We can work it out

For the Week of December 3, 2012
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We can work it out
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November Sweeps left Salem with a new baby, an old flame, and a chance to see just how much some current relationships can take. How happy will the holidays be? Find out in this week's Two Scoops.

It seems like only yesterday that the safe house was exploding with Rafe, Carrie, John, Marlena, Bo, and Hope inside. But that was actually yestersweeps, otherwise known as the last big push that the big guns over at DAYS made to lure in new viewers. How did they do this time around? Let's take a look!

I didn't buy Nicole's alleged (by me) crocodile tears a few weeks ago, but her tears last week were a completely different story. It was the "thank you" that she blurted out through her tears that got to me the most. She's always been a depend-on-the-kindness-of-strangers kind of gal. Thus, gratitude seems to be the truest emotion for the Nicole that I know -- quite frankly -- much more than remorse could ever be. So I adored her scenes with Jennifer and Daniel.

Well...almost. There was no need for Nicole to look into Danifer's relationship status. I don't care if Daniel takes up with the entire cast of the Victoria Secret fashion show. Nicole needs to pass "Go" and proceed directly to a new storyline.

Speaking of horses that are dead, Jennifer and Daniel proceeded to bore me to tears for the better part of an entire week. Literally, part of their scenes consisted of the two of them staring at his still hand. That's the idea of a great date -- amiright, ladies?

Anyway, I still have the same complaint about this storyline that I had when the tremors first started. I hardly see the tragedy in Daniel being forced to choose between a life as a renowned surgeon and a life as a respected diagnostician. That's like having to settle for a delicious bowl of ice cream, but "suffering" without the chocolate sauce.

Also, considering that the show just basically cured Caroline of Alzheimer's, I don't buy for a second that this was Daniel's last chance to be a surgeon again, if that's what his little golden surfer heart desires. And I'm sure he'll live to hang another ten, as they say.

Besides, I'm more worried about Maggie right now. On one hand, I understand that Maggie was worried about her son. The last time Daniel gave her the "my mind is made up" speech, he was convinced that going to Hawaii with Nicole was a grand idea. Plus, she certainly has some authority to speak to the troubles of living with physically debilitating disease. And, she did call out Jennifer on using this trial drug as a consolation prize, which I greatly appreciated.

However, I wish that her love for Daniel didn't have to come at the expense of Maggie's relationship with Jennifer. Not only is Maggie a Horton*, but she's aunt Maggie Horton. Maggie has a history of supporting everyone, not taking sides, and fighting for the thing that is going to make all parties look the most awesome.

*Yes, I know that Maggie isn't a blood Horton. But, neither was Alice. And we can all agree that both women put in enough time with their beloved Horton men to be worthy of the name these days.

Rafe's feelings about Gabi-- a toxic blend of fear, anger, and guilt for not being the big brother that he should have been (his words, don't hate me) -- were very valid. But, his behavior at the clinic was flat-out bullying. Staff and other patients were there. Rafe needed to behave like the grown-up smart man that the show keeps insisting that he is.

But that's beside the point because no matter how Rafe acted, it still doesn't change the fact that this was absolutely none of Rafe's business. Gabi discussed this with the one person who deserved to know -- Will. Gabi did not need to consult with Rafe on this, or any other future matters pertaining to her personal life, at all. Rafe telling her to call him before she makes any other decisions was another misguided attempt to be there for her, but I hope to Alice Horton that Gabi does not feel obligated to listen to him. The girl's been living and working on her own since she was in high school. It's a little late for Rafe to play the protective older brother card now.

However, as irritated as I was with Rafe, Galen Gering did an amazing job of illustrating a brutal and often sobering wrinkle that reduces many arguments like this to a single factor -- the human element. Rafe ranted and screamed and did everything caveman he could think of about the idea of Gabi's abortion. But then, when faced with the crying face of his little sister, all of that rage went away. I don't know if it was Galen's intention to show that anger really has no place in the decision-making process, but that's what I took from his performance. And, I thought it was beautiful.

There's something very special about this friendship bond that I'm beginning to see and genuinely like.

Will made more than good on his promise to be there for Gabi. I loved that Will was the one who finally blurted out the truth to Nick. As much as I hated watching it, I appreciated that Will just let Rafe yell, no doubt to deflect stress from landing on Gabi.

And Gabi was wonderful as well. I cheered when she quickly set her tragically misinformed boyfriend straight about Will offering to be there for her, pointing out that Will had even offered to marry her if that's what she wanted.

I can't believe that I'm going to say this, but this baby might not be all bad. Sure, I'm still not thrilled with the idea of Will and Gabi being such young single parents. And, I'm definitely irritated that such an underdeveloped new family will be tied to legacies like the Bradys and Hortons. But, there's something very appealing about a soap couple who has little to no possibility of ever being in a love triangle sharing a child. I have a legitimate hope that baby Enrique Justin Horton (working title, let me know your thoughts) will be the first child in DAYS history to not be used as a pawn between his parents!

Good news first: Nick showed a lot of promise when realized (with lightning speed, actually) that it was biologically impossible for him to sire the newest Hernandi. His, "You're damn right I'm not!" line was cheer-worthy. And, he gets bonus points for the look of relief/my-head-is-going-to-explode when he heard that Gabi's baby daddy is actually a gay guy. (Maybe you really can pray it away! Just kidding.)

But he went face-first downhill from there. This dolt asked Gabi to marry him and let everyone think that he is the real father. To make me not feel any better at all, he announced that he took the entire period of Gabi's nap to think about this decision. Like Rafe before him, I have to remind St. Nicholas that this is hella not his decision to make. Dude needs to just follow Gabi's lead.

For the record, if they go through with this lie, Gabi and Will deserve a smidge of blame for it too. Gabi needs to prove that she learned something from the last time she let a scheme get out of hand. And Will is certainly under no obligation to honor Nick's request to lie to Sonny. But it's very clear that Nick is in the manipulation seat for now. The problem is, I'm not sure why.

If they want to make Nick a villain, great! Blake Berris is stellar at playing that role. And the whole innocent-while-manipulating-thing is working well for Eileen Davidson. But, the show made a point to establish Nick as a good guy before.

He magically cured Steve and Kayla, took in Artimus and Demarquette, and defended Chelsea against Ford. His bad deeds with Melanie were in conjunction with a drug addiction. So, it would help me accept Nick as a crazy control freak if I were to find out that something traumatic happened to him in jail because none of his previous actions suggest that this is his natural, unaltered state.

Things are not looking good for my beloved Will. He borrowed money from and slept with Sonny in the same 24 hours. Those are two very intimate acts, and it doesn't look good that he can go through with those but not be honest with Sonny about the baby. To top it all off, while completely genuine, I fear that Will's "I love you" is going to ring a little hollow when Sonny realizes what's happening. And I couldn't help but notice that Sonny set the groundwork for a possible breakup last week.

Perhaps it's because of my love for Will, but hearing Sonny say that he can't see any situation where he'd lie to Will didn't exactly land well with me. Sonny was speaking hypothetically, whereas Will is dealing with something very real. And, it sounded a little too much like something a guy would say to Sami as more of a threat than a declaration of love. But, again, I can claim no neutrality when it comes to Will because I adore that kid.

Marlena went to Brady for more support about Kristen, but that was pretty much a lost cause. Still, Brady summed up everything I was thinking when he told Marlena that she doesn't need to go into battle because she's already won the war. John chose Marlena, and really, nothing short of complete mind control or Marlena's "death" has ever made him think otherwise.

Still, that doesn't mean I don't like watching Kristen work her magic. I have no doubt that Kristen is lying. I just don't know when she's lying. And that's the genius of Kristen.

Take Marlena for example. Kristen didn't set up Marlena to sneak into her hotel room. But when it became clear that someone wanted Kristen to meet Brady at the church, Kristen sprung into action. I'm not sure if the tablet was a plant, but I'm betting that it was. However, I'm not convinced that everything in her diary was untrue.

Next, Kristen started confessing to Father M.A.S.H. before she saw Brady outside the room, so it's obvious that she wanted to confess something. But, I'm sure that as soon as she saw Brady, she customized her "confession" for his benefit. I don't think that she has feelings for Brady (aside from the ones that every other sighted woman has)...yet. And, that's a big yet.

I have the feeling that Kristen may soon do too good of a job convincing Brady that she has feelings for him. It shouldn't be hard, since Brady is somewhat of a sucker for reformed bad girls. And here Marlena thought that she had to worry about John!

While we're on the topic of the good doctor, I have to say that I loved her attitude this week. I like that she owned up to breaking into Kristen's room and stealing her tablet. It didn't pay off this time, but more moves where she tells the truth will be a great benefit. I suggest she start by coughing up the truth to John about what happened in Kristen's hotel room. Lying only gives Kristen more power.

Caroline's storyline and I are just going to have to agree to disagree. The Alzheimer's diagnosis hits too close to home for me to chalk this one up as a silly little soap plot. If the writers were going to give her a fake cure, I wish they would have completed the set and gone with a fake disease. And if the end result is to not even get Bo out of town, but have him be perpetually "picking up Ciara from school," then I have to really wonder what the whole point was to begin with.

On the bright side, my partner, Tony, got his wish! Hope showed up in a Brady Pub apron!

Kate officially signed the divorce papers, leaving Stefano free to have yet another meal at that same Italian restaurant. On the bright side, Kate and Stefano shared a scene and proved that these two really should patent the argument apology. (Ex: "I love you, you big idiot!") On the other side, I really don't like Stefano not letting Kate be part of the DiMera double standard of justice. I completely agree with Kate. She is family too.

It's probably not a good sign that for most of Chad's scenes, my mind started to wonder if I had any friends who could comfortably rest their hand on the top of door while talking to me. In fact, it seems that I only paid attention to what he was saying when he was paired with his equally vertically gifted brother. E.J. told Chad to trust Kristen to fix his life. That should be good.

Also, I really wish that Chad would just tell Sonny what Gabi did to Melanie. Chad promised not to testify in court against Gabi. I don't think there was anything in that agreement about confiding in a friend.

Brady and Eric shared a scene where they melted my TV chatted about seeing the good in "people," and by "people" they specifically meant Kristen and Nicole. With all due apologies to Will Ferrell and John C. Reily, Brady and Eric are officially my favorite set of stepbrothers.

Can we all take a moment to celebrate the glorious return of Nicole's sass and laugh?!? As much as I love Arianne Zucker's dramatic acting chops, I've been dying for Nicole to lighten up a bit! And for my money, there's nothing better than when Nicole sarcastically chuckles and starts a sentence with, "So let me get this straight..." Thanks to one Eric Brady and his ridiculous/awesome suggestion that Nicole take a job as a secretary and move into the convent with the nuns, I've got my beloved quick-witted diva back. Oh, and the simmering chemistry between Eric and Nicole doesn't hurt either. Just saying.

Rafe was upset because during the time when he thought his sister was having an abortion, Sami didn't bother to interrupt the drama and confess to Rafe that she was working for E.J. Uff da. First, Sami is not obligated to tell Rafe anything. They're not together. Second, as Sami so spectacularly pointed out, she's a grown woman who can make up her own mind. But again, since we have no one in Salem who ever stands up to Rafe, I guess I can see why he thinks that he can manage everyone else's life.

Ciara (about Eric, speaking for pretty much all of us): "Mommy, are priests allowed to be handsome?" Ha! It reminded me of a family friend who jokingly refers to a certain priest as, "Father Whatawaste." I sort of love it!

I hope that Sami has a sparkly homecoming dress to go with that '90s up-do.

Hey, Maggie still owns Chez Rouge! Isn't it about time to get that place set up for Hope's birthday party?

Don't worry, Nicole, I never thought about finding a miracle cure for my crushes either. I usually went with the "sit a few seats away and hope he notices me" move.

Did Rafe pick up the phone and call his mom to tell her about Gabi's pregnancy? You know, since she actually is Gabi's parent and Rafe's big on parental rights all of a sudden.

Was it just me, or did Jen appear to be dressed as a life-size doll last week?

I'm not saying that I need Kristen's black jacket with a fur collar. But, I'm not saying that I don't need it either.

I realize that there are a lot of emotions running high right now. But, when things settle down, I'm okay with Gabi chewing Sami out for not keeping her big fat mouth shut.

Hold up, Jennifer cried herself to sleep? Maybe if we had have gotten to see/hear that, we wouldn't think that Jennifer got over Jack so fast.

And with that, November Sweeps has come to a close. I'm surprisingly happy with the direction of DAYS! Save for a few minor details (let's call them "Rafe, Jennifer, and Daniel"), I think that DAYS is getting it back together. A few questions to ponder before I turn things over to Tony for his last regular column of the year -- What four-letter word would be Kristen's password? Anyone know how I can get one of those "Free Beers for Life" cards at the Brady Pub? And why did Caroline tell Eric that she thinks he'll be a wonderful priest? Is it not a done deal yet ( la Colleen Brady)? Click here to let me know!

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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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