The echoes of long ago

For the Week of May 18, 2015
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DAYS Two Scoops: The echoes of long ago
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Evans vs. DiMera. Due to Kristen's untimely death, the legendary grudge match between these two Salem heavyweights heats up once again! Marlena seems safe for now, but is Stefano really done with his former Queen of the Night? Plus, Roberts vs. Horton, Narita vs. Black, and Baby Christopher gets an official name change. Get ready to rumble in this week's Two Scoops!

Drats! We almost had some justice in the brutal murder of Kristen DiMera, but, no. Stefano had to listen to Chad's crazy talk, which forced him to free Marlena. Oh, well. It didn't look like those DiMera goons were getting anywhere with trying to toss her out the window anyhow. She's a feisty broad. Okay, but I will ask. Was I the only one signing, "Ah, push it -- push it real good?" I kid. I kid.

So, one of my top ten things I love about DAYS has always been Stefano and Marlena's twisted tango. Some may say he's a bit obsessed with her. I say he's just committed. Of course, Marlena thinks he needs to be committed, but I consider that a little rude. After all, I've never been called someone's Queen of the Night. Okay, once, but that's a long story, and I digress. The moral of the story at hand is this -- Stefano vs. Marlena is always a great time, and last week was no exception.

First, it was nice to see Stefano at his nastiest again! He was out of his Dr. Claw chair and taking verbal swings at Doc. Joseph Mascolo always shines when he brings the boom down, especially if said boom is a combo of grief and rage. Like Eileen Davidson does with Kristen, Joseph manages to go to Crazy Town and back, yet somehow keep one foot on the ground, which adds complex layers to his performances. You know he's wrong, but question it a little, and that right there makes an amazing villain.

On the flipside, Deidre Hall makes a great victim because she doesn't necessarily play the victim. Sure, Marlena was scared, but she fought like hell and used her wits to battle Stefano. I love this strong, feisty version of Marlena the best. She wasn't backing down, even when her back was toward that open window, which really should have been fixed by now, no? Anyway!

This rekindled battle came complete with a sordid stroll down memory lane, and I loved every second of the flashbacks and rehashing of history. Sometimes it's easy to forget just how long the bad blood has flowed between these two, but the feathery '80s hair was a true testament that these two have been battling for decades. I can't even pick a favorite flashback, but the helicopter, dead rat, Stefan's "Phantom of the (Soap) Opera" getup, Stefano vs. Satan, and Marlena giving him that paralyzing drug cocktail are right up there in favorite Phoenix vs. Mar Mar moments. More down the road? Um, yes, please!

And speaking of, "Yes, please!" if you could believe your eyes and ears, Roman and Abe were brought out of the mothballs and saved the day! Well, technically, Chad saved the day for Doc, but it's because Roman and Abe put the pieces of the puzzle together to begin with. That surprise felt nice. It would have been easy to give the hero role to John, which is usually a given, so I loved it even more that Roman and Abe played a hand in saving the day. After all, Roman was Stefano's first archenemy. Way to tip your hat to DAYS' history, writers.

As mentioned, the big player in the entire "saving the day" thingy was Chad. As in, Chad "That's Not Who You Are" DiMera. Billy Flynn is really playing the hell out of Chad, and I'm a fan. He's keeping Chad a gray character, right where he should be. Though I really liked the moment when Chad realized if Stefano killed Marlena, he would cross the line, damning both of their souls.

However, Chad's inner struggle started when Marlena showed up to give her take on what happened with Kristen. And she pulled out the big gun -- that is cuddly, cute Johnny is worried about Uncle Chad. Aww! I miss that kid. I'm glad that resonated with Chad. I've always enjoyed "Uncle Chad" and would love to see him in that role again soon. Let's hope Sami brings the kids back with her when she visits Salem later this year.

In truth, Chad had chats with his other conscious cheerleaders Abigail, Melanie, and Kate, also known as Chad's Jiminy Crickets. They each gave Chad the entire "you're your own man," "you're not your father," "you've had a rough life, but you're gonna make it after all" speeches. It teetered on tedious, but overall, I enjoyed all the performances and didn't mind. I'm also a sucker for Chad and Kate's relationship. It's odd, but I believe she really does care for him (and vice versa).

Though I will admit, after seeing Chad and Melanie again, I'm even surer that Molly Burnett's return was a misfire. Billy and Molly have some interesting chemistry I'd have loved to seen explored. Chad and Melanie's chat was brutally honest, yet warm, and I appreciated it. They even brought up Mia and the baby, which is a part of Chad's history I thought the current writers were avoiding. My bad. It was good.

Like Chad, verging somewhere between good and bad, is Chad and Abigail's relationship thingy. Billy and Kate have chemistry, I'll give them that, and I don't dislike the idea, I just dislike the "been there, done that" feeling when it comes to Abigail. Sure, love triangles are a dime a dozen on soaps, but Abigail always seems to find her biggest problem in life is loving two men at the same time. We get it. Abs is a hot commodity for the twenty-something crowd.

Though, I shouldn't complain. With Abigail and Chad inching their way toward one another, Ben is inching his way toward becoming a bit of a heel, I suspect. He's already starting to sport some scruff, which is a total sign of a baddie. Plus, he officially changed his last name to Weston. Okay, I thought he did that weeks ago, but, yet again, I digress. I still think it's a total slap in Jordan's face, given all she gave up to keep him protected from 'Pa Weston all those years. Though I miss Chrishell Stause, I'm actually glad Jordan isn't around to see that. Was it Rafe's place to ask Ben about telling Jordan? No, but I didn't mind.

But the big question remains, what will Ben do with his newfound Weston roots? He's continued to take cheap shots at Abigail regarding her hankering for hunky DiMera men. He's also resorted to eavesdropping in bushes. If he puts on a Bad Lexie-like red dress, I know he's officially crossed to the dark side. In Ben's case, that might not be such a bad thing. Good guy Ben can sometimes be a bit of a zzzzzzzzzz, oh sorry. A bore.

Related, Brady and Theresa decided to backhand Kristen's memory by changing the name of her son. Okay. Okay. Fine, their son. They named the little bundle of cuteness Tater Tot. Oh, what's that? Sorry. Just Tate. Tate Black, International Baby of Mystery. Ah, well. It beats Melvin...or Pocket. Mazel tov, little one! And good luck raising those two parents.

LOOSE ENDS:
Ding, ding! We have a winner. Paige put the pieces of the puzzle together about Cole narcing on J.J. She needs to keep digging, despite his assurance. I could handle Paige being sassed up a bit.

Sans getting handsy with the ladies, which is a no-no in my books, I feel that Xander is getting the raw end of the Kiriakis stick, and I don't like it. He's basically giving Meredith Grey's "Pick me. Choose me. Love me" speech to Victor and the Kiriakis boys, but they aren't having it. Dr. Dan basically acted like having coffee with Xander is an inconvenience he got trapped into doing. You'd think that after all the estranged family Dr. Dan has been introduced to over the years -- you know, like his bio-mother, child, um, children, and half-siblings -- he'd be a bit more welcoming to a long-lost relative. Not so much, as it turns out. #DrJerk

As for Xander, he had his hands full with the ladies. First Serena tried to get all up in his grill and toss her weight around. I just can't. I adore Melissa Archer, but Serena is just missing the mark of becoming a character I can root for. Xander and Nicole, on the other hand, I can get behind, but sadly it looks like the writers are just using him as a Dr. Dan and Nicole speed bump. That makes me sad. I loved the idea of Nicole being a fellow's first choice -- of a guy falling for Nicole and all her infinite faults without trying to lecture and change her into what he wants her to be. And, no, Dr. Dude, I'm not apologizing for those wishes.

I can barely handle Kate's un-Kateness due to Clyde, but I'll be dammed if I'll let him wreck Hope and Aiden's relationship. They broke up, well, for a second, and then got back together. Good! I like these two. I don't mind that they're on opposite ends of the legal system, but it would be a bag of rotten possums if they broke up over Clyde.

On the topic of Clyde, Will is in Poplar Bluff and learning, but not really learning things about Mr. Weston. Jeremiah warned him that people are afraid of Clyde. Will is, I believe, but when it comes to Will and listening to words of warning, Will's ego wins out every time, which could spell trouble for Mr. Horton. And that can spell a good storyline for viewers, so I'm onboard with this one.

Boom! I'm loving this snide side of Lucas. After years and years of him proclaiming he's kicking Kate out of his life, it finally looks like he's manning up to do so. He's now in charge of Countess W (with Billie's blessing, no less), stole Kate's star employee, and vowed to take her down once and for all. Part of me is a little sad this mother/son duo is on the outs, especially after Lauren Koslow's performance because that tear kind of tugged at my heart strings, but more so, I'm eager to watch Lucas in his big boy pants vs. Kate. This should get good!

Speaking of dueling children and parents, we come to Paul and John. For a minute, they got along. Then Brady (and Theresa) decided to throw shade Paul's way, and that created another rift for John and Paul. I'll be honest here; I know that Paul was put off by John's treatment of him, but I think the writers are kind of forgetting that the first time John and Paul met, it was Paul who was being a jerk to John. Sure, Paul later apologized and John became a fan, but maybe Paul should remember that and move on.

Finally, with Paul back in Salem, it was only a matter of time before his shirt came off again. Whoops! I meant, until he ran into Sonny again. I like that Paul loves Sonny and wants to be the upstanding guy for him, but I also find myself on Team Sonny a bit more these days. That is, Sonny has made it clear he wants to work on his marriage to Will (soap gods help him), but no one seems to be respecting his choice, and that's a bit irritating. Everyone has Sonny's best interest at heart, but nobody's listening to him. From Justin to Victor to Paul, none of them seem to care what Sonny is clearly and simply telling them. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, he really is Salem's Rodney Dangerfield and "gets no respect."

Extra Scoops
HOT
One, the one and only Thaao Penghlis is returning to DAYS!!! That. Is. Epic! Like the hourglass and Alice's doughnuts, he's a legend that screams "DAYS!" to me. I cannot wait.

Two, let's just cheer one more time for Stefano vs. Marlena! Joseph and Deidre rocked their scenes, and this DAYS fan couldn't be happier. More, please!

NOT
Okay, I'm not going to talk about Jennifer's snarky attitude toward Roman. Or Abigail or J.J.'s snarky attitude towards him, either. They were all kind of royal douchebags toward a close family friend who was trying to soften a blow, but I digress. Instead, let's talk about the missed potential! That is, almost more than anyone, Roman may know a thing or two about unconditionally loving a child who's done horrible, horrendous things more than once (yes, dear Sami, I'm looking at you). So, instead of bonding or lending a shoulder, Jennifer was just a total a-hole to him instead. Got it! Can't wait for the next Brady Horton Fourth of July picnic. (No, really, I can't -- that tradition needs to be brought back)! Yes. Right. What has I saying? Oh, yes, Jennifer, you kind of suck right now, girl.


LINE OF THE WEEK
Marlena: "Do you think you'll feel any better if you hurt me?"
Stefano: "Yes. I do."

RANDOM THOUGHTS
Lucas knows how to cut deep. His "Good day, Ms. Roberts" was pretty much the nice way to say, "Get the *bleep* outta here you *bleeping* *bleep*!" Way to keep it classy, Lucas!

I'm pretending that big honking ring Brady pulled out at the end of Friday's show is a "thank you for reuniting me with my baby" friendship ring, and that's all. Kristen's not dead. Brady's not proposing. I can live with denial.

I'm surprised Marlena didn't take a selfie by the window when she arrived in Italy.

Maybe Dr. Dan should meet Audra. He needs someone new in his life. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll throw a mop dressed up like a woman at him if it means he and Nicole will keep their distance.

Xander reminded me viewers he's a private person. Right. Got it. *stage wink* I won't meet you behind the dumpster outside the back of the hotel again, Xan!

Do you think the writers sit around and think, "How can we get Christopher Sean shirtless today?" "Oh, oh, spill chocolate milk!"

John desperately needs to send a mass email to everyone in his address book, stating, "Please. If I have another unknown relative out there, now would be a good time to let me know. That's a fact." Because you know he'd close his emails that way.

A big bag of pot turns up,\ and so does Rory. Coincidence? I think not! He's like a shark who can sniff blood miles away in the ocean. Play on, stoner. Play on.

Speaking of Rory, did you notice his eyes light up when J.J. mentioned the weed?

And speaking of that weed, wouldn't a baggie float in water? I'm pretty sure that answer is "yes."

In unrelated news, Rory has taken up swimming.

I like the Kate Roberts Diet: fruit cups and martinis.

I adore that Caroline calls Theresa "Jeannie Theresa!" Me, too, sweet Caroline.

Caroline also says, "Ciara says more than her prayers." You think?

Paige's birthday is coming up, hmm! Something tells me something big is going to blow up at that shindig.

I hope that before Melanie leaves, Carly makes one cameo, even if it's a Stefano on the phone type scenario.

John, Brady, and Tater Tot were adorable together. And after the life John has led, I love that Brady can explain the craziness of the situation, and John can basically shrug and say, "Sounds about right."

Of course Sonny has an extra plaid shirt. Or twenty. #atleasttheyrenotcardigans

Ben's newfound facial hair is a winner.

Snap, Dr. Dan! He insulted the hospital coffee, but Sonny's club is the one who supplies it. I wonder what Victor would think about his golden man throwing shade as his golden boy? And thus the great Kiriakis Civil War began.

PARTING THOUGHTS
So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of May 18! I hope everyone is enjoying May Sweeps as much as I am, and if you're not, wait until next week ! In the meantime, make sure to reach out to NBC.com with feedback to stand up for our soap by clicking here! The always lovely Laurisa will be back next week with an all new Two Scoops, and "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!
Tony

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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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