Catching fire

For the Week of February 25, 2013
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DAYS Two Scoops: Catching fire
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Just when it seemed that DAYS couldn't get any better, Maxine got a chance to shine (and a last name)! The two sides of Nick surfaced, Cougar Kate continued to pounce, and Gilligan's Island landed in Salem as DAYS blazed its way though February Sweeps! Find out more in this week's Two Scoops.

I was fortunate enough to be a guest on last week's Soap Central Live, and I took that opportunity to make a very bold statement: DAYS is a good soap right now! Even the storylines that aren't hitting the bull's-eye still have some aspects that are on target. There's hardly a character or storyline right now that I couldn't say something good about. (Yes, Rafe, that even includes you! Gimme a hug, you big tamale!) Let's recap what happened last week!

Let me preface this all by saying that Sami should have left the hospital the second Will asked her to go. It's his baby and his call. But, alas, trying to tell Sami to butt out is like trying to tell a drunken frat boy that the Beastie Boys don't totally rule. Your point is not going to land. And it was infuriating to watch because not only was Sami right, but the three stooges were wrong.

I completely understand that Will, Nick, and Rafe were terrified. And Sami is an easy target. But Gabi was dehydrated and disclosed that back pains had been present for days. That means that Sami didn't cause this unless I missed an episode where Sami sneaked into Gabi's room, hid all the water, and poked pins into Gabi's spine. (Kidding. Gabi doesn't have a spine.)

And yes, any stress is bad for Gabi. But I'd say that spending the majority of her time wishing that her baby had a different father puts a heckuvalot more stress on Gabi than Sami did by asking Gabi to follow through on something Gabi already agreed to do.

Sami's instincts about Nick and Gabi were right on. (As was her accusation that Julie is completely on Nick's side.) But thanks to Sami's bulldozer-on-Red-Bull behavior, she's probably guaranteed herself a restraining order. Ironically, I think the problem was that Gabi and Sami didn't talk enough. If Gabi had heard from Sami, rather than just Rafe's version of what Sami said, things wouldn't be this messy.

I mean this in the best way possible -- considering who Will's parents are, shouldn't he know better than just take people at their word? There's been no public indication that Will's rights are solidified. Right now, Gabi saying that she wants Will to have access to his child holds just as much weight as me saying that I'll start my diet tomorrow. Part of me feels for Sami because Will essentially plugged his ears and stomped his feet any time she suggested that Gabi was less than an angel. He needs to quit that.

The good: Rafe accepting Sami's apology and then apologizing himself for contributing to Gabi's stress.

The bad: Really, Rafe? Everything Sami every said about Nicole isn't true? You say that like Nicole didn't steal Sami's baby and switch it with another one.

The ugly: When Rafe mentioned how helpless he felt after Arianna died, I rolled my eyes so hard they almost came out of my ears.

The good (again!): Rafe's conversation with Will was wonderful! I'm holding out a lot of hope that this relationship remains intact since we've spent a lot of time watching Will and Rafe bond.

I'm still on the fence about these two. On one hand, anything that keeps Rafe out of Sami's bed is good with me. On the other hand, if Rafe is really done with lying schemers who still hold a candle for a DiMera, I'm not so sure that Kate is the best option right now.

And, to put it bluntly, Katie's done the cougar thing before with far superior partners who were actually into her. Right now Rafe and Kate are little more than the "Sami's a Horrible Human Being" club. That's going to be trouble.

Nick threatening Sami is a smart move on his part. It will give him the perfect scapegoat for his plan. After all, convincing Rafe, Kate, and Will to blame Sami would be like convincing me to have another glass of zinfandel. I mean, I guess it might work. So as much as I despise his real motivation, I have to give him a hat tip in the villain department. Well played, Nick. Best of luck to you with E.J. You're going to need it.

(By the way, Nick, the reason that everyone has such a different opinion of your relationship with Gabi is because it recently came out that the two of you masterminded a fraud scheme and lied to two families. You can check out the Soap Central recap section if you need a refresher.)

Outside of everything else, there's a lot of tenderness to Nick and Gabi's relationship. I know, I know, that's like saying if you take out all of the sugar, flour, butter, and egg yolks, cookies are a health food! But when Nick worried, "My life's in that room," I felt bad for him. Also, I couldn't help but notice that none of those "Hortons 4 Nicky" were at the hospital when he needed them.

My heart jumped a bit when Will saw Sonny get off that elevator. Will's back to being a hot mess, and that's the dynamic that worked for Will and Sonny in the first place. I was so glad when Sonny found that envelope and read Will's letter. I mean, sure, don't go through Will's things. But, yeah for second chances! Come on, Wilson!

On the upside, this storyline avoided the predictable pitfalls like Daniel being completely clueless. I liked that he booked himself a hotel room. Good for Maggie for appreciating how rough Chloe has been to Victor's family. And rock star work out of Abigail for calling Daniel out on not doing anything to stop Nicole from making Jen's life miserable before.

But on the downside -- to quote the great philosopher Michael Scott -- bitches be crazy.

I think we're supposed to believe that Chloe is desperately trying to put her family back together. But, it's playing more like Chloe is the worst mother on the planet. She forbade Maggie from picking up Parker and didn't seem to care that getting herself kicked out of the Kiriakis Mansion actually meant that her child would be homeless!

Then there's Jen. I don't care that she outlined a very intricate game of telephone involving Maggie, Victor, a nanny, a string, Morse code, and a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring. That suggestion was selfish and ludicrous. I actually gave Daniel credit for not flicking Jen right between the eyes for that one.

Alas, my real problem is that I'm completely indifferent to both pairs. Both ladies are swell, but neither sets my world on fire. I actually chuckled when Chloe accused Jennifer of lacking charisma. It was like watching Saltines call chicken broth bland.

E.J. and SAMI
Truth time -- I put off watching DAYS until I got home from work on Friday just so that if the writers stuck to their normal pattern of crushing Ejami the second after they got together, I could at least enjoy the Ejami win for a few more days.

I've never been more thrilled to be wrong. Thank goodness they're still together because Sami needed someone to help ward off the pitchforks and rotten vegetable at the hospital. I cheered when E.J. showed up. I loved that he seemed slightly amused by the fact that she sneaked into Gabi's room. And it was nice to see someone actually acknowledge the fact that Sami had feelings too.

I have to give some major respect to Lucas in the Sami department as well. After the (well deserved) "you didn't listen to me" scolding, Lucas was there to support Sami and acknowledge that she'd never do anything to intentionally hurt Gabi or the baby.

I adore this Lucas so much that I'm utterly baffled why the writers wasted his time by having him smarm at Nicole and Daniel. Lucas is a million times better when forming a united front with Sami. Seriously, writers, let's get to the scene where Lucas tells her about the text and have them officially set up Team Will headquarters!

Despite Eileen Davidson and Eric Martsolf's stellar work, this storyline took a couple of strange turns.

First, just when did Kristen start getting scheme ideas from Chloe? When the "I'll get smashed, embarrass him in public, and then beg him to marry me" move didn't work, Kristen announced that she'd made an unbreakable promise to her daddy. I don't believe for a hot second that Kristen could be guilted into doing anything she didn't want to do. Neither should Brady.

Second, this storyline is starting to suffer from Gilligan Island's disease. They need to get off their own island and interact with the rest of civilization soon. Personally, I'd like to see them get a cool apartment across the hall from Nicole (who gets frequent visits from Eric.) Two scheming divas, a recovering addict, and a priest sounds juicy to me.

Clueless Man Syndrome usually gets on my last nerve. I don't put up with that in real life, and I don't like it in my soaps. But, it totally works in Eric's situation. A priest's default setting should be to look at the larger picture. So, it makes sense that he can't see that Nicole is in love with him because he doesn't think everything is all about him. It's actually quite refreshing in a soap character.

Additionally, the subtle undertones in Greg Vaughn's acting were amazingly on-point in his scenes. The robbery wasn't the first time that Eric had seen someone he cares about at the business end of a gun, and it was apparent that Eric was struggling with his own past demons, while still trying to help the gunman find a better path. And, perhaps, a haircut. Okay, I added that last part.

Finally, I really like this challenge for Arianne Zucker. We know that she can play Nicole smoldering, scheming, or even screaming. But she's never had to play Nicole struggling with such a private matter. Outside of Brandon, Eric's the only man in Nicole's life to never let her down. Nicole can't just lash out about this one, and I'm excited to see where Dame Zucker takes this role.

Kate and Rafe tried to talk Nick into postponing his marriage to Gabi. Not that they're great at making them, but that is Nick and Gabi's decision. Also, when a soap character declares that he definitely knows something, it's proof that he absolutely does not. Methinks Rafe has more to learn about what actually happened to Nick in prison.

Yes! Marlena had the right idea when she warned E.J. not to break Sami's heart. Now if only she can hold onto that sentiment the next time she talks to Rafe, Carrie, or Lucas.

Weird, you'd think that Abigail would have mentioned her Golden Circle status to Max, Chad, or Cameron before. You'd think that someone with such a strict position on premarital sex wouldn't strip down to her Underoos and climb on top of a passed-out married man to make him think that they slept together. I mean, it's almost like the show is making a mockery of an important issue and using their best younger actress to do it. Nah, that can't be it.

John didn't seem as positive about working things out with Marlena as she made it sound to Kristen. The longer John stays gone, the less sympathy I have for him.

Just when I thought I couldn't love Maxine any more, she stole the show last week! I loved how Will stated that he wasn't alone because Maxine was there. And, she did a great job calming Gabi down by telling the story of her own daughter. (A freshmen at Salem U! Hey, Gabi, isn't that about your age? Maybe you know her?) Finally, a part of me wanted to chest bump her when she looked right at Gabi and said, "Don't verbalize!" I may or may not have said that to Gabi on multiple occasions. Gawd, I love Maxine!

Jennifer jumped back into a relationship with Daniel way too soon. It was badly written and a poor decision. And each time Jennifer gets some dialogue to explain her feelings, it gets worse. Last week she described going back to Jack as a "difficult thing." I'm going to have to go ahead and strongly suggest that the writers never, ever, ever type the name "Jack" again unless it's in conjunction with Matt Ashford returning to the show. It's just for the best at this point.

LINE OF THE WEEK -- Twins Edition!
Sami (to Will): "You're listening to Julie? She hasn't had a paternity test since Nixon was president."

Honorable mention:
Eric (to Nicole): "Do you think that God would let a priest get hurt with a cross? It'd be horrible PR!"

Gotta give some family tree lessons to two of my favorite gents: E.J., Brady isn't going to marry into your family. He's already part of your family. And Eric, my dear, the closet thing you have to a brother would be your actual brother, Rex, not your stepbrother, Brady. I understand what you both meant though.

Mel and Abigail still email. Eventually, someone needs to ask Mel about Gabi. Now, what can we deduce from these two things?

Abe and Theo looked so dapper in their respective glasses and hat!

I loved that Sami laughed at the idea of Nick telling her to leave her family's pub. Don't worry, Nick. The second Sami steps foot in Bigot Headquarters, you have my permission to kick her butt right out of there!

NuSydney looks exactly like Arianne Zucker.

I would have thought that Jen would be a little more bothered by the suggestion that she help rebuild the tunnels damaged in the explosion that killed her husband and almost killed her daughter.

I saw Roman! Has he met Anne?

Gabi was very confused as to why Sami might not think that Gabi is a stand-up chick. I guess Sami shouldn't have sent that "Thanks for withholding my granddaughter from me" card. Yup, this one's on Sami.

Gee, Jen, it sucks when your lover's ex just miraculously blows back into town, huh?

I think it's time that Nick and Gabi move out of the Pub. Doesn't Rafe's apartment have something like 85 extra rooms in it?

I'm not so sure Nick should be throwing out lines like, "Not everyone pays for their crimes" when he's engaged to Gabi.

I was really surprised that Kate and Lucas didn't completely support the idea of Will getting a paternity test. These two are hardly custody case newbies.

This casting news makes me hope that my dream of having some DAYS courtroom drama will come true soon!

Have you checked out the DAYS Dankie's nominees?

And there's another great week in the books for our beloved DAYS! Tony will be back next week to see what Nick has to say to Sami. Something tells me he doesn't want her margarita recipe. I mean Nick. Tony would be absolutely down with margarita recipes from anyone.

Need more Two Scoops? Head over to read blogs by Laurisa or Tony for more ranting, raving, and all-out randomness.

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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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