Land of the free

For the Week of July 8, 2013
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As the citizens of Salem celebrated the holiday, Sami got her freedom, Kristen pushed her battle plan forward, and J.J.'s behavior appeared to be a perfect imitation of his father. Did you miss any of the fireworks? Explore them all in this week's Two Scoops.

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Happy belated Independence Day, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend. I was so wrapped up with holiday cheer that I decided to practice a little freedom of my own. Here goes!

As much as I adore and worship Big Red, I've met my quota on Maggie coming to Daniel's apartment to give him love advice. She was right about everything she said about Jen and J.J. But, she's at Daniel's side a lot. It's starting to make Maggie seem desperate. That's not to say her desperation to make up for lost time with her son isn't justified. It's just not enjoyable to watch.

So, to liberate Maggie from the oppression of this task, I'll step in and pass out a few common sense tokens to those poor lost souls in Salem. Advice and cans of Coca Cool for everyone! This will be fun.

First, Roman needs to keep bringing the awesome. I mean, sure, Roman was drinking in the middle of the morning because he'd lost his job and his daughter was facing murder charges. Also, his dog may or may not have run away with his pickup truck. I'm not sure. But, I loved that he believed that Bernardi was dirty. Better yet, I love that he had faith in Sami. He's been burned by that so many times that it's nice to know that when the truth about Bernardi comes out, Roman will finally get to be right.

That is, until Sami goes back to face more charges. I was shocked when the grand jury didn't indict. We've got six to eight more weeks of summer storyline to fill, people! But the show went to great lengths to mention that the prosecutor didn't offer a lesser charge, and without new evidence, Sami is likely off the hook. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but thank goodness Adrienne still has that video and that grudge against Sami! I like this storyline, and I want to see it unravel a bit more.

However, there is one little kink that needs to be worked out. For some reason, Sami let Marge Bernardi tell her off. I have no problem with the Marge part of it. It's the "Sami let her" part that I really didn't understand.

Sami's never been one to take lip from anyone, least of all a never-before-seen character. It's nice and all that Sami feels bad, but truth be told, I have a longer relationship with current leftovers in my fridge than I do with the Bernardis. So I don't need to see Sami humble herself in front of this lady. Justin said it best when he said that Bernardi died because he was living a double life. That's not Sami's fault.

Second, here's a crazy opinion. I like both Daniel and Jack. I don't think either character is perfect, but I see the value in both. What I don't like is J.J. behaving like a self-entitled tool anytime his mom tried to be harsh on his drug fun time. At this point, this storyline needs to end with J.J. and his long-lost twin performing a musical number on acoustic guitar to make watching a bratty kid act out worth my time.

I get that he's grieving. But there's a difference between reasons and excuses. J.J.'s completely justified grief over losing his father does not rid J.J. of having to deal with the consequences of his actions. He can't just get up in front of a judge and say, "I lost my dad, and my mom started dating someone else, so I shouldn't be punished for [insert J.J.'s crime du jour here]!" Seriously, if it was that easy to blame one parent's absence and the other's active love life then why would Sami even bother with this "protecting Rafe" defense? Just flash your bad mama/dead dad card, and the police will let you go, Sammers!

Sorry, I'm getting off topic. J.J. is a hot mess of an almost-legal adult right now, and while I'd like to sit him down and read him the riot act, something hit me smack in the middle of the eyes as he fought with Jennifer that made me think. J.J.'s remarkable instinct to go right for Jen's emotional bull's-eye is a classic, textbook Jack Deveraux move.

That's not to say that Jack was a bad egg. Jack always had a reason -- many times a very sympathetic or even noble reason -- for doing what he did. But the rub was that people always suffered as a result of his decisions and in many cases were expected to negate their own feelings and true experiences because of his actions. Yet, he'd beg and (quite convincingly!) charm his was back into Jen's (okay, and my) good graces. So, it's really no wonder that J.J. does the exact same thing with Jen. I'm not sure if this is intentional on the writers' part or not, but it's a splendid little layer of history that I rather enjoyed last week!

I enjoyed it a lot more than J.J.'s scenes with Jen Lilly's character. Remember when I mentioned that J.J. was an almost legal adult? Yah, that "almost" is sort of a big deal when it comes to all of the sexual innuendoes being thrown around between a grown woman and an underage high schooler. The fact that they acknowledged the age difference didn't make it any easier to watch. It just seemed, well, creepy.

However, as a fan of Jen Lilly's stint on GH, I'm more than willing to see what she can do with this storyline. I got a kick out of her character sparring with Jennifer. I have to say that the whole devil-may-care vibe was very Cassie Brady. One would think that Jennifer would recognize Cassie. But right now, that's asking a lot from the woman who thinks that she can cancel the Internet on her son.

To say that Jennifer is failing as a parent right now would be a bit of an understatement. I agreed with Daniel when he pointed out that breaking up with him is just giving J.J. what he wants. But if Jen's too weak of a person to parent her kid and have a healthy relationship, then taking a break from Daniel is her only choice. I just really hope she has a better plan beyond dumping Daniel and taking J.J. to picnics 24 hours after he was arrested.

Finally, the good news for J.J. is that he's hardly the worst criminal on the show. That would be Kristen. She hired a super geek to edit out all the parts of her video where it looked like Eric was protesting to her advances. Now it's just a matter of what comes back first -- the finished video or her positive pregnancy test. That has to be where this storyline is going, right? Because bedding Marlena's kid, while horrible, won't leave the lasting effects that being the mother to one of Marlena's grandkids would offer.

I keep forgetting that no one knows that E.J. and Justin are working together to take down Stefano. I like that E.J. only has one big shot at this whole thing. It will make the scene where Mr. Shin casts the deciding vote at the next Tribal Council all the more soapy!

In the latest installment of Why Abigail Should Pick Chad, they had an amazing talk when Chad lamented that he never wants to turn out like Stefano. First, this argument wears me a bit thin. As soon as Stefano is someone's father, their maternal genes are completely invalid. Chad is half Madeline -- the woman who pulled herself up from prostitution to become a respected judge. Second, Abigail was an absolute rock star when she brought up the fact that the Deveraux family closet is stocked full of skeletons (Did ya hear that, Adrienne?) that don't always pass down through generations.

If I got so sick that I passed out and woke up in a hospital in a different town, I'd be willing to do whatever follow-up care is necessary. I know that he's a man of God, but I couldn't swallow much more of Eric's mumbo-jumbo about how God made him sick and then better. As my grandmother always likes to point out, God also gave you a brain. Don't disrespect him by not using it. I'm glad Eric came around and agreed. And I like seeing Daniel in a medical mystery storyline again!

Between Nick, Gabi, and Bernardi, my gal Abigail is making an all too regular habit of sticking up for the wrong people. She sure doesn't let the fact that Sami's been a family friend for years get in her way of her holy crusade to protect Madame Bernardi. And her chat with Gabi made me wonder if Abigail has any idea the level of suck that Nick reached in his torture of her other two cousins, Will and Sonny.

Justin, because he's the Best Person Ever, told Sonny that the greatest adventure is raising a child. I have to say that even though I miss Bo, I do like Justin in the Kiriakis-with-a-big-heart role.

I didn't really care that much for Brent. Badnew von Blueeyes was a bit of a bragger who liked to equate relationship commitment with emotional imprisonment. Sonny comes across as one of the more logical thinking soap characters. I don't see him ever being forced into a situation. Now, Will having doubts about life with a boyfriend and a baby, that I could actually see playing out. He's definitely the more insecure one of the pair.

Gabi sure didn't seem too broken up over the end of her marriage when she was making flirty face at Cameron. You know what else? I'm kind of not mad at her at all for it! There was something charming about Gabi giving Cameron a hard time about his picture on Caroline's Facebook page. And if things work out for Chad and Abigail, Gabi won't even have to leave Abigail tied up in a basement with a mental patient to get Cameron out on a date! Your move, destiny.

Extra Scoops

Applause for the Fourth of July episode at the lake! I love seeing big group scenes where characters that don't often get to share lines, like Gabi and Justin, interact. I adored spending time with the Chad/Theo/Cameron trio. J.J. and Adrienne were a treat. And I really liked Jennifer's cute dress! What a fun way to spend a Friday!

That memorial service for Bernardi was real swell. It's too bad that Jack didn't have any connections to the Horton family that they could have closed down the Town Square to do the same thing for him. But that's okay, Jack's off-screen memorial service thing was totally beautiful and meant a lot to us to watch it. #stillbitter

Sonny (to Gabi about Brent): "You know he plays for the other team, right?"
T: "That never stopped her before!"
Oh how I've missed T and his inappropriate but not always incorrect assessment of delicate situations. Something tells me that T and Nicole would get along well. Are we sure that Faye didn't have another kid?

Apparently Anne has never been around the hospital on Christmas Day if she's so shocked that a Horton would work on a holiday.

Sonny's never looked hotter than he did on Tuesday's show. A man with a vacuum is irresistible, amiright?

I really thought that Sami and Kristen's mutual password would be "Marl3naSux@Lif3"

Camila Banus was stop-and-stare stunning in red!

Okay, having Will and Sonny set out a rainbow picnic blanket was a teeny bit heavy-handed.

Abigail's swimsuit was super cute!

Shouldn't someone from the Salem Police Department have been answering grand jury questions about what evidence was found and why a suspect was hypnotized at the station with a detective present?

I liked that Will still had a Band-Aid on his torso where he was shot and then had major surgery to dig the bullet out of his side.

Does Casey Moss give anyone else a slight Mario Lopez vibe in the smile/dimples area?

Do you think Sami's hair-do was a braid that's wound or a fancy woven bun? Either way, I want one.

Is anyone else really curious to find out why/how/when Kristen had squirrel videos on her tablet?

Whoa! Hope was in uniform. Double whoa! Abe got a uniform! He's been on the job for what, a day? I guess it could be his old uniform, if they let you keep those.

FYI, J.J. -- "you yell and I just stand here and take it" is pretty much standard parenting for a teenager who just got arrested.

Adrienne, sweetie, comparing your issues with Sonny (a grown man, mind you) not breaking up with the boyfriend you disapprove of to Jennifer's troubles with her drug-dealing criminal son is not even close to the same ocean, much less the same boat.

Wow! Those workmen sure got to work on that new school pretty darn fast.

And that's it for this week. I hope you all had a splendid Fourth and won each of your respective sand volleyball tournaments. Just in case you are in need of even more heat, check out the list of Top 10 Hunky Henchmen that @Tony_S_Days and I "suffered" through selecting for your viewing pleasure. We'll be back with more lists of baddies as the summer of sinners blog series continues!

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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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