Massey is, the bottom line is that teenage Will has a lot of learning to do before he should be paired with 20-something Sonny. But, that's not to say that they shouldn't because we've seen the magic that a Horton and a Kiriakis can make together.
Maybe I'm odd, but I am lucky enough to have a number of guy friends, and I've helped them on more than one occasion plan dates, pick out gifts, etc., for their lady friends. So I saw nothing wrong with Chad asking for Gabi's help. And if nothing else, this "he's just not that into you" moment should slap Gabi right upside her head. Her self-esteem was so low that she got all excited at the idea of waiting back at Chad's apartment for him while he finished his date with another girl. Any chance we can sign her up for one of Sonny's pep talks? Girl needs to 1-800-Getagrip.
Bo's finger moved! He's coming back to us!
Lucas has rarely made a misstep since he came back to Salem, but I think he's dead wrong about what E.J.'s divorce would do for E.J. politically. If a politician's wife simultaneously filed for divorce and showed up pregnant with another man's baby, that politician could easily come across as the man wronged.
I can only watch Nicole/Rafe and E.J./Sami have the same argument for so long. Either you buy grief sex or you don't. No one -- character nor fan -- is on the fence anymore. And really, all four of their sins have gotten progressively worse, so it's an exercise in futility for any one of them to play the victim.
In the middle of his shock about the money, E.J. blurted out to Nicole that he was the one who framed John. I'm pretty sure that conversation wasn't protected under the spousal confidentiality rule, and I bet Nicole's new bestie with a background in law enforcement would love to tell her that.
Chad and Melanie were super hot together! And it was nice to see at least one happy couple on DAYS. I adored that he gave her a robe to keep at his house. I loved that she made him a bachelor breakfast of Chinese take-out, leftover pizza, apples, and coffee. Now, I'd like to see them get into and out of a little bit of trouble.
Casey Deidrick might be one of the few actors who can pull off the whole "white knight rebel" thing (see: Reckell, Peter) and I want to see him give it a shot. And, Molly Burnett has more than necessary comedic chops to pull off a mouthy, strong-willed captive. (See: Chappell, Crystal) With chemistry to spare, I hope these two stay together for a while.
Rafe and Sami had a weak relationship from the beginning, so I can understand the ugliness towards Sami now that their relationship is on the rocks. However, I couldn't stand to see Rafe swoop up and hug sweet little Johnny, while Rafe was actively plotting to keep Johnny away from a new sibling. For a guy who grew up in a sibling-heavy house, I would have thought Rafe would value that bond a little more.
Additionally, Rafe looked like a real chump when he tried to give Lucas Freaking Horton a guide on how to deal with Sami. Lucas has a doctorate in Samiology. Rafe has one of those ribbons that they give to kids when they move into upper elementary.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Hope: "Anastasia eggs were crafted by the Russian tsars to give to their wives."
John: "Beats getting a toaster."
Whoa! Sonny has an ex! Who knew?
I'm not so sure that E.J.'s shirt can go in the dryer and emerge clean and wrinkle-free. Something tells me he's more of a "dry clean only" kind of guy.
Thanks to whoever decided to kill the cheesy saxophone music and opt for a romantic soft-rock song during Chad and Melanie's love scene.
Those elevator doors outside of Sami's place are pretty cool.
Are Ian and Madison sharing the same hotel room? I sure hope not.
Oh, no! Yellow roses! Everyone knows that yellow means friendship!
Has everyone in Salem lived in the DiMera mansion at one point or another?
I wonder if Gabi also thinks that it was so unjust when that the poor man in black got his kids taken away from him in Star Wars.
Sami said that she was pregnant last year, which is not true. Was that a writing mistake or did they just instantly de-SORAS Sydney?
I do not think that Stefano would ever say something like, "Alamainia-style."
I love that Hope was gracious towards Billie. Sami, Nicole, and Carrie could learn a lot from Hope about how to handle yourself around your husband's ex.
Which hyperbole was the most bonkers:
A) Brady (to Madison): "This type of love doesn't come around a lot."
B) E.J. (to Nicole): "Being with Sami and then lying about it is the worst thing that I've ever done... I've never hurt anyone like I hurt you."
If E.J. has an apartment, why is he working at the DiMera mansion?
Superwoman, Alison Sweeney, directed Thursday's episode of DAYS!
Finally, fans have been very vocal about the changes taking place at DAYS. They've taken to message boards, Twitter, and Facebook. I love that fans are banding together. I think that this should continue, as the fans are really what make daytime special. And, this movement should keep going for both ends of the spectrum. If DAYS does something well, make sure to let people know about that too! Viewers are the number one thing that DAYS needs right now.
To that end, Saturday is my best friend's birthday. She's the one who got me started watching DAYS. So, in honor of her, I'm urging everyone to participate in "Take a Friend to Salem Day." It's easy to do. Turn on DAYS in the break room at work. Record it and have a friend over on Saturday night to have a glass of wine and laugh at the wonderful world of soaps. Queue up nbc.com and watch the show with your mom. However you do it, have fun. Enjoy your hour escape into Salem. And, make sure to spread the news about the things that you enjoy. You can start with me! Click here to share your thoughts with me about DAYS.
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