Count your blessings instead of sheep

For the Week of December 14, 2015
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Count your blessings instead of sheep
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The week of December 14, 2015
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For the second week in a row, Salem wasn't the saddest place in Soap Land! Granted there were near death experiences, mental breakdowns, torture, and abductions. What were we discussing? Right. Despite the dark clouds, we finally got some love in the afternoon. Let's swoon in this week's Two Scoops!

I'm trying not to get my Star Wars Underoos in a bunch, but I have no idea where 2015 went. Oh, that's right. It was partially dedicated to elephant statues, blood diamonds, and sobbing. My bad! In any event, this year has flown by, and this is officially the last regularly scheduled Two Scoops of the season. Let's call it our "Winter Finale." True, I'm not sure when "Winter Finale" became a thing, but it has, and I'm going with it...

More so, for the next few weeks Laurisa and I will be busy preparing cyber cocktails and webpetizers for the par-tay! That's right. It's that time again, and you're all invited. Next week, we'll be together again, presenting the Ninth Annual Golden Donut Awards to celebrate everything that was lovely and right in the Salem world in 2015. Don't worry. That merriment won't last too long, as the following week we'll be back to dis and downright snark on all that stunk up Salem when we reveal the, um, winners of the Alex North Memorial Awards.

But certainly polishing Golden Donut statuettes and engraving Alex North trophies doesn't negate that we have some serious Two Scooping to do. And, lemmetellyou, we do. I have about as much chaos to cover last week as I do on my overflowing holiday to-do list. But I'm also a little relieved. No one died again last week, and I didn't cry once. Though my Kleenex box feels a little neglected. Anyway...

So, yeah, there was some dark stuff we'll get to in a bit, but let's count our blessings because there was some happiness in Salem last week. That, I'll take. For starters, twenty-five pound preemie Colin Thomas Jack is safe and sound as are Abigail and Chad. They didn't burn up in the cabin. In fact, the only thing that was super-hot was Chad. He totally out-cooled himself by saving the day, being there for his lady, and being honest with Abigail in the most swoon-worthy way possible. Yes, please.

Not to be outdone in the honesty department, Abigail finally admitted to Chad, "When I first started dating Ben, I knew I couldn't really be in love with him. I knew it deep down in my heart because I never stopped being in love with you." Welcome to the party, Abs! You're only about a year and four deaths late. It's too bad she didn't realize this sooner, but I'll take what I can get. I'm just glad these two are being honest. Well, Abigail is. Chad always has made it clear who and what he wants. Though I'm not going to pick on a new mother who popped out a giganto preemie while almost becoming toast because...

Kate Mansi rocked out the raw emotions of the role. Hat tip to you, Lady Mansi! Even her posture reflected what she's been through, and I adored her pledge that she can Mary Tyler Moore her life and make it on her own. She's right. She's not weak nor did Ben break her. She just made a series of bad decisions/indecisions. As Alanis preached, "you live, you learn," so let's hope for the best in DAYS to come.

Speaking of "best," holy Robert Scott Wilson, Batman. The man continued to crank out one crazy brilliant performance after another. I mean, really. It was just intense. I'm glad they brought up some of his past issues like Clyde's abuse. Not that it lets him off the hook for, you know, serial killing, but it solidifies that his actions weren't all about Abby. As Chad perfectly quipped, "Ben was a mental time bomb." Indeed, and his explosion was what Emmys are made of. Though I really want to know what Jordan has to say about all of this, or if she's ever covered up anything for him. Hmm...

So! Now the bomb has dropped. The Salem P.D. finally has the real Necktie Killer, thanks to the rookie and Scrappy-Doo. That's not to negate that Lani and J.J. proved that they can be kickass crime fighters, too. The way they took down Ben van Bonkers was pretty impressive. Lani might get that detective badge sooner than expected. And, you know, J.J. just might get a regular old one.

But with the reveal, I felt a few things missed the mark. I'm going to cover some of them as quickly as possible, as we have a lot of Two Scooping left to do and I'm a wordy bastard. Here it goes:

One, neither Roman nor Rafe tried to strangle the bejesus out of Ben upon finding out he killed Paige and Will!? What's up with that?
Two, Rafe had an amazingly tender scene with Chase. Well played, Herr Hernandez. But why the double-bejesus didn't he let the lad know his father was a would-be one-known-time attempted murderer instead of a serial killer!? That might take a little sting out of the old "my dad's a crazy pants" wound. You know, a little.
Three, after all the cheerleading we've seen Jennifer do on Ben's behalf and after the years of closeness witnessed between her and her children, I'm a little let down we didn't get to see Jennifer's OMG-moment upon finding out about Benzilla. Points, though, because I loved seeing Jennifer's happiness upon meeting Thomas. Extra points, Jennifer thanked and hugged Chad. Hold onto that feeling, girl, for the next time you want to throw shade at our Chadsworth.
Four, the line to apologize to Chad should have started with Eric, followed by Justin, and on from there, but I must have missed that gathering of the DiMera Hunters Club. At the very least, I hope we get a scene of Eve and/or Sami confronting Ben. Those sound like they would be made of win.
Fifth and finally...really!? Roman didn't have one "Whad da hell?" saved up for the Ben reveal?

Moving on!

In more positive news, Steve and Kayla further cemented why they are and always have been a supercouple in a series of scenes totally filled with blunt honesty and sweetness. Patch cracks me up with his special brand of honesty, and I adore that Kayla loves him so much but stays true to her levelheaded self. She's absolutely right for wanting to take things slowly and make solid decisions for their future. And sure, she didn't say "yes" to Steve's very sincere, multi-lingual proposal just yet, but she did give him a house key and an invite to move in. That's a pretty good start. Well played, Sweetness.

Though the one really playing Steve, Kayla, and Joey is Ava. Yes, please! Tamara Braun is back, and I'm doing my best Sally O'Malley "kick!, stretch!, and KICK!" Tamara's just awesome to the core, and I'm on the edge, waiting to see what she does with the role this time around. I suspect there'll be an attack or two on the Johnsons, maybe a little stroll down RoboJohn lane, and, please, oh, please, a drink with gal pal Nicole. Nicole really needs all the non-holier-than-thou friends she can get.

In other "Back in Town" news, Philip's returned with yet another new face! I'm a fan of John-Paul Lavoisier, and I'm excited to see him back on my daytime lineup. Philip, on the other hand? That verdict is still out. True, I believe Philip is needed back in town, but I'm not sure I'm mentally prepared for a storyline that focuses on meds that cause psychicism, err, people to become psychics. Philip actually had the line (and was excited to spout), "There is a side effect, the ability to see the future!" Right. And I predict this storyline will end up on the short list for the Alex North Awards.

If Titan ends up having a Psychic Division -- pause for eye-roll -- at the very least Celeste better be the one who spearheads that. I hear she already has her résumé on Philip's desk and her first-day outfit planned because, well, she already knew. Yes, there's a swanky hat included, darlings. Right...

So Philip is circling around 1-900-Dial-A-Psychic Caroline and, I think, plans to exploit her, ugh, abilities. Sorry, Phil, I like the original recipe Caroline -- a tough, firecracker matriarch ready to dish out advice to her feisty family who will take a shot of whisky when needed to get the party started. Clairvoyant Caroline just doesn't have the same appeal. The only believable psychic connection I'll take seriously is if Caroline conjures up the spirit of James E. Reilly and he asks for his type of storyline back.

Finally, let's talk about Hope. Kristian Alfonso is a one-woman wrecking crew for sure. Her dedication to this storyline has been amazing, as are her performances. Hope is ready to kick ass and take names. I kind of love this. The woman power of it all is great. That's not to say I'm not worried about Hope. And I'm not alone.

Rafe isn't all that wrong for being worried about Hope, too. In fact, he's pretty right. She's off Tasering people and such. That concerns me only because Hope is coasting on fumes. She's been beaten down by the sorrows of life and is clinging on to her revenge crusade. I believe she believes she's doing it for her family as much as to honor Bo, but she could definitely phone a friend like Rafe. He's ready to be there, and there's no shame in having someone ride shotgun as you try to avenge a loved one's death. Ask Batman and Robin.

But there are bigger fish to catch here. For starters, Rafe dropped the L-Bomb on Hope. In the heat of an argument, he admitted he loves her. That was only news to Hope, and Rafe, thankfully back-peddled out of respect and said it was a friend-love. I'm completely fine with this. And be prepared for a lot of Rafe praise...

I'm actually on board with Rafe and his feelings for Hope. He's been nothing but a great friend and partner, and he's been completely respectful to her, her family, and their loss. And, really, anyone who didn't notice the googly eyes that Rafe has been giving Hope for nearly/over a year wasn't paying attention. His feelings for her are nothing new, but he's never been anything but a gentleman and never acted on them. He was simply the good friend who wished her happiness and love. I'm suspecting he learned about the "watching the gal you love moving on with someone" lesson from Lucas during one of those pickup basketball games.

Ultimately, I don't think Hope and Rafe would be the worst thing to happen, given the proper amount of time and therapy, well, for Hope. Like, a lot of time...and therapy. Rafe already adores Hope, Ciara, and even Chase, so he's in when and if the time is right. As for Hope, maybe or maybe not -- friends don't always fall in love, but she's certainly not in the place to weigh those feelings now. Not only has she buried two husbands in a 24-hour window, which doesn't exactly make you ready long on to, but...

Ciara has been abducted! Normally this wouldn't bother me because in the past I knew Hope would ride to the rescue, but DAYS is rather no holds barred right now. Ciara could lose a thumb or her life in Salem these days. I mean, they killed Will. So, no bets are off the table. Though I'm optimistic that Hope will kick some abductor booty. Right? No, right! So, go get our gal, Hope, then, maybe take that vaca everyone is suggesting you take. Just saying.

Theresa and Anne have nearly reached "Dannifer" level of makeups and breakups. Let's just go back to their roots. They were fun then. Though, as eye-rolling as their merry-go-round friendship has been, two things are hilarious. One, Theresa wants to life-coach someone, which makes me think Maggie has a pyramid scheme going on, since she helped Theresa. And, two, I kind of do want Anne to work at Basic Back if for no other reason than for Theresa/Anne/Kate/Nicole scenes (which is a lot of sassy bitches, and I mean that in the best way possible) and to watch Anne try to touch the male models, because you know that would happen.

Andre and Chad continue to be hilarious! I love their interactions. Andre's latest plan involves Chad studding it up to seduce Belle and get back the DiMera dinero. Sure, it would force Belle to eat a slice of humble pie after all the DiMera shade she's thrown, but, let's face it -- Belle is divorced now, so her enjoyment of canoodling might not be as fun for her. #sorryBelle

On the topic of Andre and Belle, Mar Mar swaggered over and gave Andre a firm mama bear warning. Yes, yes, and yes. I kind of adore Marlena's "I don't give a crap who you think you are" attitude towards the DiMeras as much as I loved her retort to Andre's threat, "I wouldn't even bother with law enforcement." You win, Mar. You're officially cool enough to pull off sunglasses at night.

I kind of love that Eve was listening to her own CD while drowning her sorrows. Okay, I just loved that we got to hear Kassie DePaiva sing...finally! I also like the idea of this music program dedicated to Paige's memory. Please, say they have Doug, Brady, and Theresa lined up to be instructors because hearing them sing, too, is never, ever a bad thing.

Kate seems to be the official welcome wagon for new men in town over 40 (and occasional younger man *cough Nicholas and E.J.*). The latest water testing is between Kate and Eduardo. I'm pretty sure Lauren Koslow helped hang the moon, and there's a special place in my soap-loving heart for A Martinez, yet I'm not really feeling Kate and Eduardo yet. It's bringing back Vincent Moroni/Ian McAllister/Clyde Weston flashbacks, and those didn't really brighten up the Salem skies with gumdrops and lollypops showers. Though thoroughly priceless and I laughed out loud, the expression on Kate's face when she admitted to Eduardo that she had, uh, connections with Rafe was pretty much the same expression I had about their FroYo date -- yeah, this is uncomfortable, so let's not go further down that road.

Speaking of Eduardo, was I the only one who thought when I saw that woman in Eduardo's room, "Great! Another abandoned wife." Yep. I didn't think I was alone on that. As it turns out, Eddie works for a shady organization, and he's hired to kill people. Where was he last spring? But I digress.

A is keeping me interested in Eduardo. He's playing the part masterfully. The regret and shame were spot on, and I was glad that Eddie ate the blame for being a lame arse abandoner and all-around shady fellow. There's that. But I hope the writers took a precautionary tale away from Clyde and even Dr. Dan -- there is such a thing as way too much. Eduardo already has connections (to clarify ,not the same connections Kate and Rafe had) in town. There's the Hernandez familia, Eve, and now John. Does Kate need, I mean, really need to be thrown into that mix right now? More so, if the Eduardo/Eve history was explored properly, then Kassie Ever Lovin' DePaiva could stay in Salem, and I'd give Eddie a big hug if he could make that happen.

Lastly, Eduardo has said non-Rafe/Kate-like connection with John. He gave Señor Negro a sob story about his time at Winterthorn Academy. Yeah. John didn't buy it either. He knows Eduardo's hiding something. Unfortunately, that something is that Eddie is supposed to kill John. Writers, killing John doesn't work. I'm hoping John gets the upper hand because after the past two weeks of non-deaths, I finally had time to send my black, tear-stained suit to the cleaners, and it won't be back for a while. So, dear writers, play me this solid, would you, and don't kill John.

Extra Scoops
Mad props to all of the phenomenal acting this week, especially to Robert Scott Wilson, Kate Mansi, and Billy Flynn as they concluded the "Benachabigail" triangle! But this is a two-fold "HOT" because nothing was more adorbs than Theo making a mix for Ciara just because she was sad. And he worked on it all day, too. Tell me that didn't make your Grinch heart grow three sizes. You win, NuTheo. You win.

I'm fairly confident they made NuTheo at the same über adorable factory that manufactured that Super Bowl Darth Vader kid, puppies sneezing, and unlikely animal friends YouTube videos. He's made of fifty shades of cuteness and win. So, I'm officially putting the sleazeball that texted Theo, "FREAK!!!!!!" on notice with the zest of a fired-up Caroline Brady and her trusty baseball bat. Ask Shawn-D and Philip. They'll remember that bat and that pissed-off granny. So, to the sleazeball -- who had to be an even bigger douchebag by using six exclamation points, because, really, we'd get the idea after one -- shut it down now, ho. If you're not exposed in the next few weeks, congrats, you've already earned a trophy for the 2016 Alex North Memorial Awards.

Steve (to Kayla, regarding her answer to his proposal): "Well, at least I didn't get slapped...okay, well. I didn't hear a 'no' in there, so I guess I'm still in the running for a 'yes.'"

Kate (to Eduardo, regarding her ruthless streak): "So it's been said."
Delivered perfectly with that Lauren Koslow cool sass.

In addition to seeking vengeance, err, justice, I think Hope's also working through her grief by buying throw pillows.

Adam Leadbeater was perfectly cast as Dr. Malcolm. He has that "bad guy" voice down. I want him to read me a Halloween story.

I kind of want to stay at the Martin house. Does anyone know if they have an open bar?

Alison Sweeney really needs to head back to Salem for a few more weeks. She's needed.

Speaking of which, I know that Sami is out of the country with the kids, but can we at least agree to pretend they're with an alive E.J. and Auntie Kristen using Stefano's hundred dollar bills to light one of his Cuban cigars? Not the kids, of course.

Hope told Roman the baddie cost him "the only brother you'll have." Since your hands are full of Taser, Fancy Face, I'll pass that along to Frankie and Max for you.

So, friends and fellow DAYS fans, that's Two Scoops for the week of December 14! Next week, get on your Sunday best and get ready to cyber party with Laurisa and me as we reveal the winners of the Best of DAYS 2015 -- The Golden Donut Awards! And, "That's a fact!"

As always, thanks for reading!

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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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