Ah, summer love. It's the time of late nights, more free time, and the storied tradition of crazy men chasing you into basements. The events of the past weeks meant that a lot of couples got shifted around, and for the most part, I'm thrilled!
So, let's rip the Band-Aid off quickly and get the bad stuff out of the way first.
I shouldn't say bad, because Abigail certainly isn't a bad guy. She loves her family, holds down a good job, and rocks some righteous lounge clothes. She was great during the Austin obsession. And I really thought the grace with which she handled herself after the E.J. affair came out was setting her on the path to being a strong woman.
But the kicker is that the show keeps resetting her character back to this na´ve, weak, little girl. It's just not all that rad to watch a supposed grown woman struggle over what her mother will think of her. After all, soap love triangles are for manipulation, brain washings, amnesia, evil twins, or a list of other tactics. They aren't for weaklings who can't make up their minds. (Put your hand down, Carrie!)
Additionally, if Chad and Abigail are supposed to be "best friends," I would have liked to see her at least question why he turned into a screaming jerkface. If Bo did that to Hope, she'd pull on her big girl detective pants and start digging. If Victor did that to Maggie, she'd dish it right back. But Abigail ran away and sulked. Granted, she did in in an awesome Flashdance-esque sweatshirt. But still. This pair is both based on and limited by Abigail's weakness. That bums me out.
On the flip side, we've got Brady and Theresa. They were never great loves, either, but at least Brady is strong enough to see deeper into Theresa. He can't quite write her off, no matter what she does.
It's partly because Brady's a good dude, and partly because Theresa's not all monster. She's got a hard coating, for sure. But I like that Brady can see through it. I'm not sure if I want them together romantically, but I do like that they are in each other's orbits. I missed this feisty side of Brady while they were trying to make Brelanie a thing. And he completely located his Kiriakis jewels when he told off Theresa.
For her part, Theresa had totally legitimate points. Brady has Maggie and a whole staff to set up Tate's nursery. And while Brady was trying to get yet another gal to marry him, Theresa went into the hospital to donate her bone marrow to save their kid. When she got out, she sat there with a bottle warmer (humidifier? Not sure what that thing was) trying to figure out how the darn thing worked. So, yes, I buy that Theresa is a bit freaked out about being a mother and having to do it against the Kiriakis machine.
That doesn't mean that she won't lash out and probably screw things up the first chance she gets. But it does mean that there's a part of her that will want to do the right thing in the end -- if she can just get out of her own way.
Speaking of finishing strong, the elephant saga explanation made perfect sense! You see, after Eric dumped her for God, Serena turned to bad-boy Xander, got wrapped up in the excitement of it all, and before she knew it, she was stuffing an elephant statue with blood diamonds (as one does). But while she was helping Eric pack to leave, their elephant statues got swapped. When Xander asked for them back, Serena said she needed to get them from Eric.
Did Serena really love Eric? Probably. But she definitely had an ulterior motive for forcing their relationship to get so serious so quickly. And I'm glad Eric called her on it. I downright cheered when he hissed that he's taking Nicole's word over Serena's too. Atta boy, ex-padre!
And when he did, Serena lost her mind. In that moment, I really started to dig her. Melissa Archer was fantastic. She's one of the few actresses who can do that utterly delightful touch-of-crazy with just her eyes. DAYS never leaned into that super power until last week.
And even more, I loved Melissa and Shawn Christian together! Sure, Daniel showed up at Serena's door for the sole purpose of keeping her from finding Eric and him from finding Nicole, but I didn't mind. Daniel's complete exasperation/confusion with the situation was a delightful compliment to Serena's panic. This was one of those filler scenes that actually added to the drama. These two were the perfect amount of comically inept. Nicely done!
Meanwhile, back at the office, Paul Tefler was killing it as Xander. Man, that guy is stellar. I'll state for the record once again that it's a bonehead decision to let this actor and character go, even if that's all he signed on for. Like Blake Berris before him, Paul can do extreme creep one minute and fragile soul the next. Soaps are made for these types of characters. If you have an actor that can pull it off, you throw the world at them to get them to stay. *End rant.*
In storyline world, Xander and Nicole danced around her lie for a second, but as the walls closed in on her -- almost literally because Xander had every exit locked or watched -- Nicole knew the fit was about to hit the shan. I'm surprised that she doesn't know some sort of self-defense karate chops after all the predicaments she's been in, but she doesn't. So Nicole dropped into Xander's noose, and I couldn't wait to see how Nicole was going to get out of this one.
Side note, that fishing line noose weapon thing (definitely not its actual name) has to be the scariest of all weapons. You have to wrap your whole body around your victim to use it! I remember an episode of Matlock where the killer used that. It scared the snot out of me then too!
LOOSE ENDS The complete domination (for no reason) of Clyde Weston continues. I really hope that Rafe and Hope aren't letting this go. Not only are they easily two of the most stubborn people on the show, but this whole plan to wait until Clyde messes up thing wasn't fun when Victor did it either! In the meantime, Clyde's still hasn't seen any consequences for raping Jordan, abusing Ben, being an accessory to E.J.'s murder, ordering a hit on Sonny, oh, and selling drugs all over Salem. Tick tock, people!
I adore Kate and Justin together! Sure, I saw the Paul hire from a mile away. But I'm not mad at it if it means that Paul will stay in town. And I like that Kate pushed back. She's not wrong at all about Justin's motives. But Kate has no business shunning someone else for having an agenda. This Ping-Pong match is going to be fun to watch!
I'm freeing myself of the burden of being disappointed in Will. He's a terrible character. I don't even love to hate him. I just flat-out hate him. So I'm openly rooting for him to fail -- and I mean unapologetic, foam-finger-waving, cowbell-ringing, fight-song-playing kind of rooting! I'm iffy on the body paint. Though, if I can find six more people we can spell out "Will Sux," that would be cool. Tweet me if you're interested.
Eve started looking up dirt on Laura, which led her to Marlena and into the realm of adult storylines! Huzzah! Love. This. Now, if we can just get Jennifer to join her and stop focusing on her drip of a son's love life.
Okay, is it bad that I never want Paige and J.J. to work it out because I love this newer, smarter Paige? I've enjoyed her more in these last few weeks than I did her entire tenure on the show. And since Theresa needs a nanny, I say throw Paige, Theresa, and "Auntie" Anne together, and let's really get this girl some sassy wings!
Nicole makes dates with Daniel by saying, "I know, I have a lot of explaining to do." Watch out, lady, Hallmark is going to come after you for stealing their best lines!
It's the forgiveness part that I like the most, not just because it certainly rings true for Eric's background as a priest. But it was the payoff that, as a Nicole fan, I've been waiting to see for months. She's been a doormat for Serena, Eric, and especially Daniel for way too much of the year. Now, if Nicole and Eric can just realize that Daniel and Serena were their respective placeholders, this might turn out to be an okay summer after all.
NOT J.J. moping over Paige, playing the martyr, and comparing himself to Jack is riveting television! In other news, we could really use some rain in the Midwest. And, for gosh sakes, I can't believe the complete lack of interest in 2016's Republican presidential nomination! I mean, is anyone going to run?
LINE OF THE WEEK Rory: "Would these be the Kemp's Ridley turtles? They're seriously in danger!...I watch the Nature Channel when I get baked." Seriously, between Rory's humor, Bev's sass, and Paige's new edge, J.J. is now officially my least favorite teen on DAYS.
Line I'm Going to Start Using in My Real Life Immediately: Xander: "Don't you realize it's only going to make things worse for you because you're putting me in a mood?!"
RANDOM THOUGHTS I couldn't help but notice the big "Main Power Override" button over Nicole's shoulder. I dunno, kids, maybe try that, since Xander's monitoring you with cameras?
Nicole's wardrobe was so much better! Thank goodness she changed out of that swimsuit-top dress.
Does Maggie sponsor everyone in Salem?
Who else wanted Nicole to identify herself as "Walker. Nicole Walker" when she called the law firm of Dalton, Moore, and Connery?
First Xander then Daniel...these dudes sure like to manhandle Serena.
A Bev and aRory sighting in the same week?!? Yes!
I loved seeing Nicole at work. Not only did it get to show her smarts, but all of the talking to herself stuff made sense in the context of reading things aloud.
All that talk about Maggie sticking around better have been just a ploy to keep Daniel occupied and not something more serious.
I still adore that Xander has a hit woman.
It was a wee bit Kate Roberts of Marlena to show up at Serena's door and demand answers about her grown son's love life.
the show wasn't so obsessed with Daniel having a love life things had been different, Serena/Xander/Nicole would have been an awesome con woman/man/woman triangle.
I LOL-ed at Nicole's "You're a murderer!" accusation, said Colin Murphy.
Did they cut off the front of the Brady Pub? Everyone seems to sit in the same booth in the back now.
Wait. You can clear your throat and Jennifer will stop talking?! Teach me your ways, Marlena.
I'm slightly over Salem's 20-somethings turning into models. Gabi, Chad, Abigail, and Melanie have all been the "new faces" of campaigns. They asked Ben, but he said no. Hey, maybe Ben has some smarts after all!
When running from a killer, one must really remember to remove one's high heels.
I'm super pumped because Tony_S_Days and I are working on a summer blog series for the 50th anniversary! We've been having a blast and hope you will like it when it posts in a few weeks!
What are your thoughts on Days of our Lives? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.