Let the games begin

For the Week of July 30, 2012
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Let the games begin
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An explosion shakes up Salem. Who will survive? Who danced their last dance? And just how far will Sami go to protect E.J.? DAYS may be taking an Olympic break, but not our Two Scoops -- so get ready for this week's Two Scoops.

Whew! Last week was bananas. I mean, I knew that DAYS was going to be preempted for the Olympics so we'd be in for some sort of cliffhanger. But, I wasn't paying close enough attention to when characters were going to leave and when the new writers' material would start to take over. I'm fairly certain both happened on Tuesday, the 24th, because the show was both literally and metaphorically shaken up. It shocked me a bit. Good thing I have a few weeks to get my bearings back and all of you wonderful soap friends to help me through it. I'll be accepting both feedback and drink recipes at the conclusion of this column.

E.J. and CHAD
Chad and E.J.'s scene was well done. With Lexie gone, someone needs to soften E.J., and I'm down with that person being Chad, who, like Lexie couldn't give a rat's patootie about what blood E.J. happens to have. Chad even offered to take the witness stand in E.J.'s defense. I hope that this relationship continues, even if it's just the two of them getting together for beers every now and then. Chad knows better than anyone what it feels like to have your life rocked by a paternity reveal.

This one is tough. I truly believe that they want to love each other. And I don't think that anything Lucas did was malicious. But, leaping lizards, something sour has gotten a hold of Lucas, or at least the writing for Lucas. He's about to get very familiar with the taste of his own foot.

First, he claimed that Sami's association with E.J. got her beaten up. In actuality, it was Lucas' gossip queen rant in Kate's office that tipped off Ian about the flash drive. Then, he tried to tell Sami how she should raise Johnny and Sydney, as if he has any say in that matter. Finally, he thought that it would be advantageous for him to play the "He's hurt you in the past" and "He's thrown you under the bus" card with Sami. (Psst! Reminding Sami that she shouldn't trust guys who have wronged her in the past actually hurts you there, too, buddy!)

The bottom line is that Lucas is being written to be very self-conscious and extremely jealous. It's almost like he's reverted back to that insecure teenager who thought that Carrie was his prize to claim. When Lucas first returned to the show, he was calm, assertive, and pretty funny. But that humor has been replaced with a desperate bravado. He's one step away from peeing in a circle around Sami to keep E.J. away from her.

I'm more than a little irritated with Sami for leading Lucas on too. She needs to learn to operate without a security blanket for once in her life. And I'm frustrated with Lucas for not having enough respect for himself to end this relationship and instead trying to make it out to be Sami's fault again. Just because Sami doesn't return Lucas' exact feelings doesn't mean that she's a terrible person. There are plenty of fine, upstanding women who didn't return Lucas' feelings.

Austin and Carrie made their way out of Salem to test the ol' out of sight, out of mind philosophy and see if a different hemisphere could repair their once beautiful love story. I'm not sure if it will or not, but I do know that before she left, Carrie committed one of the biggest a-hole moves in all of breakup lore.

It's the "I want you to still reassure me that I'm a good person even though I'm stomping on your heart" plea. Smooth move, Care Bear. I hear the fellas love that. Of course, Rafe stroked Carrie's ego, because Carrie is incapable of doing anything wrong. The truth is, I wish Rafe had told her to hit the pavement. It's not Rafe's job to make her feel like a good person. If she wants a hug, she can go get it from Austin. He's the one she chose.

Jack wanted to have "a talk" with Cameron. (As a daughter, these types of scenes still never fail to make me cringe.) During said talk, Cameron professed his deep caring feelings for the young Lady Deveraux. Just for good measure, Cameron told Jennifer all about his good intentions too. So, with both of her parents' approval, Abigail settled into Cameron's arms. And Jack remarked that he's never been happier.

Just as the goofy smile was starting to take residence on my face, I realized that I was being set up. This will not end well. Soap characters are never happy! The newly happy Jack almost glowed in that crisp white shirt. Were I still a lass in lit class I'd have a thesis statement about foreshadowing written and outlined at this point. So help me Gucci, I don't want to be right about Jack or Abigail dying in that explosion. Please let me be wrong!

Sonny confirmed what a stand-up dude he really is by helping Will look through the footage of E.J. Not only was he supporting Will, but he was making good on that DiMera/Kiriaks trust that he whipped up a few months ago.

And, I really want Sonny to stay involved in this storyline, because I want him to be the one who gets the goods on Ian. Not only is the shady shyster head of the Kiriakis family business right now, but he's also Sonny's main investor in Common Grounds. Taking him down could be some good character development stuff for Sonny.

Madison and Brady arrived home from rehab (Can you go with your fiancée? Is that a real thing?) and announced that they were getting hitched ASAP. Awesome. Jumping into another major life decision is an excellent way to celebrate a successful stint in rehab! Mazel Tov, kids!

Unfortunately, waiting twenty-four hours was just enough time for Madison to start doubting Brady again. When he didn't show up on time to Abe's fundraiser, she assumed that he didn't want to marry her, not that, you know, he was in some sort of grave danger.

I almost hope that Madison doesn't die in the explosion so that I don't have to watch Brady grieve for her (which, no doubt, Eric Martsolf would sell with fries on the side) for weeks on end. I feel like such a tragic end would keep her lingering around even after she's gone. So, I propose that Madison dies and Brady comes out of the tunnels with selective amnesia that only makes him forget Madison.

After a few rounds of flattery, Melanie finally convinced Andrew to take off his mask. It was a very Beauty and the Psycho Beast moment. (Oh, and Andrew, you are much to look at, by the way.) Melanie managed to sneak Andrew's cell phone and called Chad. Gabi overheard, naturally, and convinced Chad and Brady (Hey! Brady remembered that Mel was his friend!) to go search for Mel while Gabi stayed back and "called the police."

Of course, Gabi found Melanie first while Chad and Brady kept getting lost because they're dudes and thus refused to ask for directions. This resulted in Andrew having ample time rambling on and on about how he had something to tell Melanie, but didn't actually say anything. Quite impressive.

Anyway, the lot of them ended up in the explosion, complete with falling debris. I imagine that Andrew will die in the explosion, and Gabi's secret will die with him, which would infuriate me. This has gone beyond just lying to people. She's put four people in life-threatening danger, and thanks to her fast thinking, no one knows they're down there. I remember Rafe saying that he had been shipped off to a convent when he acted out. I'm not so certain that these same measures wouldn't be appropriate for Gabi.

For a very brief second -- before Daniel got all bent out of shape about the fajitas Nicole ordered for them -- we were reminded that Nicole is in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy. All the cramping can't be good. And while it would make sense considering her past medical history, it seems incredibly unfair for Nicole to lose another baby.

That's why I'm hoping that her cramping is indicative of a problem with the baby that is totally treatable -- with some sort of treatment that requires a blood match. Identifying a donor would prove that Rafe can't be the daddy. Then Nicole will be forced to stop using her kid as a weapon to get back at E.J., yet she won't actually lose another baby.

WILL, SAMI, and E.J.
Well, one surefire way to stop the person who's been framing you is to make yourself look even guiltier all on your own by running away. Ugh. I'm not a fan of this move. I didn't like it when Bo, Hope, Steve, and Kayla helped Belle and Shawn flee, and I don't like it now. I would much prefer a juicy courtroom battle! Besides, the last time E.J. fled the country, he actually had committed the crime. So, I can't really blame Roman and company if they assume the exact same thing this time.

And as for the explosion, does anyone really believe that Sami's going to fall off that ledge? Didn't think so.

So, the question really becomes, why are Sami and Will helping E.J.?

The plausibility behind Will and Sami's motives fit perfectly on the fence. There's enough support either way that you want to go. And, truthfully, fans of the characters will buy it and non-fans won't. (Trust me, I could hear those of you who oppose this team shouting at your televisions last week.) However, I happen to be one who thinks that this fresh storyline provides three talented actors with good material. So, I'm all for it.

That's not to say that there weren't a few scenes that bugged me. I really don't think that E.J. could have graduated from DiMera School of Doom without knowing to stash money in an offshore account for a rainy day arrest. And, it certainly wouldn't have killed Sami to show some apprehension about her son breaking the law.

But I adored that Sami made the effort to see this from Will's perspective. And let's face it: doing nothing has never been an option in Sami Brady Land. And it isn't now, especially in light of how Lucas is forcing her hand and how much she knows what it's like to be framed for murder.

Finally, and most important of all, Will and Sami's instincts are right. E.J. is being set up. Quite frankly, to see a character look at all the evidence before jumping to conclusions is very refreshing. I could argue that it's actually growth. (Shocking, I know!)

Rafe got a call from Spencer and headed off on some sort of trip. If he returns with Arianna (who's fresh out of witness protection, in my dream scenario), I might just jump through my screen and hug him. Oh, and I like that Rafe calls Spencer, "Spence."

Sensing that Gabi was hiding something, Bope made a brilliant move. They suggested that Gabi undergo hypnosis to retrieve any hidden memories of when she was "attacked," and they made the suggestion right in front of Chad. HA! Little does she know that these two handled Chelsea when she was at her scheming best. Gabi's amateur hour is no match for them.

As much as I love me some Nicole, I can't say that Victor was off-base with anything that he said. And Victor doesn't even know the half of it. Not only is Daniel in the middle of a very sticky custody situation, but Daniel's also compromised his medical license by allowing Nicole to swap the DNA. To top it all off, Nicole's not even sure that she wants to be with Daniel! Victor may have been spewing hate from some old wounds at her, but he did hit the target with this one.


From the coordinating black suits with purple shirts to their touching toast to Lexie, the adorable Abe and Theo get me every time -- Abe especially. I liked that he mentioned concern for Melanie and wondered whether or not to cancel the fundraiser out of respect. Just the mere mention of it was good enough for me. Here's hoping we get to see more of Abe and Theo!

Carrie's comment about Sami still being under Rafe's skin was out-of-left field at best. More accurately, it was an infuriating slap in the face to Lumi and Ejami fan bases, which have both waited for more than three uninterrupted years while Safe held court as Salem's prom king and queen. There was even that ridiculous three-month stint where the two did not have a scene with anyone else, save for a few day players, while in the safe house. For crying out loud, let some other people have a turn!

EJ: "Look at me! I've been arrested!"
Sami: "Oh, who hasn't?"

Okay, so it doesn't read half as well as Alison Sweeney delivered it. But trust me, it was fab. Welcome back, sassy Sami. I've missed you.

Doug and Julie looked as dashing as ever.

I swear, every time I see beautiful Maggie cry, I want to slug that dumb ol' Gabi for causing this mess.

I'm confused as to why no one else seems bothered by the fact that the flash drive was stolen from its hiding place inside Sami's bra. That makes this crime a little more serious of an assault.

Kate worries about Billie, Austin, Lucas, and Philip. She does not worry about Rex and Cassie. I don't know why I'm surprised.

I really need to hold a workshop for people in Salem where I'll teach them who to call for what emergency. For example, when hearing that E.J. has no access to DiMera funds, Will should have called Chad, not to Sami. Last time I checked, Chad is a blood DiMera who just offered to help E.J. Likewise, when Melanie is trapped in a tunnel with a crazy person, her call should be to 9-1-1. They answer all the time, and you don't have to chant, "Please pick up, please pick up" when it rings.

Will leveled up in my book when he dropped the truth bomb on Sami that all of the Sydney shenanigans started when she decided to keep Sydney from E.J. You are correct, young William!

I would have thought that the mini-bar in the middle of the living room at the Kiriakis Mansion would have gone away now that Maggie lives there.

I'm surprised that Sami actually believes that Nicole is carrying Rafe's baby. I would think she would spot a baby fibber a mile away.

Abigail pulled off a capri romper. Mad respect, girlfriend!

Will's double thumbs-up was so cheesy that it was kind of adorable.

Sami, cork wedges might not be the best footwear choice for escaping with a fugitive, even if said fugitive is a foot taller than you.

If E.J. doesn't have access to the DiMera bank account or power, just how does Roman think that E.J. went about ordering up the DiMera jet?

And that's it for now, DAYS fans. Don't worry! Despite DAYS taking a two-week break, Tony and I have some special columns to post that will pay tribute to our fair Salem over the next few weeks. In the meantime, who do you think survived the blast? When did Andrew tell Melanie his name? Did Ian just follow E.J. all over Salem waiting for E.J. to throw gloves away? Does Daniel know that Victor stole Maggie's eggs? What are you going to watch over the Olympic preemption? (General Hospital is rocking it right now in case you're interested in supporting the genre during the break!) Let me know your thoughts by clicking here to send them to me.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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