Bad, bad, bad, bad boys

For the Week of June 4, 2018
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Stefan? Xander? Ben? Who should wear the bad-guy-in-training crown? Will Gabi ever get out of jail? And should Theresa go in her place? Let's discuss it all in this edition of Two Scoops!

The bad boys of summer are taking their places in Salem. From Miguel to Stefan to Ben to Xander, there's a collection of bad guys and bad deeds to sift through. I guess someone will have to sit through it and watch all of them. Fear not, I've got it covered. No need to thank me. I am a professional.

First up, there's the return of Robert Scott Wilson's Ben. Oh, RSW, you are always a sight for sore eyes! I'd be hard pressed to think of an actor who grew as quickly and as far as he did during Ben's brief time on the show. He's easily part of my top ten villain performances of all time on DAYS. So, I'm never opposed to seeing him on my screen again.

Under Ron's era, DAYS does a pretty decent job of having a character say what many of us are screaming at the TV. Such was the case with Hope and Marlena's conversation about Ben. A psychiatrist has deemed him sane, which the show can't shoot down in light of Abigail's storyline.

It's not that their crimes were the same. But their recovery from mental illness falls under the same umbrella. If Salem's okay to assume Abs won't go around lighting people on fire or holding people hostage in her basement again, we have to at least entertain the idea that Ben is over killing people to protect his perception of a family.

My biggest issue with reformed Ben is that RSW does such a superb job of playing the villain. I'm not so sure I want to see him do anything else. It's like ordering fat-free whole wheat mac and cheese as a side dish. Sure, you could do that. But I really want the full-fat, cast-iron-skillet-baked mac and cheese as my whole meal!

The next villain is Xander, who, again, hangs a ton of his appeal on Paul Telfer's insanely good delivery. Xander's dripping with mischief in the best possible way. But because we've seen him turn back into a desperate little boy around Victor, there's a part of him that's sympathetic. It's very small, I'll grant you, but it's there. And if the basis for all of his evil is something as universally relatable as not being accepted and always being passed over, that makes Xander settle into a storyline much better.

That brings me to Stefan. I adore Tyler Christopher. He's got depth as an actor and can bring nuances to very dark characters. However, he just happens to have the misfortune of playing one that is completely flat. Stefan made a grand entrance, with one of the grand dames of DAYS on his arm. Yet, we really have no idea why he's such a creep. He sees nothing wrong with raping women or holding them hostage. And we have no idea why. He's just a bad guy for the sake of the show needing a bad guy. Tyler Christopher deserves better. And for respect to DAYS, Stefano DiMera deserves better.

But there Kayla was -- our beloved Sweetness -- begging Stefan to not completely suck for, like, ten whole minutes and make a few phone calls. But he couldn't do it. Kayla's being forced to play dirty because she loves Steve that much. Yup, Stefan never misses a chance to make a bad situation worse. It makes me wish Xander had the rights to Visionary Bionics. I'd rather see him get the screen time.

But the Kiriakis clan is a bit busy right now, trying to hang Theresa from Maggie's new light fixture. And I'm not so sure that's deserved.

Let's start with the good stuff first. Chloe's been a rock star in this storyline. Our Ghoul Girl is no stranger to finding herself in bad situations (Quinn the pimp, anyone?), but this time, she saved herself. Yes, Chloe. Yaaaaasss. Aside from the still slightly wonky romantic pairing with Lucas, I love everything about the Chloe aspect of this storyline. Furthermore, she's seething mad at Theresa, and I don't blame her one bit.

But everyone else? Ehhhhh, they need to tone it down just a hair.

I'm not saying Theresa did the "right" thing, by any means. However, I am saying she was in a no-win situation and shouldn't be blamed for it.

Chloe was in a dangerous situation because of Mateo, not because of Theresa. She did go back for Chloe. There were just too many things standing in her way -- Mateo, Chloe's whereabouts, Xander's chest -- to get Chloe out in the small window of time.

Of course, it would have been great if Theresa told someone once she was free. I don't blame Chloe, Brady, or Eve for even thinking that now. But, as the audience knows, there weren't many options. Victor? Shane? The ISA? Theresa tried all of them, and they all told her -- in no uncertain terms -- they were no match for Mateo. (I mean, the obvious choice here is to tell Nancy because my gal could have handled Captain Macaroni like a boss, but I digress.) I hope Victor clears all of that up with Brady soon.

Plus, as far as Theresa knew, Mateo was still alive and a threat to murder her child. If roles were reversed, Chloe would have done the same thing for Parker. And I wouldn't have blamed Chloe either.

The real problem with this plot point is that DAYS can't have it both ways. We can't be furious with Theresa for "leaving" Chloe with Mateo, but not accept the fact that Theresa 1000% believed the guy would kill her son. If Mateo's bad enough to put Chloe through horror, he's bad enough to torture Theresa too.

And torture her he absolutely did. Theresa lived as this guy's sex slave for months. She was raped repeatedly. I cringed when Brady blew that off as "the one nice thing Theresa's ever done." You need to back that comment right up, Silver Spoon boy. And it was horrifying watching Eve to try to villainize a rape victim, especially since Eve did it for the sake of propping a clunker of a love triangle.

The idea of Brady choosing between these two loves of his life of the minute is tedious. I also prefer Eve and Theresa as sisters over Brady and either of his sister wives. Ladies, the literal saying is sisters before misters. It's in the title! Brady is swell and all, but he's nowhere near as valuable as your family bond. Then again, Eve slept with her daughter's boyfriend, so maybe this is how she screens her dudes. It's a decent timesaver, since she's busy running online hot or not contests for the next generation.

Claire and Theo broke up, which I'm not heartbroken about at all. She found comfort in Tripp, which doesn't make me mad either. I am, however, slightly worried Hope Jr. is going to be squawking about how she was betrayed by the man she just dumped and that horrid Sami Claire was the jezebel accomplice. I mean, if it's one thing the show is missing, it's another exact same storyline.

Just like Sonny and Paul had before their would-have-been wedding, Will and Paul had a beautiful and honest conversation about their relationship. It's bittersweet when you realize that Will can't back up any of the promises he made. Once he regains his memories, all bets are off, and Wilson will probably (certainly?) be reunited. But I hope the storyline is kind to Paul, as well. The guy's been a good addition to Salem and doesn't deserve to be the next generation Roman. (Sorry, Ro.)

Kate can absolutely take the stance that she feels bad for Chad because he's got to deal with his brother raping his wife. But it's not true that Abigail willingly slept with Stefan. That's on Stefan, not on Abigail. Kate needs to shut that junk down.

Remember a few months ago when Gabi kept getting kidnapped? That was sooo 2017. The new thing is for Gabi to get framed for murder. This time, she got framed for murder while still in jail for the previous time she got framed for murder. Good grief.

But that probably won't matter to the warden -- who is either the village idiot or completely corrupt himself. I'm shocked he still has a job after the whole Bonnie/Hattie escape. Plus, I'm guessing that the girlfriend of a former police lieutenant might have more than one enemy in jail. Raines had to put at least a few people in jail to keep his cover.

Sorry, back to Gabi. She's facing a murder charge uh-gain. I have no idea why she was even still in jail. And I was very uncomfortable watching the scenes of her still in jail spliced in between Chad and Abigail having a celebratory lunch. That was definitely a lesson in class, if not outright racial, inequality glaring us in the face.

Ciara and Hope's scenes were once again a highlight of the week. I loved the tender moments when Ciara cried about chasing away monsters. My heart went out to both of them. They have a very "us against the world" charm about them.

I wish people would start letting Abigail take the blame she's trying to take. I'm looking at you, Chad and Jennifer. Both of them should put their efforts toward other causes, like keeping Laura away from Abigail. Last time, she rubber-stamped this fake-your-death-stay-away clunker of an idea! I would not be in favor of letting Abigail go away with this woman again!

Stefan: "Enjoying our freedom, are we Kate?"
For sure. It's so frustrating when someone who should obviously be in jail is walking around free, huh, Stefan? The lack of self-awareness on that guy is amazing.

I like how "the mother of my child" holds more weight on soaps than anywhere else in the world.

I was increasingly bothered by John constantly referencing Chloe -- a grown woman, business owner, and mother -- as "the girl."

The real reason John and Paul told Lucas to stay behind is because they only had two of those matching newsboy black hats.

Is "knock it out of the park" the best analogy to use with a former pitcher? Home runs are bad things for them.

I'll take any excuse for a Steve/Kate scene.

I'm going to make the argument that Gabby didn't sleep with Stefan because she loved him, but because he was convenient. Gabby's time was limited. She needed to be efficient with her time management solutions.

I wish there were more Steve/Abigail scenes as a nod to Jack.

"It's not a coincidence that one of your alters was named Laura." -- If that's the case, then Gabi has a legit reason to be skeptical of Abigail.

I'm going to sound old here. But, why couldn't Tripp and Ciara just date for a little while? Why was it sleep together or break up?

Ciara isn't really into makeup. That makes sense, since she decided to be the face of a major player in the cosmetic and beauty space. It's almost like she doesn't care at all about the job and just entered the contest to spite Claire. Huh. Weird.

Kudos to Chandler Massey for doing a serious scene in dog Halloween makeup. Freddie Smith's makeup was easily the weirdest looking makeup job I've ever seen -- but I'll let the Soap Central resident bunny expert weigh in on that.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Um... this looks more like a horror movie where the victim has their mouth sewn shut than a cuddly, fluffy bunny.

Then again, when mine bunny sees that I am eating a piece of fruit (a pear in Exhibit A), he is anything but cuddly. -- dan]

Wait, Sonny did actual work? He negotiated an acquisition of something or other. Neat-o!

Visionary Bionics is a little too on-the-nose of a name for a company developing a robo-eye.

I thought I had an out for Gabi, since her right arm is in a sling. Alas, Gabi is left-handed. Don't worry, Gabs! I'll get you out of there yet!

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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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